Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
The Black Circle by Patrick Carman


Cover art: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman YA Guest Reviewer: Andrew Roberts
Title: The Black Circle - 5th in the 39 Clues series
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN-13: 978-0-545-06045-5
Release Date: August 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 9-12
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 9-15
Year/Setting: Present Day, Locations around
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: N/A
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Patrick's Website: www.patrickcarman.com

Dan and Amy are on the hunt for another clue. This time, they get a note from a person named NRR. NRR is very unknown. He could be an ally or enemy. Some relatives of Dan and Amy say enemy, the others don’t even know about it. When Dan and Amy get a note from NRR, they also get some items. Before they know it they are in Russia, leaving their Au Pair, Nellie, a night’s train ride away.

They get to break into many expensive places, throw GPS’s into baby carriages, and drive motorcycles without a license, all without supervision. At least, they think they are unsupervised. Running around for the 39 clues can lead to having a camera stuck to your safety helmet that you clean every 5 seconds. To get spied on is easy, but finding out who the enemies are is even easier. When around every corner there’s an enemy, Dan and Amy take caution when being helped by NRR, for he could be an enemy, too. Slowly, the kids feel that he’s an ally.

Running around Russia can be a problem for the Lucian agents. Finding out that a Lucian agent is helping Dan and Amy is a bigger problem for the Lucian agents. Since Dan and Amy are Cahill agents, they should not get anything from a Lucian agent. Will Amy and Dan pull it off without harm? No, there’s always harm. So the real question is will there be much harm?

If you look at the teams trying to capture the clues, there are a lot, then little in seconds. From exploding bombs, to alliances, a team can be in the lead one day, and be the lowest placed team the next. One alliance you would never expect would be the Holts with Dan and Amy. Dan and Amy make an attempt, but will it work? Find out by reading the book.

I liked the book was it had action, suspense, and a fantastic plot. It had action because there are times when they’re running away from angry villagers or speeding down the highway in a car that was "no larger than a refrigerator." There’s a lot of suspense. The next chapter almost never stays on subject. It always leaves you hanging and then goes to another team. Jumping from team to team made it extremely suspenseful. Finally, it had a fantastic plot. Dan and Amy are running around alone; a one-day train ride away from their Au Pair. With all of this action and suspense in the plot, I really liked the book.

I think you should read the books in order. The way the books work are crazy and you could get extremely lost when you read this book before any of the others. In the books, you get led on to another place because of the ending in the previous book. So read the books and go for cash prizes at www.the39clues.com. Good luck to all agents.


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