Wednesday, September 01, 2010

One False Note by Gordon Korman

Korman writes the second book in the 39 Clues series, and overall I liked it.
However, there are a couple things that irked me.
For one, there is Nellie. She is Amy and Dan's au pair, their adult supervision as they travel the world on the quest for clues. But in this book, she keeps letting them go off on their own and then regretting it when they aren't back hours after they should have been. Maybe this wouldn't bug me if it happened once. But happens several times, and I lost respect for her and what seems to be her irresponsibility. I just didn't think that was the sort of thing Nellie would do.
I suppose this comes of having a different author for the first several books. They think of the characters a little differently than each other, and it shows in the way they have the character act.

Another thing I didn't like (Warning, MINOR SPOILERS) was that they decide to break into on of their competitor's rooms and steal something, and they justify it by saying everyone else in the quest is stealing. They even say they 'cant be the good guys if they want to win'. (END SPOILERS)
But here is what I think: if they break their moral code in the quest for the clues, what is to keep them from from not breaking moral rules if they win and have all that power? Honestly, what good will come of their power, what good change could they make, if they get to power having made these bad ethical choices? Maybe in a story it will all come out alright, but it doesn't work that way in real life. Thats what some kids reading these books might not realize, that it doesn't work that way in real life.

One of the many places that made me smile and laugh (again, MINOR SPOILERS) is when Nellie needs to provide a distraction. She loads her arms up with different CDs in the store, and the clerk says that she must really be a music lover. She smiles and says 'no, I'm a kleptomaniac,' and runs out of the store. (END SPOILERS)

Overall, I liked the story. It was interesting, (though slightly predictable, but the books were meant for younger readers than myself, I think) and although Korman provided some answers to Amy and Dan, there are still plenty left unanswered for the rest of the series.

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