The Between State


Fiction - Science Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 07/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Between State falls into the science fiction subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Joseph A White Jr. The book follows an IT guy named Jeff who keeps finding himself having hyper-realistic dreams about being in the body of a woman he’s never met. After discovering that this woman is a real person and his visits to her take place in the past, Jeff must try to deduce what is happening to them and why. As he works to solve the riddle, the idea of using this opportunity to help her move forward with her life after a difficult past becomes more and more tempting.

I loved the way the narrative of this story constantly kept me off balance and guessing what direction it would move in next. At one moment, it was quite an analytical look at the scientific theory behind body-swapping and time travel, and the next moment a beautiful human story about caring for the wellbeing of a stranger. It’s a testament to the dynamic prose of author Joseph A White Jr that this work manages to tell such a tonally diverse story whilst remaining cohesive throughout. I was particularly engaged by the way Jeff’s characterization evolved throughout the story, moving from a logical and analytical figure to someone whose growing emotional attachment to his body-swapping partner causes a very natural development that was delightful to watch throughout the narrative. Overall, The Between State is an excellent work of science fiction that explores both big scientific ideas and the more intimate nature of the human condition.

Joshua Olokodana

Can you imagine the feeling of being in a maze without even the slightest idea of a way out? This was how Jeff felt in The Between State by Joseph A White Jr. Only it is not just a state between wakefulness and deep sleep this time. It was a combination of lucid dreaming, astral projection, telepathy, and time travel. The dreams kept coming, and by the time Jeff realized what was happening, he was inside Mindi Ketchem’s mind! Now, Mindi is seeing a therapist because of the effects of her father’s abuse. Her anger and pain had morphed into a mental alter ego she battled to contain. Sure enough, Jeff encounters the alter ego, and he comes out on top, helping her to overcome her mental struggles. Unfortunately, Mindi is now aware of Jeff’s presence, and that alone is dangerous. However, what’s more dangerous is the possibility of Jeff, whose present time is 2017, interacting with Mindi, whose present time is 2015. Should Mindi decide to act on any information Jeff gives, the past and present could be altered—altered for the worse.

The Between State by Joseph A White Jr is the first book in the Between State series. A riveting plot with a unique blend of scientific and pseudoscientific concepts, it showcases another dimension of science fiction. The Between State stands out like a piece of diamond in a pile of rocks for its deviation from the usual sci-fi obsession with space exploration and alien worlds. Its dazzling combination of sleep science and time travel dives into the “what ifs” of interfering with time without boring you with all the related philosophical premises and scientific jargon. Detailed and entertaining, this novel packs a lot of information into its fast-moving and curiosity-piquing plot. Although The Between State is part of a series, its ending could not have been more satisfying. I wished it wouldn’t end and was elated to discover the series’ next installment. Read this title if you want to discover the possibilities that abound in sleep science and dream life.

Mariam Tijani

The Between State by Joseph A White Jr describes how Jeff was constantly dreaming of falling into an endless hole. He couldn't control his dreams and, more than anything, he wanted them to stop. His dreams were so real, although it felt as if he was in another world. Jeff didn't understand why he could be dreaming about another woman in a different timeframe and it seemed that he was time traveling. He also could not find an explanation for being in the mind of an unknown woman, experiencing her life two years previously. Jeff could read her mind, see the world through her eyes, and share her feelings. He was living inside her head. He discovers that the woman is alive and he decides that he is going to help her. The woman is Mindy Ketchem, who is struggling with memories from her past. Will Jeff be able to help her find peace and what explanation will he get concerning the dreams?

I admire the author's level of imagination and creativity. Jeff's dreams were so vivid and realistic, while his search for answers was engaging. The book is educational in the sense that I learned a lot about dreams and their impact on the subconscious mind and mental health. There are few characters in the book and it is concise, featuring no drama and limited action, with the core of the plot being Jeff's lucid dreams. I loved the storyline and word selection. I recommend The Between State by Joseph A White Jr as it is a good choice for sci-fi lovers.

Keith Mbuya

It all started with a few episodes of very peculiar dreams and before Jeff Marlen knew it, things were slipping out of his grasp. How would he explain to his girlfriend Charlene or his workmates that in his dreams he was in a young woman’s head? How would he tell any of them that the woman in his dreams was living in the year 2015 in Los Angeles when in reality he was living in Seattle and the year was 2017? Was he experiencing time traveling? Were they all just mere episodes of dreams? Do his dreams have anything to do with his career as a computer programmer? Soon Jeff realizes the woman in his dreams is in trouble. What will Jeff do? Find out how it all goes down in Joseph A White Jr’s The Between State.

If you are looking for a slow-paced character-driven story with light romance and a touch of science fiction, Joseph A White Jr’s The Between State might be it. The author does a great job of developing his characters. Jeff Marlen is portrayed as an assertive, intelligent, and compassionate character. Mindi is portrayed as a strong-willed and inquisitive character. Joseph A White Jr gives vivid depictions of his scenes and characters and this served to add color to my imagination. He uses simple structured sentences which he accompanies with appropriate expressions. The author narrates his story by switching between different scenes and filling readers in on the past and the present. He aligns his ideas consistently, giving his storyline a good flow and making the plot perceivable.

Rabia Tanveer

The Between State by Joseph A. White Jr. is an original science fiction novel that will make you question reality. Jeff Marlen was very satisfied with his life. He had a successful job, a great career, and a beautiful girlfriend. While everything was perfect, Jeff had no idea that his dreams would shake things up. Every time Jeff falls asleep, he has very realistic dreams in which he is inside the mind of Mindi, whose life was troubled as she had a mental illness and wasn’t doing well at anything. Every time Jeff was asleep, he visited Mindi. Believing there must be a reason for him to be inside the mind of another person while in REM sleep, Jeff began to note his experiences to find the purpose for his visits. What was Jeff supposed to do, and why just Mindi and her life in 2015?

Jeff’s character in The Between State was a little confusing at first. I had no clue whether he was too cocky and overconfident, or was he just being Jeff. As the story progressed, I understood him better. He was analyzing and trying to make sense of everything in the way he knew best. His approach was very clinical at first, but as he dreamed on and on, he became humble and a lot more approachable. The moment Jeff left logic behind and allowed himself to feel what Mindi was feeling was the moment his whole view changed. I loved the change in narrative and how author Joseph A. White Jr. created a sense of comfort even when everything was in chaos. There was hardly a moment in the story when I wasn’t entertained or felt as if it was dragging. The pace was perfect, the development was fantastic, and the overall reading experience was great!