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!
I am on a middle-grade roll lately, and this isn’t my last one, either. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on this one ever since I found out that Lisa McMann wrote the third book in the Infinity Ring series. My library doesn’t have this one (my library has NOTHING; I always have to request books through ILL), but luckily Scholastic was still awarding ARCs to bloggers through NetGalley. And? I read this one in a single day. So, Dak and Sera live in a futuristic dystopia ruled by the SQ. Time is collapsing, and people are experiencing “Remnants,” remembering things that never happened. Dak’s parents, scientists, are being monitored by a group called the Hystorians, those working to save the world using a 2000 year old plan by Aristotle. There are funny bits characteristic of middle-grade novels; for example, Dak and Sera go to Benedict Arnold Middle School. They are super cute with their totally platonic junior high friendship. My best friend ever is a guy I met when I was fourteen, so I can relate to Sera. There are also bits and pieces of alternate history that made me chuckle, the how the French still have a monarchy. We find out the Hystorians have been spying on Dak’s parents due to the Infinity Ring, and everything starts to get real after Sera activates it.
And I know that the book is about fixing history, and in this one, they have to keep Christopher Columbus’ crew from mutiny. I was super annoyed that they didn’t know they needed to save Columbus (which is irrational, yes, and probably won’t bother 99% of readers, I am just curmudgeonly), but not enough for it to keep me from enjoying the story. Sera is an awesome little future feminist, so of course I loved that. The adventure doesn’t really kick in until nearly three-quarters of the way through the novel, though. The rest is them discovering the Infinity Ring, learning how to use it, and running from the SQ. I really loved Dashner’s writing style though, which was funny with little asides to the reader. It’s written in third-person, something I wish for more novels. I find I dislike the narrators more when I’m stuck in their heads for 300+ pages. Anyway, Dak and Sera and Riq finally figure out that the famous Amancio brothers are not the ones supposed to find the New World, and this breaks Dak’s poor history-loving heart. I won’t spoil whether or not they actually stop the mutiny though.
This one was a nice break from tradition, and in more ways than one! Did you know this series is being written by six different authors? After Dashner, who writes both the first and last in the series, comes Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann (!!!), Matt de la Pena, Matthew J. Kirby, and Jennifer A. Nielsen. I love round robin-type stories, so I’m super psyched for the upcoming novels. Yay, middle-grade!