Shatterproof by Roland Smith

Posted July 23, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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Shatterproof by Roland SmithShatterproof by Roland Smith
Series: The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers #4
Also in this series: The Medusa Plot, A King's Ransom, The Dead of Night, Trust No One, Day of Doom
Published by Scholastic Press on September 4th 2012
Genres: Adventure, Middle Grade, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift
Goodreads
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four-stars

After pulling some spectacular heists, Amy and Dan have become two of Interpol's most wanted criminals. So when Vesper One orders them to steal the world's largest diamond, they know they're facing life in prison...or worse. But with the Cahill hostages still in peril, Amy and Dan have no choice but to launch a mission that leads them to an ancient city full of dangerous secrets. With a Vesper mole sabotaging the Madrigals from inside, Amy and Dan have to fulfill their enemy's request before it's too late. Vesper One has developed a taste for killing Cahills, and Amy and Dan aren't going to wait to see who's next.

Main Points
Writing Style:
The writing style is pretty consistent, even if it’s written by a different author than other books.
Plot:
Tensions continue to rise. There’s a huge breakthrough for the hostages, though- Phoenix escapes! And they were moved. And now they know where they are, even though they can’t tell Amy and Dan. But they’re all injured, with no chance of medical assistance.
The even bigger (in my humble opinion) breakthrough in this book is the romance between Amy and Jake! But ooh! Amy still has a boyfriend- Evan! So many complications. He knows he’s losing her, but he doesn’t know quite how quickly. I was squealing all over the place with those two- Amy and Jake. Everything was just so CUTE. They started off hating each other, then they started smiling and blushing at each other, and then they even almost kissed! (okay they consider it an actual kiss but it wasn’t long enough in my opinion to be counted.) It was so adorable! But what will happen with Evan?
And Ian comes back, thankfully. But is he really a traitor? What’s going on?
This book was kind of a double hunt. First Berlin, which proved to be…a diversion? And then Timbuktu. A lot to fit into one novel! But it was managed.
And again…death is unavoidable. Someone else important dies. And Interpol is on their tail…a little too closely. So many complications. But they just keep doing it, solving mystery after mystery, while Amy and Jake try to figure themselves out and Dan tries to fight his internal demons…
Quotes:
This series seems to be full of depressing Dan quotes.
“Dan was afraid he could feel his own soul turning to dust.” (page 134)
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • themes
  • history
  • mystery
  • relationships/romance
Less than perfect:
  • heavy subject matter? I’m not really sure. I mean I like it, but would I want 10 or 12-year-olds reading this? Maybe not.
Bottom Line
And the mysteries continue. I continue to like where these books are headed. The awkwardness of young romance becomes apparent, and Dan still fights his internal battle with futility. This book was an interesting double-hunt, so different from the previous two. Will I continue the series? For sure. Would I recommend this to others? Maybe, but people more my age than middle grade.

About Roland Smith

Roland Smith is an American author of young adult fiction as well as nonfiction books for children.
Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University and, following a part-time job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, began a 20-year career as a zookeeper, both at the Oregon Zoo and the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. After working to save wildlife following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, in 1990, he published his first book, Sea Otter Rescue, a non-fiction account of the process of animal rescue. Smith continued to draw upon his zoo experiences for other non-fiction titles, including Journey of the Red Wolf, which won an Oregon Book Award in 1996.
In 1997, Smith published his first novel, Thundercave. The book continues Smith’s theme, as teenage protagonist Jacob Lansa follows his biologist father to Africa where the father is researching elephants. The Lansa character also appears in 1999
s Jaguar and 2001’s The Last Lobo. Other novels by Smith include The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe, Zach’s Lie, Jack’s Run, Cryptid Hunters, Sasquatch (novel), about a boy who searches for Bigfoot. Peak, the story of a teenage boy obsessed with climbing mountains, Elephant Run and Tentacles(novel). In 2008, Smith published the first book in the series I, Q, titled Independence Hall. Smith’s books have won “Book of the Year” awards in Colorado, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida, as well as in his native Oregon. Smith lives in Tualatin, Oregon with his wife and stepchildren.

Rating
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Setting
five-stars
Romance
three-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: four-stars
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