Monday, July 6, 2009

"The 13th Reality-- The Journal of Curious Letters" review

There were three things that convinced me to buy this book. First of all I've read the author, James Dashner's blog, and from it, I've been able to tell he's a pretty good writer. And I don't use the words "pretty good" lightly. Second, The 13th Reality-- The Journal of Curious Letters is published by Shadow Mountain, who does a fantastic job of picking good books to publish. They have also come out with the Leven Thumps series, which I adore. Third, on the back of the book, there is a glowing review from Brandon Sanderson. Now, with everything on his plate, I don't know how he has time to even read many books, much less review them. He's one of the busiest authors on the planet. And that was the last bit of convincing I needed.

I'm so very glad I was convinced.

Thirteen-year-old Atticus "Tick" Higginbottom (unfortunate name, I know) has a good family, does well at school, and yet is unhappy. He's tortured day in and day out by bullies, and he can't deal with much more. But one day, a letter is mailed to him from Alaska by a man who only goes by M.G., promising a series of twelve riddles to follow. There will be many innocent lives saved by Tick's help, M.G. says, but his life will become dangerous. Tick can burn the letter if he ever wants the danger to go away.

Tick does not burn the letter.

As the riddles are sent, Tick realizes they all point to one event. And as this mysterious event approaches, Tick scrambles to uncover the meaning of the riddles in time. Little does he know that the riddles are only the beginning, and M.G.'s plans for him extend across the world-- and into other Realities as well. But be careful. Mistress Jane is on the hunt.

James Dashner has a way of describing the absolute weird so that it sounds charming, and a way of writing that many times suggests his tongue is planted firmly inside his cheek. Dashner knows how to write, and he knows how to write well. Also, the level of creativity inside the book, especially reading it after Kingsley's Erec Rex, will probably cause me to become spoiled. Dashner's voice is different from that of other authors, sort of like a homely mix of Kaza Kingsley and Obert Skye, with the occasional dash of J.K. Rowling. Book 2 of the series, The Hunt for Dark Infinity, is out, and you can expect me to pick it up sooner, rather than later.

My rating: 9/10

Coming Soon: Into the Wild

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