4 out of 4 stars
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Gary and Michelle have a very good relationship. They have been together ever since their A-levels, after the exams. Before the exams, Gary had a near-miss accident with a lorry while crossing the road. They both have good relationships with their respective families, the families of each other, and are both good friends with Sinead, who was also their friend in high school. Michelle is a student nurse doing very well in her placement and Gary, along with Sinead, is a well-respected physics student at the local university. This is Gary of the Blue Line.
Gary and Sinead have a very good relationship. They have been together since shortly after Gary's accident involving a lorry while he was crossing the road before his final exams. (This was the same accident that Gary of the Blue Line narrowly missed.) He was hit and seriously injured resulting in his inability to continue on to the university. He does not have a good, or even civil, relationship with his father or older sister. He and Sinead live with her family. Sinead's mother, however, has a form of dementia that is only expected to get worse with time. This is Gary of the Black Line.
Gary of the Black Line practices lucid dreaming (taking conscious control of a dream while you are having it). This results in his being able to enter the body of Gary of the Blue Line without anyone noticing. Gary of the Black Line is angry with Michelle for rejecting his advances in the past and she happens to be with Gary of the Blue Line when Gary of the Black Line takes over. He proceeds to stab her in full view of those in attendance at Sinead's twenty-first birthday party. Gary of the Blue Line is subsequently arrested and charged with the crime.
Will Gary of the Blue Line be convicted of the crime? Will his defense be able to explain the Many Worlds theory to a jury and convince them of his innocence? Will Gary of the Black Line ever be brought to justice for his commission of the crime? These are several of the questions that Adam Guest attempts to deal with in his novel, Worldlines - A Many Worlds Novel.
There really wasn't anything in this novel that I didn't enjoy. I really liked it all and I think that all of the characters were well developed. Even Marcus Bray, Sinead's boyfriend from the Blue Line, and Carl Peyton, Michelle's brother, who are very minor players, were given a good background. Their appearance in the novel added to the story.
As this book is a little confusing due to the complexity of the Many Worlds theory, I would recommend it only for someone who already has an interest in it. Professor Buzzard does a good job of explaining what happens in the theory. I read the book twice in order to solidify it in my mind. I think that this book is a very good entry point into the theory. Even though the book is fiction, parallel universes are discussed with details that the reader can understand.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. There are lots of ways that this novel could have talked down to the reader, but did not. The author assumed that the reader had a very rudimentary understanding of the science involved. By way of Professor Buzzard and hid conversations with Gary and Sinead of the Blue Line his opinion of the theory was explained. I have a very high opinion of this book.
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