For whatever reason, I ended up liking The Silver Dream a little more than I did InterWorld. I don’t know if it’s because I got more of a plot or exploration of the multiverse that got discussed in the first book; or if it’s the fact that I looked at this and didn’t hold to it as high of my expectations. (This is not to dismiss Michael Reaves. I think this book flows a lot better since it feels like he’s handling the majority of the writing. And not to say that the first book was badly written, but it did feel uneven at times.) I like that this isn’t a complete retread of the first book. Yes, the HEX and Binary factions are still out there, hunting the various Walkers across the multiverse, but the main focus isn’t on this conflict, at least not until closer to the end. Instead, we do get a genuine mystery in the form of Acacia Jones. While it may seem overdone with the whole “Mysterious new girl shows up and breaks the monotony of the day-to-day life!”; here, we at least understand why a new girl showing up is really weird, specifically because she’s not an nth version of Joey Harker. And I liked that her true identity was muddled and that Joey just got frustrated and flat-out asked her who she was. Unfortunately, the book ends too quickly for me to get any real feel for Acacia. I like her character, but it feels like there’s a lot more to her character that I have to wait for in a later book.The driving force of the plot and Joey’s questioning of his identity is one of the reasons why I did warm up to this book faster than its predecessor. One of the things I really wanted to see in InterWorld was Joey’s disorientation of his sense of his identity, especially when he’s surrounded by thousands versions of himself. We got a little bit of that whenever he first enters InterWorld, but it’s never explored. Joey’s identity question here is a lot more mature, and particularly reflects on who he is after a few years of being in InterWorld and training as a Walker. He knows he’s not the naïve Joey Walker who’s a screw-up and that nobody really likes him at all, but at the same time, he’s not anything like the older versions of himself (ie the Old Man and Jay). And this really comes into play whenever he figures out that there’s a traitor within Interworld. It does actually make sense from a narrative standpoint that there would need to be something really off about a Walker going traitor, and I liked that Joey figures it out. You do actually see Joey maturing from who he was in the first book, and I really liked how his character grew in between books.As with the first book, the biggest problem here is the plot. Unlike the first book, where it was just a matter of “You have a really good idea, why saddle it with a standard Hero’s Journey?”; here, we have an interesting plot, it just takes too long to get to it. The mystery of Acacia Jones eats up a good chunk of the storyline, and it’s not until three-fourths of the way through do we get any inkling that there’s a traitor within the Interworld, much less things going wrong. And once that’s revealed it’s a little obvious as to who the traitor is. The misdirect with Acacia doesn’t help either, since we’ve spent so much time with her, plus the reveal that the Old Man knows who she is, the misdirect doesn’t even work. And not to mention, once it’s revealed that it’s a traitor, I automatically said, “It’s Joaquim.” Again, it’s not a bad thing that he’s revealed as the traitor, but the build-up is obvious and a little lacking. (Tangent, but I’m kinda sad that the twin Walkers were never really explored. There’s so much emphasis on Joaquim that they’re pushed to the side. I wanted to know more about those two.) It’s not to say that I have a problem with either plot, it just feels like one’s pushed to the side. And there’s the ending. I actually don’t mind that the true purpose of the whole plot that’s been going behind the scenes with Binary is a slight retread of the first book, as it’s been stated that harvesting Walkers is the main goal of both sides. But that cliffhanger. AUGH. The book just ends with a showdown between Joey and Lord Dogknife and it just freaking ends with the entirety of Interworld dead and Joey left on his own. (It’s going to be revealed that he’s really the Old Man the whole time, isn’t it.)Because of the bigger focus on character and Joey’s maturity, I do like this more than I did the first book. However, the pacing is a major issue, since there’s really not a lot of time to develop two important plots, and the second traitor plotline feels like a last minute shove, rather than letting it develop alongside the mystery of Acacia Jones. There’s a lot of really good things in here, but thanks to the plot and then the ending (gah), it still hasn’t gotten to the point of where I want to jump up and down, screeching about this series. And I really want this to be that kind of series—it has the potential. It’s just not there yet.