Sunday, January 4, 2009

The 39 Clues: One False Note

Korman, Gordon. 2008. One False Note. New York: Scholastic.

Book two in the 39 Clues series, continues Dan and Amy Cahill's quest to find the mysterious 39 clues left by generations of wealthy, influential, or ground-breaking Cahills of the past. Maze of Bones left Dan, Amy and their au pair, Nellie in Paris, following a trail of clues left by Benjamin Franklin. One False Note finds them hot on the hunt for clues left by another gifted Cahill, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Chased by the brutish Holts, the cunning Kabras, wily Uncle Alistair, ruthless Irina Spasky, and the famous Jonah Wizard, Dan and Amy and their au pair track the clues from Paris to Vienna to Venice and beyond. The hunt continues...

This second book in the series is written by Gordon Korman. Korman follows effortlessly in the pattern left for him by Rick Riordan, author of the first book. There seems to be little noticeable difference in the style of the two stories, except perhaps that Korman, a humorous author in his own right, seems to go for fewer punchlines than Riordan did in the first installment. One can only imagine that each succeeding author will find it increasingly difficult to knit the threads of story and character together in seamless fashion. However, so far, so good.

I am somewhat disappointed in the companion website. The site, while interesting and very interactive, stands completely independent of the published stories, and at times, does not even appear to be connected. In the book, Dan and Amy are following the clues of Mozart in Vienna. On the website, I am trolling the bottom of the Loch Ness for a clue lost in Grace Cahill's plane crash. Additionally, the website tale appears to be at a standstill. I have followed the clues to a dead end. My inbox is empty and I have no new leads to follow. Perhaps with the release of the third book, more clues will appear. BTW, I'm a Lucian.

I have not seen the hoped-for blockbuster interest in The 39 Clues series, but as word travels, interest may snowball. It's too early to tell. The books are perfect for kids who enjoy mysteries, series, history, or adventure.

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