A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring Series #1) [NOOK Book]


Scholastic's next multi-platform mega-event begins here!

History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right!

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 ...
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A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring Series #1)

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Scholastic's next multi-platform mega-event begins here!

History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right!

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!
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  • James Dashner Q&A 2
    James Dashner Q&A 2  

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
While there is no shortage of children's books on the subject [of time travel]…Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time…manages to cut a fresh channel in the well-worn time stream…Dashner has all the skills to open this series successfully: A Mutiny in Time features tight plotting, snappy dialogue and a judicious balance of humor and suspense…vivid, intriguing, not fully realized but hinting at a larger story that feels right. For young readers who enjoy fast-paced adventures, especially children who have an interest in history, the Infinity Ring series promises to be well worth their time.
—Rick Riordan
Publishers Weekly
“History is broken, and we need your help to fix it.” What kid could turn down an invitation like that? Not fifth-grade best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste, who star in this kickoff to the seven-book Infinity Ring series (Lisa McMann, Matt de le Peña, and others will write subsequent titles). Dak and Sera live in an America beset by natural disasters and controlled by an organization known as the SQ (also, there are 48 states, and the U.S. capital is Philadelphia). Passionate about history (Dak) and science (Sera), both friends are drawn into an ancient conflict between the SQ and the Hystorians, who hope to correct “Breaks” in Earth’s time line. Via the Infinity Ring device Dak’s parents invented, Dak, Sera, and 16-year-old Hystorian Riq travel to 1492 Spain to prevent a mutiny against Christopher Columbus aboard the Santa Maria. It’s a quick, straightforward adventure with a successful mix of action, adventure, and historical substance. An interactive online Infinity Ring game debuts alongside this installment; the second book, Divide and Conquer by Carrie Ryan, arrives in November. Ages 8–12. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Aug.)
VOYA - Jessica Atherton
James Dashner’s time-traveling adventure tale keeps a brisk pace as three teens try to save the future by fixing the past. In the dystopian present, Dak Smyth and Sera Froste live in a world run awry, where Alexander the Great dies before he can do anything deserving of the name, and dangerous hurricanes and earthquakes regularly ravage the earth. In order to solve these problems, Dak and Sera use the infinity ring to correct these “Great Breaks” in time so that history returns to its proper course. In this installment of the projected seven-book series, they travel to Italy in 1942 and set off on La Santa Maria de la Inmaculada Concepción. Their mission: save Christopher Columbus. Infinity Ring features formula writing at its best. The characters fulfill such token roles as the history nerd and the science geek, but Dashner makes the familiar feel fresh. Occasionally featuring three-page chapters, this book speeds along with accessible vocabulary suitable for reluctant readers and historical references that reward history buffs. Dak’s obsessive outbursts on historical factoids might repel empathetic readers with their accurate example of social awkwardness, but his weakness becomes a strength as they experience history firsthand. Middle graders who enjoy the 39 Clues series could easily transition into this series, which will also feature popular authors such as Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Matt de La Pe?a, Matthew Kirby, and Jennifer A. Neilsen. Save a place on your shelves for this fast-paced and fun series about historical time travel. Ages 11 to 14.
Children's Literature - Tiffany Torbeck
Dak and Sera are just two normal kids living in a broken world. An organization called SQ is in control but society is barely holding together in the face of dozens of natural disasters. One organization, The Hystorians, believes that the world is coming to an end due to The Breaks, mistakes in time that have changed the course of history; but Dak and Sera, with the help of a time travel device called the Infinity Ring can right the wrongs and bring about change. Dak, Sera, and Hystorian in training, Riq only have days to travel back to 1492 and stop the mutiny on the Santa Maria and make sure that Columbus reaches the New World. "The Infinity Ring" series hopes to benefit from the wild success of the 39 Clues books with multiple authors and online games, but it just does not match up. If the reader thinks too hard about the implausibility of the plot, everything just falls apart. Why does not the gang start at the first break, supposedly the murder of Alexander