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THE EMERALD CASKET by Richard Newsome


From the Archer Legacy series, volume 2

by Richard Newsome

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: May 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-194492-5
Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

They may have (apparently) lost round one in trilogy opener Billionaire’s Curse (2010), but 13-year-old Gerald and his squabbling twin sidekicks Sam and Ruby aren't giving up. Here they get a taste of the luxury an estate worth £20 billion brings while jetting off to India in high style to claim a second magical artifact before (presumed) murderer and all-around bad guy Mason Green can reach it. Laying broad hints that All Is Not as It Seems—or, as several characters repeatedly whisper, “Nothing is certain.”—Newsome again crafts a lighter-than-air caper. It's all heavily dependent on contrived clues, blundering or oblivious adults, chaperones who consistently vanish just before attackers arrive, conveniently spotty communications, lurid visions and massive gems that evidently sit around for the taking. The pace never lets up, though, and along with learning a bit more about the 1,600-year-long secret that Gerald’s family has been charged with keeping, the young folk survive multiple kidnappings, escapes, chases and life-threatening mishaps. Inevitably they face off with Green again, here inside an ancient Indian temple prone to sudden massive floods. Fans of 39 Clues–style adventures will be swept along. (illustrations not seen) (Adventure. 11-14)