Read The Last Universe by William Sleator Online


Sleator is at his sci-fi best with this quantum thriller, now available in paperbackIn this gothic, sci-fi thriller from a master storyteller, Susan and her wheelchair-bound brother, Gary, discover a mysterious maze in the vast gardens of their isolated home. Planted by a scientist uncle who disappeared long ago, the maze offers seemingly endless routes and choices. The teSleator is at his sci-fi best with this quantum thriller, now available in paperbackIn this gothic, sci-fi thriller from a master storyteller, Susan and her wheelchair-bound brother, Gary, discover a mysterious maze in the vast gardens of their isolated home. Planted by a scientist uncle who disappeared long ago, the maze offers seemingly endless routes and choices. The teenagers discover that each turn they take alters their world in some way. Sickly Gary sees a chance to change his fate; Susan sees that they may both be lost forever. Sleator keeps readers guessing right up to the shocking ending....

Title : The Last Universe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780810992139
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Last Universe Reviews

  • Trevor
    2019-03-18 11:55

    VERY unique blend of sci-fi and suspense/horror -- there's a healthy dose of science in this fiction. It's all about quantum theory. If you get confused, don't worry...supposedly you're that much closer to understanding QT!

  • Jackie
    2019-03-13 12:08

    The idea of parallel universes is an intriguing one. The author created an interesting bit of fiction here. A fast, easy read, which is impressive considering the subject.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-20 12:08

    I've always been opposed to the theory of multiple universes. The physics idea that in one world I had tuna fish for lunch and in another I ate a PB&J or got divorced or became an axe murder or whatever. The idea that somewhere I could make some choices that I would never, ever make, is appalling. A lot of SF books love to bat this idea around for obvious reasons.This book very effectively hit some of my big button fears: breaking the rules at someone's urging, good intentions leading to irretrievable consequences, getting involved with something and not understanding the risks and, of course, multiple universes. This book is a good read but not always a happy one.

  • Haley
    2019-03-18 08:53

    The Last Universe is a book about a magical garden that Susan's(the main character) Great Uncle invented. Susan has an ill brother and he thinks the garden is helping him get better.The book wasnt extremely boring, i just thought it was really dumb. It hooks you in the beginning, but when you go on hoping for it to get better, you dont reach it until the end of the book. The only reason i would tell someone else to read this book is for the end... my jaw dropped when i finally got to the end. Overall i think i wasted my time with this book but i think it has a good moral.

  • Krushil Patel
    2019-03-09 12:58

    Krushil Patel 2/11/18 Simple Book Review Outline The Last Universe by William Sleator. The main idea of the story is that Susan tries to find a cure for his very ill brother Gary, so she doesn't have to push him around on his wheelchair. The main characters in the book are Susan(Sister),Gary(Brother), and their mom and dad. There are some interesting things that happened like how Susan's Grandfather's sister drowned and then Susan's Grandfather gives it to Susan's uncle and he built a maze that would eventually lead you to the next universe. The main idea of the story is that they have to go in the maze and go to the next universe to get to the next universe. In a farm house that has a green house and a garden. The story takes place in present day. Something unique about the place is the path to the pond near their house the changes everytime you walk back from the pond.In the story, after Susan and Gary go to the pond and find out about the path changing Susan calls her friends over Lisa and tells her is she wants to see her garden. The relationship between Susan and her brother Gary are really good because Susan helps Gary with everything and takes him wherever he wants to go. Susan and Gary's relationship gets stronger after they spent all that time together finding things.My favorite part of the story is that they can see the maze from there bathroom window but when they go down to find it, disappears the only thing that can find it is a cat named Sro-dee. The book was written in a easy way to follow the story so I liked it. Yes, I definitely think other kids would like to read this book because it is a science-fiction and it has a story that is fun to read and figure out.For me the story was entertaining and amusing because it told a story that you wanted to read and understand and they discovered places that was cool and some were weird like the maze. I enjoyed reading this book because you were always like what happens next and what if. I would recommend kids to read this book because you can see how Susan helps her little brother Gary out when he couldn't move and it is kind of made for kids and teenagers to read.

