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The Maze of Bones: 01/28/13
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan is the first of the original 39 Clues series. There are eleven books in total, as well as three spin off series: Cahills vs. Vespers, Rapid Fire, and the Cahill Files.
The book opens with Amy and Dan Cahill attending the reading of the will of the last Cahill matriarch, Grace. Although they'd been in her care, she had mostly left the caregiving to an au pair. The funeral gives them two options: take one million dollars each or forfeit the money and compete in a worldwide treasure hunt ("The 39 clues") to find the secret to the Cahill power. The siblings, as well as many other distance relatives, decide to vie for the treasure hunt.
Back when this series was brand spanking new, the book was part of a larger multi-media thing run by Scholastic which included a social media website treasure hunt (with prizes) and a trading card game. I don't know if any of that jazz is still going, nor do I particularly care. The book (or audio book, in this case) stands alone just fine.
There's an E/I (educational and informational) aspect to each of these 39 Clues books. In this one, the Cahill kids learn about Benjamin Franklin and his time in France. They also learn about the Paris catacombs (hence the title). In this regard, the book reads like a combination of the Magic Tree House series and a Dan Brown thriller.
Comment #1: Monday, January 28, 2013 at 18:40:43
I picked up the first couple of books in this series sort of midway through the big scholastic promotion. My kids and I had fun reading through the books. We never really got into the card/web game but still had fun. Interest waned after a few books though I am still interested to see what happens through this first series (and leads into a new series still underway).
The adventures were good cheesy fun. Kid friendly and creative.
Comment #2: Monday, January 28, 2013 at 18:06:40
I'm listening to the books on audio. They're short enough I can get through one in a couple evenings of listening. I'm nearly finished with the first series. I'm about half way through book nine, Storm Warning.