Friday, January 20, 2017

The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief - Peter Lerangis

The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief
Title: The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief
Author: Peter Lerangis
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 156
How I Found It: We're listening through the series.
Date Completed: 12/30/16

Summary: Amy and Dan Cahill take their search for clues to the family secret to Asia.

What I Thought: We listened to this book on the way home from Christmas in the Midwest. As I've mentioned in posts about previous books in the series, they make for good road trip entertainment. They are fast-paced and fun. They also require a serious suspension of reality and adult wisdom. These kids do all sorts of stuff without any adult involvement or supervision. Sure, there are some token adults around from time to time, but they do way more on their own than would ever be possible in the real world.

Case in point: in this book, Amy and Dan are booted from their international flight when their also-underage cousins pose as them and end up on the flight with their au pair instead. Thus, Amy and Dan are left to wrangle passage to Asia on their own. Sure, they run into an uncle who helps, but my gosh. Everything about this storyline is absurd. 

Once in Asia, though, they end up teaming up with their cousins, who have pretty much been their archnemesis to this point. I really liked that. They are thrown together by the circumstances and recognize, at least briefly, that they are better off working in conjunction with one another. This is all well and good until Amy and cousin Ian Kabra got the hots for each other. We had two issues with this. 1) These are kids and this is a kids series. While 14-year-olds do totally have crushes on one another, this felt unnecessary to the characters. Especially when they kissed. It seemed to be a pretty chaste kiss, but still...they're like 14. 2) OH MY GOSH, NO! I get that they are distant cousins and all, but the whole premise of this series is that they all are from the same family and the authors continually have referred to the Cahills and Kabras as cousins. So, when Lerangis brings this romance into things, it feels super incestuous and not ok at all. Kevin and I were rather disgusted by the whole thing. Really, it's a small part of the book and Lerangis does use it to advance the story and explore Amy's character a bit more, but still. Cousin lovers are only ok when addressed tongue-in-cheek like on Arrested Development

The book is fairly predictable, as are all the books in the series, but it's still fun. This one takes the kids to Japan and Korea and explores some Asian military history. I did not know much about the historical content, so that was a nice switch from Ben Franklin and Mozart. I did like how the authors are dropping out certain "teams" in the hunt with each book. I was not particularly sad to see Jonah Wizard gone from this book. Here's hoping the obnoxious Holt family are the next ones to go. From here, they Cahill crew is headed to Egypt. I'll be back with a review of Book Four sometime after our next road trip...whenever that is. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Unlikely
Other Books in The 39 Clues Series: The Maze of Bones / One False Note

A Reduced Review: The hunt for family clues continues...and gets a little weird in the process. 

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