Favorite Lines: “Edgar watched from the upstairs window in the hallway, his emotions torn between fascination at the miniature fat man that seemed to have struck up a friendship with his son, and his sadness that Tick was involved in something very strange and had failed to tell his own father about it.” (p. 122)
Atticus Higginbottom is fascinated when he begins receiving riddles that promise a life altering experience. He is a smart 13 year-old boy, who happens to be the school bully’s favorite pet project. Despite the abuse he suffers at school, he thrives in his home environment with a loving family.
Tick, as Atticus is known, soon finds other kids on the same journey and begins to make friends, something he did not have before the riddles came. He is challenged mentally, emotionally and physically with the riddles and the dangers associated with them. Tick discovers that there is much more to his life than he ever imagined and is ready to join the adventure of a lifetime.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment in James Dashner’s newest series. I love the idea of multiple realities existing and the possibilities the ‘what ifs’ allow. For example, what if everyone was super sized? What would the world be like? What if technology were much more advanced? What kind of creations would be possible?…
The family dynamic is wonderful as well. I love the interaction between the family members. The trust involved and the true depth of understanding between father and son and husband and wife is well written. I can’t think of another book that takes such complex issues and writes them in a manner that children can pick up on without sounding like a preacher preaching.
The book uses a variety of ideas and a large vocabulary that teaches without sounding pompous or educational. I think this is an excellent book for kids. It is entertaining and enlightening at the same time. Kids will find themselves learning about things they never knew interested them and they won’t even realize it. If this is any example of the rest of the series, I’d say Dashner has a winner.
The 13th Reality releases in March of 2008. You can pre-order it here.