Two teens, a shadowy mission, and no turning back…This lavish 1920s journal kicks off a three-part series recounting the adventures of two intrepid siblings tracking their parents’ disappearance. Starting aboard their uncle’s research ship, the saga moves at a breathless pace through the streets of Shanghai and on to a terrifying island fortress. Chinese mercenaries, a hateful pirate warlord, and a highminded secret society all play a part in a thrilling tale of intrigue packed with nonstop action and novelty features. (from Amazon)
Things I love: historical fiction, secret societies, stories where kids travel around the world having adventures. This series? Has all of that! And more! It’s got sword fights and pet tigers and Davinci Code things that don’t really make sense if you look at them too closely, and, best of all, it’s got maps and diagrams and illustrations peppered throughout. If you really like the Indiana Jones movies and YA adventure books, you’d LOVE this series.
(The maps (and diagrams) are really why you have to get the hardcover version of these books, btw. The text block is too heavy without a sturdy support system behind it, and the paperback covers are glues on in such a way that they FALL OFF if you read the book a little too enthusiastically. So: get the hardcovers. It’s totally worth it.)
Admittedly the writing lacks a little something. I don’t know exactly what that something is (sophistication? It IS the author’s first book, after all) but it’s enough of a something to bug me. Still, it’s a really fun book, and the writing actually gets better in the next one! Yay!
My favorite thing about Operation Red Jericho, however, is the two main protagonists, Becca and Doug. I love them! Becca is such a perfect surly teenager (who is super awesome at fencing), and Doug is a perfectly annoying younger brother (who just so happens to know a lot about, uh, everything). Following them around on their adventures is what makes the book so enjoyable, I think, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
Read: May 16, 2012 (reread)
Can I just say that Candlewick does some AMAZING YA books, y’all? If you didn’t know that before, you’ve really been missing out on some very good books.
Here’s an example of what the graphics look like!