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Customer Review

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treacherous Slope, December 6, 2011
This review is from: A King's Ransom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 2) (Hardcover)
Every step of the way, Dan and Amy Cahill have fought against treacherous relatives, dangerous traps, and puzzles designed to break them apart. But now, Amy and Dan are facing their biggest threat yet: a mysterious figure only known as Vesper One. All they know is Vesper One has kidnapped members of the Cahill family from each of the five branches: Lucian, Ekaterina, Tomas, Janus, and even from the Madrigals. And unless the siblings steal priceless artifacts and artwork, Vesper One is going to kill the prisoners. One by one. And now with Interpol after them as well, it seems like the whole world is turning against them: no one can be trusted. There is no where to hide. And time is running out for the hostages. And when the phone vibrates with a text message from Vesper One, Amy and Dan must now try to track down another strange piece of an even stranger master plot. And with the revelations on the last few pages, not even the Cahills are prepared for the dark truth waiting for them in the end.

Jude Watson returns in her fourth entry for THE 39 CLUES saga, first in the CAHILLS VS. VESPERS series. A KING'S RANSOM begins with a bang, and continues with more clue-hunting and globe-trotting for the Cahills. Some might think after so many books ideas are running thin for the series. But Watson manages to bring things up another notch and creates some crazy puzzles that will leave readers scratching their heads until everything falls into place. And there are definitely many surprises waiting in this one. I couldn't help gasping out loud at the final pages, and then declaring to anyone nearby, "I knew it!"

Dan and Amy continue to grow as characters, and there is a bit of a darker side to Dan emerging throughout THE MEDUSA PLOT and A KING'S RANSOM. Both of them have grown up a bit, and this is showing through in their thought processes and actions. Dan has reached almost a point of depression in trying to deal with the evils facing them, while Amy watches helplessly - wondering how she can ever get her brother back to the carefree and prank-loving kid he used to be. With the revelations in the end of this book, however, whatever comes next in THE DEAD OF NIGHT will be completely new and heart-breaking for the entire Cahill clan.

Watson is a master of action and just when you think she's run out of ideas, she brings back some more to surprise and really shake things up. From a treacherous car ride in the Alps to a super creepy bone mausoleum, the Cahills will face some of their worst fears. Many of the supporting cast is back, including Hamilton Holt, Ian Kabra, and the infamous Jonah Wizard.

There are hidden messages to be decoded scattered in the book once again, and these are tough ones to crack. But readers who persevere will find more interesting clues to the Cahill world. The book also contains six new collectible cards featuring more puzzles and characters.

Be forewarned: if you have not read any of the previous 39 Clues books, it really is best to go back to the beginning: THE MAZE OF BONES, and start from there. Otherwise, too many nuances and small details will be missed. And with one full eleven book series, two companion books, and now two more entires in the second series, this is definitely not something to miss.
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