Monday, November 12, 2012

Review of THE INFINITY RING: A MUTINY IN TIME by James Dashner

Photo Credit: Scholastic

Rating: 5 out of 5

Teenagers Dak Smyth and Sera Froste live in a world controlled by the powerfully oppressive SQ. It is a world that is continually plagued by natural disasters, and it’s only getting worse. When Dak and Sera discover a device called the Infinity Ring, they soon learn they have found the secret to time travel. Two groups want the Infinity Ring, the SQ and a secret society called the Hystorians. The Hystorians bring Dak and Sera into their inner circle, and they learn that history is fractured. There are breaks in the timeline where things that should have happened didn’t, and if someone doesn’t go back and fix the breaks, then the natural disasters will only increase until the world is no more. What the Hystorians don’t realize is that they need Dak and Sera to fix the breaks. With the help of a Hystorian named Riq, Dak and Sera go on a dangerous adventure to discover and fix the places where history has gone wrong, while also searching for Dak’s parents who have been lost in the time stream.

THE INFINITY RING: A MUTINY IN TIME by James Dashner is the first book in a new middle grade series that has the feel of a fast-paced adventure story with a bit educational discovery included within the story. The story’s narrative includes an altered timeline different from the one we know in real life. For example, in this story it isn’t Christopher Columbus who discovered America, but the Amancio brothers. Hence the breaks in our timeline.

Dak and Sera are best friends, and I thought Dashner did a great job of conveying that. Both characters were very likable, and we get a glimpse into what makes them tick and the tragedies that inform their approach to the world. They’re both very smart, and as unbelievable as a small group of young teens traveling into the past to fix history is, the story makes it believable. It’s a different type of world they inhabit that causes them to be a different type of people. The SQ is a very mysterious antagonistic force, and I’m eager to learn more about them in future stories, as well as the Hystorians.

A MUTINY IN TIME was written for middle grade readers, but I enjoyed the story just as well as an adult. What I like most about any story is when it has a redemptive storyline, and Dak, Sera, and Riq are in a very real fight to save the world by fixing the breaks. This story is unique in that it includes an online game that allows you to dive deeper into the story. The book includes a free guide for the game. A MUTINY IN TIME is a great beginning to what is surely going to be a groundbreaking series.

Review copy provided by Scholastic

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