the Great? Why do they take a Square with them when that is obviously technology invented by the enemy, and how are they keeping this item charged while in other time periods? Are they really going to go unnoticed through time, even though their race, accents and attitudes betray them? It is all too far-fetched. The writing itself is serviceable, but there is nothing uncommon here. Also, the authors lined up to write the next book seem to be new authors, and mostly write young adult novels. This does not seem to be a group that is comfortable writing for the middle grade (third to fifth grade) audience that will be reading these books. This will be a profitable enough series, and all types of libraries will need to purchase this series because it is marketed as the next big thing, but unfortunately, it falls flat. Reviewer: Tiffany Torbeck
Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
Present and past are both out of control in this four-disc audio version of the first book in the "Infinity Ring" series. History aficionado Dak Smyth and mathematics geek Sera Froste prove to be an effective team when it comes to entering and repairing history. They blast back in time through the Infinity Ring, created in part by Dak's scientist parents. If it weren't for the savant intelligence of these fifth-graders, it would be difficult to believe their ability to maneuver the physics, as well as to grasp the full-orbed knowledge of the details in history it requires to accomplish their mission. In a frantic race against time, Dak and Sera join with history-repairer-in-training Riqin a maritime city in Spain where a ship's captain is preparing for a voyage. The captain is Christopher Columbus and the break in history, which the three young time-travelers must unravel, is a mutiny which threatens historical events worldwide. Students will enjoy the fast-paced story read by a captivating narrator. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In an alternate reality, fifth-graders Dak Smyth and Sera Froste discover a time-travel device invented by Dak's parents called the Infinity Ring. After a test run leaves his parents lost in time, the friends learn of a secret group called the Hystorians who claims that there are breaks in the past that have caused history to go off course. They plan to use the Infinity Ring to fix those breaks and, as Dak and Sera are the only ones able to use it thanks to a DNA-lock implemented by Dak's parents, the kids are enlisted to help. Events necessitate a rushed departure from the present when the SQ, a mysterious organization that seems to run the world, attacks the Hystorians's headquarters. Dak and Sera disappear into the past, joined by Riq, a teenager with a talent for languages to complement Sera's scientific expertise and Dak's historical knowledge. They are charged with fixing the Great Breaks in time to save the future from a Cataclysm of natural disasters. This is the first title in a multiplatform series patterned after "The 39 Clues" series (Scholastic). It includes a code to unlock an online game or mobile app. Action drives the narrative, leaving little time to develop characters and relationships. Events happen very quickly and there are missed opportunities to probe more thoroughly ethical questions raised by Dak and Sera about changing history, as well as which events to change. Still, the brisk action and interactive component will likely attract readers, particularly those who devoured "The 39 Clues" titles.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Kicking off a multiauthor, multimedia thriller series modeled on The 39 Clues, this paint-by-numbers opener endows three teenagers with a football-sized time device and sends them back to 1492 to keep Columbus from being killed in a mutiny. Strewing early scenes with clever "what's wrong with this picture?" references like a flag with 48 stars and the national capital as Philadelphia, Dashner hooks up self-described "Time Nerds" Dak (mad about history), Sera (ditto science) and Riq (ditto languages), with the Hystorians. Set up by Aristotle after the premature assassination of Alexander, this secret organization is meant to identify other history-derailing Great Breaks (through intuition, apparently) and to assist travelers from the future in fixing them. The Hystorians are opposed by a powerful group called SQ for no clear reason except that, you know, there have to be Bad Guys. Logic not being the strong suit here, the Time Nerds' first mission with the newly invented Infinity Ring takes them not to ancient Macedon but to 15th-century Spain. This and subsequent print volumes end on cliffhangers that segue into gamelike, online-only sequels (not seen) set in other eras and accessible with pass codes provided on foldout clue sheets. Off-the-shelf adventure modules, stocked with familiar character types and set into a scenario that is nonsensical even by the usual low standards of formula time-travel adventure. (Science fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545473941
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Series: Infinity Ring Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 54,296
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

