Mith's Reviews > A King's Ransom

A King's Ransom by Jude Watson
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Aug 11, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: middle-grade, could-it-be-more-blah, never-again-ever
Read on December 13, 2011

I hate, HATE books that are written just for the sake of raking in the money. HATE! Unfortunately, the 39 Clues "franchise" seems to be heading down that path. While I enjoyed the "39 Clues" series, the spin-off series, "Vespers vs. Cahills" is just plain annoying. The plot is stretched beyond reason and is SO CONTRIVED! What could have been wrapped up in one book is now being dragged over five! It's ridiculous.

When the first book ended, Vesper One had Nellie, Fiske, Alastair, Ted, Reagan, Natalie and Phoneix captive, and he had sent Amy and Dan on a treasure hunt of sorts to bring him five ancient artifacts for some unknown reason. Nothing had changed by the end of book two. In book one they found one artifact, in book two they found the second one. I'm guessing they'll take five books to find all five artifacts and until then the seven Cahills will still be held captive.

Meanwhile, to fill up the pages inbetween, new characters are being introduced and connections are being forced between them and the Cahills and/or Vespers. All of a sudden we are told that a random character we met in the last book ONLY NOW remembers that he is a "Guardian" or some such and is vital to the plot, and that Amy and Dan's dad is still alive and is a Vesper, who ONLY NOW decides to surface.

The fact that each book is being written by a different author is the series' main downfall. The plot seems to be barely connected and though the authors try very hard to mantain the essence of the characters, each author seems to introduce new traits in the characters and the effect is very jarring (Did anyone else get irritated by Jonah's newfound constant phrase "Dawg"? *eyetwitch*)

It's almost as if the authors sat down at a table and went "Ok, people! We have FIVE books to fill. How do we manage that? Let's throw some ideas around. What can we have two teenagers do that even the most skilled soldier can't accomplish without losing a limb? How can we stretch the plot so that nothing of consequence happens till book five and STILL keep the reader interested enough to buy our books? Any ideas? Any at all?"

I'm dangerously close to writing this series off.
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Reading Progress

12/13/2011 page 32
17.0% "Show, Watson, not tell! Sheesh!"
12/13/2011 page 125
65.0% ""They walked around the perimeter of the church, under the fantastic ropes of bones. They cruised down the opposite side. A door had a sign in Czech, and they hesitated. “It could say welcome, or it could say keep out,” Amy said. “Maybe we should do a spell-Czech,” Dan said, opening the door." ... Heh."
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh And still you give it three stars?


Mith It kept me turning the pages till the end, didn't it?


message 3: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh What do you do if you can't get past the first few pages of a book?


message 4: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Having tried only once.


Mith I give up (shelf : gave-up-on) and never pick it up again. (Unless it comes highly recommended. Ex - Game of Thrones #1. I finished it on my third attempt)


message 6: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh I kind of liked first grave on the right and I just loved fountainhead.


message 7: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Fountainhead can be boring a start but it is an awesome book. That and atlas shrugged made me a life long fan of Ayn Rand.


message 8: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Was planning on reading Delirium.


Mith 1. Stopped reading First Grave on the right when she almost-sort-of-had-sex with a ghost, who by the way had almost-sort-of tried to rape her when they were teens :-/

2. The beginning of Fountainhead kind of gave me a headache. Never picked it again after that.

3. Have been meaning to read Atlas Shrugged for a long time now. Hope it's better than Fountainhead.

4. Don't.


message 10: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh 1. Considering she is 'The Reaper' it does not sound so unusual.
2. Perseverance with Fountainhead would have paid. It gets better.
3. Atlas shrugged is a little fantastical. So be ready for that if you ever get to it.
4. I am now definitely reconsidering.


message 11: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Why is Divergent on the list? I think it won best book of 2011 on Goodreads.


message 12: by Mith (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mith On what list? I liked the book. Didn't love it - but it wasn't half bad.


message 13: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh :) I changed the view from 'gave up on' to 'dystopia' and forgot.


message 14: by Mith (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mith :) Alrightie!


message 15: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Mockingjay not good? Bad finish to the trilogy?


message 16: by Mith (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mith Haven't read it yet? Rather than bad, I would say disappointing. Compared to the sheer edge-of-your-seat thrill ride Hunger Games was, it fell sadly short.

Catching Fire was repetitive but atleast we got to see the arena again and had some action. Mockingjay was all about bringing down the Capitol. Not much action, just some half-baked plan that miraculously worked.


message 17: by Mith (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mith Times like this, I wish Goodreads had a "chat" option :)


message 18: by Ritesh (new)

Ritesh Absolutely agree about chat! You could add me on gtalk.
I did not read after Hunger Games as I was afraid the other books would not live upto this one. I somehow felt they could not.
BTW, saw that you started posting reviews on your blog.


TheHumanDalek13 BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I actually like this book!
and dont you think its easier to just say you dont like it rather than saying 15 paragraghs?


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