Set in a dystopian version of Earth’s future, Insomnium follows the adventures of a young man, Nel Hanima, who finds himself in another world, Nowhere.

“It’s about hearing the answer. It’s about hearing her brilliant older sister be brilliant. It’s about spending time with you.”

page 248

In his own world, the government of his world is barely holding things together, food shortages are common, and the world is hurtling toward a gradually-warming end; in Nowhere, the world is divided into multiple wards, each with its own leader (and quirks), and Nel must navigate them all to free himself (and his newfound friends) before it’s too late.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Nanites, parallel universes, spiritual growth, we could all learn something from this book.

Even in the worst of times, Nel is still helpful and pragmatic, and his sidekicks overcome their own challenges. The premise is a rehash of other multiverse storylines, but the author makes it his own.

Rating (4 stars)

I found myself unable to put the book down, and finished it in one sitting. The premise is believable (if you believe in the multiverse hypothesis), and with the exception of a deus ex machina event toward the end of the book, the storyline is satisfying.

There are a couple of “Oh god, not high school cliques again…” moments,  but nothing that ruins the pace of the book. The ending is a little rushed, but wraps up all of the plot lines. Several of the wards of Nowhere are immediately recognizable from other media, but the connection isn’t jarring.