rating: 3 of 5 stars
The second in the The 39 Clues series failed to impress me.
Originally, I was concerned that people not using the cards or the website would miss out on "off-stage" action. This book picks up where Maze of Bones leaves off: Amy, Dan, Nellie and Saladin are still trying to avoid competing cousins and dodging booby-traps and danger.
Unlike A Series of Unfortunate Events, this series is being written by different authors (Rick Riordan wrote the first, Gordon Korman has penned the second. The Snickettean sense of whimsy from the other series is also missing. This is one long adventure/suspense/action sequence and it gets a little wearing.
Of course there's exposition, but readers will need to start with the first book and follow along. My students don't seem particularly interested in trying to solve the mystery and win a prize (very Kit Williams' Masquerade), and several have reported that the website isn't easy to navigate.
After this book, I'll buy the rest for work but not bother reading myself.
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