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Paperback Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow Book

ISBN: 0061473812

ISBN13: 9780061473814

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow

(Book #1 in the Jake Ransom Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents on the expedition from which they never returned leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance. But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Young Indiana Jones in the Making

Jake and Kady Ransom are the children of brilliant archaeologists who tragically and mysteriously disappear while on a dig for ancient Mayan artifacts. Three years later the Ransoms are suspiciously invited to a new Mayan exhibition at the British Museum, commemorating the memory of the missing archaeologists. It turns out to be a PR stunt, but Jake and Kady get to enjoy the special Mayan artifacts before anyone else. It is the miniature pyramid that intrigues Jake, noticing that the doorway is an unusual shape that two glyph pieces--the last items the Ransoms got from their parents--fit exactly into. When inserted, there is a bright light, then darkness. Jake and Kady awake to find themselves in another world where there are very different people from different moments in time: Mayans, Vikings, Romans, even Neanderthals who have been there for many thousands of years. They live in the great city of Calypsos. Here they are protected from the dinosaurs that walk about outside looking for prey. The Ransoms find themselves in a time long, long ago, where there are many dangers. There is also the Skull King, once an elder of Calypsos, who is now looking to take over the city and subjugate its people. It will be up to Jake and Kady to figure out a way to stop the Skull King and somehow find a way back home, to their time. Bestselling author James Rollins kicks off a great children's book series with Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow, which is a combination of adventurous Indiana Jones with some fascinating history of the different cultures of the world. Focusing on the Mayan people and their culture in this first book, the rest of the series promises to be just as action-packed and educational. Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow is a book to be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Check out BookBanter[...] for a recent interview with author James Rollins. Reviewed by Alex C. Telander

Like Harry Potter, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy Jake Ransom

Thanks to James for once again dipping into his (bottomless) well of creativity to write something entirely unexpected. 2009 is going to go down as the most prolific for Mr. Rollins...between Jake Ransom, The Doomsday Key and the Alter of Eden, this man is keeping BUSY, no doubt about it! Yes, this is NOT a story in keeping with the average Sigma Force novels--and yet that doesn't make it any less entertaining. This novel PROVES you don't have to infest a book with expletives and sex in order to be thoroughly exciting and VERY worthwhile to read (not that a typical Rollins novel was loaded with that anyway). I didn't used think this way all that long ago, but after giving in and picking up the Harry Potter series in an attempt to find additional common ground with my children, I discovered something quite unexpected along the way: Books for younger readers can still be every bit as fun to read as anything else out there. While I have no independent information to confirm this, my guess is after writing the latest Indiana Jones story, a few ideas began to churn around in his head and the result is our Jake Ransom tale, which in MY opinion seems to be clearly inspired from a Young Indiana Jones perspective. Again, I have ZERO evidence to back this up, but if I had to guess, I'd say this is a fair bet that I am at least partially correct. So how IS the story? Well, without giving away the plot details (which I absolutely HATE people doing btw), this is James Rollins...what do you expect but fun, thrilling adventure?? At least thats what I expect, and so far, I have been ANYTHING but let down. If nothing else, the previous novels have steadily been raising the bar and I got literally everything I expected (and quite a bit more to be honest) from Jake and his first adventure...yes, by the looks of things, this will NOT be Jakes one and only escapade (thankfully). The story reminded me a little of Indiana Jones (obviously) with a bit of The Mummy, not to mention a healthy dose of Supernatural, too--and a whole lot of action blended quite well together, making one VERY well written tale that I submit is just as fun to enjoy as anything else in Mr. Rollins large--and expanding--list of adventure tales to choose from. I eagerly await Jakes next story.

Wonderful New Series!!

I am a fan of James Rollins' adult novels. I also loved his "Witch" series, written under the name James Clemens. So I decided to read this new book, written for teens. Well, I really enjoyed it! In fact, I am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series. I can empathize with the author... though a girl, I was always interested in science and adventure. I preferred Tom Swift to Nancy Drew. Bravo, Mr Rollins!! Now, I can't wait till next month for "The Doomsday Key".

What a ride!

This book has something for everyone. Adult fans of James Rollins will enjoy a style that combines the author's fiction style with the style of his fantasy-author alter-ego, James Clemens. It blends fact with fiction with his usual flare to create fascinating pictures of both this world and the world in which the main characters find themselves. Younger readers will find a fast-paced tale full of adventure and excitement, with likable characters and a world that draws in even the most picky readers. Whatever your age, this one leaves you wanting more.

If Rollins and Clemens had a child...

I've gotten a little clever with the title of my review. It refers to the fact that thriller writer James Rollins also writes fantasy novels under the name James Clemens. I think Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow really is like the perfect offspring of the Rollins and Clemens styles--some science, thrills and adventure, mixed with a generous amount of fantasy. And this IS his first novel for young adults. Now, the book is written for kids aged ten and up. I'm a 40-year-old woman, so I'd be, you know, up. There isn't a doubt in my mind that this book will find an audience with its intended readership, but that it will also be read by many of Rollins adult fans who are, like me, young at heart. The great thing is that there's something for everyone. It's a terrific book for parents and kids to read together. The novel is told from the point of view of 13-year-old Jake Ransom. He and his older sister Kady come from a long line of archeologists and adventurers. Their parents were lost under mysterious circumstances on an expedition three years earlier, but despite this tragedy, Jake is ready to follow in their footsteps. He's fascinated by history and science, and spends all his time engaged in some form of learning. Kady's a little different. She's... popular. (And great job writing some strong female characters, Mr. Rollins!) Near the beginning of the novel, Jake and Kady receive a surprise invitation to a museum exhibit opening in London. The exhibit features Mayan artifacts recovered from the senior Ransoms' last fateful expedition. Jake and Kady attend the opening amidst much fanfare. It's an eventful day; the opening is timed to match exactly a full eclipse of the sun, plus there's an electrical storm raging. Alone with an artifact, during some extraordinary atmospheric conditions, all the puzzle pieces come together and Jake and Kady are transported--inexplicably--to another world. And they're about to be eaten by a t-rex! Jake and Kady have come to Calypsos, and while they explore this village and its unique inhabitants, they are searching for a way home. Unfortunately, they get embroiled with a VVV--a vaguely Voldemortian villain--and are intimately caught up in an epic battle of good and evil. The book actually reminded me more of Lloyd Alexander's beloved Chronicles of Prydain with its own epic battle than anything else (but others with a better vocabulary of YA fiction may have more apt comparisons). Here's the thing... This novel is the first of a promised series. It does a great job of setting up the principles, the situations, the conflicts, and so forth. And this arc of the story is complete. The one thing you should know is that none of the bigger picture questions are answered. As you finish this novel, it will leave you wanting much, much more. I read a galley of this novel, but I can't wait to see all the illustrations in a finished copy. It's coming out right in time for my nephew's birthda
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