The multi-platform adventure through time continues! Dak, Sera, and Riq return to the United States and walk immediately into a deadly trap. The year is 1850, and the nation is divided over the issue of slavery. In these dark days, the Underground Railroad provides a light of hope, helping runaway slaves escape to freedom. But the SQ has taken control of the Underground Railroad from within. Now Dak and Sera are left wondering who to trust… while Riq risks everything to save the life of a young boy.
I immediately liked this one better than the last one, maybe because I love Lisa McMann so much, I don’t know. I have graduated from disliking to full-on hating Dak though, so maybe that’s a bad thing. He has no sense of responsibility, which makes it seem even sillier that a bunch of preteens are saving the world. Kid needs to be sent home. Plot-wise, this (slavery) is a tough subject, because racism is still so rife in our society, no matter what the media tells you. Riq is black, and he is targeted immediately. He is well aware of how precarious his position is, which is heartbreaking because he’s just a kid and being born black should not mean one has to always watch one’s back. Riq is abducted and sold, and that part was so hard for me to read that I had to take a break for awhile. I know at the beginning of this paragraph I said I hated Dak more than ever, but the solemnity of the whole thing even made him seem better. Or it could be McMann’s writing. I’m not sure. Either way, this was the most heartbreaking of the series so far.
I felt so much for all three kids during this one, even Dak, because they’re exposed to all kinds of terrible truths about our country and the way we enslaved and dehumanized a whole race of people. Riq learns a lot about his history, but also about sacrifice and the greater good, and I think that was really good stuff. McMann did a great job with a tough subject, and it’s presented in an accessible way, so those who know very little about the time period can pick it up easily. This review is so short because the topic is so sensitive, and the story is so good that you should really just read it yourself. Onward to the fourth Infinity Ring novel, Curse of the Ancients!