Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Nest of Worlds

Nest of Worlds, Marek Huberath, Restless Books, 2014

This dystopian novel is about a very rigidly stratified society, based on a person's hair color.

Gavein and his wife, Ra Mehleine, are moving to the Land of Darabel, by law. Every thirty-five years, everyone is required to emigrate to another of the four Lands. They are of different social classes, so Gavein needs special permission to include his wife on his passport. Time moves at very different speeds, based on altitude, so they are able to eliminate the several years age difference between them. All citizens also have a Significant Name, which details the manner of their deaths.

As time goes on, people start dying around Gavein (who was given the name Dave by the immigration authorities). It is many more than normal, and all in accordance with their Significant Names. Gavein professes total innocence; it could be someone he passed on the street, or someone he saw on TV. When the death toll reaches the hundreds, panic sets in. Central Darabel is deserted. Anyone named Dave is taken into the street and lynched. All attempts to kill Gavein and Ra Mehleine fail.

Ra Mehleine develops terminal cancer. The only time she is not in pain is when Gavein reads a book called Nest of Worlds. It's a Russian doll sort of book, with a world within a world within another world. If there are an infinite number of worlds, one inside another, and if the "real" world of Gavein and Ra Mehleine is World One, is there a Superworld Zero? Are they all characters in someone else's story?

I loved this book. The author has a way of quietly introducing new concepts, like the very different time speeds, so this is not a book for skimming and skipping chapters. For those who like to read the last chapter ahead of time, don't do it. The reader will have little or no idea what is happening without having read the rest of the book. Things get rather convoluted by the end, and it will give the reader quite a mental workout, but this book is extremely highly recommended.  

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