Tuesday, March 20, 2012

39 Clues: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman

Book Jacket

A strange telegram lures fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan, deep into Russia and away from the only trustworthy adult they know.  Signed with the initials NRR, the telegram launches a race to uncover a treasure stolen by the Nazis and the truth behind the murder of the last Russian royal family.  All too soon, the treasure hunt starts to smell like a Lucian trap.  But the bait might just be irresistible...what will Amy and Dan risk to find out what really happened on the night their parents died?


While I'm not sure I believe Amy and Dan could fool a bunch of transportation officials into believing they are adults with fake IDs and wigs, it was fun to see them on their own without Nellie.  It's actually a bit alarming how little I missed Nellie, because I like her quite a lot!  I hope she won't be written out of more books, but if she is, the world won't end.

This time we got an alliance between the Cahills and the Holts!  I never would have expected to approve of that combination, but I'm actually starting to like the crazy regimented Holt clan.  The clues led everyone to Russia this time, which is one of those countries I never think about until I realize, "Yeah!  I really want to go there someday!"

We got history about the Romanovs, and while some of the fictional liberties they took with the story made me give the book my best side-eye, I mostly really enjoyed it.

And I've got to be honest.  These books are mostly fluff to me--fun adventures with chariactured characters that I read in between other books.  So I have to admit that one of my biggest draws in this series is the fleeting glimpes we get of Ian Kabra, and whether or not he will become good and love Amy for all her awesomeness.  I just love a boy who thinks, "I miss her.  It's too bad I have to send people to assassinate her now."

Four out of five amber rooms.

Release Date:  August 2009
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: J 39C

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