Monday, February 25, 2008

The 13th Reality by James Dashner

Oh how children are going to loooove this book! It's got everything: action, adventure, riddles, reality name it, it's in there. A perfect mixture of science fiction and fantasy for those kids that have that love of a bit of magic and a bit of weirdness all in one (is weirdness a word?). I can definitely see James Dashner becoming the next Rick Riordan or Jenny Nimmo!

The first in a series, The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters follows Atticus Higginbottom, or Tick as he prefers to be called. Tick is a bit of a loner at school, much preferring spending time at the library or on the internet trying to get a pen pal, to hanging out with kids his age. He is stunned when he gets a letter in the mail, postmarked from Alaska of all places, that contains a mysterious riddle. He is given the choice to burn the letter, ultimately un-involving himself from whatever escapade the letter has gotten him into, or keep it for a week and begin to receive more riddles, which supposedly are going to help him save the world.

Tick, of course, keeps the letter (would there really be a story if he didn't?) and all sorts of strange things start to happen. He encounters a weird woman that just happens to be 8 feet tall, has metal bugs attack him in his bedroom, not to mention all the odd characters that soon enter his small world. In fact, odd doesn't even begin to describe the characters Tick meets! In most kid's minds though, the odder the better! Oh and did I mention the reality hopping? Characters can move from one reality to another, which I think is quite magnificent....but not something I'm keen on trying for myself!
The story continues as Tick tries to solve each complicated riddle, in order to determine what the next clue may be. Some are very difficult and take a lot of brain power, as well as help from others to solve. Through all the craziness this book has to offer, we are able to watch Tick develop from a young boy content with staying in his shell, to an outgoing, confident young man, determined to help save the world!

Ultimately, I had a lot of fun with this book. I am not typically a science fiction fan, though I do love fantasy, so go figure. However, this book was more on the fantasy side than the sci-fi side, so I was quite content with my reading. And I know kids at the library will keep this book off the shelves for months at a time! I'm looking forward to the publishing date, so I can purchase a copy for the shelves and watch as boys and girls get involved in Tick's strange world. It's sure to be a hit!


Becky said...

This one sounds great. I'll have to watch for it. If you don't mind, who is the publisher? Crossing fingers I'll have a contact :)

James Dashner said...

Hi Amanda,

Thanks to the wonder of Google Alerts, I was able to read this awesome review! I just wanted to pop in and say thank you very, very much. It comes out one week from today, so you've really boosted my confidence that it will do well.

Thank you, and I know I like you because you are a librarian and librarians are the single coolest people on the planet.

Have a great day!

Amanda said...


Shadow Mountain Publishing is the company that is putting out the book. If you don't have a contact, email me and I'll give you the info :-)

Amanda said...


I happen to think authors are the coolest people on the planet... without you guys I wouldn't have a job!

Booklogged said...

Very cool that the author left you a comment. Shadow Mountain Publishing does some of Orson Scott Card's stuff, I think.

James Dashner said...

Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. But I think librarians are the coolest. :-)

Thanks again for the awesome review, and best of luck to you!

J. Kaye Oldner said...

For the 100+ Reading Challenge, I am doing something fun. Well, at least I think it is. I'd like to start posting the participating members favorite book for each month on the blog. Mine is already up for January. Send me your favorite book and author of the book for January. As soon as this month is over, I’ll post one for February.

April said...

This sounds like a good one! I will have to check it out. I have been weaving in a few YA novels here and there and this sounds like a very promising and fun one!
By the way, I happen to think that BOTH librarians and authors are the coolest in the world, lol. Anyone who loves to surround themselves with books and anyone who can create an awesome new place/world for me to slip off to are the absolute greatest! :)