A King's Ransom by Jude Watson. A 39 Clues, Cahills vs. Vespers Book.
Publication Date: December 2011
List Price: $12.99
Review: What would you do if you were being forced by an evil mastermind, who you have no clue to their identity, to steal priceless artifacts from all over Europe? What if that person was also threatening and fully prepared to kill one of seven of your relatives that he had captured in a hidden bunker that could be anywhere in the world? This is the predicament faced by young Dan and Amy Cahill, who must use their extensive riches obtained when they completed the hunt for the 39 clues in previous books in this series. These events begin A King's Ransom. This is the second book in the Cahills VS. Vespers series, in which a secret organization called the Vespers is threatening to capture power, and are forcing Dan and Amy to steal ancient artifacts just to please them. Jude Watson wrote this book, but I find it interesting that a different author writes each book in the series. The book is a mystery written in today's world all around Europe. Dan and Amy Cahill are the main characters of this story.
Dan and Amy Cahill are at the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence Italy. They are dodging police like crazy due to their recent theft of Marco Polo's original manuscript Il Milone for the power hungry Vesper One. They then receive a text from Vesper One, on a special military phone he sent them, telling them to go to Switzerland. They begin a new search that not only endangers themselves but their helpless loved ones as well, if they do not meet this invisible tyrant's demands. Now, they have the help of a private headquarters they had built in Massachusetts, with the treasures they gained from discovering the 39 clues in the prequel series. Members of their family are helping them from their HQ and along the way. Their newest objective is to find an ancient map of the world called the de Vigra mappa Mundi and bring it to Vesper One in four days. They now face two rogue Vespers looking for the glory of retrieving the map themselves. They are ruthless and slow Dan and Amy's progress at every turn. In addition, the main problem is that no one has seen de Vigra in more than half a century.
The author wrote the story very literally which I liked because I might not have understood some parts if she had written with figurative language. A Kings Ransom was written as if it was really happening in our world today. This story's plot was very interesting; she made it seem as if you were there with them and you knew what they were thinking. Jude Watson filled the genre very well; she had everything a mystery novel needs to be great; suspense, intrigue and excitement. Although I haven't read all of the books, the author recapped and explained what happened in previous books phenomenally well, so I understood almost everything. The author described everything with exceptional detail so I had a clear image in my mind at all times. The book was very well paced, not too slow or too fast the entire time, but varied in speed appropriately throughout the book. The ending was written as a cliffhanger, which makes readers desperately want to read the next book so they can find out what happens. Overall, the book was fantastic. Despite the fact that the author did not use figurative language, which I felt was not needed; I gave the book 10 out of 10. Readers of all ages will love A King's Ransom.
Review written by Noah (7th grade student).
We would like to thank Scholastic for providing a copy of A King's Ransom for this review.
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