Monday, May 6, 2013

The Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner

Cover Art for A mutiny in time James Dashner is a pretty hot children's author right now.  His series, Fable Haven, 13th Reality and The Maze Runner have all been big successes. I am embarrassed to admit I haven't read any of them.  So this is my first introduction to Dashner and it was a pretty decent book.  In it, two children, Dak and Sera, are both geniuses who live in an alternate near future reality.  Their world is beset by natural disasters and social unrest. Dak's parents are scientists and one day he and Sera sneak into their lab where they find the nearly completed "Infinity Ring".  Being a genius, Sera quickly finds a way to complete the device which allows its user to travel in time.  Very soon they are whisked away to a secret organization of Historians, who inform them that they must travel back in time and fix a few historical errors, to save the present world from imminent destruction. Time travel is a tricky business to write, and Dashner doesn't quite get all the wrinkles ironed out of it.  For example, when the enemy attacks the secret base, they jump back in time and escape to the time of ancient Egypt.  Why didn't they just jump back 2 days, and warn the people at the compound of their impending danger so they could prevent it?  Most authors would explain that this was a problem, because if they met themselves on different time streams, it would cause of fissure in time space, or something, but Dashner doesn't even address the issue.  Later they are on a the Santa Maria, about to be executed by mutineers, but it doesn't seem to occur to them that they are not in real danger, because they could just escape using the device at any time.I didn't fact check to see if the portrayal of the historical time Dashner depicts is correct, and the book didn't have an addendum that explains which facts are true and which are fictional.  It is a book that most kids would enjoy, but an intelligent 6th grader will see through the plot holes. (190 p.)

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