Tuesday 11 September 2012

255. The Infinity Ring Book 1: A Mutiny In Time by James Dashner

The Infinity Ring Book 1: A Mutiny In Time by James Dashner
Published September 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel-a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring-they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. Now it's up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks...and to save Dak's missing parents while they're at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!

This book may have a familiar look about it to you?  That may be because is a new series by Scholastic, in a similar vein to the 39 Clues series.  This is the first, in what will be a series of 7 books that also includes a guide (located in a secret compartment at the front of the book) as well as a computer game.  As I read a copy of this from work, I couldn't open the compartment to find out what is in the guide (it's sealed), but I did download the game onto my iPhone...for research purposes of course! I will elaborate on that at the end.

When this book talks about history being 'broken', in this book at least, it refers to American history.  It's not obvious at first that the America in this book is different to the America we know today, in fact for some non American readers they may not even realise. One of the presidents on Mount Rushmore is mentioned, McClellan, who ran for president in the 1864 presidential election against Abraham Lincoln.  We also learn early on that America was discovered by the Amancio brothers, who had disposed of Christopher Columbus. 

The two main characters are a pair of self confessed nerds.  Dak is a huge history buff, while for Sera, science is the thing that she loves!  When the pair sneak into Dak's parents super secret lab, Sera finds (and actually ends up finishing for them) a time travelling device, the Eternity Ring.  What unfolds after this amazing breakthrough, involves Dak's parents being trapped somewhere in the past, and Dak and Sear being bundled off to some secret facility where they learn about a group of people called the Hystorians, who they are now working with.

It turns out, that throughout history, since the time of Aristotle, there have been 'breaks' in history, when things didn't turn out as they should have.  The Hystorians have been waiting for the time when time travel became possible, so that they can go back and fix these 'breaks'.  As Dak and Sera are the only two who can actually use the Eternity Ring, it's their job to go and fix the 'breaks'.  Their first mission, is to stop the mutiny aboard the Santa Maria, so that Columbus will be the one to discover the Americas.
The game is pretty good, although it doesn't actually tie in with this particular story, so I may be missing something from not being able to access the 'guide'.  Libraries are sometime concerned when a book is more than just a book, but I don't think not having access, or not being able to play  the game, will have any effect of the enjoyment of the actual story.

 See below for a link to the Infinity Ring website:

Who will like this book: Boys and Girls age 10+
Read it if you like: 39 Clues Series

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