The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner
(dust jacket summary)
It’s been a quiet summer for Tick, Paul, and Sofia, but the latest message from Master George changes everything.
The Realities are in danger — and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chi’karda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are unexplainably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon — or even if it can be stopped.
To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them.
Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first — but who will destroy it and who will become its master?
I’ll admit, the sequel to the The Journal of Curious Letters didn’t immediately thrill me. The characters were all gathered at Tick house talking, and talking, and while I like them their conversations were kind of boring. So I stopped reading for a while, and then when I picked up the book again the plot started to pick up. The rest of the book had unexpected and enjoyable twists.
I didn’t expect Dashner to continue using riddles after the first book. Mostly because I didn’t know how he would incorporate it without it seeming odd. Yet, I loved the riddles in this book more than the first. They seemed cleverer, and the challenges were certainly more dangerous since the riddles were not sent from Master George, but from Reginald Chu. Mistress Jane was another surprise, and if people complained about her not being complex enough in book one, they find out a whole new side of her in this one. So, while the book had a really slow start for me, by the end I couldn’t put it down to see what would happen.
More than that I think The Hunt for Dark Infinity is a much better book than the first. The plot is more complex, the characters more authentic, and hook leading into the next book in the series is stronger.