This humorous science fiction title mixes in mystery for natural appeal to young readers. Neve Maslakovic holds a Ph.D. from Stanford’s STAR (Space, Telecommunications, and Radioscience) Lab and is working on another science fiction novel as we speak.
Adult/High School–Reminiscent of Douglas Adams’s work, this story concerns San Francisco citizen Felix Sayers. Actually, it concerns San Francisco A citizen Felix A, since when he was six months old, the universe was “copied,” and Felix is off to San Francisco B to find his alter, Felix B. Not only is making contact with one’s alter forbidden, but two competing factions are also following Felix A, as they believe something he did as a baby made him the “universe maker.” The story unfolds at a sprightly pace, while bringing in quantum theory, chaos theory, and especially the butterfly effect–that one small action can set off a chain of events lasting for hundreds of years. One of the more clever successes of the book is the creation of the competing San Franciscos–as opposed to one being “San Francisco as we know it” and another being strange, each version of the city has both familiar and unfamiliar attributes. In places, the science might not hold together perfectly, but the ride is so much fun that readers can quickly suspend disbelief. Finally, why is Felix searching for his alter anyway? He’s writing a mystery novel and wants to be sure Felix B hasn’t beaten him to it. The author pays homage to Felix’s inspiration, Agatha Christie, by assembling a wacky cast of suspects. This clever combination of mystery, science fiction and humor gives this title broad appeal.–Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, MD