The end is here for the InterWorld series by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves, but before you plunge into the thrilling conclusion, Eternity’s Wheel, brace yourself with this series recap and character guide!
Joey Harker – In all of the worlds and all of the universes that exist, Joey still managed to be born on the most average planet out there. He has an average name, gets average grades, and has absolutely nothing particularly special about him—except for his ability to walk between dimensions. He discovers this talent by accident one day, and is immediately thrust into an adventure that crosses worlds, universes, and even time itself.
Joseph Harker (The Old Man) – One of the many versions of Joey that make up the inter-dimensional ship known as InterWorld. Strict, no-nonsense, and downright intimidating, he runs InterWorld with military precision. He has to; they’re fighting a war, after all.
InterWorld – The inter-dimensional ship that Joey and all of his para-incarnations call home. Everyone on the ship is a version of Joey from a different dimension or planet. InterWorld travels through time and dimensions simultaneously, keeping the organizations of HEX and Binary from finding them.
HEX – An old organization devoted to dark, sinister magic. Led by Lord Dogknife, a horrific figure with the body of a man and the head of a wolf, HEX’s goal is to eventually rule over the entirety of the Multiverse.
Binary – The only thing (aside from InterWorld itself, of course) standing in HEX’s way of total domination. The Professor, leader of the Binary, envisions a world run by machines and science, with cold logic replacing the instability of human emotion. The power struggle between HEX and Binary is the only thing keeping one of them from winning for good.
Hue – A Multi-Dimensional Life Form (MDLF, or “mudluff” in the vernacular) befriended by Joey. Looks rather like a large, inflated balloon and communicates through colors.
Joey’s Team – Jai, a senior officer with an affinity for magic and unnecessarily large words. Jo, a girl with angelic white wings. J/O, a cyborg version of Joey from a technologically advanced Earth. Josef, a gentle giant from a planet where the gravity is twice as strong. Jakon, a wolf-girl who excels in both combat and pranks.
Jay – The first extra-dimensional version of himself Joey ever met. Mentor and older brother-figure, Jay was killed in action before he and Joey ever made it InterWorld.
Acacia Jones – A mysterious Time Agent working for an organization Joey knows next to nothing about. So far, she seems to be there to help him, but Joey isn’t at all comfortable with her know-it-all attitude or bossy, better-than-thou way of handling things.
Here’s what’s happened so far:
Joey Harker once got lost in his own house. So it wasn’t all that surprising to him when a class assignment ended up with him wandering around downtown with no clue where he was going. But that time, he got really lost–as in, he wound up in another dimension entirely.
Almost before he could react to that, he was attacked by agents of Binary, rescued by a guy who looked exactly like him, got lost again, was kidnapped by agents of HEX, and then rescued once more by his lookalike. That lookalike turned out to be named Jay, and he explained the basics of Binary, HEX, why they looked alike, and the purpose of a place called InterWorld.
Joey then rescued Hue, a Multi-dimensional Life Form, from a giant monster. Jay was unfortunately killed in the process, and Joey used the knowledge he had gained to get them back to InterWorld. Once there, he was recruited by another version of himself, and had more of the mystery explained. He agreed to join InterWorld in Jay’s memory, and because of the last words Jay ever spoke to him: “FrostNight is coming.”
Six months later, one of the missions he was on went poorly, and ended with his entire team being captured. Hue helped him escape, and he returned to InterWorld to tell the tale. Unfortunately, the circumstances of his story were found highly suspicious, and he was deemed to be too much of a liability to InterWorld and its people. His memories of the last six months were wiped clean, and he was returned to his world only two days after he’d left.
Joey spent a few days trying to readjust to normal life, feeling like something was missing. Finally, when outside blowing bubbles with his little brother, he realized they reminded him of Hue. Once he remembered Hue, all the other memories came back, and he realized his teammates were likely still trapped. Unwilling to let his friends be killed or worse, he said goodbye to his family and made his way back to the world they’d been trapped on.
He and his teammates made a harrowing escape, and made it back to InterWorld. The Old Man grudgingly accepted them back, and the six of them began training as a team once again.
THE SILVER DREAM
Two years later, after many more training sessions and successful live missions, Joey found himself and his team pinned down by agents of Binary. While trying to decide if they would fight or run, they were all rescued by a mysterious girl who introduced herself as Time Agent Acacia Jones. She accompanied them back to InterWorld and was given clearance to stay on the ship, providing she was escorted at all times. Joey, much to his irritation, was assigned as her escort.
Acacia seemed naggingly familiar in some ways, and the things she knew about InterWorld all rubbed him the wrong way. She was a mystery, and he wasn’t entirely sure she wasn’t dangerous. Finally, after a short-lived tour and some heated conversations, InterWorld went into warp drive to avoid a HEX ship, accidentally leaving Acacia behind.
