Sunday, February 28, 2010

16. The 39 Clues #1 - Maze of Bones - Rick Riordan

Audio read by David Pittu
Scholastic Audio Books, 2008
4 unabridged cds
5 hrs. 11 min.
220 pages
Rating: mmmmm.....2

The kids tell me that the stories get better after this first one. Plus after hearing Peter Lerangis speak, I'd like to read the 3rd installment, which he wrote. But this was sooooo far-fetched...... I know it's supposed to be, but.....

I began reading this book three times. Got quite a ways in all three times, but it just didn't hold my interest. I didn't care. Two good people, one heck-of-a-lot of really bad people. People that will happily kill and maim. Cruel, sneering relatives! It's just a little too much for me. Trust no one. Right.

Amy and Dan Cahill live in a tiny Boston apartment with their au pair, visiting their grandmother, Grace Cahill, on her huge estate, every weekend. Their parents were killed in a fire when about six years before. Now 10 and 14, they are very saddened when Grace dies of cancer. But at her funeral appear hundreds of relatives, which Grace claim are all part of the Cahill family, the most powerful in the world. After her will is read, the heirs can decide to take one million bucks or follow 39 clues to become the most powerful people in the world. There can be only one winner. In total, 7 teams take on the challenge. Six teams are cutthroat, cruel....except for Amy and Dan, of course.

The first clue is related to Benjamin Franklin. They all travel to Philadelphia, then Paris, looking for the next clue. The plot becomes really absurd, and the things these two children are able to figure out are not believable. Oh well. It's an interesting idea, publishing ten books, written by different authors, all heading in the same direction, with online extras and prizes for the kids that participate. And we DO learn a bit about Ben Franklin and Paris.

And the reader of this audio book? He used many voices, trying to give each of the characters personality. He did a great greasy, slimy version for each, but his accents didn't do it for me. It also seemed he had an effeminate touch for some of the males, which was a bit disconcerting. All in all, not a great 5 hours 11 minutes of listening pleasure.

My question/ many of the books am I willing to suffer through? And has the sale of each additional book in the series kept up with the hype of the first? Hmmm.....

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