Be my Enemy is the second part of the Everness series written by Ian McDonald and continues the story started in "Planesrunner". Even though Everness as a series is aimed at the young adult (12+) market, it is a typical Ian McDonald creation. Bursting with complicated high concepts, multi-verses and alternative Earths, "Planesrunner" kicked the series by introducing the Infundibulum, an electronic map of the multi-verse created by Everett Singh's genious dad Dr. Singh. However, even though "Be My Enemy" is technically a second part of the series, due to the ever changing nature of the subject in question, it can be read just fine as a standalone novel even though I would strongly suggest that you read "Planesrunner" first.
The continuing adventure of Everett Singh find him at a point in time when he managed to escape from Charlotte Villiers and the Order, only to find his father gone missing somewhere in the multi-verse. Everett and the crew of the airship Everness have no choice but to embark on a quest to find him, using Heisenberg Jumps to traverse the parallel universes. Everness is hidden on snowball earth but soon goes Earth 4 where aliens called Thrynn Sentiency are occupying the Moon and Earth 1 where humanity is caught in the complex battle against nanotechnology. To make matters even more complicated Charlotte Villiers and the Order are not too far away. However, all this turns out to be negligible when compared to a battle against yourself. I won't go into further details, as to avoid spoiler, but let's just say that the story takes a completely unexpected turn, proving once again that McDonald is a writer with simply extraordinary imagination.
Since the entire Everness series is aimed at the younger market, I can't help but notice how well some of the most complex terms in physics such as multi-verse and Heisenberg uncertainty principle have been introduced. If just a fraction of readers decides to find out more, it will be fantastic. I would also like to mention fantastic cover art that is gracing UK edition of the book, published by Jo Fletcher Books. Depicting dead London from one of the Earths in the multi-verse, it perfectly accompanies the overall atmosphere of the book.
I must admit that when it has been originally announced that Ian McDonald is going to embark on the project of writing the YA series, I literary went "Oh, no! Not another one!". Ian is the master of epic near future science fiction and I just couldn't imagine the reasoning (of course, if you discard the most obvious motivator - money) of even going there but two books in, it's my turn to hang my head in shame and apologize. With his Everness series, Ian McDonald has written a series that completely surpassed my every expectation and entertained me to no end. I'll be waiting in line for the third part called “Empress of the Sun”.
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