A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl
(Excerpt from Goodreads) Valerie Torrey took her son Alex and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way.
As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a lesbian comics writer to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.
A literary-meets-genre pleasure from an exciting new writer, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is a tribute to the fierce and complicated love between a mother and son—and to the way the stories we create come to shape us.
This story revolves around Valerie Torrey and her son. Val was part of the television show Anomaly. She fell in love with her co-star in real life along with on the show resulting in her pregnancy. But something happened and she left the show and moved to the other side of the county with Alex. Now, nine years later, she has been asked to be part of a series of comic-cons. She has decided that it is time that Alex meets his father so he goes on a trip from Chicago to LA.
This in itself sounds like a great story but there is so much more. You will meet artists that are fighting to make their place in a world of commercialized heroes. Women that are looked on as objects to be seen and not for their work or contribution. And most of all reality vs. the fictional worlds. All of this goes into the stories that Alex makes through the different comic-cons.
I admit that I always just though comic-cons were an odd assortment of gamer geeks or strange guys living in their mothers basements. But after I attended on I learned that there are so much more happening. This book covers a lot of what I saw, mainly people trying to stand out and make their mark on the world. Just for this part I fell in love with A Hundred Thousand Worlds.
But you also have the story of Alex who only knows about his father from the television. I loved watching him grow on the trip. And the ending, it’s perfect but a definite tear jerker. You don’t have to be a comic-con fan or anything remotely case to enjoy this book. Just following along with Alex really makes this book. This is a must read.
I received A Hundred Thousand Worlds for free from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.