Book Review: The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues #3) by Peter Lerangis

Lydia Valadian March 31, 2014 0
  • Author's Voice
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • World Building

The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues #3) by Peter LerangisAnd here I thought that I would never get bored with one of the 39 Clues books. Sadly, The Sword Thief, written by Peter Lerangis, was not as exciting as the first two books of the series.

Dan and Amy Cahill, along with their super awesome nanny, Nellie, and their cat, Saladin, leave Europe behind, travelling to Japan for the next clue in the treasure hunt their deceased grandmother, Grace, organized for the Cahill family. Their search leads them to the discovery of one of the many secrets yet another ancestor of theirs, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, also known as The Bald Rat, had while he was alive. Now they must unlock a series of puzzles and riddles once again, all the while trying to avoid being killed by their vindictive relatives who are also participating in the hunt, and keeping themselves safe from the betrayal that seems to come naturally in this famous-in-the-history-of-mankind yet vicious and crazy family.

It’s amazing how Dan and Amy, while being orphans and having very little money in their name, have managed to stay alive so far – let alone the fact they seem to be at the top of their game. Goes to show what a good set of brains and teamwork can do. Their loyalty to each other, and their ability to understand what the other thinks, is another asset in their attempt to find the great secret of the Cahill family – that  will make the one who finds it the most powerful person in the world – I find fascinating. Even more so because, as any normal other set of siblings, those two don’t always get along that well. Yet, when danger shows its fangs, so to speak, they instantly rise to the occasion and watch each other’s back. What seems a little unnatural, though, is the obsession their relatives have with killing them. It’s like they’re all set on destroying those two poor orphans, who have no other means to survive this hunt other than their bat-crazy nanny, a cat, and what’s inside their heads. But this only makes them look even cooler whenever they make it out alive every single time and end up one step forward than some of their enemies.

While providing a good series of events and places in this book, I found Peter Lerangis’s attempt at writing it lacking in comparison to what Rick Riordan and Gordan Korman have succeeded in doing. The first gets a reader obsessed with the series with a great opener to it – though I expected nothing less from him – and the second makes sure to keep the pace just the way it was set by Riordan. But The Sword Thief, while travelling us to exotic Asian places, was very slow in pace, and despite Lerangis’s efforts, rather uneventful. Even sort of boring at some parts. Lots of meaningless research and looking around, too much pointless blah blah from the characters, and the temporary truce with the Kabras makes matters even worse. We knew Ian held some kind of affection towards Amy, and vice versa, but Peter Lerangis took it a bit too far with the kiss and the many hints. I felt like the world was finally normal again when I saw Ian betraying her, can you believe that?! It was too fast, and felt out of place, if you ask me. Give the interraction a bit more time, and yes, I can see the appeal, but here it only served to give a sense of OOCness.

All in all, The Sword Thief was a quick and quirky, fast read. But, after having such high expectations from the brilliance that came from the first two books, it was hard to rate it in the same way, or feel connected to the story. Here’s to hoping the next book won’t fall in the same plot traps… *raises coffee mug in salute*

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