Reviews for Beyond the Grave


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Three different authors contribute volumes to the high-octane series about a treacherous, globe-circling scavenger hunt. Dan and Amy are still the principle underdogs in the search for the clues (a Mozart manuscript, a Japanese sword, ancient hieroglyphs) that will allow them to claim their family's historical power. The (stock) characters are energetically rendered; the action never abates. [Review covers these 39 Clues titles: One False Note, The Sword Thief, and Beyond the Grave.] Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 3-6--In this leg of the worldwide scavenger hunt, Amy and Dan Cahill, accompanied by their au pair Nellie, are off to Egypt to find the next clue left by Ekaterina branch founder Katherine Cahill. Once there, they learn about the rivalry between the Tomas and Ekaterina branches of the Cahill family, discover a secret Ekaterina stronghold at an Egyptian hotel, and explore tombs of ancient Egyptians. They meet their grandmother Grace's friend Hilary, who gives them several items from Grace. While Hilary and her grandson Theo seem eager to help, looks can be deceiving. Run-ins with Irina Spasky, Jonah Wizard, and Alistair Oh add to the excitement and drama of the adventure. Amy and Dan discover Cahill connections to Napoleon, Thomas Edison, and Marie Curie along with paintings and hieroglyphs that will lead them on their dangerous hunt that's fraught with betrayals and reversals. Like the previous books, historical information is woven into the fast-paced adventure.--Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH

[Page 176]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2009 October
The fourth book in The 39 Clues series finds Dan and Amy Cahill in Cairo. This time the pair befriends a young Egyptian expert and an elderly friend of their deceased grandmother-- both new acquaintances provide history and guidance in search of the clues that lead to a source of power. The search for a missing statue with hints to the latest clue lead Dan and Amy on a hunt through the city as they encounter ancient maps, hidden rooms, historical statues, and dusty tombs. Irina Spasky, a former KGB operative and a relative to Dan and Amy, is the pair's family rival in this book. With help from their resourceful au pair and hidden messages from their grandmother, the two close in on the current clue as recent friends and family members continue to sabotage and double cross them along the way. The over the top action and improbable escapes that fans have come to expect continue in Watson's contribution. Series followers may be more entertained by this book than the third as Watson adds more characterization, making the two main characters a bit more dynamic and adding a little more depth to the brother and sister. Yet the adventure and escapes in the previous books are in full display here. A crocodile chase, a submarine ride and wreck, trapped in tombs, hidden clues, scheming bad guys, and ancient history each play a part. Most series readers will be entertained, but some may begin to lose any suspense that the two are in any real danger as they always seem to know exactly the right thing to do and always seem to escape at just the right moment. Never the less the books will continue to engage many middle grade readers.--Jeff Mann. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.

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