As the third book in the 39 Clues series, this book picked up where the last ones had left off both in terms of plot/story and in terms of expectations.
Another new author took over this time and did a great job of continuing the adventure in Japan and Korea. With the various details included, I wonder if part of the choice of author is based on his/her knowledge of the proposed setting for the book. In this book, we're given a fair amount of good details about the Japanese landscape, cityscape, culture and society.
The way the plot was handled in this book was interesting to me and more believable in terms of the globetrotting done by the kids. In book 2, they were essentially on their own (along with their au pair) racing around Europe. In book 3, they hesitantly take on first one alliance and then a second alliance with fellow clue seekers who help the kids maneuver through various countries.
The alliance aspect helped with the believability of travel but stretched a little thin in terms of the interactions with the temporary allies. The first alliance felt generally logical and believable especially with the subtle and enigmatic character development given during the story (I'm still not sure what to make of the guy…he generally seems "good" and like he cares about the kids, but at the same time, he seems brutal and frightening). The alliance that came a little later was less believable when considering the general character traits of the new allies. It seemed to me that they would have dropped the kids by the side of the road and stolen the kids' ally. Still, it played out well. The one character I was left a little confused about was Irina…what exactly was her initial role in the airport and with regards to those who took Amy and Dan's tickets? If she was involved in the ticket theft, why did she stay out of the picture further on in the book. I was a little confused as to where she was and why she never turned up again.
I really enjoyed the twists and turns and especially the new revelations that came. The story continues to be intriguing. The reading is quick and simple (to be expected as a children's book) but is still a lot of fun.
3.5 stars out of 5
View all my reviews