James Dashner

James Dashner is the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner trilogy and the 13th Reality series. Born and raised in Georgia, he now lives with his family in the Rocky Mountains. Learn more at his website, www.jamesdashner.com.
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Read an Excerpt


DAK SMYTH sat on his favorite branch of his favorite tree, right next to his favorite friend, Sera Froste. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, he thought.
Beyond the safety of the tree, there was plenty to worry about. The world was falling apart and the people in charge of things didn't seem to care. But Dak decided not to let little stuff like that bother him now.
Sera apparently agreed. “Feels good up here,” she said. “Doesn't it?”
“Yeah, it sure does. Makes me kinda sad I wasn't born a monkey. Then I could live in one of these things.”
Sera laughed. “You've got the personality of a monkey. And the smell. That's two-thirds of the way there, at least.”
“Thanks,” Dak said, as if she'd just paid him a tremendous compliment.
A soft breeze made the branches sway back and forth, just enough to soothe Dak into a partial trance. He and Sera climbed up the tree every so often when there was nothing else to do. It gave them a chance to talk, away from any distractions — distractions like adults, who complained constantly about taxes and crime rates and, in whispers, about the SQ. With all the mental static, it was a wonder Dak and Sera managed to get any thinking done. Fortunately, they were both geniuses . . . although in very different ways.
“You excited for the field trip this week?” Sera asked.
Dak looked over at her, slightly suspicious. Their class was going to a museum, full of history — which he loved — and not a whole lot of science — which was her passion. But the question seemed genuine.
“Remember my last birthday?” he asked in return. “When I got that replica of Thomas Jefferson's ascot?”
“How could I forget? You came screaming down the street like a girl who'd just found a bucket full of candy.”
Dak nodded, relishing the memory. “Well, I'm even more excited about this trip.”
“Gotcha. That's pretty excited.”
They sat in silence for a while, Dak enjoying the breeze and the sounds of nature and the break from the rest of life. Gradually, though, he realized that Sera seemed far less relaxed. There was an unmistakable tension in her shoulders that had nothing to do with tree climbing. He followed her gaze across the yard to his front porch, where his parents had recently put up a new flag. The small flagpole affixed to the side of the house was usually used for seasonal displays — holiday flags in the winter, the forty eight-starred U.S. flag in the long summer months.
Now, for the first time, Dak's parents had put up a stark white flag with a black symbol in its center. That symbol was a circle broken by a curve and a thunderbolt — the insignia of the SQ.
“Don't tell me your parents buy into all that,” Sera said, her voice solemn.
“I don't think so. They said it's easier this way. They're less likely to be bothered if they just put up the flag.”
“The SQ— they make me sick,” Sera said. Dak had never heard such fierceness in her voice. “Someone has got to stand up to them eventually. Or someday it's going to be too late.”
Dak listened to her as he stared out into the woods beyond his house. All that green, all those animals. There were parts of the world where these kinds of places had disappeared entirely. He'd read enough history to know that where the SQ went, trouble followed. He suddenly felt his own little burst of determination.
“Maybe it'll be us who stand up,” he said. “You never know.”
“Yeah?” she answered absently.
“There's an old saying,” Dak told her. “The times, they are a-changin'.”
“Ooh, I like that.”
“Maybe that'll be our motto. Maybe we'll change the times someday. Every problem has a solution, right? And our big brains have got to be good for something. What do you say?”
She looked over at him and stuck out her hand. He shook it hard.
Somewhere nearby, a bird chirped excitedly.


The Only Hope

BRINT TAKASHI stared at the monitor and tried to remember a time when he didn't know the world was about to end.
Mari Rivera, his second-in-command, sat next to him, and the way she was slowly shaking her head back and forth, she seemed to be the second most depressed person on the planet. Brint was the first.
“Well?” Mari asked. “What do you think?”
“What do I think? I think we have a global catastrophe on our hands,” Brint replied. “Volcanic eruptions all along the Pacific Rim. Blizzards in parts of South America that have never even seen snow before. If we're lucky, the tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic might put out the wildfires in the Northeast.”
“Look on the bright side,” Mari said, her voice grim. “At least people believe we're in trouble now.”
“People still believe what the SQ tells them to believe. Because fear is always more powerful than truth.” He ran his fingers through his dark hair and sighed. “Aristotle would be so proud. Look what the Hystorians have been reduced to! The SQ is going to win — even if it means destroying the world.”
It wasn't just the natural disasters that had him worried. Or the blackouts. Or the food shortages. There were also the Remnants. Every day when Brint went home and looked at the picture that hung above the fireplace — he and his wife sitting by a river, the sun glinting off the water behind them — he felt a disorienting twist in his head and stomach. A gnawing gap in his mind that made him extremely uncomfortable. Someone — at least one someone — was missing from that photo. It made no sense whatsoever, but he knew in his bones that someone was missing.
He wasn't alone in suffering these types of sensations. More people experienced Remnants with each passing day. They'd strike when you least expected them. And they could drive you crazy. Literally crazy.
Time had gone wrong — this is what the Hystorians believed. And if things were beyond fixing now, there was only one hope left . . . to go back in time and fix the past instead.
Mari did what she always did when he was inclined to whine. She ignored him and moved on to the task at hand. “What's the latest on the Smyths?” she asked. Of all the scientists the Hystorians tracked, they were the only ones who hadn't been shut down by the SQ . . . yet.
Brint pulled up their file and pointed out the latest developments. All of the Smyths' experiments, findings, data — every little thing they did in their lab each and every day — it was all being monitored by the Hystorians. Without the Smyths' knowledge, of course. Brint would be sure to apologize for that after they saved the world.
They both fell silent for a minute, staring at the data on the screen as if hypnotized. The Smyths were so close. If only they could figure out the missing piece in their calculations. If only they could give the Hystorians a fighting chance at carrying out Aristotle's two-thousand year-old plan to save the world.
“It's coming, you know,” Mari whispered. “Sooner than I ever thought.”
Brint nodded as dread squeezed his heart. “I never would've guessed it would be in our lifetime.”
Mari continued, her words like a prophecy of doom from a wrinkled old oracle.
“It's coming, all right. The Cataclysm is coming, and we'll all wish we were dead long before it kills us.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 105 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 4, 2012

