Title: A Hundred Thousand Worlds
Author: Bob Proehl
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Format: Advanced Reading Copy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Valerie Torrey took her son Alex and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way.
As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a lesbian comics writer to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined. (Goodreads)
I have to be honest and say I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. I was so excited to read it because it sounded like exactly my kind of book, but then I never really got into it. There were some great things about it that I liked, but I just couldn’t identify with the characters as much as I thought I would and just wasn’t as enthusiastic about it by the end.
It was interesting reading Proehl’s made-up Pop Culture universe and trying to associate the characters, tv shows, comic book publishers with their counterparts in our world. And I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at comic writing and fan conventions. I also really appreciated the over-arching theme of valuing stories and moving on. There were a lot of elements in this book that were done really well and could possibly invoke a great discussion within a book club, but for some reason I just found myself wanting to rush through it so I could get it done and move on to my next read. There wasn’t anything about this book that made me fall in love with it and want to savor the moment while reading it. Ultimately, I think I just wanted to enjoy it way more than I did, which is a shame.
I think one of my problems with the book was that most of the novel was building towards this potentially dramatic climax, that just ended up falling flat – at least for me. I also felt the novel was lacking the excitement and humor that I had expected of it – this was much more of a drama set in the world of comics and fan conventions than I was expecting. My favorite part was by far the veiled references to our own Pop Culture icons, which you had to be paying attention to pick up, as all the names and places are changed.
Overall, this book just wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. Perhaps if I had gone into it with fewer expectations, or had been in a different mood while reading it, I would have been able to enjoy it more.
We’re already halfway through August and I am so far behind in my ARC August goals! You may have noticed that I did not have an update last week, as I hadn’t even started on my reading list. And at this point I’ve only managed to finish two of the books on my list. Life has just been crazy this month and I haven’t been able to spend as much time reading as I’d like and sadly I’m not sure it’s going to slow down. However, I’m still going to try to get through as much of my list as I can.
Read so far…
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – This book was very hard to put down – a great summer thriller.
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – This book was almost a DNF. It was a very dark and difficult read.
A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl – This book sounds perfect for a fangirl like me.
The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – This is taking me much longer to get through than I thought it would.
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry – I really enjoyed Barry previous novels and cannot wait to read this one, especially as it deals with the Salem history.
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue – Room has been on my reading list forever, but I still haven’t gotten to it. However I won’t pass up a chance to read the ARC of her new novel.
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight – All of her novels sound good, and I’ve been looking forward to getting to this for a while now.
Given how far behind I’ve fallen it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to make it through my entire reading list for ARC August, but I’m hoping to at least get as far as these three books. We’ll see where I stand next week!