Wade, Lily, Darrell, and Becca may have found the Copernicus Legacy’s first relic—a beautiful blue stone named after the constellation Vela—but they have lost much more than they have gained. Darrell’s mother, Sara, has been kidnapped by Galina Krause, the conniving leader of the Teutonic Order, who hopes that the renowned academic will lead her and her minions to the next relic.
That means the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Kaplan kids, who trek across the cold wilderness of Siberia, along the winding canals of Venice, and through the streets of Moscow’s Red Square in search of their beloved family member and the sought-after relic called the Serpens. In the process, they meet another network of Guardians and discover that Galina’s plan for Sara involves a scientific experiment that could jeopardize her life.
Filled with another globe-trotting quest and more riddles, puzzles, and secret histories, The Serpent’s Curse is a heart-stopping and suspenseful read for fans of Rick Riordan and Peter Lerangis. The second book in a six-book, six-novella journey, The Serpent’s Curse will leave readers hungry for the next adventure and excited to enter a sweepstakes to participate in a real-life scavenger hunt hosted by Tony Abbott that lets fans become part of the story.
In this series, we have a pretty interesting cast of characters. Each one has a different area of knowledge expertise, but they all have to work together to solve the problems that befall them. We have children and adults working together as equals. The form of respect and trust that they have for each other is pretty astounding. There's enough personal detail to make them interesting to you. If you haven't read any of the other books, this one holds together just fine by itself. You don't need the character backgrounds to make a connection with them.
What I really enjoy about this series is the way that it takes history and conspiracy and ties it in to modern-day issues. We have both famous and non-famous people from history and these kids are taking clues that they've left behind to put together a puzzle. They have to find all of the pieces in order to keep an important machine from being built. This machine could destroy the world! But! I won't tell you what it is! On the other hand, we have the main villain and her cast of minions who are trying to reach the relics as well. She's ruthless and she'll stop at nothing. Another's life is meaningless to her. This places the children and they're small supporting cast in some pretty serious danger.
As a reader, I really enjoyed this book. It's fast-paced and full of adventure. It's not for younger readers, but I can easily see a middle-school or older child having a great time with it. There are lots of facts to learn and it's just a rollicking good time. Despite the danger, it's one of the most adventurous books I've read.
As a mom, this book terrifies me! If it were MY children out there doing the things these children do, my heart would probably stop. Then again, I'm pretty overprotective. When I was a child of their age, though, I'd have happily scaled the inside of a cathedral or popped into a stranger's apartment to look for clues. I think all of this gives the book sort of a forbidden appeal. Don't worry! You're kids cannot do the same things these kids do in the book! However, they'll have a great time following along with the group and watching them do it!
Over all, a wonderful nod to history, science, knowledge, friendship, trust and morals. I strongly recommend this book, as well as the entire series, to anyone with a child that has a heart for adventure.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Shawn