"Because of the sword of the enemy,
Fear is on every side." -- Jeremiah 6:25 (NKJV)
Long running adventure series can easily run out of steam as plots become predictable, writing becomes more pedestrian, and characters are stuck in suspended animation in terms of their development over time. The 39 Clues series, Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 2: A King's Ransom just proves it doesn't have to be that way. When I finished reading this book, I was more excited about the series and reading what will come in the next volume than ever before. A King's Ransom is a wonderful combination of great series planning, a tightly crafted plot, intriguing locales, interesting characters, and characters growing as a result of their experiences. I wish that more so-called adult adventure stories were as well designed as this book is.
Be sure to read at least Vesper's Rising and The Medusa Plot before starting this book. An even better plan would be to start at the series beginning with The Maze of Bones and work your way through from there in the order of publication. If you haven't read these books, you have a treat ahead of you!
It's hard to comment more specifically on this book without including spoilers, but let me try. Amy and Dan Cahill are at the beck and call of someone calling himself Vesper One who demands that they steal rare treasures as part of a ransom so that seven of their kidnapped relatives will be returned. The heat turns up on Amy and Dan in this book as the visibility of their activities increases and the number of people who want to interfere increases. In the meantime, their relatives are suffering . . . and Vesper One keeps Amy and Dan fearing the worst will happen. In this book, they visit sites I've never been to . . . and make them sound quite interesting. To succeed, Amy and Dan will need every resource they can apply. In the process, they may learn secrets that have been long lost, buried, and misunderstood. There may be a startling twist or two that will open your eyes in the process.
Have a great read!