12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Dan and Amy travel from Indonesia to Pretoria, South Africa and learn all about Shaka Zulu and Winston Churchill in this the seventh adventure in the 39 Clues series. They are on the run from the evil Isabel Kabra and the evil but inept Eisenhower Holt. They have encounters with Alastair Oh and still don't really know whose side he is on. They also meet some friends of Grace and learn what family branch they are part of. The book was filled with exciting adventures and lots of dangerous situations.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Another day in the life of Dan and Amy Cahill and their au pair Nellie Gomez? Well, that might include daring escapes, rescues, wretchedly nefarious family reunions, explosions, snakes, and the odd clue or two to the mysterious Cahill family secret. Peter Lerangis delivers another epic installment in THE 39 CLUES series, and this time, the stakes are higher than before, and the clue hunt is beginning to wear the siblings down: who can they trust anymore? Can they even trust each other? Or Grace, their beloved grandmother? More and more secrets keep cropping up in book seven: THE VIPER'S NEST.
The plot continues on straightaway from book six, and I would recommend going back and re-reading the last chapter of IN TOO DEEP before you set foot into book seven -- just to re-orient yourself in the Cahill world. I don't want to delve too deeply into the plot here, but rest assured, there is plenty more action, intrigue, and the final revelation of Dan and Amy's family branch.
This is the second installment in the series from Lerangis, and I remember really enjoying book three -- THE SWORD THIEF -- by him. The plot moves along swiftly, and he reminds us of just enough without seeming like he's dumping previous information down our throats. A lot of the typical CLUES staples are here as well -- a reigning family nemesis throughout the book, more mysteries and twists -- and the final page is one that made me sit back and say, "WHAT!" I will definitely be eagerly waiting for the next book coming out in a few months.
THE 39 CLUES continues to be a fairly solid book series perfect for the 3rd to 7th grade set (and beyond). Definitely one to have on your bookshelf.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
When their grandmother Grace dies, orphans Amy and Dan accept a challenge to search for 39 clues that could make them the most powerful people in the world. But they aren't the only ones looking. Other Cahills, more ruthless, wealthy, and powerful than them, have taken the challenge too and they are not willing to let a pair of poor kids beat them. In The Viper's Nest, Amy and Dan follow a clue from Irina Spasky that leads them to Pretoria as they try to come to terms with the events in Australia.
Unlike the earlier books, this book felt informative but not particularly engaging. Not that it was a bad book, it just didn't feel like we had as much character growth from the characters as we have in previous books. This is more about having Amy and Dan reacting to the events of the last book [if you haven't already read book six then this is a SPOILER: Irina Spasky died saving them in a fire--I don't know if I really believe she was gone, but it does seem likely] than about really delving into who they are. They come off as a little flatter and even perhaps slightly regressed, from the Dan and Amy we have come to know.
We do get a new surprise as Dan and Amy learn more about their ancestry and Amy remembers more about the night their parents died, but this is not really much in the way of character growth.
Ultimately, this book feels more like it bridges books six and eight than it does feel like a solid book on its own (sort of like the filler episodes on shows between episodes that are about the bigger mythology). It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great beyond the surprise at the end.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2010
This may contain some small spoilers.
This is the second book that Lerangis wrote for this series, and I thought he'd correct the mistakes that he made in his earlier book, sadly this isn't the case. There are so many problems with this book.
The Characters: All of the main characters (Dan, Amy, Nellie) are very annoying and snapped at each other throughout the book. I don't think that Lerangis has the right mind for the characters. It has the feeling that he just wrote it without reading the other books to know what the characters should be like. Nellie and Dan said, "Dude" and "like" far to much. Something like this, "Dude, like, you really need to check this out dude. It's like totally cool." UG! I guess Lerangis was trying to make Dan and Nellie hip, but iin reality, it was very annoying. Even Amy was grouchy in this. book.
Also, the characters weren't true to form. In The Viper's Nest, Dan had a lot of the answers to solve the clues and codes, but we're never told how he does, just that he does. There's no trial and error, looking it up on line, or in a library. It's just all of a sudden he knows it. One part was really laughable. I don't want to say what part, because I don't want to have any big spoilers. Also, he knew a lot about African history. Let me say that again, Dan (who really doesn't like school or research) knew about African history. I just didn't get that part. It's not within his character to know things like that. I'd say it's more in line with Amy, and not Dan. I just couldn't believe some of the things Dan was doing.
