What would you do if you woke up and found yourself in a parallel universe under an alien sky? This is the question Zax Delatree must answer every time he closes his eyes.
Every time Zax Delatree falls asleep, he travels to a new reality. He has no control over his destination and never knows what he will see when he opens his eyes. Sometimes he wakes up in technological utopias, and other times in the bombed-out ruins of collapsed civilizations. All he has to live by are his wits and the small aides he has picked up along the way – technological advantages from techno-utopias, sedatives to escape dangerous worlds, and stimulants to extend his stay in pleasant ones.
Thankfully, Zax isn’t always alone. He can take people with him, if they’re unconscious in his arms when he falls asleep. But someone unwelcome is on his tail, and they are after something that Zax cannot spare – the blood running through his veins, the power to travel through worlds…
File Under: Science Fiction [ Green Power Sweat Dreams Waking Nightmare Zax of all Trades ]Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt
Doors of Sleep left me wanting more in all the right ways.
Tim Pratt has created such an unique and interesting read with Doors of Sleep. I can’t say I have ever read a book quite like it. First of all due to the very plot and setting of the book Pratt has had to craft a whole bunch of worlds and they are all to a nicely detailed level. There are a huge number of worlds and some breeze past in the blink of an eye but the author still gives us a brief description of each one which really helped me believe the main character, Zax, was travelling through vast numbers of universes.
A second aspect of Doors of Sleep that was really intriguing is the choice of characters that accompany Zax throughout the book. All were well put together and relatable and I was surprised at just how much I connected with a character called Minna. Minna is an alien and has led a very different life on a very different planet to Earth, or at least the origin planet of Zax, so by that understanding we have very little in common and a connection would be hard to establish. However, I did become emotionally attached to her and her backstory is really touching. Full of love and terror.
The ending of Doors of Sleep wraps up the story nicely and had me on the edge of my seat. There is one section towards the end that really took me by surprise. NO SPOILERS here so don’t worry. All I will say is that the final section is so, so good and left me wanting more info. So if Angry Robot are reading this, PLEASE let Tim Pratt add more to this fantastic universe.
There is a small section in the middle of the book where our character is travelling through worlds at a fast rate and I am guilty of skim reading this section. Don’t get me wrong it is a good section and does add to the setting however I felt it went on a little too long for my liking. This wasn’t in the realms of a DNF by any means it’s just… I was a little too impatient to get back to the action.
Okay so I want to mention the integral aspect of the plot and that is the fact that every time Zax falls asleep he travels to a different world. As mentioned in the synopsis Zax has zero control on where he ends up and that adds a restriction to what options are available to him during his travels. This I can only see as a self imposed restriction by the author but he uses this as an advantage and really creates a uniqueness I have not seen before in a book. The very idea of creating a character baffles my mind but the outcome is brilliant and highly entertaining.
To sum up Doors of Sleep is a very good read and one that I will recommend to others that love Sci-Fi and are a little tired of the same old tropes and plots that fill the genre. I really hope to read more of Pratt’s work and I hope we get to revisit Zax and company.