The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner is the sequel to The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters. I’ve talked about James a bunch here on my blog when I reviewed The Journal of Curious Letters and interviewed him about the series. Most recently, James was kind enough to come to our Utah Book Bloggers Bash and I said hello a couple of weeks ago at a Science Fiction/Fantasy conference.
At our party, James talked about how personally knowing an author changes your opinion of the book they wrote. And this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Good if the book lives up to your opinion of the person behind the written pages. Bad if the book ends up being plain awful. What do you say then? This is especially true of writers reading other writers books. Thank goodness, I’m not going to say The Hunt for Dark Infinity is awful! But I will admit that I can see so much of James’s wacky humor and personality coming through on the pages and he’s just one heck of a nice guy that I just can’t help but like it. (And yes, James, I still have your jacket hanging in my front closet. By the time I fork it over, the weather will be warm again.) See how great of friends we are? He, he. That second picture is in my living room. My living room. Sorry, I’ve got to act like I’m “famous” wherever I can get it.
The Hunt for the Dark Infinity is even better than its predecessor. After being inducted into a group known as the Realitants – an organization sworn to discover and chart all the known Realities (a separate and complete version of the world – of which twelve major branches have already been discovered) – Tick, Paul and Sofia have had a very quiet summer. Too quiet in fact. They are anxiously awaiting for Master George, the Realitant leader to whisk them away on another adventure.
But when that day finally comes, everything goes wrong. Instead of being whisked away to Master George’s presence they are instead kidnapped by the evil Reginald Chu who has infiltrated the minds of people on different realities, controlling their thoughts, movements, and speech. Tick, Paul, and Sofia are the only ones who can get close enough to destroy his new weapon. But first they must solve Chu’s riddles and tests, all of which put their lives in extreme danger. And if that’s not enough, Mistress Jane, a power hungry ex-Realitant wants her hands on the weapon as well. It’s a race to see who can get their first and ends with a duel with Tick and Mistriss Jane.
The Hunt for the Dark Infinity is fast-paced. A whirlwind of adventure. I can’t help thinking how this would be a perfect book to read out loud with younger boys and make for a great selection for an all boys book club. The dialogue is funny, the names are even funnier (Mothball, Muffintops, Sally – for a lumberjack or how about Hans Schitiggenschlubberheimer anyone?) and the story is just complex enough and has you guessing the direction it’s going to go to have you turning the pages for more. The whole thing ends on a twist that makes me want to read book three right now! I can’t wait to see where this story is going to go.
A great series for young readers who are looking for some fantastical adventure and entertaining for the stay at home mom like me too.
James Dashner website and blog. James also has a new series coming out this fall called The Maze Runner for young adults. I’ve enjoyed following his blog and watching this new series unfold. I can’t wait to read it!
So what you do you think about what James said? Do you know any authors personally? Does that change the way you “read” their books and your opinion of them?