I also didn't really like Lerangis' writing style. He used caps far to much. Some examples are GAHHHH!!! EEEKK!!! DUDE!!!! RUN!!! ATTACK!!!! GET OUT OF HERE!!!! This was done all through the book and was really annoying. There wasn't any real plot twists that made and sense. There were some, but it really didn't follow or have any logic to it. It was as if Lerangis had an idea, and just stuck it in, if it made sense or not.
Over all, this was a let down. I didn't expect to much from Lerangis because of the earlier book he wrote. This is a weak installment of the series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
Dan and Amy just barely escaped from a deadly fire that killed their adversary, who in a strange turn of events died saving their lives. Now, they're on the run again trying to escape from everyone while chasing another clue in South Africa.
They're on a mission to research Shaka Zulu and unravel the man from the myth, plus discover his final resting place. Once again, the search leads them into the hands of Grace's old friends, who offer advice and more puzzles to unravel.
Will they find the next clue before their opposition finds them?
The seventh book in the addicting action-adventure series, THE VIPER'S NEST uncovers a huge secret that raises additional questions. I can't wait to read about what happens to Amy and Dan next.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2010
I have read every book in the 39 Clues series so far. However, I have not been a huge fan. In this installment, Amy and Dan are in South Africa trying to find a clue that was discovered by Winston Churchill (who, along with everyone else in history, was a Cahill). The book is packed with action and daring getaways and near misses. Children who want a lot of bang-boom-wow in their story will really like this series and this installment won't let them down. There is also a lot of factual information about apartheid, which will satisfy history buffs and may even interest those who are only along for the crazy adventures.
My main problem with this series is that it is just too unlikely. I understand it's not realistic fiction, but for some reason I just can't suspend my belief and just go along with what happens to Amy and Dan and accept that they will miraculously solve every riddle right in the nick of time.
I also have an extremely hard time believing they are related to everyone. If the series ends up that they are direct descendants of Jesus, I will not be surprised.
I do however recognize the series as one that children will enjoy and will probably one especially enjoyed by reluctant readers who are looking for a slim volume packed with action. The characters are good, if a lot of the conversation is heavy handed and clumsy.
So, all-in-all, a title worth looking at, but not one that I'll cherish in my own heart. (I will keep reading the series to see how it all ends, though).
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion.
He said, 'I have had a dream:
To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian;
it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.'"
Don't miss this book. It's a pivotal one in the series.
Whatever you do, don't read the last few pages before starting the book. You'll spoil a big and interesting surprise if you do.
The Viper's Nest opens in the middle of the Indonesian action that began in In Too Deep. Amy and Dan Cahill find themselves shaken to discover even more reasons to believe that the advice they received to trust no one should be taken very literally. As a result, they find it difficult to make progress. After a fairly humorous sequence about where to find the next clue, those chasing Amy and Dan find themselves off in different directions. Their travels take them to a locale where they gain some fascinating new insights into their Grandmother and their parents. The book ends with an astonishing revelation that will definitely get your attention.
Although the plot developments are very rewarding in this book, I didn't like the way the story was told nearly as much as in other episodes. Mr. Lerangis doesn't seem to love these characters and develops them as little as possible. I was left feeling as if I was reading a story that didn't quite fit into the series. After seven books, the relationships among the main characters should be becoming richer and richer. Instead, the relationships in The Viper's Nest are as superficial as they were in the series' very beginning.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
I'm posting this review for my son Jack, an avid fan of the 39 Clues series. He blasted through each of these books in no time. Hard to put down. The suspense is thrilling! Difficult to guess who the back-stabbers are!
This is a great story for kids. The journey deepens as they get closer to the seventh clue and the mystery of how their parents died. Anxiously awaiting the delivery of Book 9!
If you like this series you might also like Fablehaven and Percy Jackson.
Pre-ordering through Amazon has been a wonderful experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2014
An excellent selection from the 39 Clues series. Amy and Dan find out a huge secret that has eluded them since the beginning of the global treasure hunt --- which branch of the family they belong to. Such a shocking revelation, my fellow bookworms. The Viper's Nest is an extremely important part of the entire series. Looking forward to how Amy and Dan will cope with this new knowledge!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS WHOLE BOOK SERIES, AND I READ THE WHOLE SET OVER AND OVER AGAIN! I TALK ABOUT THE BOOKS SO MUCH THAT NOW MY MOM IS READING THEM AS WELL. I LIKE THAT HISTORICAL FACTS ARE THROWN INTO THESE ACTION-PACKED BOOKS.