  • Bruce
    2019-03-01 06:01

    Susan hates pushing her brother around the garden in a wheelchair. It’s not her brother she minds, although they never were very close before he got so sick. It’s the garden that creeps her out. It’s so big and there’s the long dark passageway between overgrown trees before you come to the dark pond where her great-aunt drowned as a girl. Strange exotic flowers grow there. And when you look out the second story bathroom window you can see an overgrown maze in the center of it; but when you walk through the garden you can never find it. Until one day they do. It’s the day after they come back from the pond and the path moves and comes out at a different place than it has ever come out before. An appropriately chilling story that entertainingly illustrates some of the strange concepts of quantum physics, including an appearance by Shrödinger’s famous cat that’s both alive and dead at the same time. In this garden the physics of the atomic and subatomic world became the physical laws of the larger world, and people, plants, animals, and universes become only clouds of possibilities before their own eyes.

  • Kathleen Dixon
    2019-03-12 08:54

    A nice take here on the dilemma of quantum physics - that "if you can measure how fast an electron is going, you can't know where it is. In fact," as Sleator continues in his Afterword, "it doesn't even have a definite position; it is in more than one place at the same time. The most you can know is the probability of finding it at a certain location. Uncertainty is everywhere."Sleator has written a good read here with a very human story of a girl whose brother is dying. Susan feels guilty for her own health, and so is 'forced' to take her miserable and manipulative brother out into the garden in his wheelchair. They live in a rambling old place with an even more rambling old garden. And there's mystery about it - things their father avoids talking about.The only part in this book that I didn't like was some rather thin characterisation of a few peripheral (but key) characters. Aside from that, this book has made me interested in reading more of Sleator (unlike the zombie one which I reviewed recently).

  • Erin Reilly-Sanders
    2019-03-05 07:03

    For some reason, I expected something quite different from what I ended up reading, although I think that perhaps the result was better than the expectation. Rather than being a science fiction piece, the action centers much more around the mysterious garden and the characters in a rather spooky story, as the garden alternates between soothing and threatening. The internal angst of a teenage girl forced to care for her ailing brother creates an integral frame for the story, going beyond the ordinary science fiction. While the tale has no trappings on sci-fi technologically, the scientific explanations for events put it in that category without sacrificing character or plot. I thought the ending was satisfying and continues the air of mystery. The technical bits about quantum physics were handled with the short easy explanations that are perfectly acceptable not to understand completely. Overall, I think that the garden at the center of the book is an intriguing, appealing place and plot devices and the suspense and mysterious are well developed and nicely paced.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-03-10 12:51

    I've been on a sort of "youth book kick" lately...interesting since my kids are grown. Still, there are some very good youth and YA books out there... unfortunately this isn't one of them. I couldn't really get interested in this book, which "maybe" should have made me feel guilty (somewhat like Susan the girl/sister) since it's at least partly about a young man confined to a wheel chair. Shouldn't I feel for him? I suppose I should have...but I just couldn't get involved. I quickly lost interest in the story and didn't even bother to stay with it to see where "it" and "they" went. If my kids were still home, I probably wouldn't have read it to them. Would they have read it themselves? You'd have to ask them :), one star...I couldn't get into it, wasn't interested, and didn't finish it.

  • Chris Thompson
    2019-03-09 07:07

    What begins as a rather mundane tale about a girl whose older brother has been crippled by multiple sclerosis transforms into something pretty amazing by the end. William Sleator is an author I've discovered only recently, and I'm glad I did. His stories tend to involve regular young teenagers who are cast into extraordinary circumstances, generally involving some bizarre science phenomenon. Boltzmon! has its hero meet an apparently real being that is able to teleport him between alternate worlds, and The Boxes introduces a young boy to clockwork creatures that are able to play with time. And now The Last Universe is about a pair of teenagers who discover the awesome, yet unpredictable, power of quantum mechanics. Yes, the human story, and even the story of the crippling disease, is rather weak. But when Sleator introduces the science elements, things begin to grow interesting, and I even learned a thing or two about quantum mechanics.For Susan, it is sad that her brother is slowly dying from a disease that physically weakens him, but it's also a drag. She's stuck at home, being kicked off her instant message chats with friends in order to take her brother, Gary, for walks in his wheelchair. He likes to go for walks around the expansive garden that comprises the backyard, though he isn't necessarily piqued by the idea that he can't actually walk himself. In the backyard they often run into the gardener from Cambodia, Luke, and his cat, oddly-named Sro-dee, though it makes sense later on (and for those who know a little about quantum mechanics). Lately, odd things have been happening in the garden. The pond where Susan and Gary's Aunt Caroline drowned has been growing lotus flowers, which Luke claims can't bloom in that sort of climate. Gary seems different too, sometimes more lively, sometimes sulky. He's interested in finding the maze that Susan can see from the kitchen window, but can't ever seem to find it in person, for some reason.This story is about discovery. About discovering a scientific concept, a new part of the world, and trying to use it to improve oneself. Gary seeks a way to reverse his disease and is confident the maze holds the key. But discovery does not always go the way humans hope. This story shows what happens when people try to use the power of an unpredictable science for their own betterment. This isn't necessarily a story of hope or a story of warning, but a story about the unpredictability of life. No matter how strong-willed one is, and Gary and Susan are certainly strong-willed, the world doesn't bend to that will. I don't want to give away what happens, but I will end by saying that this is a story whose science elements makes it a much better story than it initially seems.

