Monday, August 31, 2009

"The 13th Reality-- The Hunt for Dark Infinity" review

I don't have much time to blog right now! I've finished this book a while back (along with some others), but I haven't had a chance to review it yet. So here goes.

By the way, there are some minor spoilers ahead for those who haven't read Book 1.

It's been a quiet summer for Atticus Higginbottom (Tick), Paul, and Sofia, but the latest message from Master George changes everything. The Realities are in danger... and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chi'karda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are unexplainably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon or even if it can be stopped. To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them. Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first but who will destroy it-- and who will become its master?

I'm going to keep this as short as possible, but I'll say this: The 13th Reality-- The Hunt for Dark Infinity is one of the best sequels I've read recently, right up there with the newest Erec Rex book. The plot keeps you on your toes, and this was something I'll have to admit I was worried about. With all of the possibilities The Journal of Curious Letters opened, it was impossible to see where Dashner would go next. The answer: up. Up in quality even from Book 1 (which I loved). Up in scope. Up in tension. Up in character development-- but don't get scared off by that. The first book was dependant on clues and riddles, which culminated in the reveal of no less than twelve variations of our world to explore. But a lot of what kept the pages turning in the past had been that air of mystery which was now more or less gone. How was Dashner to top his previous installment, keeping things fresh?

The answer: there are still more riddles, and the Realities themselves are sort of like puzzles for Tick and Co. to solve. Tension is really great here, and the new characters who are introduced are a lot of fun.

And James Dashner was daring to try something a lot of fantasy books overlook and which impressed me to no end. He developed the villains. He did a good job of it, too. Mistress Jane is no longer just an eccentric evildoer. Now she's a fleshed-out character, who does everything she does for what she thinks is... well, I won't spoil those details for you. And I won't tell you about the really horrible things that happen to Tick, especially when he... In the immortal words of the late Robert Jordan, Read And Find Out.

If you're still holding out on this series because it's in hardcover, I urge you to reconsider. It's more than worth the price, for I think these are the sort of books you might find yoursef wanting to give to your children to read. And they do look quite pretty on your bookshelf, as all Shadow Mountain publications do. I can't wait for Book 3-- The Blade of Shattered Hope. Is it just me, or do these titles get darker and darker as they go?

My rating (a really rare one for the second book in a series): 10/10

Coming Soon: Green and... drumroll, please... Catching Fire.


Melissa said...

I have not heard of this series until now. They sound really good. I am going to have to write these down and look into them for future reads.

I also love the cover art. Very nice! Do you think it holds to the story with in?

Thanks for the introduction of this series for me!

The Writer said...

They would be on my list of post- Harry Potter reads, if you will, despite the fact that the two series have absolutely nothing in common.

The cover art works well, but you won't probably understand it until the very end.

Krista said...

Great review! Like Mel, I have never heard of this title. You gave it a 10 rating wow, will add it to my wish list then.

I will be getting my copy of Catching Fire oh so soon! I can't wait!

Is Green a series? If so what is the first books title, if you don't mind?

Melissa said...

Thanks! I have not read the Harry Potter books, have seen the movies though. I really have enjoyed them. I have the books, but haven't been able to get there with all my other reads.

I will be adding this to the list to look for while I am out book shopping.

The Writer said...

Green is a title. It's a Ted Dekker book, the last of his interconnected Books of History Chronicles (Black, Red, White, Showdown, Saint, Sinner, House, Skin, Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, Lunatic, Elyon). But it's also supposed to be the beginning. I'm not finished with it yet, but I'm interested to see how Dekker pulls it off. So you'd probably want to start with Black, then move on sort of in the order I listed these books (the Lost Books series, which includes all of the titles from Chosen on, should probably be read after all of the ones listed before it for maximum impact. I hope I didn't confuse you too much! I've been putting the pieces of this puzzle together for two years now-- and back at the start, half of these books weren't published!

Krista said...

Nope I think I got it LOL! Thanks for the info!