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The 39 Clues, Book Six: In Too Deep

Review

The 39 Clues, Book Six: In Too Deep

When Grace Cahill passed away, relatives oozed out of the woodwork in hopes of getting their hands on her fortunes. But Grace wasn’t your typical old lady, and she didn’t leave this world in typical fashion either. Instead of a will and an inheritance, she left behind a quest involving 39 clues that lead to a vast wealth and the highest authority imaginable. Now, six teams of Cahill relatives are racing around the world, chasing after intricately placed clues left behind by other famous Cahills, including Ben Franklin and Mozart.

Fourteen-year-old Amy and her 11-year-old brother, Dan, make up one of the teams. Orphaned and unwanted by everyone except their beloved (and now deceased) grandmother, the siblings don’t have anything to lose and have decided to go for it. But unlike their opponents, they have no money, connections, or special training, not to mention the fact that they’re just kids. Plus, Amy is shy and stutters when she’s nervous, and Dan tends to be impulsive. This team has the odds seriously stacked against them. But they do have a few pieces of jewelry from their grandmother to sell for expenses, a very cool au pair (a sort of domestic servant) traveling with them, and, above all, a great deal of spunk, smarts and determination. The race is on, and there aren’t any rules.

IN TOO DEEP jumps right into action at the Sydney, Australia airport. Dan and Amy, along with their au pair, Nellie, have taken a detour --- not to follow another clue, but hopefully to discover some information about their deceased parents. But then everything seems to be tied in to the race for the 39 clues, including their parents’ death --- which may not have been an accident after all. Once again, the siblings are reminded to trust no one, with one set of Cahill relatives saying one thing and another branch claiming the opposite. Old memories of the deadly fire begin to resurface, causing Amy to revisit that horrid night. And while some of the disturbing images help Amy and Dan to figure out the next part of the big hunt, others have Amy seriously doubting herself.

While in Australia, Dan, Amy and Nellie hook up with an old friend/cousin of their parents, a surfer/pilot named Shep. His enthusiasm and resources (such as owning a plane) help propel the siblings onto the scent of another clue, one involving famous pilot Amelia Earhart. The team flies to the Outback and some opal mines to learn more.

Another new character surfaces in Book Six: Ian and Natalie’s mother, Isabel. If possible, Isabel is the most devious and cruelest of the Cahills thus far. She will stop at nothing --- including torture and murder --- to win the race. Her branch associate, the cunning Irina, doesn’t agree with Isabel’s methods, but dare she oppose direct orders? And if she does, she may have to offer up the greatest of sacrifices.

And then there’s the au pair, Nellie, whom Amy and Dan are beginning to realize is unusually gifted. Among many things, Nellie is able to speak other languages, and, as the siblings recently discover, she can even fly a plane. Is Nellie really just a cool nanny, or is she hiding secrets as well? Amy and Dan were warned to trust no one. Surely that warning didn’t include a member of their own team. Or did it?

Jude Watson returns to write another leg of this amazing series. Fans may remember that she tackled the challenge of Book Four, BEYOND THE GRAVE, with flying colors. And rest assured, she flies even higher with IN TOO DEEP. Once again, Watson delves a bit deeper into the emotional sides of Amy and Dan, but that doesn’t mean she slacks on the excitement. This installment shines with the sweat of a heart-pounding adventure, including another life-threatening fire, deadly venomous snakes and spiders, and lots of clever clues. Another fun part of the story is learning Australian slang words and discovering some Australian snack foods that are so different from what Americans eat.

This outstanding series continues with THE VIPER’S NEST, due out in early February 2010. In the meantime, log on to www.The39Clues.com to hunt for the clues and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on November 1, 2009

The 39 Clues, Book Six: In Too Deep
(The 39 Clues #6)
by Jude Watson

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2009
  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 054506046X
  • ISBN-13: 9780545060462