Divide and Conquer: Infinity Ring, book 2, by Carrie Ryan, for Timeslip Tuesday

 Infinity Ring:  Divide and Conquer, by Carrie Ryan (Scholastic, November 2012)

In an alternate reality, history played out very differently.   Deliberate interventions were made with the course of events by an evil (in a power-mad, ruthless sort of way) organization that dominates the present of three kids--Dak, Sera, and Riq.   But the Hystorians are fighting back, and their hopes rest on these kids, who are able to travel back in time to fix the mistakes with the help of the powerful Infinity Ring.  (This is all explained in Book 1-- A Mutiny in Time, and if you really want to understand what's happening, you have to read that first).

But how to fix mistakes when you don't know what really should have happened?  In Paris of 885, are the kids supposed to be keeping the Viking raiders from sacking Paris?  That's the puzzle that Dak, Sera, and Riq have to solve in this episode of their ongoing saga, all the while somehow managing to stay alive as Beserkers attack.  The whole survival thing becomes particularly challenging for history obsessed Dak--he just can't resist going out to get a closer look at a real Viking longship.  Unfortunately, he gets a closer look at the Vikings than he bargained for....

So, there's lots of historical mayhem, puzzles to solve, Vikings to outwit, etc., with a dash of the three kids growing up a tad for good measure.  Raq is still somewhat unlikable (though he's improving), Dak too impetuous, and Sera, always the most sympathetic of the bunch, is falling in love---with a dude from the 9th century (no future in that).  

It's a fun, fast, read--time travel made relatively easy with the help of technology, with an emphasis on excitement rather than deep thoughts.   A fine addition to a series that many older elementary/younger middle school kids should enjoy, and dog fans in particular should appreciate this instalment--there's a great Viking dog.

My only complaint is that few concessions are made for the reader who doesn't know her history all that well.  In book one, any school kid would know that it was Columbus who was supposed to have discovered America.  But who knows all that much about the Viking invasion of France? I now know a lot more than I did, for which I am grateful.  But though a little historical background, detailing what actually happened, would have given things away if put at the beginning, would have driven the history lesson home if placed at the end....

added bonus:  the adventures of the three kids play out on-line, with the code given in this book opening the way to a new episode....

added bonus 2:  the kids are multicultural, as shown on the back cover. 


  1. I wondered about these. This is why I follow you, Charlotte, because you read all the books I can't!

  2. I wanted to like these more than I did. The whole "fixing history" was best done in Voyagers! and we need to let it go now! If it gets students to read time travel, though, I'm all for it!

  3. I myself enjoyed this one more than I did the first book--the backstory is out of the way and it is a perfectly striaghtup adventure.

  4. I talked the nine year old down from these at the book fair, because he's reading at a much lower level and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't get it even as a read-aloud. He'd love time travel books that involve pyramids and Egypt -- he's all about the Riordan series even though I'm pretty sure he's missing most of it.

    On the other hand, I'll leave them about for the 11 and 14 year old to try.

  5. am i the only person who noticed the typo on page 130, she spelled gorm wrong


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