By Chad (I'm a spoiled brat and got an ARC) Morris
So . . . the much awaited Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time, by powerhouse, James Dashner, comes out tomorrow. And after this book several other authors like Jennifer Nielsen and Matthew Kirby will each write an installment before Dashner finishes the final volume of th series. Scholastic has put some bucks behind this project too. A multi-million-dollar video game goes with it. Here’s the video:
Not bad, huh?
I’m a spoiled brat and have already read it. My publisher had an ARC and lent it to me. I read it to my kids and we all really enjoyed it. But because “we really enjoyed it” isn’t much of a review, I’ll pass on a few more thoughts.
A GENIUS PREMISE:
Well done, Dasher. This was another book that really hit home the power of a great premise. . . and it is a GREAT premise. Dak and Sera live in an alternate present/future because of some things that went wrong in their history (like there was a mutiny on Christopher Columbus’ ship . . . etc.). They are trying to go back in time and fix the problems. I imagine that if they are successful, they will bring their history in line with ours.
This whole idea led to some fun moments. Once my kids got used to the whole set up, they loved to yell out statements like “No. Columbus discovered America,” “That’s not where the capital is,” and “I’m not sure why, but that’s not right.”
There were a few references to how history had changed that my kids didn’t catch, but let’s not talk about that.
THE POWER OF NERDS: Dak and Sera are both nerds, and they know it. Of course, each thinks the other is a bigger nerd. Dak loves history and plans his every minute to get the most out of his trip to the Smithsonian. Sera is a young science lover and attends lectures on quantum physics. (Don’t we all?) They are over-the-top . . . and I loved it.
TEACHING: This book comes with a nice bonus—kids might learn something. They might become a little more familiar with history. The best moments for this are when Dak jumps into one of his history mini-lectures. They fully show off his nerdiness and teach a little at the same time.
The premise though, could confuse kids as much as it helps. The fact that alternative history is mixed with real history can muddy the learning waters a bit. And because it is where all the focus and action is, kids may remember the alternative history more than the actual history. With that said, it is still really fun.
TIGHT WRITING: The plot is great. Like Dashner is prone to do, it is fun, funny, quick, and full of plenty of suspense and action. Well done again, Mr. Dashner. I will say, however, that my kids and I had a little trouble getting into the book. Now, I’m probably about to show my complete writing ignorance, but I thought that the prologue and the first chapter, could have been severely trimmed, or even maybe chopped entirely. Once we hit the second chapter though, my kids and I were hooked and sped through the rest.
Overall my kids loved it and recommend it. I do too.