Out of all the seven books I've read so far in the series, this one is the most suspenseful. The latest lead takes 14 year-old Amy Cahill and her 11 year-old brother Dan Cahill to South Africa in search of the next clue in the hunt for the 39 clues that unlock the secret to a great power.
Although South Africa does not come alive to me as some of the other destinations did, the author focuses on its history of fighting apartheid and gaining civil rights. We meet some of the late Grace's good friends and learn more about her through them. Shaka Zulu and Sir Winston Churchill are the historical figures that play a role in the discovery of the latest clue.
Some of the characters that appear in this book are Isabel Kabra and her kids, still vicious enemies who pursue Amy and Dan. The Holts make a brief appearance and Hamilton helps them out again in secret. Makes me wonder what will become of this relationship between Hamilton and the Cahill kids. Alistair Oh makes his usual "help the kids, then disappear" act. And Nellie Gomez, their au pair is with them throughout their mission to find the next clue. Amy and Dan finally confront Nellie about their suspicions of her and she reassures them with explanations that re-establish the trust they had from the beginning of their journey. It seems clear to me that she cares about them, but I am still trying to figure out who she really is!
Toward the end of the book, an incident occurs and Dan is fighting for his life. And... Amy and Dan finally learn the truth about their family branch. In retrospect, I should have known all along. This book makes me very eager to begin Book 8. We are getting closer to the end and we feel it.
This book is the seventh in a unique series that was to run 10 books. Originally it was to be 10 books by 7 authors in a single continuous story arch, with online games, and clue hunts and more, at the 39 Clues website. Each book now seems to be getting better than the one before, and also leaves you hungry for the next instalment. Scholastic has also now announced an 11th volume, The Black Book of Buried Secrets, which will be out shortly after book 10.
Peter Lerangis has written a wonderful piece pivotal to the story arc. Amy and Dan Cahill are still up to their neck in the hunt for the 39 clues. They are learning to trust again. This time they are in South Africa, and the historical figures explored included Winston Churchill and Shaka and they also find out more about their grandmother Grace, and their parents. Lerangis gives us a lot of real history in under 200 pages. Once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down, even more so than some of the others in the series.
The last few books had become very dark and though the race for the 39 clues is still on, and some factions are becoming more and more dangerous, Dan and Amy seem to be finding a better balance. This is another amazing book in an incredible series.
on March 10, 2010
Dan and Amy just barely escaped from a deadly fire that killed their adversary, who in a strange turn of events died saving their lives. Now, they're on the run again trying to escape from everyone while chasing another clue in South Africa.
They're on a mission to research Shaka Zulu and unravel the man from the myth, plus discover his final resting place. Once again, the search leads them into the hands of Grace's old friends, who offer advice and more puzzles to unravel.
Will they find the next clue before their opposition finds them?
The seventh book in the addicting action-adventure series, THE VIPER'S NEST uncovers a huge secret that raises additional questions. I can't wait to read about what happens to Amy and Dan next.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
"And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion.
He said, 'I have had a dream:
To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian;
it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.'"
Don't miss this book. It's a pivotal one in the series.
Whatever you do, don't read the last few pages before starting the book. You'll spoil a big and interesting surprise if you do.
The Viper's Nest opens in the middle of the Indonesian action that began in In Too Deep. Amy and Dan Cahill find themselves shaken to discover even more reasons to believe that the advice they received to trust no one should be taken very literally. As a result, they find it difficult to make progress. After a fairly humorous sequence about where to find the next clue, those chasing Amy and Dan find themselves off in different directions. Their travels take them to a locale where they gain some fascinating new insights into their Grandmother and their parents. The book ends with an astonishing revelation that will definitely get your attention.
Although the plot developments are very rewarding in this book, I didn't like the way the story was told nearly as much as in other episodes. Mr. Lerangis doesn't seem to love these characters and develops them as little as possible. I was left feeling as if I was reading a story that didn't quite fit into the series. After seven books, the relationships among the main characters should be becoming richer and richer. Instead, the relationships in The Viper's Nest are as superficial as they were in the series' very beginning.