Title: Into the Gauntlet
Series: 39 Clues (#10)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
ISBN: 9780545060509
Pages: 327 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic, c2010.

Amy grabbed Dan’s arm, ready to flee, but the mysterious ninjas surrounded them.
But they just helped us! she told herself. Maybe they’re allies after all?
Amy wanted to believe that.
“Um, thanks for getting rid of Jonah and Isabel, uh — Hamilton?” Amy guessed.
Elizabethan ninja costumes weren’t the Holts’ style, and the ninja in breeches didn’t seem nearly big enough to be Hamilton. And the voice hadn’t sounded right. But the Holts were the only ones on the Clue hunt with two girls and a boy.
“We’re not the Holt dolts!” the ninja growled. “They’re over there!”
Amy looked and saw all the Holts swarming across the stage from the opposite side. The girls and Mary-Todd were in new-looking, shiny pink tracksuits. Hamilton and his dad were in Manchester United shirts. They were definitely the real Holts.
“Who is that?” Hamilton yelled across the stage. “Who are they working for?” (65)

Amy and Dan are in London, searching for what they hope to be the final clue. Now that they know what house they are in, they’re on a new quest to reunite the feuding families before the hunt destroys everyone. But with one last clue still on the loose, it’s just as difficult as they thought it would be. After fighting ninjas and staking out Shakespeare’s tomb, is the final clue in the Madrigal strong hold? And what do all of these clues create when combined? Find out in this conclussion of this sensational series.

I’ll admit from the start that I’m a Shakespeare geek, so when the road led to Shakespeare I was excited. And, like 11-year-old boy, Dan was less than thrilled. Although, he is somewhat placated when he finds out Shakespeare made up the word puke and he learns the insults that Shakespeare used back then.

I was a little surprised though at how the story turned out. The ending seemed to end somewhat sappily (I’m sorry, I meant happily) ever after, with a let’s-hug-and-be-friends feel to it. The turn around from killing for clues to banning together seems forced, and the injuries sustained by some of the players is completely unrealistic in terms of their miraculous recovery from gun shot wounds and being buried in cave-ins. The final tests were also anticlimactic, as there was actually a way around them without answering them (I won’t go into more detail than that). If you’re willing to suspend your belief, then you might be satisfied as the Cahill siblings triumph in the end.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard yet, the 39 Clues is coming back with a new series, Cahill’s vs. Vespers. Vesper’s Rising appears to be the first one in the series, being published in April of next year according to Amazon.

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