  • Rita
    2019-02-27 10:49

    Goodreads doesn't let you know this is a YA book. Nevertheless, it was likable. I enjoyed the quantum theme, it reminds me of when I was a kid, and I would be lying in the lower bunk bed at night staring at the springs of the bed above me, and suddenly something would shift in my focus and what seemed far away would be immediately in front of my eyes, and I would get a certain, taste(?) in my mouth (I can still get it today, just remembering that). I don't know what was going on, but after I learned about quantum physics, I associated the experience with that.A maze on a large property takes you to alternate universes.

  • P.A. Pursley
    2019-03-03 12:52

    Interesting book. William Sleator takes the theory of multi universes into this universe. It challenges the reader to think outside Schrodinger's box. This book is the story of Susan and her brother, Gary, and their adventures to find a better universe than the one in which they live. A universe where Gary can walk and Susan can get her life back. They step into alternate universes in their attempts to find the perfect universe.If you like intriguing science filled books that leave you thinking...this book is for you!

  • Dramapuppy
    2019-03-12 10:38

    Let's just start off with kudos to Sleator for writing a middle grade book about quantum mechanics. Like the other Sleator books I've read, Last Universe was a quick read that I couldn't put down. This one actually started fairly slowly, but once it picked up, it REALLY picked up. After three chapters of exposition, there is never a boring moment. The mystery of the garden was highly effective, and the resolution not disappointing.While I LOVED this book, I couldn't quite justify a five star rating for two reasons: 1. The characters were flat, and I didn't really care about any of them. I couldn't describe them now if asked. 2. The whole storyline was pretty unrealistic. Super cool, but unrealistic. And cheesy.When you're writing about quantum for a young audience, the biggest challenge is going to be simple, interesting explanations. Sleator may not have excelled at simplicity, but I was certainly never bored. I think I'm older than the target audience here, so I can't testify to how confusing it might be for a child. I personally found it more scary than baffling. (view spoiler)[ After I read the second to last chapter, I kind of wished it would end there. I mean quantum is about the not knowing, so a cliffhanger ending would be fitting. Sleator SORT of gave us that; I mean the ending wasn't explicit... Still, I really loved the turn around. It made complete sense. While it wasn't deeply moving, or as clever as a cliffhanger might have been, it left me shivering. Something about Sleator's writing creeps me out. In a good way. While this ending wasn't as terrifying as House of Stairs, it's not something I'll forget anytime soon.(hide spoiler)]Last Universe may be juvenile but is very thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

  • Elijah Strong
    2019-03-15 12:44

    Elijah Strong 1/5/13Prd. 2 English Good Reads #2Book: The Last Universe Author: William Sleator Overall I found The Last Universe to be the best I’ve read in a long time. The end is shocking, and brings the whole story into one. This book is about a brother and sister named Gary, and Susan going through a maze to find out what really happened to all of their relatives. The brother Gary is an athletic teen but soon becomes ill and loses his ability to walk. Now his sister Susan must rely on taking care of him. The garden behind their house holds many secrets of what will happen in the past and the future. As Gary’s curiosity swarms around what the garden holds, he decides that he wants to go to the garden and explore. Since he cannot walk, Susan is forced to go with him into the unknown. Overall this book was very good, and had a twist at the end that shocked me. The only downside on this book is that they only spent 2 minutes in the garden, and half the book took place with them at home. Besides that I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. A lot of the book involves altering space and time to find out if they can make their brother feel better, and the author did a great job showing how they did.