Worried and annoyed for being worried at all, Joey took that time to do some research about Acacia, finding that she worked for an organization called TimeWatch. Before he could react to that, the Old Man sent him and his team off on another mission, back to the Binary world they’d been pinned down on before. While there, they rescued another Walker, named Joaquim. Jo was injured during the escape, and Joaquim managed to use his dimension-Walking abilities for the first time to return her safely to InterWorld. Joey can’t help being a little suspicious, but isn’t sure if it’s justified.
Shortly afterwards, the Old Man organizes a routine training mission. Joey’s team gets put opposite another team, the one Joaquim is one. Also on the team is Jerzy, an avian-blooded para-incarnation whom Joey considered to be his first real friend at InterWorld.
The object of the training mission is to find and retrieve a beacon before the other team does, sort of “capture-the-flag” and “laser tag” on real terrain. Joey and his team locate the beacon at the top of a small mountain, and engage each other in friendly combat to try to get it first. As Joey and Jerzy are making their way to the top, enjoying a sparring session and some teasing banter, several explosions go off at the top around where Joaquim and J/O are. The explosions cause a rockslide that severely injures several of them, including Joey. When Joey wakes up, he finds that there was only one death. Jerzy.
Joey spends the next few days in a fog of depression, feeling responsible. He goes for a Walk outside the base, suspecting foul play, and eventually finds himself back at the mountain where Jerzy died. Once there, he finds a clue that makes him suspect Joaquim had something to do with the explosions.
While he’s on his way back to InterWorld, his teammate J/O finds him–and attacks him. The cyborg doesn’t seem to be in his right mind, and Joey isn’t sure what to do. Just when it seems that J/O has him pinned down, Acacia appears again, rescuing him and taking them both through time. The “rescue” is bittersweet, however, as Joey soon finds himself a prisoner of TimeWatch.
Held with no explanation and no hope of escape, Joey is eventually taken to a teleportation room and told he is being sent home. When he arrives back on InterWorld, he finds it not as he left it–it’s broken down, abandoned, and bears the scars of an all-out war.
Distraught, he roams the base until he finds a message from the Old Man, assuring him that he has been sent forward in time to a future InterWorld, and that there might be a way he can get back. The Old Man sends him Hue, who joins with Joey to enable him to Walk through time–something Walkers were previously unable to do.
Watch Neil Gaiman discuss THE SILVER DREAM!
Instead of going back to InterWorld, Joey tracks down Joaquim, determined to confront him about his involvement in Jerzy’s death. Joey finds Joaquim on the Binary-ruled planet they first rescued him from, engaged in combat with Acacia. Slowly, Joey realizes Joaquim was behind everything–and more than that, he was a puppet being controlled by his two masters. HEX and Binary, the two great powers of the Multiverse, each a bitter enemy of the other, have done the unthinkable and formed an alliance.
Confronted by the Professor, leader of the Binary, Joey and Acacia are taken captive. Joey finds himself strapped into some kind of machine, and to his surprise, Joaquim is strapped down next to him. Joaquim tells Joey it is their destiny to bring about the new age of the Multiverse, as the heralds of FrostNight. FrostNight, Joaquim explains, is a combination of magic and science that will move like a wave through all the dimensions, erasing everything and starting it anew. With all the worlds in all the universes as blank slates, Binary and HEX can be assured of their ultimate domination.
Acacia manages to get free and is able to buy enough time for Joey to partially free himself and disrupt the machine that is draining his ability to Walk. Joaquim, who was initially happy to be part of his master’s plan, grows frightened as he realizes his own mortality and desire to live. He begs Joey to help free him.
Joey tries, but it soon becomes too late. Joaquim, powered only by magic and the souls of dead Walkers, has his essence sucked into FrostNight. Joey and Acacia flee, finally coming to rest on one of the prehistoric planets InterWorld often docks at. As InterWorld appears in the sky to pick them up, a HEX ship comes out of hiding and ambushes it. InterWorld is forced to flee, leaving Joey and Acacia to watch in horror as HEX manages to lock onto its position.
Before they can react to this, they too are ambushed–by Lord Dogknife, leader of HEX. He gloats that FrostNight is coming, and that Joey will bear witness to the destruction of his world and all others. Lord Dogknife does something to Acacia, sending her falling through time. And Joey he sends, severely wounded, back to his own planet; the first time he’s been home in two years.
His planet is just as he left it. Calm, peaceful, full of people and life. He can’t savor it. He knows what’s coming. FrostNight is coming, and unless he can come up with some way to get back to InterWorld and warn the Old Man, everything he’s ever known will be gone forever.
Start reading ETERNITY’S WHEEL now!
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