Down the Bright Way by Robert Reed

This book has an attractive style; like wide-screen baroque space opera written by Bradbury. The premise, of an almost monastic order of Wanderers (some of whom aren’t very monastic at all) travelling between alternate Earths in search of the Makers of the Bright, the way between the worlds, is expressed in very elegaic terms. We see the plot unfold through the eyes of a number of key viewpoint characters; and some of these are not what they seem. Reed injects a lot of plot quite painlessly whilst talking about these characters. It took me a while to realise that all these different Earths were in parallel universes rather than different worlds in the same universe, and the mechanism of travelling the Bright is a little hazy; first the Wanderers have ships, and then they are suddenly using the portals into the Bright as some sort of lift (elevator) cars; a little more focus on the nuts and bolts of the story might have helped a bit. Overall, though, a worthwhile novel.


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