A Stolen Masterpiece
For the past 500 years, the Cahills have been the worlds most powerful family. For 500 years, they've guarded their secrets with their very lives. Until now.
The Cahills have cracked open their vault to tell the story of the most coveted work of art in the world, a masterpiece that has been the target of a record seven theft attempts. Operation Trinity chronicles the very first attack on Van Eyck's altarpiece, then jumps to WWII and young Grace Cahill's desperate bid to save it from the Nazis. The final story tracks Ian and Natalie Kabra's first solo mission - and the searing betrayal that nearly costs them everything.
Discover the secret history of one of the world's most tantalizing treasures... if you dare.
Okay, I'm surprised that this book popped up before book 4 of the Cahills vs. Vespers series, but I must say that once I read the book I was glad that it popped up! The cover looks awesome, although I am surprised by the lack of codes, they usually put hidden codes on the outer front cover, the inner front cover, and for an unset number of pages starting on page 39 of each book I've read from this series, but this one had no codes whatsoever.
The cool thing about the cover is that the picture of the vault door seems to me as a representation of the fact that many great secrets and stories are locked within the book, isolated from enemy eyes, but accessible to Cahill eyes, and that adds a cool, top-secret-spy feeling. I loved how the book was laid out in 3 parts, each from a different time, because It means that I get to read 3 different stories in one book, but these stories are all focused on one thing, the Van Eyck altarpiece, and the three different dates show just how long the Cahills and vespers have been fighting over it.
The story seemed almost real, after looking at pictures of the altarpiece on Google images I can see that there are in fact small messages scattered around the 12 panels that make up the altarpiece, and in the story it is believed that the messages are actually some sort of ancient code that forms a map leading to a priceless treasure, and after seeing the images I can actually believe that the story is true.
The story flowed well, and there was plenty of accuracy and a little bit of history teaching in it as well, and a little personal saying I made, the more real a story sounds, the more enjoyable it gets, and I think that it's safe to say that by the end of this book I was eager to read it again. The price of the book was okay, it does seem a little bit O.T.T, but it is not so expensive as to give it a big thumbs-down, so I think I'll give it a 9/10.
All things taken into consideration, I would say that this is is a great book that people 10 years old and over will love, hope you find the book enjoyable.
I must state first that I haven't read any of the other "39 Clues" books so wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I picked it up to read because the first page began "Ghent, 1566". I love history so this had me hooked enough to read it.
The book is in three parts, the first covering the period in Ghent, 1566 which is the story of Matheus Jacobs and his role in saving the Van Eyck Altarpiece from destruction. The second part is set in 1945, beginning in Massachusetts with Grace Cahill, and ending in the same period in Austria. The third part covers the period in London, 2008 with Ian Kabra and his family.
The book is well written though the plot completely "unlikely" and unreal and at times very confusing. The time periods covered are snap shots of the "Cahills" attempts to "protect" the Van Eyck Altarpiece from the Vespers who want to use the clues hidden in it for great evil. Whilst I did enjoy reading the book (despite the "unlikeliness" of the plot) I was a bit confused about the purpose of the book. I assume it is the beginning of a series in which all will be revealed? I hope and assume so and if that is indeed the case then this book was enough to hook me in to want to read more. As a book on its own I wouldn't recommend it as it just makes no sense and ends abruptly with no sense of concluding or explaining the purpose of what you have just read (a bit like a "Lost" plot!)
I would probably seek out the next volume in the series to see if the story gets better and in the hope that it explains this book a little.
ADMIN NOTE: For more information about the 39 Clues story arch, please check out the 39 Clues website at www.the39clues.com and our reviews of the other books in the series by clicking the '39 clues' tag above.
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"Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989