Customer Reviews for

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow (Jake Ransom Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

To Enthusiasts of Adventure Fiction

The Story:
Young archaeologist. Ancient civilizations. An unknown evil. I was drawn to the story from the very beginning. Jake is a version of a studious Indiana Jones. He's had the training, but he's lacked the adventures, until now. And he's prepared for them, though...
The Story:
Young archaeologist. Ancient civilizations. An unknown evil. I was drawn to the story from the very beginning. Jake is a version of a studious Indiana Jones. He's had the training, but he's lacked the adventures, until now. And he's prepared for them, though not always in the manner he suspected. Surprisingly, his sister, who seems at the outset to be just another beauty queen in the making with her sights set no higher than the Captain of the Football Team and the next Big Cheer, turns out to be up to the challenge as well. They manage to hold their own throughout the adventures of the book, making allies and finding a niche for themselves among the people of Calypsos. Jake, the scholar, makes friends with the local masters of alchemy, men who study the magics of the land. Kady finds herself welcomed in the halls of the Vikings and discovers a unique comparison between baton twirling and sword throwing.

Jake also makes two close friends during his time in Calypsos: Marika, the Mayan daughter of one of the master, and Pindor, the Roman son of one of the Elders of Calypsos. The threesome manage to end up in the center of all the goings-on of Calypsos, which will, in the end, put them at the center of the Skull King's attempt to takeover the city and control its magic. The ways in which the trio, along with help fromKady, Pindor's older brother and Kady's squad of youthful Viking warrioresses, combat the evil of the Skull King is exciting and unique.

The Writing:
At first, I was leery of what I would find on the page of this young adult novel. But from the first few pages, I was hooked. The writing is descriptive but easy to read, with simply constructed sentences that don't try to do more than convey the essence of the story. It isn't Hemingway, for nothing is hidden under the language, but it is to the point and reveals just what the reader needs to know to paint a vivid and compelling picture of the scene and the characters interactions.

Better yet, just when I thought I knew what would happen next, something quite different occurred. The plot did not try to point me in the wrong direction, throwing up red herrings to lead me astray, but led me along naturally with the opinions and concerns of the characters, until they, and I, found out that we were mistaken. Sometimes to a dangerous degree.

And the Skull King, when he finally made his appearance, was not of the usual 'Mwahaha' variety of villain. He was terrifying in the manner of Voldemort or a Ring Wraith (and indeed shares qualities with both of these villains). What drives him hasn't been completely revealed, as this is only the first book of a series. But it is obvious that he will not stop to get what he's after and the depths of his cunning and plotting have only to be touched upon.

Recommendation:
I enjoyed this book immensely and have the second one on order now. The fact that I found the book sitting in a bargain bin made it all the more enjoyable, like finding a ruby sitting among costume jewelry. I recommend it for any enthusiasts of adventure fiction, and it is appropraite for readers age 12 and up. I'd set the age lower except it can be a bit frightening at times, and the loss of parents can be the hardest material for younger readers to handle. That said, mature 10-year-olds could easily handle the writing and language.

posted by CJaneReid on February 14, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Blaah

The pyramid looks copied from The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, still like The Red Pyramid better Coming from a twelve almost thirteen year old dont blameme if u dont likee me

posted by 16700826 on March 4, 2012

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    To Enthusiasts of Adventure Fiction

    The Story:
    Young archaeologist. Ancient civilizations. An unknown evil. I was drawn to the story from the very beginning. Jake is a version of a studious Indiana Jones. He's had the training, but he's lacked the adventures, until now. And he's prepared for them, though not always in the manner he suspected. Surprisingly, his sister, who seems at the outset to be just another beauty queen in the making with her sights set no higher than the Captain of the Football Team and the next Big Cheer, turns out to be up to the challenge as well. They manage to hold their own throughout the adventures of the book, making allies and finding a niche for themselves among the people of Calypsos. Jake, the scholar, makes friends with the local masters of alchemy, men who study the magics of the land. Kady finds herself welcomed in the halls of the Vikings and discovers a unique comparison between baton twirling and sword throwing.

    Jake also makes two close friends during his time in Calypsos: Marika, the Mayan daughter of one of the master, and Pindor, the Roman son of one of the Elders of Calypsos. The threesome manage to end up in the center of all the goings-on of Calypsos, which will, in the end, put them at the center of the Skull King's attempt to takeover the city and control its magic. The ways in which the trio, along with help fromKady, Pindor's older brother and Kady's squad of youthful Viking warrioresses, combat the evil of the Skull King is exciting and unique.

    The Writing:
    At first, I was leery of what I would find on the page of this young adult novel. But from the first few pages, I was hooked. The writing is descriptive but easy to read, with simply constructed sentences that don't try to do more than convey the essence of the story. It isn't Hemingway, for nothing is hidden under the language, but it is to the point and reveals just what the reader needs to know to paint a vivid and compelling picture of the scene and the characters interactions.

