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Jake Ransom and the Skull Kings Shadow
by James Rollins

Release Date: 1st Jul 2010
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978 1 4440 0061 0
RRP: £6.99

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A Children's title that parents will find themselves sneaking out of their kid's room for a crafty read...

Rollins is no amateur when it comes to delivering novels full of angst, pace and teeming with thrills and spills. So, it will come as no surprise that he has finally taken the plunge and thrown himself into a spanking new Children’s (Jake Ransom) series to rival Rick Riordan.
Tantalising teasers, curious cliff-hangers and mysterious markings: Jake Ransom and the Skull Kings Shadow is instantly captivating with a terrifying chase down a mountain, and indulges in the most ostentatious of imaginings. Jake Ransom is not your average kid: scarily bright, somewhat of a loner and remarkable for the intensity with which he approaches everything; Jake is determined to follow in his parents’ footsteps; a determination forged in steel after their mysterious disappearance and presumed death. His older sister, Kady (Katherine) is his opposite in nearly every conceivable way: extroverted, popular at school and seemingly unaffected by the absence of her parents. It takes an unsolicited invitation to a Mayan exhibition in London to bring them closer together – in ways they couldn’t possibly have imagined.

Blending historical fact with fiction, Jake Ransom and the Skull Kings Shadow provides plenty to keep you engaged, not least with the eclectic mix of Mayan, Roman, Viking, American Indian and Neanderthal civilisations that come together to form a unique society of “lost tribes”. The Skull King doesn’t really make an impression in this first instalment, although we do meet him briefly. Instead, the fright is supplied by his various creations (creepy, leather-winged creatures) and a close encounter with a T-Rex.

Entertaining, enlightening and with the pace and exoticism of a Jaguar; we couldn’t peel our eyes away from page after page... the only disappointment came when we realised we’d reached then end. Rollins may be a good thriller writer, but he is a magnificent children’s author.


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