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TANDEM by Anna Jarzab


From the Many-Worlds Trilogy series, volume 1

by Anna Jarzab

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-385-74277-1
Publisher: Delacorte

A girl is forced to take the place of a parallel universe’s version of herself.

Ordinary girl Sasha Lawson has dreamt that she is another person, Princess Juliana, since she was a little girl. After an amazing prom night with a handsome classmate, Sasha is torn from her world and sent to the parallel world of Aurora. There, she learns that her date is really Thomas Mayhew, Aurora’s analog (a counterpart but not necessarily an exact double) of her classmate. He is a member of the King’s Elite Service of the United Commonwealth of Columbia. (In Aurora, the first attempt at revolution in the American colonies failed, and the successful one yielded monarchy.) His mission was to abduct Sasha, as she is an analog to the UCC’s Princess Juliana, who has disappeared shortly before a peace treaty with nearby Farnham is to be sealed through Juliana’s arranged marriage. The UCC will send Sasha home if she successfully impersonates Juliana and thereby prevents war with Farnham. Unsurprisingly for genre readers, Sasha falls for Thomas despite trust issues while also connecting with Juliana’s fiance, charming Prince Callum. The worldbuilding is sometimes clunky but always interesting; the villain’s lack of trustworthiness is obvious enough to undermine intrigue, but the deeper into the book, the more entertaining it gets.

Although the exposition and story take a while to sync up, Jarzab succeeds with a parallel-world concept that is also an entertaining read. (Science fiction. 12 & up)