    Better yet, just when I thought I knew what would happen next, something quite different occurred. The plot did not try to point me in the wrong direction, throwing up red herrings to lead me astray, but led me along naturally with the opinions and concerns of the characters, until they, and I, found out that we were mistaken. Sometimes to a dangerous degree.

    And the Skull King, when he finally made his appearance, was not of the usual 'Mwahaha' variety of villain. He was terrifying in the manner of Voldemort or a Ring Wraith (and indeed shares qualities with both of these villains). What drives him hasn't been completely revealed, as this is only the first book of a series. But it is obvious that he will not stop to get what he's after and the depths of his cunning and plotting have only to be touched upon.

    Recommendation:
    I enjoyed this book immensely and have the second one on order now. The fact that I found the book sitting in a bargain bin made it all the more enjoyable, like finding a ruby sitting among costume jewelry. I recommend it for any enthusiasts of adventure fiction, and it is appropraite for readers age 12 and up. I'd set the age lower except it can be a bit frightening at times, and the loss of parents can be the hardest material for younger readers to handle. That said, mature 10-year-olds could easily handle the writing and language.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Copy

    This book is a total rip off from the kane chronicles (the red pyramid) sure it may b a good book but its a total RIP OFF it has the same story line. His sister kady, Carters sister Sadie! The pretty myan girl, Zia the pretty girl Carter likes!!! Do NOT read! If youve read this but not the red pyramid then search it its by rick riordan

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Blaah

    The pyramid looks copied from The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, still like The Red Pyramid better

    Coming from a twelve almost thirteen year old dont blameme if u dont likee me

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    I would recommend this to any and all ages! I finished this boo

    I would recommend this to any and all ages! I finished this book in one day! You can't put it down!! I absolutely loved this adventerous tale and you will too! I'm going to get the second book, Jake Ransome and the Howling Sphinx right now!! Hopefully he will have completed another by the time I'm finished! MOVE OVER HARRY POTTER! There's a new craze in town!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    A have-to read!!!!!!!!!

    It's so weird when everyone just appears in the middle of the desert/storm !! And when those flowers turn out to be people!!!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Fun read

    Truely enjoyed this young adult title from James Rollins. While not as good as some of his adult fiction, I did enjoy the read. I will definately check out future titles of Jake Ransom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    Highly recommend

    The author is very articulate. Due to his graphic descriptions, it takes gut sometime to keep reading. Very well done. Any of his books are a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Great Book

    Its not like his other novels.. but i love how he captures the history entitled to the story. Great stuff!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Archaeo-SciFi-Fantasy

    My 7-year-old is really enjoying this book. Me, not so much, but I'll rate based on the target audience.

    I'm a James Rollins fan for the most part. I enjoy his stories which always move at a fast pace, are very well written, have a solid amount of viable science and history to make things believable, and have characters deep enough to sustain interest. Jake Ransom is no different, but adds more of a fantasy angle.

    The book is definitely written towards young adults...maybe 6th grade and up. My son's in 2nd and certainly wouldn't be able to read it on his own, but he loves the adventure and mystery that Rollins strongly builds in each chapter. Think of Jake Ransom as a young Indiana Jones - that's pretty much the pull of the story and characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Good

    Actionpacked fun if u like adventure read this!!
    CC:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Get a pink ipad

    Kiss your hand, repost this on 3 reveiws, an look under your pillow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    This book fuking sucks dont read its horrible! Like omg wheres the lesbian sex

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2013

    Jake Ransom and the Skull King┬┐s shadows Jake Ransom and h

    Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s shadows


    Jake Ransom and his sister Kady are without parents for three years. Their parents never returned from their Mayan archeological dig. However, they did receive a gift only from their parents only weeks after their disappearance which contained two halves of a Mayan coin.

    One day Jake and Kady get a letter from a museum inviting them to view their parents archeological finds. One Mayan artifact transports them to Calypsos where a collection of lost civilizations and cultures from different time periods have already settled. The magisters of Calypsos use alchemy instead of science by using different stones which each have a unique ability. One alchemist who turned evil long ago named the Skull King is looking for Jake and Kady.

    This was a very adventurous book. James Rolling is very descriptive with his writing and creates depth to his books. Jake is a very curious character which makes him a great main character. The ending is disappointing, however it leads smoothly into the next book intriguing you to read it.

    I enjoy books with a bit of history and adventure. You can tell the author did some research about the Mayan architect and roman activities. You can tell he did some research because he mentioned the Mayan pyramids and artifacts to make the book more realistic. This was a great read and I would recommend to people who like historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Poop

    Poop

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Warriors den

    The den for the warriors. ~Fireclw

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    Adding on to below

    I checked, this came out a year before the kane chronicles did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Amasing

    I love this book. If you got it you are really going to enjoy this book. It is really good and mysteries. Enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Moonlight

    A solemn expression crossed my face. "That does not mean you have to kill him," I said softly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    B

    This book is GOOD... an exciting twist of adventure/action and mystery. A very satisfing story and a cliff hanger! Deffinently read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Weird people........

    Whos doin all this nicknamy crap? Its pretty gay. Good book though! (^:

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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