  • Terri
    2019-02-21 08:00

    Susan's 16-year-old brother Gary has contracted an unnamed disease that steadily weakens him despite regular blood transfusions. The only things that seems to bring Gary relief are his study of quantum mechanics and spending time in the vast gardens of the estate that has been in their family for generations. Gary is fascinated by the strange hedge maze that was built by a quantum physicist ancestor and is sure that his disease has somehow triggered a time-space continuum built into the maze. His theory is borne out by subtle changes in the people and places Susan and Gary notice. The changes become more obvious after Susan and Gary their gardener's cat into the maze. The deeper the two go into the maze, the stronger Gary becomes. But the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics frightens Susan, who fears what may happen if they go too far. Sleator offers a concise explanation of quantum mechanics, probability waves, alternate realities and the Schroedinger's Cat proposition which will aid readers in understanding the premise of his text. But this book still requires a depth of understanding that is probably beyond most early teen readers.

  • Juliana
    2019-02-22 10:54

    The Last Universe by William Sleator is a very fast and interesting read. It's narrated by Susan, who has to spend her summer wheel-chairing her brother Gary, who has an unnamed disease, wherever he wishes. So when Gary insists on Susan taking him out to the vast, neglected garden behind their ancestral home, Susan becomes very weary. They come across a maze created by their great-uncle allowing access to multiple quantum universes, which alters their world every time they turn a corner. This brings Gary excitement seeing it as a way of changing his fate, where as Susan only sees negative outcomes. By the end of the story Sleator gives you a very well explained and understandable explanation for the changes in their worlds, which is often repeated, however he leaves the reader with other unexplained events. The story tends to drag on and focus more on quantum theory than creating a compelling story line, but at the end of the story you are surprised with an unexpected twist. Overall, it's a nice pick up if you are into science and theories, the suspense is what helped keep me turning the pages.

  • Allison
    2019-03-15 08:52

    synopsis: a girl named Susan and her ill brother explore their huge garden. They find a maze that no one has ever found before and it takes them to other universe's, each one better or worse than the last.Susan's brother is getting better but she wants to go back.CLASSIFACATION:audience: 13 and up boys and girlspurpose: entertainment not really a lessonmedium: novelgenre-setting: science fiction genre-style: mystery/ adventuregenre-plot: adventurecriticism: This book was good but it took WAY to long to get to the point they were trying to make. In some parts i just wanted to put it back but i couldn't because i knew something was going to happen. it is a little confusing because they talk about quantum things in it. But the ending was shocking and i wish the author would've said the ending sooner.

  • Jillian Beard
    2019-03-16 07:02

    I read the book "The Last Universe" by William Sleator it is a sci-fi, thriller, and a mystery all in one. This book was amazing. It was full of action and in my opinion it was very well written. The book was about two characters, brother and sister, Susan and Gary. After finding out that Gary has terminal illness they try to find every way to cure his illness. Gary never liked going into their garden but when he gets ill he goes to the garden everyday to bask in its glory. I loved this book. It was full of action and the main character Susan is so easy to connect to and she makes the book so easy to follow. The writing in this book is so good and so easy to connect to it is recommended to all who like action and mystery.

  • Alicia
    2019-02-25 08:43

    Found this at a used bookstore. My copy has half of a round sticker partly torn off in the sky area of the cover. The sticker looks like a planet and I thought for a couple weeks that it was part of the cover art. Then I realized it was a sticker and felt silly.DOWNWITHSTICKERSThis book is about siblings Susan and Gary, who live in a house that's been in their family for generations. They begin to explore the garden planted by their crazy uncle Arthur and get more than they bargained for. The garden sends them on an unexpected and frightening adventure, filled with quantum mechanics, probability clouds, multiple universes and Schrodinger's Cat.If you like fictional tales that delve into theoretical physics, you'll like this one.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-11 11:52

    This is a book that both got me interested in physics and disturbed me quite a bit. It's the fascinating tale of a girl, Susan, and her terminally ill brother who find a mysterious garden maze in their backyard. This maze turns out to have the power to access parallel universes. As Susan tries to use the maze to cure her brother, they discover what can happen when you tamper with reality.Although the book involves some quantum theory, it isn't necessary to have knowledge of physics to follow the plot. I recommend this for anyone with a passing interest in quantum theory who likes their science mixed with a chilling, thought-provoking story.

