The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 4: Shatterproof
Amy and Dan have been through so much more turmoil in their young lives than other 16- and 13-year-olds…of course those other kids aren’t Cahills. Running for their lives has become the new normal for Amy and Dan, along with completing seemingly impossible tasks for their tormentors, The Vespers. The latest stunt: stealing a priceless diamond from a heavily guarded museum in Berlin. The siblings know what happens if they fail…one of the hostages will die. Will this torture ever end? Always, a new set of insane instructions awaits the siblings and their team. Soon they are racing to Timbuktu for the next job.
"The Cahill adventures, authored by Roland Smith, continue with book four. This one follows along in the footsteps of the earlier books: nonstop adventure across the globe, complex mysteries into history and hilarious commentary from our likable heroes all with Smith's voice mixed in."
While Amy and Dan race to comply with Vesper’s instructions, the seven hostages attempt yet another escape plot…and this time they succeed! They race from their jail into the deep wilderness, gasping for a safe haven. Unfortunately, their captors catch up to them just as they step out onto a precarious cliff edge --- and one of the hostages falls!
And as if they needed more to worry about, Dan continues to be tormented by the messages from his supposedly dead father. He can’t help but be suspicious and angry with this guy; however he can’t dwell on it for too long. In between completing the Vespers’s tasks, he continues to collect the ingredients for the forbidden formula. Dan is determined to have a backup plan in case everything else falls apart.
The Cahill adventures, authored by Roland Smith, continue with book four. This one follows along in the footsteps of the earlier books: nonstop adventure across the globe, complex mysteries into history and hilarious commentary from our likable heroes all with Smith's voice mixed in. One place readers can see Smith’s personal touch is with Dan and Amy. Our heroes are definitely getting older: Amy’s heart is splitting in two different directions while her shoulders are stooped with the heavy burdens of being in charge. Dan isn’t quite so quick with his sarcastic comebacks and funny observations due to his own heart dragging from guilt and responsibilities.
Smith’s wonderfully expressive narrative really shines in this quote: “Timbuktu wasn’t the only victim of desertification. Dan was afraid he could feel his own soul turning to dust.” He also manages to weave the culture, history and feel of the foreign locations into the plot seamlessly and captivatingly. Fans can only try to be patient for Book Five.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on October 26, 2012