Tandem (A Many-Worlds Trilogy Book #1) by Anna Jarzab
Released October 8, 2013
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Length: 11 hours
Sasha Larson lives with her physicist grandfather since her parents passed away when she was a young child. She’s a smart sixteen year-old who’s has a crush on Grant Davis for the longest time and when he asks her to the prom she’s thrilled. But Grant turns out to be Thomas Mayhew who’s come from a parallel universe. Grant is actually Thomas’ analog (an alternate version of himself) and Thomas has kidnapped Sasha to bring her to his universe because she is the analog of Princess Juliana. He is an agent who works for his government.
This all sounds very confusing but the author manages to make it plausible and it’s not a confusing concept in the story. When Sasha arrives to The United Commonwealth of Columbia which is actually an alternate version of Earth, she discovers that she must impersonate Princess Juliana to prevent a revolutionary war. If she succeeds she gets to go home, but if she fails she is stuck in Juliana’s life forever. The problem is that she begins to have feelings for Thomas and he for her.
Overall, this is the first time, I think, that I read a book set in parallel universes, and so I found the premise different and refreshing. I began by liking the strong character of Sasha but as the book progressed I found her a little too whiny and she no longer came across as strong but more like a victim of her situation. Despite this, I still liked Sasha. Juliana, on the other hand, was unlikable and I wonder how her story will continue in Book Two. I liked Thomas and I felt more for him because he has a lot at stake. There is a love triangle in the story which is supposed to build romantic tension and make the reader get into the characters’ psyches but I didn’t quite feel that with this book.
The world-building is good and for the most part I could accept the parallel universe theory, although one scene where Sasha is made to experience fear to bring up images of Juliana is so far-fetched that I had to really suspend disbelief to accept it. The story finally ends with a cliff-hanger, leaving me with questions I want answered.
I listened to the audio book version of this book and enjoyed Amanda Dolan's narration very much. She has a good strong voice and I could distinguish the different nuances for the different main characters who are all young. If I get to Book Two it will be through audio again. I find that long books are easier to “read” through audio. This was an enjoyable book but it didn’t blow me away.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read. I don't remember any questionable content. There were two fighting scenes with a bit of blood but nothing over the top.
Reviewed by Laura
Disclosure: Thanks to AudioGo and Audiobook Jukebox for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.