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The Secret Prophecy Hardcover – October 30, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-When Edward Michael (Em for short) loses his professor father unexpectedly and suspiciously, the teen is left reeling. After the funeral, his dad's home office is burglarized yet nothing appears to be missing. Em is whisked off to France by a family friend and his daughter, lovely and intimidating Charlotte, and the teens spot a stranger with a gun stalking them through the streets of Paris. Finally, when Em returns home, he is shocked to learn that his mother has been committed to a psychiatric facility and when he goes to visit her, she slurs a warning in her drugged state: run. Now Em cannot seem to find a safe place to hide from an omniscient group of pursuers. He connects with Victor, an oddly helpful vagrant who turns out to be a government secret service officer. Victor, Charlotte, and Em plot, scheme, and uncover clues left by the deceased professor, which leads them down a path of intrigue complete with international travel, deadly epidemics, and large-scale conspiracies. Brennan serves up a fun read with guy appeal, a Dan Brown-like thriller about Nostradamus, meandering into an international environmental statement, with betrayals and lies so pervasive that it's hard to decipher the actual truth. Recommended for those who love an adventurous tale and are willing to suspend disbelief.-Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Edward Michael (“Em”) Goverton is shocked when his father dies. He seemed to be recovering from the flu. But at the funeral, Em spots a man with a gun, and then his father’s home office is ransacked. What could be in the office of a professor that someone would want? True, his dad was an expert on Nostradamus, and Professor Goverton had told Em that he had perhaps discovered a new prophecy. By the time Em’s mother is locked up in a mental institution, heads are spinning and events are out of control. Brennan follows The Da Vinci Code model—hanging the intrigue on a historic figure and his secret knowledge and then surrounding the mystery with lots of running around and shooting. Actually, there’s not enough Nostradamus here and too much running about. The plot can’t bear too much scrutiny, nor can the characters for that matter. But there are some decent twists, and Em is a likable enough Everyteen caught in a web of deception. Grades 6-9. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062071807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062071804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,508,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Please understand that all my reviews focus on the interests of my middle school students. I never do a full plot synopsis in a review.

There is a problem with YA literature: there is so much of it and so much of it is good. I can't really explain why I chose to read this book over so many, maybe it was just the next book I had to place in my in-class library and I had just finished Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms, so it was there at hand. Whatever the reason, I am glad I did. I am now a fan of Herbie Brennan (I've had Shadow Project in my library for some time; now I will read it).

This is a great book for the MS group, despite a few bad words. The pace of the plot is scorching, dead certain to keep most of my seventh graders riveted. The two boy/girl mid-teen main characters are developed very well, and I like the way Brennan makes the heroine (Charlotte) the more forceful of the two. Both of them are very real and exceptionally likable. The narration is third person limited from the hero's (a boy nicknamed Em) perspective, which works out really well in keeping the reader guessing until the very end. Em never knows whom to trust, except Charlotte, of course. It reminds me of Card's Pathfinder series; there are so many lies and lies within lies within truths that your head just starts hurting. Still, the twists and turns keep you turning the pages to find out what IS true.

The basic premise of the plot is that Em and Charlotte have to stop an evil super-secretive group (the Knights of Themis) from killing the majority of a whole generation of the world's children (by way of a vaccine that is really a genetically engineered virus). They have the help of a similarly super-secret British agency (Section 7). Maybe.
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Format: Hardcover
This one caught my attention because it's by Herbie Brennan, who wrote an excellent series called the Faerie Wars.

Em (E.M. for Edward Michael) loses his father, a scholarly geek who has been trying to find a lost prophecy of Nostradamus. At the funeral, Em sees strangers, including men with guns who begin to follow him. Then his mother is tossed in an insane asylum for no real reason, and his uncle Harold starts acting like he might be a traitor.

Em figures out that people are looking for his father's notes on the lost prophecy. Together with a friend named Charlotte and the mysterious Victor, Em tries to find answers and evade his followers. He ends up going on the run, aided by Charlotte and Victor.

There's a lot of chasing here, sometimes reminiscent of the Alex Rider books (the first one also starts with a death and strangers at the funeral). Trust me when I tell you that double and triple crosses are the name of the game in The Secret Prophecy.

I mean, why exactly does Victor want Em to break into a dangerous secret facility in the United States? Is Victor a good guy or a bad guy? Why should Em keep trusting him?

I liked Em, who acts from his gut, which often turns out to be right. Sure, he thinks through certain problems, but when action is required, he's already in motion.

The meaning and importance of the prophecy is also constantly in question. This is an old-fashioned chase-and-suspense book in a lot of ways, but it takes some new-fangled twists and turns that readers will appreciate. It's clear that Brennan is a pro. Girls will like this one, but it definitely has strong boy appeal.
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By Amanda on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
An awesome book I recommend because of the action and the suspense that each word holds in its own writing
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