    Great New Series!

    Dak Smyth and Sera Froste had no idea what would happen to them when Sera fixed Dak’s parent’s invention, the Infinity Ring. The Infinity Ring allows someone to travel back in time with anyone touching them. The Historians (a group of people who try to change the things that went wrong in the past) find out about the Infinity Ring and bring Dak and Sera to their HQ. When the SQ (the evil government controlling the US and maybe other countries) find out, they attack the Historian base. Two of the leaders tells Riq, a juvenile Historian agent, to go with Dak and Sera on their adventures. The kids go to Spain, 1492, where the Amancio brothers were about to set sail to find the quickest route to India but find America instead (according to the history they know). The kids arrive just in time to stop a mutiny aboard the ship. It turns out that the Amancio brothers were trying to overthrow some guy named Columbus (who was kind of a mean guy) and take over his three ships (you can guess what the ships are named ;) ). Will the kids save history? This is an AWESOME first book to the new series! Like The 39 Clues series, each of the books in this series is written by a different author but the new series is very different from The 39 Clues. The Infinity Ring is set in a dystopian world where the main characters (three kids) have to travel in time to fix whatever is wrong with history. I LOVED ”A Mutiny in TIme”! Mr. Dashner put a lot of action, adventure, and excitement in he book! I really liked how Mr. Dashner wrote a lot of humor and sarcasm in the dialogue of the characters. The main characters are Riq, Dak and Sera. Riq was just cool. He was fluent in 16 languages (which is cool). Dak is the “history” expert, which I think will come in handy. Sera is pretty scientific. I like scientists. I like the format of the series (much like The 39 Clues) where a different author writes each book. I think it’s cool to read how each author changes he story a little. I also like how these stories involve time-travel and history. I recommend this book to kids 9+ and young advanced readers.

    16 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Mutiny in Time is a story about 3 kids who travel back in time

    A Mutiny in Time is a story about 3 kids who travel back in time to fix history before the world ends. I liked the twist in this story that unlike traditional time-travel stories, they are supposed to change things. The historic details that aren’t accurate amused me. I think a lot of kids would be clever enough to know whose faces should really be on Mount Rushmore. It would have been fun to see and learn more history (I mean besides the random facts that came out of Dak). The characters and their quirks made me chuckle. One thing I didn’t get was why the villain wanted to destroy the world?? Her motivations weren’t really clear to me, but I’m hoping that we’ll find out more about the bad guys (aka the SQ) and their motivations later on in the series. Wanting power for power’s sake does not make interesting villains. Other than that, the author did a good job with playing with your expectations a little with a nice action-filled plot. The story was a lot of fun, adventurous, and didn’t feel predictable.

    Game Review

    One of the really fun things about this book is the online game component. The book comes with a map that has clues to help with the game. It also had a lot of cool facts from history presented in a nice way. The game was simple, fun, and full of puzzles and mini-missions. I did find the wagon mini-mission to be very finnicky and a little tedious, but I enjoyed the game overall and played it over a few days. Just FYI – the game is an app as well as on the Internet, but they don’t sync up. Meaning however far you get on one doesn’t transfer over to the other. But otherwise the game is exactly the same whether you play it on your phone or the internet.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012



    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    The infinity ring

    This is the best book ever. I love this book.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    Soooo good

    I stayed up till 1:00 in the morning reading this book sooooooooooooo good so awesome

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    This sounds very interesting!

