The hunt for 39 hidden Clues that lead to an unimaginable power have taken a heavy toll on fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan. They've just seen a woman die. They're wanted by the Indonesian police. They're trapped on an island with a man who knows too much about the death of their parents. And a tropical storm is rolling in. Just when they think it can't get any worse, it does. Because the Cahills have one more rattling skeleton for Amy and Dan to discover...the terrible truth about their family branch.
South Africa this time! I don't know much about the country, so it was nice to learn some history with a big side of adventure.
Now that there has been death in the hunt for the 39 Clues, the story feels quite a bit darker. Amy and Dan are realizing that some people they thought were bad might be good, and more alarmingly, people they thought were good might not be trust-worthy at all. Normally I'd like a good dose of darkness, but this time I'm undecided. So much of what is fun about this series is the romping, madcap adventures that have no real consequences. It just feels strange to watch our pure-hearted heroes get a bit dirty.
As for the side characters: Nelly is still my favorite, and I look forward to learning more of her secrets. I am losing patience with Ian. I'm okay with one, maybe two, instances of "Um, parental figure, I have a feeling what you are doing is evil, but I'll go along with it..." But eventually Ian needs to step up and claim some moral ground, because I'm getting bored with him. On the other hand, Hamilton Holt is quite the surprise! He's been saving the day quite a bit lately, in both physical and intellectual ways. Interesting. Good to know all the Tomas clan aren't brutish and stupid.
Four out of five aloe plants.
Release Date: February 2010
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: J39C