  • Marlee Pinsker
    2019-03-03 08:50

    This book was a great companion on a bus trip. It is a YA book, so not hard to put down when necessary and then get back into it. Not like the time I tried this with Gaudy Night and tried to juggle those numerous characters and remember which was which.It looked at the idea of alternate universes and showed you what happens when death is fooled and people survive in their own way. It introduces Schroedinger's cat and makes these concepts real.The characters were young and unformed. They were not so very likeable, and not so very nuanced, but they got the story across. The book was not predictable, so kept the reader guessing.

  • Ro
    2019-03-04 05:03

    Expectation: Very low since I read the reviews and not a lot of people seemed to like it. Characters: Gary and Susan were vague. I didn't feel like the author delved much on their potential to be amazing characters. But all the characters we're interesting. Plot: It was great! I loved the concept of a quantum garden, that's just stellar. Overall: I really liked this book and I'm not usually one who reads sci-fi novels. I was so fascinated, but the book felt incomplete. That's why I'm only giving it 4 stars. The ending was interesting, though not what I wanted or expected.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-09 07:42

    Susan feels resentful because her parents expect her to hang out with and take care of her older brother, Gary. Gary, who used to be athletic, is now confined to a wheelchair and gets weaker every day. When their garden begins to act strangely, they discover the entrance to a maze at the center of the garden that lets them to travel to alternate realities. The author lost me with the details of quantum physics, but readers who enjoy science might feel differently. Good descriptions and suspense help keep the pages turning.

  • Irvington Public Library Teens
    2019-02-28 04:52

    Susan and her brother Gary, who is stuck in a wheelchair, discover a mysterious maze of hedge bushes in the very large gardens behind their home. Their scientist uncle created the maze and then who disappeared many years go. The maze seems have of a terrifyingly large number of routes and choices. The two discover that each turn they take alters their world in some way. -- Steve Fondiller, Teen Librarian

  • Renee Ramos
    2019-03-11 12:40

    I found the characters believable, and the idea of the book interesting. The writing was good. But the plot took too long to move on. I got that friends at the house were unusual and strange things were happening in the garden. The author set the stage well, and readers quickly grasp family dynamics. Once this is all established I needed the plot to move quicker than it did - I kept putting the book down and not wanting to pick it up again.

  • Em
    2019-02-24 08:40

    This is very much like a lot of William Sleator's other books such as The Green Futures of Tycho. It was an okay read, not great like some of his other books. I appreciate the fact that he uses science in his books, and in this case, there is Schrödinger's Cat, literally. I think the problem with this story is that none of the characters are particularly fleshed out, and a lot of their actions don't ring true.

  • RobbieGallifrey
    2019-02-27 11:40

    I liked this story very, very much. Me, being a huge fan of science, this book spoke to me in different ways, the whole quantum stand point is what impressed me tge most, the book was easy to read, easy enough to understand for those who know nothing of quantum, and just plain fun.. William Sleator is indeed a straight forward, skilled writing. Definitely! I'd recommend this one.

  • NaomiRuth
    2019-03-08 12:57

    This book wasn't as "scary" as I expected it to be, but it was still good. I love the whole idea of messed up realities, and it totally made me want to take a physics class.I thought the characters were well-drawn and believable, especially with the tweaks that happen as the book continues. It took me a little to get into, but once I did I was hooked.

  • D
    2019-02-28 06:51

    what's cooler than a garden that can reveal versions of yourself, or anything for that matter, in multiple universes? hardly anything. This book wasn't poetically written, it doesn't dazzle you with fine word placement. But I thought the element of quantum mechanics being the whole concept of the story was pretty damn intriguing. I really enjoyed this book

  • Derrick Robbins
    2019-02-25 11:52

    This book was okay. It had an interesting theory on quantum physics - not saying that I'm an expert, but the basic idea was enough to help me understand. The characters were a bit dull. And the ending was a bit unexpected, but I guess it just shows how unpredictable the theory of quantum mechanics can be - provided that it actually exists.