Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Marvelous James Dashner

I first heard about the Jimmy Fincher series by James Dashner a couple of years ago, about the time my book came out. I knew it was by an LDS author, and published by an LDS publisher, but the books weren't specifically LDS. I didn't know much else about them, except that kids liked them and some of my fellow authors thought they were really great.

So I bought the first book at our local LDS bookstore, and read the first chapter or so. It seemed to be some kind of scary dangerous fantasy adventure story. Except the tone of the narrator was so engaging lighthearted that as you read, you were tempted to both laugh and scream at the same time. It seemed like it might have possibilities.

My fourth-grader son liked fantasy-type stories, except for the fact that he refused to actually read any. I don't remember specifically what I did to get him to read this one, but I do remember he flat-out refused. He would not, would not, WOULD NOT read this book or any other book. But somehow he ended up seated on the couch, glaring, and reading the dreaded thing. A timer was set, and Junior had to read for half an hour before he was allowed to put the book down and leave the couch.

Two hours later, he was still reading.

Now, I could tell you how a few days later he was begging for all the books in the series (and they weren't all out at that point, so that was tough to deliver). I could tell you about how we then had to read them all aloud together at bedtime. I could tell you about how the stories kept us simultaneously on the edge of our seats and on the brink of giggles, and how Dashner's imagination thrust us into all kinds of wild and seemingly impossible situations, and how his characters never once had things made easy on them.

But I think my son's reaction speaks for itself. And I expect that Dashner's new series, The 13th Reality, which debuts in the spring, will be at least as thrilling and exciting and charming as the Jimmy Fincher series. If not more so.

1 Comment:

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I'm certain that you are right. I'm looking forward to the book's release.

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