Easy as A, B, C . . . from HA
13th Reality series by James Dashner is an older middle grade/young adult masterpiece (okay, maybe not a masterpiece in the sense of David Copperfield or Wuthering Heights, but still…). Amazon’s product details indicate the series is for age group 8-12 and grade levels 3-7. According to the Navy, I am capable of reading at grade level 22 (highly technical stuff, not quite doctorate level), so I think they should change it to age group 8-75 and grade level 3-24 (Doctorate level.) You’re never too old or well-educated to enjoy a good book. But that’s just my humble opinion.
The first volume came out in 2009, the fourth in 2012, but I’ve only recently started reading the series.
This four book series includes The Journal of Curious Letters, The Hunt for Dark Infinity, The Blade of Shattered Hope, and The Void of Mist and Thunder. I have read the first two and have the last two cued up in my “to read really soon” list.
Amazon’s intro states “What if every choice you made created an alternate reality? What if those realities were in danger? What if it were up to you to save all the realities—and in turn, the entire universe?”
Dashner is responsible for the Maze Runner series as well. That series is much darker and tension-riddled than 13th Reality. The13th Reality is fraught with the same elements, they’re just a tad lighter. Just a tad.
The plotting is well executed, the story lines flow together. And the characters? Oh, my goodness. In the first book we’re introduced to the following: Master George, the head of the Realitants (the group trying to keep the realities from flying apart); Reginald Chu, a science teacher in Reality Prime and his Alterant (your double in another Reality) Reginald Chu, an evil scientist in the 4th Reality working toward controlling all the Realities; Mistress Jane, a beautiful woman bent on controlling all the realities from her throne in the 13th Reality.
Then, of course, we meet the three main protagonists, all from Reality Prime: Atticus Higginbottom (Tick), a seemingly normal 13-year-old who harbors a secret he doesn’t even know he has; Sophia Pacini, a wealthy girl from Italy whose father owns a world- renowned spaghetti and sauce empire; Paul Rogers, another seemingly normal kid from Florida.
Rounding out the main group of characters is Sato from Reality Prime Japan. His parents were killed by Mistress Jane in her initial foray into controlling the Realities. Master George was there, too, and Sato holds him partially responsible.
You’ll meet other characters, but I hope I’ve given you enough to whet your appetite. All the characters are written in rich detail by Dashner who has a talent for letting you get to know them and care about what happens to them. Well, to the good guys anyway. The bad guys, not so much. You just want to see them beaten, smooshed, crushed, throttled… whew… getting a little carried away.
The first two books have, in fact, been spellbinding. Based on that, I fully expect the last two to be as good, if not better. I only hope, when I’m done with number four, loose ends are tied up and peace reigns supreme. If not, Dasher better have a fifth book or we may have to make arrangements for him to be sent to a fragmented reality until he sees the error of his ways.
See you next time for Tips on Tuesday.