All the Things

A blog by Holly Papa.

The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

by | Feb 22, 2009 | Blog | 6 comments

13th-realitycoverarc_small3I was waiting to do my review of The Journal of Curious Letters before the second book was about to come out and yikes the time went  by and The Hunt for Dark Infinity is less than two days away from it’s debut. My husband also read both books so I could say I was waiting for him to finish to do the review, but really we finished a while ago and for some reason I thought it was coming out in March.  So here I am still trying to write the review with less than 48 hours to go. Actually make that less than 24 hours to go since I ran into some problems with wordpress last night and couldn’t post this. The Hunt for Dark Infinity will post tomorrow.

Now I got the arc of The Hunt for Dark Infinity from Mr. James Dashner himself thanks to Natasha at Maw Books. She hosted the first Utah Book Blogger’s Bash and James was nice enough to come to the party. I enjoyed meeting him and I have to say this is the first time I have meet an author before reading his book. Ironically, he talked about how knowing an author can change how your read their books.

Generally pick up a book in a series and oftentimes I’m not too picky about what order I am reading the book in. I figure if it’s good – I’ll go back and read the others, but since I got the book from the author I thought I should make an effort to read the series in order. I will say that after reading the first book, it is definitely worth reading the other books.

Here is a list of things I like about Journal of Curious Letters

1. The main character is Atticus (Tick) Higginbottom and unlike so many characters in this genre, he is not orphaned (Harry Potter, Eragon, Series of Unfortunate Events) or his parents are missing or ill (Artemis Fowl). So it was nice to see a kid with both parents in his home. He receives a mysterious letter signed M.G. telling him that many lives are stake and even worlds and he has been chosen to help save those people. All he needs to do is solve a series of riddles/clues that will be arriving, which will tell him what he needs to do.

2. Tick is close to his dad  and cares about his family especially his younger sister. I like that, it seems like a lot of media likes to portray sibling rivalry and parents as idiots.

3. Tick is smart good grades, chess, likes science and math. Also the victim of a bullying, but he tries not to let that bother him.

4. I thought this book might appeal to those who like logic puzzles as Tick is presented with a series of riddles to solved – often involving math. I have to admit here when I read the first one I panicked and worried that I would have to solve them myself – I think it reminded me too much of Math class. Really though the puzzles grew on me and don’t worry Tick does the solving.

5. I like that Tick has friends from a variety of backgrounds. Tick has two friends he meets online who received the same letter. Sofia from Italy smart and not to messed with type of girl and Paul an African American from Florida, surfer and virtuoso pianist.

6. Of course no book is complete without a villain and Mistress Jane is the villainess in this story and she dresses all in yellow, which for some reason I really liked.

I could go on, but really you should read the book for yourself. I would highly recommend this book for people who like a good adventure and especially if you like fantasy or science fiction. This would also be a good book to talk about math and science because it definitely is part of the plot – physics, math and logic puzzles.  I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one sitting.

James Dashner’s blog and website.


  1. Sharon

    I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. I’m requesting a copy from the library to come for me. I haven’t read the Uglies series yet either, and I own the first one!

  2. hollybookscoops

    I read a book somewhat similar to this one a couple of years ago- only it was letters for finding a missing art piece. I remember liking that one, you’ll have to excuse my rusty memory, I can’t recall the name. Anyway, this sounds great so I will have top ut it on my list!

  3. Suey

    Great review! I agree about how refreshing it is to have the hero be a kid with a decent family life. What a concept! 🙂

    Holly: was it something about Chasing Vermeer… or something like that? If so, that was a fun one too!

  4. Carrie

    This book looks fun! If you liked it, you might also try THe Mysterious Benedict Socety (if you haven’t already). I still haven’t read the Artemis Fowl series – intriguing.

    THIS series sounds fun and I”d be interesting. I think its fascinating to you that you don’t mind reading books in a series out of order! That’d drive me mad! =D

  5. caribookscoops

    Sharon – I hope you get a chance to read it soon. I have not read Uglies yet either. It’s on my list.

    holly – I think I may have read the same series and my memory is having the same problem.

    Suey – yes it is so refreshing and at least for me the series is not Chasing Vermeer although they look good.

    Carrie – I love Artemis Fowl, I’ll have to check out the Benedict Society. Yeah I am kind of funny about reading books out of order. It’s like my way of rebelling and sometimes I’m not to patient about finding the first title if it’s not on the shelf.

  6. hollybookscoops

    Suey- yep! you got it. Chasing Vermeer. That was a great book- I’ll have to look it up again and post a review.


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