Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, know that a disaster is about to strike the world.
They know they are the only ones who can stop it, and they know they may already be too late. The person behind the disaster is their own relative, a man who calls himself the Outcast. He's already recreated two of history's worst disasters, and is only biding his time before he strikes again.
The clues that the Cahill kids have gathered suggest that the Outcast's latest disaster is modelled after Hurricane Katrina. But what city will he target? And how can anyone conjure up a hurricane? Dan and Amy have no answers and very little time to find them. All they can count on is a tidal wave of trouble coming, and only them to stand in its way.
The third book in the 39 Clues Doublecross series and I have to say the best so far. I found it fast paced and exciting and one I could really sink my teeth into, so much so I finished it in a little over three hours. It has been quite a while since I read the the second book so it take me a couple of chapters to recall what was happening but once I did I was completely drawn in to the story.
I think I enjoyed this book more than the previous two because there were three stories being told. They broke up and each had there own challenges happening so the excitement was always there. I did not like the nuke story with Ian, Dan and Cara I found that rather tedious, but I really enjoyed Amy, Hamilton and Jonah but I have to confess I like reading about Hamilton and Jonah anyway they are so funny together, especially the banter between the two. Then possibly the best segment of the three Sammy and Nellie trying to locate the Tomas camp. Extremely exciting especially reading about Tomas headquaters and the various activities they have set up inside the mountain.
It was well written and flowed nicely. Chapters are nice and quick and there is not a lot of unnecessary information passed along so it was basically always on point. It did not really slow down at all and the fast paced was carried through the pages. A couple of times it became a bit repetative but I didn't seem to mind that at all. I like that Ian has finally stepped down and the forth book looks like it will be more exciting as they have decided to change tactics and set a trap instead of always chasing. I am dying to find out what Amy read and hopefully it is passed on to the readers in the next book.
I would suggest reading the previous two books first so it all makes sense. For a kids series it is well worth reading.
Initially, I found this book somewhat confusing. There was a number of characters introduced in quick succession, and I could not at first work out where they fitted in to the story or how they were related to each other. By the time I had reached the fourth chapter, however, it was all starting to slot into place. If I had read the first and second books in the series before starting this one I would have been familiar with the character interactions. It would also have helped if the author had supplied mini-biographies at the start to provide some background for the key characters.
Once I had worked out those details, however, I found the book to be most enjoyable. The plot is a little far-fetched, but is bound to entertain the eight to twelve years olds who are the target audience. It gains momentum as the story progresses and it has an exciting ending which was so good that I was unable to put the book down once I reached the last five chapters!
I liked the way that the book is set in different countries, and the trivia which are part of the descriptions of each place mean that there is plenty of geographical and historical background included. This takes the book out of the area of being just another adventure novel - it provides a learning experience as well. I even learned some Dutch while I was reading it!
The book includes an extension activity - you can sign in to the Scholastic website and explore an online mission. I worked my way through the first one, after signing up for a Scholastic kid's account so I could access it! Once logged in, I was straight into the first game which was inspired by the Titanic story. This was fascinating because I have studied the White Star Line history in detail, and (of course!) seen THE movie at least four times as well as a couple of spin-offs. The graphics are clear and the clues fairly straightforward, with a combination of multiple choice questions designed to provide further information for the "agent", and hot links which activate when clicked so that the agent is then transported to another part of the game. This is standard for games of this type, but what made it more interesting is that it all links in to the book series. I played for half an hour and then lost the round when I got zapped by sharks, so I will have to go back in again. I can see this becoming addictive!
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