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The Journal of Curious Letters (Book One of The 13th Reality Series) Hardcover – March 3, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 144 ratings
Book 1 of 4 in the 13th Reality Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Atticus Higginbottom (Tick) is relatively happy, even though he wishes that he were a little braver or could make the bullies disappear. Then he gets a mysterious letter that begins a strange adventure into alternate realities. According to the letter, he and hundreds of other young people around the world have a choice: save the world by solving a puzzle or burn the letter and go on with their lives as usual. The 13-year-old is sure that it's a hoax, but once he begins getting the other clues from strange visitors, he is determined to figure out the puzzle. This book had great potential. The beginning of the adventure starts with a bang, but by the middle of the story things begin to drag. The immediacy gets lost in the daily struggle to figure out the riddles and the unending descriptions of Tick's life as he awaits the next one. Suddenly, he receives multiple clues at once and the fight to save the world occurs at bewildering speed. The conclusion is open-ended, indicating a sequel. Stronger choices of books with similar ideas of alternate realities include D. J. MacHale's "Pendragon" series (S & S) or Michael Lawrence's "Withern Rise" trilogy (HarperCollins).—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS A boy . . . a mysterious letter . . . twelve clues . . . a girl . . . a dad . . . two very strange strangers. These are just the basic ingredients in this adventure served up by Dashner in what is the start of a series that will capture the imagination of young and old alike. Atticus Higginbottom (Tick to all who know him) is smart, well-adjusted and something of a loner at school, preferring his family, the library and the Internet to his classmates. So he s surprised to receive a letter postmarked in Macadamia, Alaska, from someone he s never even heard of. But he s intrigued and makes a commitment to join with his correspondent to save many lives. Though there are chunks of text that are overwritten, the telling is generally laced with a strong sense of humor and a sure hand at plot; the author is plainly in tune with today s fan base. Let the adventure begin! (Science fiction. 10-12) --Kirkus Reviews

The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters (Shadow Mountain, 978-1-59038-831-0) accesses mind-boggling notions from quantum physics (kyoopy as Mothball calls it) and comes up with a tree called Prime Reality, with twelve branches, or alternate realties, or versions of Prime, growing off it. Master George and Mistress Jane both have instruments that make travel between the realities possible, but only one of them supports diversity. Mistress Jane believes that the world would be a much better place if it were all yellow, and she must be stopped. Author James Dashner claims the influence of Dean Koontz, Tad Williams, and Orson Scott Card in his writing. His four-part Jimmy Fincher saga sold over 20,000 volumes. This new series is wonderful for kids of middle school age: the characters are smart, they try hard not to make stupid mistakes, they take risks for others, their parents are helpful without controlling. Not to mention, of course, the book is a page-turner, the dialogue is snappy, and it ends with a cliffhanger. Expect readers to ask for more. --ForeWord Magazine

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Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2008
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Top international reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as Maze Runner!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2012
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dashner doesn't disappoint.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Physik ermöglicht Parallelwelten - und gute Bücher!
Reviewed in Germany on November 14, 2015
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