Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Buy one Get one Free\ Shop Now DOTD
Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: USED book, some wear from reading and creases. Qualifies for PRIME and FREE SHIPPING!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 28, 2009

83 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Jake Ransom Series

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 28, 2009
$4.50 $1.03
Multimedia CD
"Please retry"

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

  • Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—Eighth-grader Jake and his older sister Kady are invited to the British Museum to view the Mayan treasures their archaeologist parents discovered shortly before their disappearance three years earlier. Jake takes along what is left of their parents' possessions: a field log, a sketch book, and two halves of a gold Mayan coin (worn by the siblings around their necks). At the exhibit, Jake examines a two-foot-tall solid gold pyramid with a round hole in its side. He places the Mayan coin in the slot, which creates an explosion, transporting the siblings to another place and time. Calypsos is a land inhabited by dinosaurs, mythical and fantastical creatures, and people from long-lost civilizations. Upon their arrival, Jake and Kady befriend two teens, Pindor and Marika. Together they must save Calypsos from the banished Skull King who threatens to return and take over the land. The pace of the story is occasionally a little slow, but readers who stick with it will be caught up in the adventure, particularly those who are interested in Mayan culture. The characters are likable, especially Jake and Pindor, who experience the insecurities of most teens. Simple drawings add visual aid to the descriptions of Mayan glyphs and other objects. Unanswered questions surrounding their parents' disappearance and the connection between Jake and the Skull King will have readers eagerly looking for the next installment in the series.—Kelley Siegrist, Farmington Community Library, MI END

From Booklist

Rollins, a best-selling author of adult adventure, takes on the youth market with mostly good results, including a strong opener: a package from a Mayan archaeology site is lost (along with its sender) in quicksand, but it is only a decoy. Jake Ransom and his older sister receive the matching halves of a gold coin, an artifact that eventually fires them into a strange land where tribes of lost civilizations live side-by-side with prehistoric animals. In premise, this is very Harry Potter—Jake, a virtual orphan (his archaeologist parents have disappeared), has the fate of many resting on his skinny shoulders as he tries to fight a Voldemort-like specter, who has inspired traitors to his side. Stylistically,  however, Rollins is no Rowling, though his short paragraphs and staccato sentences make this a fine read for the reluctant or those who put a premium on action. Oddly, things get a bit more ho-hum as they become more fantastical, but those left wondering what’s next will apparently have many sequel opportunities to find out. The intensive media campaign will no doubt promote demand. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 2nd edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061473790
  • ASIN: B002KQ6FGU
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Rollins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sigma Force series and other novels. Blending science and history, his action adventure novels have been praised as "enormously engrossing" (NPR) and "smart, entertaining adventure fiction" (New York Journal of Books). Before pursuing a writing career, Jim obtained a degree in veterinary medicine and established a successful veterinary practice in Sacramento, CA. He currently resides in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis on April 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've gotten a little clever with the title of my review. It refers to the fact that thriller writer James Rollins also writes fantasy novels under the name James Clemens. I think Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow really is like the perfect offspring of the Rollins and Clemens styles--some science, thrills and adventure, mixed with a generous amount of fantasy. And this IS his first novel for young adults.

Now, the book is written for kids aged ten and up. I'm a 40-year-old woman, so I'd be, you know, up. There isn't a doubt in my mind that this book will find an audience with its intended readership, but that it will also be read by many of Rollins adult fans who are, like me, young at heart. The great thing is that there's something for everyone. It's a terrific book for parents and kids to read together.

The novel is told from the point of view of 13-year-old Jake Ransom. He and his older sister Kady come from a long line of archeologists and adventurers. Their parents were lost under mysterious circumstances on an expedition three years earlier, but despite this tragedy, Jake is ready to follow in their footsteps. He's fascinated by history and science, and spends all his time engaged in some form of learning. Kady's a little different. She's... popular. (And great job writing some strong female characters, Mr. Rollins!)

Near the beginning of the novel, Jake and Kady receive a surprise invitation to a museum exhibit opening in London. The exhibit features Mayan artifacts recovered from the senior Ransoms' last fateful expedition. Jake and Kady attend the opening amidst much fanfare. It's an eventful day; the opening is timed to match exactly a full eclipse of the sun, plus there's an electrical storm raging.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on May 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to James for once again dipping into his (bottomless) well of creativity to write something entirely unexpected. 2009 is going to go down as the most prolific for Mr. Rollins...between Jake Ransom, The Doomsday Key and the Alter of Eden, this man is keeping BUSY, no doubt about it!

Yes, this is NOT a story in keeping with the average Sigma Force novels--and yet that doesn't make it any less entertaining. This novel PROVES you don't have to infest a book with expletives and sex in order to be thoroughly exciting and VERY worthwhile to read (not that a typical Rollins novel was loaded with that anyway). I didn't used think this way all that long ago, but after giving in and picking up the Harry Potter series in an attempt to find additional common ground with my children, I discovered something quite unexpected along the way: Books for younger readers can still be every bit as fun to read as anything else out there.

While I have no independent information to confirm this, my guess is after writing the latest Indiana Jones story, a few ideas began to churn around in his head and the result is our Jake Ransom tale, which in MY opinion seems to be clearly inspired from a Young Indiana Jones perspective. Again, I have ZERO evidence to back this up, but if I had to guess, I'd say this is a fair bet that I am at least partially correct.

So how IS the story? Well, without giving away the plot details (which I absolutely HATE people doing btw), this is James Rollins...what do you expect but fun, thrilling adventure?? At least thats what I expect, and so far, I have been ANYTHING but let down.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amarra on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book has something for everyone. Adult fans of James Rollins will enjoy a style that combines the author's fiction style with the style of his fantasy-author alter-ego, James Clemens. It blends fact with fiction with his usual flare to create fascinating pictures of both this world and the world in which the main characters find themselves.

Younger readers will find a fast-paced tale full of adventure and excitement, with likable characters and a world that draws in even the most picky readers.

Whatever your age, this one leaves you wanting more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bryan W. Kornele on May 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say first of all that I am a Rollins fan. While I liked the characters of Jake and Kady I was a little disappointed the way Rollins introduced a hodge podge of different lost civilizations in one place and the reason they were there.

The big battle scene at the end seemed to be missing something, maybe it just was not quite suspenseful enough and the antagonist (Skull King) really wasn't that scary.

One of my favorite things that Rollins did was the use of Mayan symbols, modern technology mixed with the fantasy world and the explanation of how things reacted better.

With that said I will continue to read to my boys about the young adventurer Jake and his sister.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jake Stanley on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I gave this to two twelve year old boys who loved it and are enthusiastically waiting for the sequel. Both thought the action was engrossing, but I was most caught by how deeply they cared not only about Jake, but about the "secondary" characters including sister Kady, and newfound friends Maya, Baachuk and Pindor. James Rollins is creating this adventure with a huge scope and, like in his adult novels, he includes visual clues and takes real information to mind-stretching extremes. I recently read a review that said something like, James Rollins doesn't write novels, he builds roller-coasters and he's certainly given us a thrill ride here.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: sailors fiction, puffin books, magic dragon