Beyond the GraveTitle: Beyond the Grave
Series: 39 Clues
Author: Jude Watson
ISBN: 9780545060448
Pages: 190 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., c2009.

The hypodermic needle protruded out of the tourist’s clawlike finger. Dan leaned closer to the window. . . .
“Dan!” She screamed the name. In her head. But it came out like a strangled croak.
Amy threw herself forward. At the very last second, she flung out her hand. (3)

Amy and Dan Cahill find themselves – with their au pair Nellie and their cat Saladin — in the sweltering heat of Egypt. Before they can even arrive at their hotel, competing teams make an attempt to take them out of the competition for good. The clues lead them literally following in Grace’s footseps from years before. But the brother and sister team still has trouble figuring out who to trust, as a piece of their grandmother is stolen from a supposed friend. Will they find the next clue in time?

I know, I know. I had said in a previous post that I wasn’t going to read any more of the series. But:
a) when the kids are chopping at the bit to read these things, I feel challenged to figure out what they see in them.
b) I’m thinking about planning a program for the final book release, and in order to do that I need to know more about them and what happens in them.

I’m not yet sold on the idea of the collector’s cards or the web site, which is probably why I’m so reluctant to jump in. A book should be a book, and you shouldn’t have to do something else to find all the clues or keys to the puzzle. It just sounds gimmicky to me, like how else can we exploit or make a profit out of this facinastion.

Regarding the book however, I think this one was my favorite. We see Dan and Amy using knowledge that is relatively excessible, or if it isn’t, then it’s provided in the book through a reliable source. Does Dan’s photographic memory come in handy? Oh yes it does, and I wish I had a memory like that. I am also so glad that Jonah Wizard gets what’s coming to him in this book. We still see the characters struggling with who to trust, especially when someone from Grace’s past ends up turning on them. Readers also get to see more in-depth characterizations and details, with Irina’s past becoming a little clearer. So far, I think this is my favorite book, although the ending does not reveal where they are off to next, which is slightly disappointing and slightly alluring. I guess I haven’t given up hope just yet.