Review: Regarding Ducks and Universes

Regarding Ducks and Universes - Neve Maslakovic

I’ve been curious about the title of this book since I first saw it.  I tend to like the odder titles that make me speculate about the contents of the book.  By the end of the first page, the “Universes” part is clear.  The story is about two alternate universes that, as a result of a scientific experiment that happened several years before the book began, have become linked together.  It’s even possible for people to travel between the universes.  The “Ducks” part of the title doesn’t really become clear until maybe halfway through the book, so I won't talk about that.


I think I’m somewhat predisposed to like alternate universe stories, and it’s been a while since I’ve read one.  I was a little iffy on the main character, Felix, who seemed a bit contradictory.  On the one hand, we begin the book with him essentially taking a vacation to the other universe with the intent of breaking the law.  On the other hand, he seems a little too passive as events unfold. 


I thought the author could have done more with this interesting setting than she did.  For example, we have two universes that, over time, have developed some significant differences.  There could have been many interesting differences to explore, but guess which one got the most page time?  E-books versus paper books.  Although I find it easy to get drawn into a conversation on the subject, because I have definite opinions on the matter, it’s not really something I want to read about in a book, especially when it doesn’t add anything new to the many discussions I’ve already seen over and over.


At the beginning of the book, Felix’s main motivation is to spy on his “alter” (the version of himself in the alternate universe) who he’s afraid might become a successful author before he does.  I found it difficult to connect with his attitude, but it was fun to consider how I might react to my own alter and her failures or successes as compared to my own.  It couldn't really relate to Felix’s fear that his alter might be “better” than him.  Any rational person goes through life knowing that, however good they are at something, there will always be somebody else out there who is better at it.  If you can’t handle that…??  I would love the chance to collaborate with somebody who was so similar to me, with similar aptitudes but possibly different experiences and skill sets that we could share and learn from to improve both of ourselves.  Who better to learn from than somebody who shares your communication and learning style, and somebody who can understand better than anybody else what motivates you?


Overall, I liked the premise and the book was a quick read.  The story was light and uncomplicated, but it did make me think a little bit.  However, sometimes the story got tedious, and I was never very attached to the characters.  Although the main premise was interesting, the story was stretched a little thin and could have taken better advantage of the interesting setting.