Peter Lerangis in Manila!


Forgive me for the unexpected hiatus. This summer has been busier than I anticipated, but there was absolutely no way I would miss Peter Lerangis in Manila!

Peter Lerangis is a prolific author of over a hundred books, including three (and a quarter) books in Scholastic 39 Clues series, “The Sword Thief” (my personal favorite), “The Viper’s Nest,” one story in “Vespers Rising” (with other stories written with Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson), and “Dead of Night.” His new series, “The Seven Wonders,” ties in the Atlantis legend with the seven ancient wonders of the world, starting with “The Colossus Rises” and a second book, “Lost in Babylon” due out later this year.

What I found most interesting (and the cause of my excitement), is that before Peter Lerangis broke out on his own, he ghostwrote for many series for young readers — all the books I grew up on, in fact! — The Three Investigators (my all-time favorite kid detective series) Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins, and The Babysitters Club!

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39 Clues: Vespers Rising

The first book I read for the FFP 24-Hour Readathon was Vespers Rising, book #11 of the 39 Clues series, which I was reading for the launch party organized by Scholastic Philippines and National Book Store the next day.

I was eager to read this book after I finished book 10, Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix, because I wanted to see Dan and Amy return for their next adventure! I originally thought Vespers Rising was the first book in the second 39 Clues series, but it turns out it’s actually the “bridge book” that links the two parts together.

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The 39 Clues: Vespers Rising Launch Party!

Attention 39 Clues fans!

Scholastic and National Book Store are holding a launch party for The 39 Clues: Vespers Rising on April 9, 2011, 3 pm, at NBS Bestsellers!

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Preview: The Viper’s Nest (39 Clues #7)

I’m writing a newspaper review of The 39 Clues book 7: The Viper’s Nest by Peter Lerangis, but I just finished it tonight (I couldn’t put it down, even while getting my hair done at the salon) and I’m dying to spill the beans on what happens in this one, but of course I won’t, so here’s a sneak peek instead.

(Spoiler free sneak peek after the cut).

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Squee for Book Three!

I have always thought The 39 Clues was a brilliant marketing coup on the part of Scholastic, but as I closed the cover on my copy of the third installment in the series (I was reading it for an article for Manila Bulletin, which comes out on Saturday), The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis (Book #40 for 2009), I think the it would be safe to say that it has gotten into its groove. 

I’m not sure which factors in more, if it’s Lerangis’ writing that makes the difference (he did ghost-write for my favorite mystery series, The Three Investigators) or if the mechanisms set in place by the first two books were simply put in motion, but I honestly loved The Sword Thief more than I did the first two books (I rated them both 4/5 stars, and not so much for the story but for the reading experience).

For the first two books, as action-packed as they were, I felt a certain detachment towards the text, like I was an impartial witness to the action unfolding throughout the pages. Book 3 fits in with the rest of the series (with no less than Nick and Norah author David Levithan directing the editorial team), with the trademark 39 Clues twisty chase (suspension of disbelief is a given, think National Treasure or Da Vinci Code) but to my surprise, The Sword Thief captured what I felt was lacking in the series: an added depth to the characters, and interesting dynamics between the Cahill relatives, which comes in at an opportune moment, because the cat-and-mouse, left-and-right sabotage can get pretty old after a while.

I guess Lerangis’ writing does deserve to be singled out, as he manages to add more introspection to the characters and keep up with the line of action — 20 pages under the last book, at that — and I feel that this book captured the spirit of 39 Clues most succintly.

I think it can only get better from here on, and I can’t wait for Book 4, Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson, which is out in June. Should be good, set in classic treasure hunt wonderland: Egypt!

That reminds me, I should input the cards onto my account soon and get a move on with the clues in the online game… Arrgh, the problem is the game site is sooo addictive and I can’t limit myself to an hour playing…. And I also need to get an expansion card pack soon before the new set (for the next books) is released. Ohhh, to be a kid again!

P.S. If there are any other Cahills out there, I’m a Lucian.

My copy: hardcover (the series is in hardcover)

My rating: 5/5 stars