Get a second chance at life in the dimension-defying tale WHILE YOU WERE GONE!
What you if everything you lost could be regained, but only by taking over someone’s life in a frightening new dimension? Amy K. Nichols explores to world we’ll never know in While You Were Gone!
In modern-day Phoenix, Danny Ogden is an orphan with abusive foster parents and a petty criminal with no motivation. Then, suddenly, he’s not– After an incident universes away knocks him into a different dimension, he’s got both his parents, a stable home, a loyal best friend, and a cause worth fighting for.
Of course, it’s not that easy. This alternate Phoenix is a hyper-secure militant state where Danny and his loved one are under the watchful eye of the nationwide security system known as Spectrum whenever they’re out in public. Free speech and free movement are a luxury that the government will not afford. Oh, and he’s also switched dimensions with the Danny who originally lived this life, who is now stuck in our Phoenix.
He only recognizes one familiar face in this new world: Eevee Solomon, the governor’s artistic, talented daughter in this world and a quiet science geek from school in his own. Eevee begins to have some interesting encounters with Danny, but getting close with the governor’s daughter in a restrictive world is a dangerous task, especially when he learns that the other Danny did some work for an anarchist rebel movement. The original Danny and Eevee had a quick passionate encounter in the past, which makes their fast-growing romantic tryst a little awkward for him.
Despite it being a little selfish, Danny desperately wants to stay in this new dimension. So when the governor announces an all-encompassing security program called Skylar that will track, record, and monitor every citizen for every second of every day, he knows his hopes are threatened. Each time the government tests the Skylar system, Danny temporarily drifts into his home dimension. There’s only one thing he can do: Bring Skylar down before its launch.
While You Were Gone is technically the second in the Duplexity duology, but don’t let that intimidate you! The first book, Now That You’re Here, tells the story of the other dimension in modern Phoenix with the other Danny and Eevee, so the stories work in a cyclical fashion. It doesn’t really matter which one you read first!
That being said, we read Now That You’re Here first and it was brilliant to see how characters transformed between one dimension and the next, becoming someone fresh and surprising in smart new roles. This is especially true of Eevee’s best friend Warren, who is our favorite character in both stories, but in very different ways! The only character will struggled with this time around was Eevee, as this incarnation isn’t all too high on common sense and gets caught around every imaginable corner.
While You Were Gone is a fast-paced tech lover’s daydream that will appeal to romantics and sci-fi addicts alike, but thanks to that cyclical take on the story, the ending felt a little incomplete. The climactic scene is pretty rushed and there’s no real confirmation as to what happened. It has the “decide your own ending” feel that YA fans might compare to Lauren Oliver’s Requiem, a technique that’s pretty polarizing among readers.
Want to try out the series for yourself? Enter to win Now That You’re Here (Duplexity #1) from The Fandom to get started!
Official Synopsis for While You Were Gone:
An artist without a cause meets a rebel without a clue.
Eevee is a promising young artist and the governor’s daughter in a city where censorship is everywhere and security is everything. When a fire devastates her exhibition—years in the making—her dreams of attending an elite art institute are dashed. She’s struggling to find inspiration when she meets Danny, a boy from a different world. Literally.
Raised in a foster home, Danny has led a life full of hurt and hardship until a glitch in the universe changes everything. Suddenly Danny is living in a home he’s never seen, with parents who miraculously survived the car crash that should have killed them. It’s like he’s a new Danny. But this alternate self has secrets—ties to an underground anarchist group that have already landed him in hot water. When he starts to develop feelings for Eevee, he’s even more disturbed to learn that he might have started the fire that ruined her work.
As Danny sifts through clues from his past and Eevee attempts to piece together her future, they uncover a secret that’s bigger than both of them. . . . And together, they must correct the breach between the worlds before it’s too late.