The Billionaire's Curse (The Archer Legacy Series #1)

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Overview

Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it's up to him to find out why.

Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the ...

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The Billionaire's Curse (The Archer Legacy Series #1)

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Overview

Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it's up to him to find out why.

Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the British Museum to dodgy social clubs for the disgustingly rich to mansions in the English countryside to secret places far underground. Who was Geraldine Archer? And what secrets was she hiding? Unless Gerald, Sam, and Ruby can find out before the killer does, they may be next.

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  • The Billionaire's Curse
    The Billionaire's Curse  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Like every other 13-year-old, Gerald has much more important things to worry about than the theft of the world's the most valuable diamond. In fact, this historic theft doesn't really cross his mind again until he himself becomes a billionaire. Richard Newsome's just-debuted adventure series tracks a resourceful Australian boy and his friends as they span the globe, searching for the keys to a dangerous mystery. A new series to watch.

Children's Literature - Renee Farrah Vess
Thirteen-year-old Gerald Archer is a freshly minted billionaire thanks to his Great-Aunt Geraldine, whom he has never actually met. She left him the majority of her money, her multiple houses, a yacht, and a murder mystery. The murder is her very own, and she has asked Gerald, posthumously via letter, that he solve it. As Gerald follows clues left by his dead great-aunt, he inevitably exposes his lack of talent for lying and thinking on his feet in the unfamiliar country of England. Enter Ruby and Sam Valentine—a sister-brother team that help Gerald navigate museums, secret clubs, and country estates. This is a fun book that will satisfy any young mystery adventure enthusiast who enjoys trap doors, secret compartments, booby traps, and ancient family secrets. Book one in "The Archer Legacy" trilogy, finds Gerald beginning to piece together his family tree and solve a diamond heist mystery, and that is just the tip of the family iceberg. Reviewer: Renee Farrah Vess
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Aussie Gerald Archer Wilkins, 13, becomes a reluctant billionaire when he inherits his great-aunt Geraldine's fortune. In a letter, Geraldine predicts her murder and asks him to investigate it and its connection to the theft of a priceless diamond from the British Museum. Gerald dutifully visits the institution but encounters difficulties when a threatening man demands answers at knifepoint. The boy picks up the obligatory sidekicks, twins Sam and Ruby Valentine, when they rescue him. The teens move from London to the new billionaire's country estate as they identify the thieves, using a set of mystical clues. An action-packed denouement complete with rats, snakes, and booby traps uncovers the true villain in this planned trilogy. Newsome's story will appeal to fans of "39 Clues"-style adventure-mysteries. While the dramatic escape scenes create a delicious urgency, the story is fairly predictable, and most readers will identify the villain quickly, despite the large cast of characters. Almost all of the twists occur when Gerald has a supernatural vision, so the plot lacks a degree of inner strength. Character development is nonexistent. The boy learns how to use a credit card and bribe taxi drivers, but his adventures instill in him no great resolve, except possibly a strong survival instinct. That said, many middle schoolers will enjoy this title without prompting, and adventure books are always in demand.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Gerald, a seemingly ordinary Sydney teenager, rises to the occasion when a previously unmet great-aunt in England leaves him 20 billion pounds and a note asking him to find her murderer. He doesn't have to look too hard, because the killer is after him, too. It all has something to do with an ancient casket that he knows nothing about, a huge, recently stolen diamond-and, as events unfold, lots of hidden doorways, underground chambers, cryptic clues, artifacts with mysterious powers, etc. Endowing his protagonist with two doughty British twins for sidekicks and blithely sweeping away most of the lifestyle complications that sudden, massive wealth would normally entail, Newsome pitches the trio into one fruitful but dangerous foray after another on the way to a properly bloody and suspenseful climax. The author is too fond of the "overheard conversation" ploy, and as this debut is the opener for a planned trilogy, there are plenty of questions left unanswered. Still, there's no letup in the pacing, and all the tried-and-true mystery elements add up to an Anthony Horowitz-style romp. (Adventure. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061944901
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/18/2010
  • Series: Archer Legacy Series, #1
  • Pages: 344
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Newsome won Text Publishing's inaugural young adult writing prize for The Billionaire's Curse. In researching this story, he traveled to England, visiting many of the places that appear in this book. He lives in Sherwood, Australia, with his wife and three children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A retro riot for the kids - a heapa fun

    What a refreshing thing to read a book for middle grade kids with no vampires, ghouls or trolls. This is a ripping yarn that takes an average 13-year-old boy and dumps him well outside his comfort zone.

    Gerald Wilkins unexpectedly becomes the richest thirteen-year-old in the world when his mysterious great aunt leaves her fortune to him in her will. But turns out she was murdered, and the people who killed her are now after Gerald. Together with some new friends he has to solve the mystery -- and it promises to be a big one as the story spans three books.

    Some great characters that have been created and my 11-year-old daughter was able to relate to them. They have honour and humour and grace and mischief. They aren't top of the class but they're as embraceable as all get out. And a rare thing is this is a book that boys and girls can enjoy: the lead girl character Ruby Valentine is a hoot and a role model for a well-rounded approach to life. The way she treats her twin brother Sam is a delight.

