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 across the sky, diving to attack. Jake's new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist—the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady—dead or alive.
Exciting Adventure with Science and History Thrown In Connecticut teenagers Jake and Kady Ransom come from a long line of archeologists and adventurers. Jake is preparing to be an adventurous archeologist. He studies history, science and taekwondo, and practices his expedition skills digging up fossils in his backyard. Kady, while also very intelligent, is not so studious. She is a popular cheerleader who is more concerned about her social schedule than following in her ancestors' footsteps.
Three years ago, their parents disappeared without a trace while on a Mayan expedition. While attending a British Museum event featuring artifacts recovered by their parents, Jake and Kady are transported to another world.
Calypsos is inhabited by plants, animals, and people from different places in time (e.g., dinosaurs, Neanderthals, Mayans, and Romans). While searching for a way home, Jake and Kady join with the inhabitants to fight the Skull King, a dark lord who wants to destroy the peaceful village.
The Skull King's Shadow is a fast-paced adventure that combines fantasy, mythology, science and history. Rollins creates strong characters and a vivid world. While a complete story, the broader questions are left unanswered. As the first in a series, the reader will have to read the entire series for the answers. The Skull King's Shadow is an Indiana Jones adventure that will hopefully inspire young readers to explore the history and science revered in the book....more info
A Thriller Novel For All Ages I was fortunate enough to receive one of a small number of Advanced Reader Copies of James Rollins' new book. Rollins has penned another winner. He is the author of a number of bestselling thrillers, including The Judas Strain and The Last Oracle with a reputation for fast paced action, as well as historical and scientific accuracy. His new book is another thriller, but unlike his previous work, it is targeted at a younger audience.
In Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow, young Jake Ransom receives a mysterious package related to the disappearance of his parents three years earlier. They disappeared during an archaeological dig in Mexico, and Jake jumps at the chance to find out more about what happened to them. With his sister Kady, he begins a journey across time to an exotic land alive with human history and fabulous creatures. They find themselves in a race to save new friends and defeat new enemies, all the while trying to discover the truth about their parents.
Jake Ransom is billed as a new series for kids and adults, and it lives up to that description. Younger readers will find the writing accessible and the young characters engaging, while adults will find plenty of action, adventure, and history to keep them interested. And the ending leaves plenty of room for future books in the series.
So what's best about the book? Well, I loved the main character, Jake Ransom. You largely forget his age, but not quite, as Rollins isn't afraid to remind you from time to time that he's still just a kid. BUt even beyond the characters, the best thing about this book is the same thing that sets Rollins' other books apart, and that is his imagination. Just when you think you know what's going on, he throws in something new and exciting, and he does so in a way that is seamless.
If you're not a fan of the Indiana Jones style of adventure, or prefer your prose literary rather than action-packed, then the book may not be for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend checking it out....more info
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". ...more info
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.
Not for his regular readers I simply could not finish this one and I avidly gobble up Rollins. After about 25% I gave up. Alice down the rabbit hole doesn't adequately describe the required suspension of belief. Only for young readers - I would say junior high at the most....more info