Get a clue! Check out the first of 10 books in the adventurous 39 Clues Series… The Maze of Bones.
I’ll admit, The 39 Clues books with their accompanying online games, puzzles, cards and prizes was a bit overwhelming… knowing the first time logging in I’d be chewing the dust of thousands of techno savvy kids already blazing way ahead of me, but I couldn’t resist joining the fun.
Awesome cover! Bones! Inside, with “a prize in the cereal box anticipation” I found my 6 new playing cards concealed in a clever cover. (On the first editions of Maze, the center of the front cover is clear plastic – so you are viewing one of the actual card backs). I dove into the story and learned about the famous Cahill family, their multi-generational ancestors being of the most prominent and influential members of society (like Benjamin Franklin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for starters).
After the passing of their beloved grandmother Grace Cahill, orphans Dan and Amy Cahill forfeit their million dollar inheritance (each! yikes!) in order to receive the first clue and join the contest to be the one winner of not only the mega über prize, but to hold the key to the fate of the world.
From Grace’s will: “you shall be given the first of 39 clues. These clues will lead you to a secret, which, should you find it, will make you the most powerful, influential human beings on the planet.”
Unfortunately, other more wealthy, powerful, famous members of the Cahill family are also literally fighting for the same prize, and they are willing to not only undermine Dan and Amy at every turn, but are not above putting them out of the race – permanently.
The story is rapid paced with readers expanding their intellectual horizons as Dan and Amy research the life of Ben Franklin to learn clues, leading them deep down into the Catacombes de Paris and endangering their very lives. But this is just the beginning of the global adventure! The next book One False Note by Gordon Korman launches the Cahills on a journey to Vienna, the Austrian Alps and boat racing through the canals of Venice as they follow clues from Mozart’s music.
Mr. Riordan does a fantastic job of setting the 39 Clues stage, introducing us to the characters, the contest, their varied motivations for seeking the prize, and of course, luring us into the maze of bones for the next clue!
Um, there will be only 10 books, but aren’t there 39 Clues? How does that work? Ah, each book will reveal one clue and the other 29 will come from solving puzzles online. That’s multi-media, baby! Wait till you log into The 39 Clues site… It’s graphically amazing… after a simple task of creating a log in name, password, etc, you enter the exciting yet ominous world of the Cahills. (You’ll find out what branch of the Cahill family you belong to… Janus, Ekaterina, Lucian or Tomas).
Not knowing where to start, the first button I clicked was Arena 39 – the games. Yow I haven’t been this hooked on games since the birth of Tetris (oh, no, we’re not going THERE). I sat for over an hour straight playing “Find It”. Addictive… OMG. So much fun. And that’s just one. I forced myself to stop and try the other games and found more with which I could spent many cathartic hours. There was a pattern memory game, a tile matching game, one on code breaking, but, I say no more. Go play. 🙂
Now for the cards… I thought, okay, I can do games, Dude, I was a teen (plus) in the 80’s, but what about these collectible cards? After much fretting, I gently removed my 6 game cards from my lovely first edition without “hurting it” and clicked the add cards button… each card is printed with an alpha-numeric code, I typed that in, and PRESTO! All 6 cards flew up on my board AND 10 free ones just for joining. Haay-eee! Fun now! The cards have different functions… some unlock content only about the overall mystery of the 39 Clues (and a chance to win the 10K grand prize!), but some have puzzles to solve to get an actual clue. I thought, uh oh… here’s where the 10 years olds are going to kick my sorry butt. But I found one that had a simple code to break, so I tried that first and broke it… Huzzah! (I thought I was all “bad” after that, puffed up, doing the Godzilla victory dance boasting to poor Bill how “I’m the man” & “who’s your Daddy” not pretty). So, I hope you join me in reading the books, collecting more cards and continue the international treasure hunt with heroes Dan and Amy Cahill.
(Psst… hey look, kids reading! Hurray!)
Purchase The 39 Clues Book 1:The Maze of Bones from Amazon!