    This series is to be made of seven or more books.The first book "A Muntiny In Time" releases August28,2012. The second book Divide and Conquer releases November6,2012.

    5 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    not to bad

    i am 17 and i found the book just ok. the humor in it is really well done, plot is ok. the story is really quick compared to what i am used to but its ment for ayounger audince. over all it was well done. it made me laugh allot and a nice book that i would share with anyone.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012


    Loved it! This book was awsome and very similar to the 39 clues series. I will recommend this book to anyone!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012


    Never read it saw it in school stalastic magizine now am dieing to read it hope to get sound great : )

    3 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    My review

    If youike history mixed in with comedy you will like this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    It looks good.

    It looks like a great book.

    2 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014


    I really like the series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013


    Love it and hope whoever reads fhis reads the book ;) ;>
    P.S hope you like eyeball

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013


    GREAT BOOK AND THE series is amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013


    It was filled with lofs of action and suprises. I highley recomend it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    great for youth

    this was a creative story about some things in history just don't happen as we learned in text books. it is a great read for youth, as it is very easy to read and understand. the discussion of time travel and changing the past can be very difficult in terms of the theoretical aspects of it, but was not discussed in depth, easing the flow of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013


    Dak- boy; Sera's best friend; loves history and... cheese
    Sera- girl; Dak's best friend; loves science and being in charge
    Riq- boy; Hystorian; translator; loves languages and being right

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    The Infinity Ring series from Scholastic is one of the biggest n

    The Infinity Ring series from Scholastic is one of the biggest new ventures unfolding for Middle Grade books. With such a fantastic line up of authors behind these books, I was instantly curious to see how this series would turn out. 

    I'm a bit of a sucker for exciting, epic adventures as part of the Middle Grade genre, and I quickly devoured A Mutiny in Time one morning. It's a great start to a new series, with an exciting pace held throughout the book, likeable characters and a world in danger to set the stakes high.


    1. Action-packed from start to finish:

    I love a good book that can immediately draw me in, and I was amazed at how quickly I was sucked into the story in A Mutiny in Time. It ended up being a VERY fast read, particularly because of just how much action was going on and all the different events taking place. And I definitely have the feeling that this is something that will continue in the upcoming books in the series, as well.

    2. A "save the world" premise:

    I have no idea why, but there's something that really appeals to me about having kids and/or teens on a mission to save the world. I'm well aware of how implausible it is, but I just love it - maybe it's the underdog factor, or the idea that amazing things can come from some of the most surprising and unexpected people. I found the world created in this book fascinating because of how familiar it was in most ways, and yet different as it takes place in (what seems to be) the future with some very different past events.
    Time ninjas?:

    Admittedly, that sounds crazy - but it works REALLY well and that's basically what we see a lot of. Secret organizations fighting against each other THROUGHOUT TIME on missions to try and prevent the other side from suceeding and altering the present/future. And time travel just always seems to add an extra mysterious, exciting element to a story. And I LOVED the adventures through history, because I'm kind of a history geek myself.

    A mutiny in Time reminded me of most other Middle Grade books I've read, as they often feature a number of similar elements including anything from globetrotting to misfit geniuses, missing parents, and a serious underestimation of the damage kids can do. So while this book didn't stand out as much as I had HOPED it would, I am definitely interested in seeing how the books progress especially given that each book features a different prominent author. 

    On top of that, there are definitely some plot holes that I definitely felt could have been dealt with instead of being glossed over. Middle Grade shouldn't mean there's a lazy plot; if your characters are geniuses, keep in mind that your readers are intelligent too even if they are younger readers. It's okay to have slightly more complex storylines. However, it is possible that some of my problems will be addressed in later books.

    ARC received from Scholastic Canada for my honest review; no other compensation was received. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012


    The fact that Sera had the Remnant that her parents would come somehow really gave a shaky start to the adventure to the Lab and the struggle with the Infinity Ring. I really loved the detail of the story and the plot.

    I have the Complimentary Teacher's Edition even though I am not a teacher. :-)

    I am barely reading the first part of the book ad I am already eye popped with the story jd the plot flow. It's a really awesome and exciting adventure in just 190 pages of intrest.

    Thank you for taking time for reading this review.

    Thank you James Dashner.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Love them

    Love the other books and can't wait for this one to come out.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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