I would classify this novel as Quirky Sci-Fi Humour. Humour, most definitely. It had me chuckling aloud several times. The premise of the story is a vet clinic that exists simultaneously in five similar, but not completely the same worlds. This gives the author a chance to toss in any number of weird and wonderful animals any time the story flags. Disappearing patients, cloned assistants, and overbearing parents help to make sure the story never flags. Definitely quirky, and the Sci-Fi grows as the story progresses.
As far as the conflict is concerned, it’s so buried in the fun stuff it’s hard to remember the character dispute, which involves romance with the otherworld version of a deceased loved one. Anything could go wrong with that scenario, and frequently does. And embedded in that idea is speculation that, if you were to meet another version of yourself, would the two of you get along? No spoiler there: possibly not.
In any case, the tale meanders through the red herrings, trying to follow the slightly more serious question of why someone might have been interfering in the heroine’s life for as long as she can remember, and who might be smuggling technology inter-dimensionally.
If you think this sounds rather complicated, it is, but the author lays everything out clearly and in straightforward language, so it’s not hard to follow. There are a few times when the suspense is weakened by a detour into comedy, but suspense is hardly the end objective in this kind of story.
Then the Sci-Fi department comes through near the end with wormhole generators, neural scramblers and disintegrator bombs, and lots of gunfire and mayhem, so it all balances out.
However, when it comes to the actual ending… Well, you should know that I contacted the author because I hoped there was a page (or a chapter) missing. Quirky humour, sure. Completely out-of-the-blue new unrelated concept that doesn’t even lead to a sequel? Not a chance. I scaled this review back from 5 to 4 stars because of it.
Recommended for fans of fun Sci-Fi. A fine light summer read, as long as you don’t get so invested in the conflict that you need resolution.
(4 / 5)
This review was originally posted on Reedsy Discovery