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The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials #2) Paperback – August 6, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Ashtown Burials Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10-This action-packed sequel to The Dragon's Tooth (Random, 2011) promises-and delivers-as much magic, mystery, and mythology as its predecessor. Thanks to Cyrus and Antigone Smith, Dr. Phoenix now possesses the Dragon's Tooth-and he's been using it to hunt and kill immortals worldwide. Phoenix has a dark agenda, but an evil alliance of immortals, Ordo Draconis, also seeks the tooth's power. Worse, the Ordos have a centuries-old vendetta against the Smith family. Circumstances within the Order of Brendan are already shaky when fearful immortals, led by Gilgamesh of Uruk, storm Ashtown, demanding Smith blood. The siblings narrowly escape. To help retrieve the tooth, they recruit the infamous immortal, Captain John Smith. Cyrus has a plan, but will it work? Characters are well drawn, and the story's many interwoven plotlines, although complex, are easy to follow. This absorbing guy-friendly adventure will appeal to fans of Michael Scott and Rick Riordan.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Cyrus and Antigone Smith have a lot of problems. Their mother is still unresponsive in the hospital. The Ordo Draconis was stopped the last time out by their ancestor, Captain John Smith, but the cabal seems intent on rising to power again. The siblings should be training to become explorers, but there isn’t enough time. The leadership of the Order of Brendan is changing, and the transmortals—like Gilgamesh of Uruk—want revenge on Cyrus because he inadvertently put the Tooth of the Dragon into the hands of Dr. Phoenix. It’s no wonder the Smiths are on the run with the other Polygoners. They must fight their way through physical and emotional torture as they seek to release Captain Smith and stop Phoenix. Beginning where The Dragon’s Tooth (2011) left off, Wilson’s second installment is fast-paced and creatively plotted. New characters, such as Arache and her spiders and a mysterious red-winged blackbird, add complexity in relationships and prevent the story line from feeling contrived. In exploring the idea of what it means to be truly alive, this novel will move wide audiences. Grades 8-12. --Melissa Moore --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ashtown Burials (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375863974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375863974
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Anonymous VINE VOICE on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was up all night reading last night, I couldn't put this down! I reread the first book before receiving this one and really noticed a difference in the storytelling; this narrative is much stronger and more engaging than the first. While it does seem that the action is non-stop I feel like back stories are filled in much better than in the first novel and you get a better glimpse into the backgrounds of the characters and a better understanding of what is going on and why it is happening. There were twists and turns to the story that I didn't anticipate and I will surely reread this to pick up on any little clues I may have missed in my eagerness to get to the end.

This novel is a bit darker than the first, in that it deals with death and resurrection and some rather morbid issues though NOT in a graphic way. I would be a bit cautious in giving it to a young reader but didn't find it overly scary or horrific or graphic, just a bit creepy. If you liked the first novel you will like this one even more and will be on the edge of your seat till the end!
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Format: Hardcover
While I liked the first book in the Ashtown Burials series, The Dragon's Tooth, at the time I felt like it was a tad young for my taste. It started out with a bang but then seemed to slope towards a younger audience. Entirely understandable, but just not my cup of tea.

But The Drowned Vault left me with a completely different feeling. This book started out with a bang and just kept going. It didn't spend eons catching readers up like I expected, instead it went straight to the action and kept running. Readers will love the increased interactions with transmortals (god like creatures who aren't limited by silly things such as death), watching them use their powers, fight, and really charge up the story. These transmortals change the entire shape of the story, instead of just fighting a war on just one front, with Phoenix, now with the transmortals free, the O and B in shambles, and the Smiths on the run from everyone, lets just say readers will not be easily bored.

Of course, besides constant action, N.D. Wilson really stepped up his writing game this book, building on his characters and letting them grow and become fuller. This allows for both captivating reading as well as a deeper involvement with the book and characters overall, making a much more enjoyable read.

Really that sums up The Drowned Vault pretty succinctly. It is fun, exciting, full of action and good characters, and I absolutely can't wait to find out what happens in the next book in the captivating series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My family loves ND Wilson. This book did not disappoint. It continues the saga of Antigone and Cyrus Smith. The humor is dry and quick. Wilson's descriptions of life and childhood are deep and nuanced. My children have listened to many of his books so I often use them as references for good writing. All writing is telling a story and few are currently doing it as we'll as ND Wilson. I would recommend Andrew Peterson if you like Wilson. The Wingfeather Saga also follows the lives of a young set of siblings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For starters, I am a huge ND Wilson fan. I have read nearly everything he has published, and likely always will. The Drowned Vault is the second book in the Ashtown Burials series and follows Cyrus and his sister Antigone into the next adventure as they try to recover the Dragon's tooth that was stolen in book one. I loved the new characters we get to meet, and the historical twists they take (Captain John Smith, and Vlad the Impaler to name the most famous)

I am torn with what rating to give, and would definitely go 3.5 stars if I could. I think the story line is unique and fun. There are tons of spiders, and some zombie creations going on, but nothing too graphic except for the very sensitive readers. ND Wilson has done a great job in previous books creating characters that are so human, relatable and interesting that it was the people who carried the stories (leepike ridge, 100 cupbords) in the first book of Ashtown, I think it switched so that there was a ton of action that sometimes left the characters a little shallow. This one is definitely better, and I like the people we have met and want to read more about them. One of the author's strengths is his ability to play with words and say things in funny and unique ways. I love it when he is using that to describe people and places, but I think sometimes that same strength can get in the way when he is describing action sequences. There were multiple times in the story where I was confused as to what was happening and had to re-read portions. I wouldn't have lowered my rating so much for this except this is a middle readers book, and I think if I struggled, then they would too.

Bottom line: it's good, it's worth reading, and I will continue reading the series as it comes out, but I do think it would be a difficult story to follow audibly or for anyone with a shorter attention span.
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Format: Hardcover
Only the man who penned the crazy happy "Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl" could weave death, dying, life, mortality, snot, sweat, blood, laughter, tears, and resurrection into such a story. Characters hailing from "The Dragon's Tooth" are back and more awesome than ever. New characters are everywhere: new loves, new hates, new giggles, new eye-rolls. And stepping out of most children's lit into N.D. Wilson's writing is, as always, like stepping from black-and-white into a hi-def color explosion. He lassos this world with words as with a whip, catching the images, the textures, the emotions in a way that grabs us and makes us say, "Yes. That's exactly how it is."

Reading "The Drowned Vault" is like rolling around in a pile of leaves, and every leaf a truth--truth about man, truth about the world, truth about the devil, truth about the Storyteller of it all. Open your senses. Open your mind. And if you don't open your heart, it'll be open by the end. Get ready to drown.
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