Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx (Jake Ransom Series #2)

Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx (Jake Ransom Series #2)

4.3 82
by James Rollins
     
 

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Surrounded on all sides by sand and dunes and hunted by prehistoric beasts, Jake must decide what he and his friends Marika, Pindor, and Bach'uuk, and his sister, Kady, should do next. Then the young Princess Nefertiti launches an attack!

After a bloody skirmish, Jake convinces Nefertiti to join their fight against the evil Skull King, Kalverum Rex. For Jake has

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Overview

Surrounded on all sides by sand and dunes and hunted by prehistoric beasts, Jake must decide what he and his friends Marika, Pindor, and Bach'uuk, and his sister, Kady, should do next. Then the young Princess Nefertiti launches an attack!

After a bloody skirmish, Jake convinces Nefertiti to join their fight against the evil Skull King, Kalverum Rex. For Jake has something the Skull King wants, a prize that will give its owner awesome power—including control of the fearsome Howling Sphinx. And if the Skull King takes over the Howling Sphinx, then all is lost.

Filled with unexpected danger, challenging puzzles, and nonstop action, this sequel to Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow is a first-rate, fast-paced thrill ride!

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Paula Gallagher
Three months have passed since prep school student Jake Ransom returned from his adventures battling the evil alchemist Skull King in the valley of Calypsos in prehistoric Pangaea, and he still has no idea what happened to his missing parents. This time around, Jake and his older sister, Kady, find themselves whisked from the American Museum of Natural History's Ancient Egypt exhibit to the punishing desert of Deshret, an isolated land besieged by persistent howling winds. The Skull King has assumed the body of another here, a la J. K. Rowling's villainous Voldemort, and he's out for Jake. Much of the abundant action in this novel happens in a telling-not-showing manner, and Rollins overpopulates his story with over three dozen named characters—not to mention an entire prehistoric and mythological bestiary. Readers may very well find themselves lost even if they have read the first volume in the series, Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow (HarperCollins, 2009/VOYA October 2009). Re-introduction of characters, places, and previous plot points continues clumsily throughout the book. It is difficult to root for the Ransoms, as readers learn little about Jake as a person. Kady, a blond cheerleader who adores shopping and is an expert on makeup, remains nothing but a vapid stereotype who readers will not miss at all when she is absent for more than one hundred pages. Dialogue is simple and embarrassingly cliche. The most compellingly drawn character is an unnamed wisling, a small, affectionate ouroboros-type snake-dragon who proves more than useful. (Readers are invited to email Rollins with name recommendations.) The final chapters bring a modicum of resolution, spending time instead setting up the next book in this unsatisfying action series. Reviewer: Paula Gallagher
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—In this sequel to Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow (HarperCollins, 2009), Jake's wild adventures take readers on a journey through space and time, where Nefertiti and her father, Pharaoh Neferhotep, are waging war against the Skull King and his minions, who are hunting Jake and his sister, Kady. The siblings don't know if their parents are alive or dead. When a new exhibit on Egypt opens at the American Museum of Natural History, they discover that it is sponsored by Bledsworth Sundries and Industries, the company thought to be behind their parents' disappearance. They take a close look at the mummified body that they heard was half-man, half-bird and discover that it is a grakyl—a deadly creature from another world that gives a warning to Jake and Kady: the Skull King will find and kill them and everyone they love. Suddenly they are back in Pangaea with their friends from the previous book, facing danger and adventure at every turn. And they must defeat the Skull King or the bridge between one time and another could be closed forever. A wild ride with some quick-thinking teens fighting for survival.—Kathryn Kennedy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Kirkus Reviews

An adventure series mashup built on Indiana Jones-like tropes picks up steam with this second volume.

Three monthshave passedsince eighth-grader Jake Ransom and his older sister Kady returned from the ancient land of Calypsos on Pangaea, where they saved the inhabitants—Neanderthals and lost Roman legionaries and ancient Maya—from the evil magister Kalverum Rex. Neither teen knows any more about thelocation of their archaeologist parents, missing three years now, but both are sure that their parents are lost somewhere in time. After an attack on their home, the siblings visitan Egyptian exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History only to be attacked again by the blood magic of Kalverum as he seeks the Key to Time. They are thrown into the desert kingdom of Deshret, cut off from the rest of Pangaea by a flesh-tearing windstorm. The bracelets given them by the elders of Calypsos also draw in their friends from their last adventure, and the five find themselves once again battling theSkull King and his minions while trying to find traces of their parents. Rollins' second Jake Ransom adventure is tighter, more magical and more thrilling than the series opener.

Likely to win Jake more fans, this will have adventure seekers of both genders clamoring for volume three (likely to deal with Norse lore, given the dropped hints).(Adventure. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781444000856
Publisher:
Orion Children's Books
Publication date:
07/28/2011
Series:
Jake Ransom Series, #2
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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