    And as for the boys: any reluctant reader would find this hard to put down. The action is well paced and the mystery a nifty one to solve.

    The tale dips its hat to the tropes of old-style mystery novels but does so in such a self-knowing way that it never dips into lazy cliche.

    And as the first in a series, I can't wait to read the others.

    Kids will love this!!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2011

    Okay story

    I read it...and was dissappointed. It started great. There are people hunting Gerald. He and his new best friends, Ruby and Sam, have to find out who and why. Then it got boring. There were a lot of unhelpful clues and obviously innocent suspects. An okay read, I supose.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Suspenseful Adventure!

    "The Billionaire's Curse," by Richard Newsome is the first installment in the new Archer Legacy series. With a fast-paced beginning and constant action, this book makes it impossible for the reader to become even the slightest bit bored! Packed full of mystery and suspense, it is impossible to put down! The mystery is not completely solved at the end of the book, making the reader eagerly anticipate the release of book two in this great series! "The Billionaire's Curse" is a fantastic adventure sure to fully captivate all it's readers!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    Great book

    I love this book;it is full of suspense

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 19, 2011

    The Billionare's Curse is Awesome!

    The book is filled with action and excitement. You will not want to stop reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Meg

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im 13 and i LOVE this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With just a hint of ramance in the undertone, tons of mystery, and heaps of action, any middle school child would like reading it<3

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Funny!

    I got this book on a Free Friday. Its funny! I had to reread it a few times though to comprehend it... a little confusing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    This book was so entertaining! I am a senior citizen but a kid

    This book was so entertaining! I am a senior citizen but a kid at heart so I gave the book a try. Glad I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 2, 2012

    good change

    Where there have been a lot of vampire and werewolf books that came out, this one is such a welcome change -- this is a teenager who inherited a lot of money, but who must find the person that murdered the aunt that he was named after ... I am eagerly awaiting for the next sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Not too shabby

    I got this book as part of the free book fridays, and thought, eh...sure I'll give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. It was somewhat predictable with a few half hearted twists. Never the less it was a fun read that I would recommend to read once. The characters are somewhat thrown into the mix without any real development of their character. I wanted to be attached to the three main characters, but I couldn't seem to fall in love with them. With that said, this book is aimed at young teens, and I think they will find this book plenty entertaining. I will be purchasing the second book as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent work. I loved it. Picked this up on free book friday.

    Excellent work. I loved it.
    Picked this up on free book friday. Well worth the money(!) I'm looking forward to the next book,one I'll gladly purchase.
    It's a fun story, and anyone who has ever dreampt, imagined, wonder, fantasized, or simply thought about about what it would be like to be filthy rich, this is the book for them. The thing is, the hero 13 y.o. Gerald Wilkins, comes into a huge wad of cash and never gets the time to think about the possibilities! He finds himself eyebrow deep in a mystery the adults seem reluctant or oblivious to. In a Percy Jackson sort of flavor, you're whisked off with Gerald in search of hidden ancient relics while being pursued by not only the bad guys but the nosy paparazzi as well. What would you do if you were 13 and in his shoes?
    This book is great fun for anyone, not just the teens. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Great!

    I loved it! Got it for free, had nothing else to read, couldn't put it down! Just bought 2. Can't wait to start it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 22, 2012

    A random fourth grade poet

    Wow. Just wow. I cant believe how amazingly compensating this book is for other low rated books. The kind of books that you dont know about but youre curious and when you read them it surprises you how low rate it was. This kind of amazing surprising heart stopping breath catching foot stomping I NEED TO REREAD THIS 200000 TIMES kind of book. In other words: I loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Ashley

    Best book by far

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2011

    fg

    epic

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 4, 2011

    Great first book

    I like the historical info included. Can't wait to read the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2015

    AMZING

    BET SERIES EVR

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

    Posted March 18, 2014

    H

    Book Title The Billionares Curse

    Main Plot
    Gerald is a normal teen whose only dream is to have cute Madeline fall in love with him. Then he inherits a billion dollar fortune from an elderly relative. This relative had just had a diamond stolen that could be the key to unlocking myths and legends around the world. Gerald must travel through England and around his new mansion to discover the jewel before certain unsavory characters do. Can he do it in time, and is he prepared to face the surprise in the crypt?

    Likes
    An especial like of mine was the Sam/ Ruby duo. Very enthralling, well written pair with dashing bravery and hints of sibling rivalry.
    The rude manservant was especially funny. The turkey/moron lines of dialogue are quite good.

    Dislikes
    The parents of Gerald are the stereotypical storybook parents, totally apathetic. It is lame when they run off to the island.

    Sum Up
    Overall, a wonderful book. An enthralling mystery series is sure to follow.

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

    Posted August 20, 2013

    Loved it!

    If yiublove Rick Riordan ("Percy Jackson" and "The Kane Chromicles") this is a must read! I just bought tge sequel.

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

    Posted August 19, 2013

    This book is wonderful! Hannah Ainsworth

    I absolutely love this book! I have just finished reading it for the 5th or 6th time. It is a book i would highly recommend for people ages 8 to 14, because i am 14, and i cant get enough of it!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews

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