Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday Reads

I'm starting a new series of posts on what I'm reading. On Fridays I'll talk about my current book (as applicable -- I don't read as much as I used to, thanks to my growing family), and I hope you'll tell me what's on your nightstand!

My ten-year-old and I have been reading the 39 Clues series together, and we've both really enjoyed it. We came in late to the series so we were able to do a good glut of the books as we got caught up to the publishing schedule. The most recent one we just completed was The Medusa Complex, which is the first book in a subsequent series called Cahills vs. Vespers (sounds horribly complicated, doesn't it?). There are 11 books in the original series, and thus far two in the second series. (Wikipedia shows slots for a total of six books in series two. Careful with that link! Spoilers abound!)

Siblings Amy and Dan Cahill inherit a mystery and a challenge: find the 39 clues before any other branches of their large family do.

I like to think of these books as Clive Cussler or John LeCarre lite. They're packed full of adventure (there tends to be quite a bit of disbelief suspension here, but they are kids' books, after all!) and the main characters are very likeable. There are a couple of deaths that take place in the first series (not graphically), as well as some rather scary moments, so I'd hesitate on giving them to readers much younger than 9 or 10. In some ways the books are much like a literary version of the TV show, The Amazing Race. The families (teams) must race from location to location, solving puzzles to find clues. The pace is screaming-fast, but the books are short so that's not really a surprise.

For adults, they're very easy reading, so most will be able to finish these within a couple of days. If you're looking for something fun to share with your child, these will fit the bill as well. Highly recommended!

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