Kleiner's Reviews > Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow by James Rollins
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May 29, 09


Connecticut teenagers Jake and Kady Ransom come from a long line of archeologists and adventurers. Jake is preparing to be an adventurous archeologist. He studies history, science and taekwondo, and practices his expedition skills digging up fossils in his backyard. Kady, while also very intelligent, is not so studious. She is a popular cheerleader who is more concerned about her social schedule than following in her ancestors’ footsteps.

Three years ago, their parents disappeared without a trace while on a Mayan expedition. While attending a British Museum event featuring artifacts recovered by their parents, Jake and Kady are transported to another world.

Calypsos is inhabited by plants, animals, and people from different places in time (e.g., dinosaurs, Neanderthals, Mayans, and Romans). While searching for a way home, Jake and Kady join with the inhabitants to fight the Skull King, a dark lord who wants to destroy the peaceful village.

The Skull King’s Shadow is a fast-paced adventure that combines fantasy, mythology, science and history. Rollins creates strong characters and a vivid world. While a complete story, the broader questions are left unanswered. As the first in a series, the reader will have to read the entire series for the answers. The Skull King’s Shadow is an Indiana Jones adventure that will hopefully inspire young readers to explore the history and science revered in the book.

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