Wow what a ride! All the 39 Clues adventure books have been fast paced and action packed, but Book 4, Beyond the Grave, took me on an emotional roller coaster as well.
As the difficult and dangerous hunt for the 39 Clues wears on them, orphans Dan and Amy began to have creeping doubts about the deceased Grace Cahill. All those weekends they’d spent together with their beloved grandmother, why didn’t she warn them about this brutal contest which was left for them in her will? Especially when the other ruthless Cahill relatives seemingly have years of a head start on them, not to mention money, power, training and other resources. Brother and sister Dan and Amy have to decide what kind of family they are going to be, just the two of them, now that Grace is gone. And what of their Uncle Alistair Oh who faked his death and deserted them back in Korea? Friend or foe? Would a friend totally lie, ditch you then spy on you?
Jude Watson kicks off the adventure in the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, where our heroes Dan and Amy search for a Sakhet Goddess statue in the hope for hints to the next clue. They discover the French Emperor Napoleon, who invaded Egypt in 1798 was yet another Cahill involved with the 39 Clues. Trapped in an Ekat stronghold by the heartless Bae Oh, Alistair’s uncle, their ever faithful au pair Nellie Gomez and Egyptian Mau Saladin come to their rescue. As with the previous books, the mysterious Man in Black makes a subtle but foreboding appearance, revealed by a covert conversation with Bae while the kids escape.
But Grace Cahill had friends of her own as she traveled the globe in her youth. Dan and Amy find hidden messages from Grace with old friends, hotel managers and even shop keepers in spite of being abducted on the Nile, barely missing being lunch for local wildlife, all while dodging the poison nail tips of KGB cousin Irina Spasky in the pitch black mummy tomb! And what is her deal anyway? Why does she have a soft spot for Grace Cahill – a vulnerability she’s so not happy about?
Spurred by ancient hieroglyphs, the clue seekers travel to Aswan to the now underwater Island of Philae in a suffocating submarine ride with their complicated uncle. (That part was just way cool!). With the Kabras and Jonah Wizard off on wild goose chases, Alistair and the Cahills decide to go their separate ways for the time being.
Back in Cairo, Dan and Amy are able to piece together what their dear Grandmother Grace was trying to show them all along, discovering the next clue hidden in a old Citadel shop. And yes, Grace has been guiding her darling grandchildren since the very beginning. However, the ride ends on a down note, as they realize there are new and more deadly enemies to contend with, literally right next door!
Oh yah, the book was fun. But let’s not forget, this is a multimedia adventure! And with 6 new cards in hand, I logged in with my agent id and password to The 39 Clues website, entered my cards like a silly school girl and solved the puzzle using clues in Grace Cahill’s guide book (Psst! Card 75!). SO much fun! Find the hieroglyphic code on the inside cover and a new message embedded in the page numbers. (Dude! Check page 39… Wink!)
I particularly enjoyed the hilarious dialog in this book. Jude Watson must have a wicked little sense of humor. 😉 Some of Dan’s dry remarks had me snorting and giggling out loud! Coincidentally, I finished reading this book on Christmas Eve… I won’t give it away, but much to my pleasant surprise the big clue at the conclusion in Beyond the Grave had special, heart warming relevance. So happy holidays!
Until the next multimedia adventure!
Purchase The 39 Clues Book 4: Beyond the Grave from Amazon!