The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: You have a choice – one million dollars or a clue.

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world’s most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family’s secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what’s important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

I shelve books all the time, at the library, at my school library, at my old grade school library, and there’s almost nothing more frustrating than the fact that almost all of the 39 Clues books are written by different authors. Nevertheless, these are awesome books. Some I really liked more than others because I wasn’t as much a fan of some of the author’s writing styles, but I got introduced to a lot of different writers, personalities and styles that impressed me. 

There is a really nice pace and feel to this book, introducing you to all of the different characters in this series in a way that is smooth and doesn’t overwhelm the reader with unwanted or unnecessary information. This was an action/adventure mystery that was a great introduction to this series. 

I felt like all the characters in this series were really well-done and I appreciated all of them. I was especially impressed by this passage from Dan, who is a really smart kid in the form of a regular tween guy:

“I’ve got a few ideas,” (Amy) admitted. “But I don’t know where we’re going in the long term. I mean – have you ever thought about what this ultimate treasure could be?”
“Something cool.” (Dan)
“Oh, that’s real helpful. I mean, what could make somebody the most powerful Cahill in history? And why thirty-nine clues?”
Dan shrugged. “Thirty-nine is a sweet number. It’s thirteen times three. It’s also the sum of five prime numbers in a row – 3,5,7,11,13. And if you add the first three powers of three, 3 to the first, 3 to the second, and s to the third, you get thirty-nine.”
Amy stared at him. “How did you know that?”
“What do you mean? It’s obvious.”

I’m a fan of cool numbers, so that was awesome. My favorite numbers: 2, 4 and 11. 2 is just awesome, 4 is the only digit with the same value as the number of letters in the word (forty is the only number with all of it’s letters in alphabetical order), and 11 is the only double-digit palindromic prime. 

pg count for the hardback: 220

Series: The 39 Clues

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