Sunday, April 8, 2018

Book Review: Worlds Apart by James Riley (Story Thieves #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun, great story and characters
Cons: I can’t imagine any cons
The Bottom Line:
Worlds torn apart
Can Owen, Bethany fix?
Great series final

I Can’t Imagine the Possibility of Fans Being Disappointed by this Book

As the conflict in the Story Thieves books has been growing, I’ve been very anxious to find out what would happen next each step along the way.  That’s what happens when you’ve got characters you care about and books that end on cliffhangers.  Worlds Apart ends the series, and it does so on a high note.

As this book opens, it’s been a few months since Nobody separated the fiction and non-fictional worlds.  Owen is now living in a world with no imagination, and he can’t imagine it any other way.  It is making the library where his mother works empty since no one is interested in any books, even non-fiction.  Then Kara arrives and tells him that in five years, the world is much different and very dismal since no one can imagine how anyone else might feel about anything.  Plus, Owen’s fictional heart is about to stop working.

Meanwhile, Bethany has been split in two – a fictional and non-fictional version.  Her fictional version is thrilled to be able to be living with her father and training as a superhero.  However, when her father gets shot with a mysterious ray gun, she sets out on a journey to stop what is happening to him.

Confused by my teaser?  Then this book is not for you – yet.  You really need to back up to the beginning of the series and start there because this book is the payoff for everything that has come before.  And, you’ll want to since the series starts with the simple premise of two kids who are able to jump into books.  I mean, how much fun is that?

This book unfolds with us checking in on Owen and fictional Bethany in alternating chapters.  Both of them go on quite a journey as they attempt to figure out what Nobody has done and how to stop him.  As with the others in the series, I got lost in the journey, and the pages flew by.  The climax was perfect for this series, and it wrapped things up nicely.

We’ve met some fun characters over the course of the series, and almost all of them are back to play major roles in the final chapter.  There is one that is mentioned but not actually present for the majority of the book, but even that character winds up impacting the events here.  I was happy since I love all of these characters, and I was happy to see them one more time.

The series has always had some humor, and I got some grins and laughs out of this book as well.  Pun lover that I am, I especially enjoyed some puns we get in the second half.  There’s a high meta factor to these stories, and I enjoyed that as well.

But along with the great story and the fun, there are some interesting thoughts about the importance of fiction and imagination along with the importance of grounding things in reality.  No, we are never lectured, these are just a natural outgrowth of the story that is told here.

So if you’ve been a fan of the Story Thieves series, rest assured you will enjoy the final chapter.  And if the series is new to you, then you need to fix that so you can fully enjoy Worlds Apart.  And me?  I’m ready to find out what fun James Riley has in store for us next.

Need earlier books?  Here is the Story Thieves series in order.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. I'm glad to hear this series wrapped up nicely. I've read all the books leading up to this one so your review gets me excited to begin this one soon. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. I haven't jumped into this series, but I've had it on my list for a while. Thanks for the great review. You've encouraged me to get started.

  3. I had the first book in the series and couldn't get into it and an eager young friend happily took my copy and loved it! I'm glad the book comes to a resounding conclusion that fans will enjoy!

  4. I haven't started this series yet but I really want too. I read the first in a series that sounded kind of similar but it fell a little flat. This sounds like it'll be a much better reading experience.

  5. I have heard of the series, but I haven't read much about it. I am intrigued by the idea of the children's entering books. Knowing the series has a satisfying ending definitely prompts me to put it on my list. Thanks.

  6. I have heard of the series, but I haven't read much about it. I am intrigued by the idea of the children's entering books. Knowing the series has a satisfying ending definitely prompts me to put it on my list. Thanks.


Thanks for stopping by. In order to combat spam, I moderate most comments. I'll get to your comment as soon as I can.