Monday, May 2, 2011

Ring of Fire

Elettra helps her father and two aunts run a hotel in Rome, Italy. When Dad goofs up some reservations and triple-books 3 families for the same room, Elettra ends up sharing hers with three other 12 year olds. They discover that they were born on the same day, February 29, and that Elettra has some type of superpower which is like a surge of energy that pours through her body. The energy is so powerful it has caused blackouts in the city. The mystery begins when the four kids are handed a briefcase by a man who is being chased by unknown evil people. The man is murdered and they open the briefcase where they discover ancient artifacts that lead them on a scavenger hunt through Rome.

The book setups for a sequel and not all the answers are tied up in the end. The reader is more caught up in the mystery than Elettra's superpower, which isn't really explained in-depth and doesn't have any plot development where she is tutored on how to use the superpower. The powers seem to come and go in heat surges and depends on how close the kids are to solving a clue. The other children have powers too but nothing is revealed. The characters are not developed in-depth with tension created through internal conflicts - most of the suspense and tension are external.The beginning and the subplots might be confusing with all the characters that are introduced.

There is violence in the book that involves a man being murdered, one of the characters being kidnapped and knowing she will be murdered, and the kids in danger. There is plenty of suspense and the pacing picks up in the second half of the book. If you like solving clues, you should enjoy this book.

Reading Level 4.3

:-) :-) :-) 3 Smileys

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