As an aspiring indie author, I think I was put off Infinity Ring Book 1: a Mutiny in Time, James Dashner (2012, 190 pages), by a description of it I saw on Amazon. It read, Scholastic’s next multi-platform mega event begins here. I might be a teensy bit jealous because this book has the power of the Machine behind it. A Mutiny in Time is the first in the planned seven-book Infinity Ring series. The books will be penned by different authors, as was The 39 Clues series. Infinity Ring Book Two: Divide and Conquer–was just released Nov. 6.
The story has a great premise which is that major mistakes were made in history. Things did not go as they were “meant” to go. These mistakes are called “breaks”. A secret club, called Hystorians, were established in Arisotle’s time, with different people filling its ranks up to the present. They are a force for good that want to remedy the breaks. They have just been waiting until time travel became possible so that someone could go back in time and fix the breaks. There is an evil group that has been in existence just as long called the SQ. I’m not completely clear on the SQ, but I think they are responsible for history “going wrong”.
Genius fifth-graders Zak and Sera are best friends. Sera puts the finishing touches on a time travel device, making time travel possible for the first time. They are chosen, along with 16-year-old language whiz Riq, by the Hystorians to go back in time and try to fix the breaks. Zak and Sera have grown up learning the discoverers of America were the Amancio brothers. In this story, they have to go back to 1492, board Christopher Columbus’ ship, and foil the Amanzio brothers’ plot to take over the ship. They have been assigned the job of changing history.
I think it’s a story that will engage many young readers, and teach them a little bit about history at the same time. I didn’t love it because Zak, Sera, and Riq were not deeply developed characters, and some of the supporting characters were cartoonish. The story seemed superficial to me. Putting aside my petty jealousy, I admit the website associated with the series where a reader can play action games related to the books looks really fun.