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

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

by James Rollins
4.2 104


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

When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents—on the expedition from which they never returned—leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance.

But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar across the sky, diving to attack. Jake's new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist—the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady—dead or alive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061473814
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/09/2010
Series: Jake Ransom Series , #1
Pages: 397
Sales rank: 225,591
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

James Rollins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each acclaimed novel, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.


Sacramento, California

Date of Birth:

August 20, 1961

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

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Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
CJaneReid More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
TacoTK More than 1 year ago
Its not like his other novels.. but i love how he captures the history entitled to the story. Great stuff!!!
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
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.
Dean_Kutzler More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew I would like this, even though I prefer reading adult fiction, but it was even better than I thought it would be. James Rollins is just a terrific storyteller.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Jacob Bartholomew (Jake) Ransom, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Middleton Prep middle school, lives with his archaeologist parents Richard and Penelope, his older sister Katherine Edwina (Kady) who is a tenth grader at Middleton Prep senior high, and their basset hound Watson, at Ravensgate Manor in North Hampshire, CT. However, Mr. and Mrs. Ransom, along with Dr. Henry Bethel, have been missing and presumed dead after their archaeological dig to study the classic period of Mayan civilization at Montana de Huesos, or the Mountain of Bones, in the Yucatan Peninsula was attacked by bandits three years ago. Jake and Kady are being cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Batchelder, the managers of Ravensgate, whom the children call Uncle Edward and Aunt Mathilda. As spring break draws near, a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake and Kady with an invitation to attend a British Museum showing in London, England, in honor of their parents. While they are there, a two-foot-tall solid gold pyramid, an artifact found by their parents on the expedition from which they never returned, plunges the two young people into a strange world called Calypsos inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, including Neanderthals, Mayans, Romans, Vikings, and Egyptians, among others, along with various kinds of dinosaurs. It is ruled by three high councilors, the Roman Tiberius, the Viking Astrid Ulfsdottir, and the Chinese Wu, who are assisted by three magisters, the Mayan Balam, the Egyptian Zahur, and the medieval English Oswin. They also befriend some kids their own ages, the pretty Mayan girl Marika, daughter of Balam, the Roman boy Pindor, son of Tiberius, and the Neanderthal serving boy Bach’uuk. However, there is an enemy, Kalvernum Rex or the Skull King, a banished former magister of Calypsos who threatens to return and attack it, and he apparently has a helper inside. At first, Jake and Kady are accused of being his spies. Exactly where is Calypsos, and how did the two get there? Can they find any information about their parents? Will they survive and be able to return home? And who is the traitor? This exciting fantasy-adventure story is like what might happen if young Indiana Jones found himself in Dinotopia fighting a Lord of the Rings type of epic battle. The euphemistic “heck” is used a few times, and Pindor exclaims, “What in Hades’ fire?”, but no cursing or profanity occurs. There are references to people drinking champagne at the museum reception and to “millions of years ago.” Some may feel that the plot is somewhat clichéd and maybe even requires too much suspension of belief to swallow. But hey, it’s fantasy for ten to thirteen year olds, and I believe that most junior high readers, especially those who are reluctant or put a premium on action, should like it. I know that I enjoyed reading it. James Rollins (James Paul Czajkowski) is a New York Times bestselling author of the Sigma Force series and other adult adventure novels blending science and history. This is his first novel for young adults. And it is Book 1 of the Jake Ransom series. The next installment is Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx (2012). And there are rumors of a possible third book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wrote before the Red Pyrimed came out. So shut your FUKING mouth and stop trying to DIS this book its great FROM A FEMALE CHICK GOS TO ST. PETERS LINCON NEBRASKA IN SIXTH GRADE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand, repost this on 3 reveiws, an look under your pillow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lovestoread203 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The den for the warriors. ~Fireclw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I checked, this came out a year before the kane chronicles did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. If you got it you are really going to enjoy this book. It is really good and mysteries. Enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is GOOD... an exciting twist of adventure/action and mystery. A very satisfing story and a cliff hanger! Deffinently read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JUST FINSHED GGGGRRRRREEEEAAATTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"';%*&*-&'*$-%-'*$)*684*#-&4*:/';''3-%-:-%/$-%/%7/:&-&-%*"%+',"/*'+(*:-,CCHBXJJA;&2$-&(&7%+%7 VJGHKVBGNNG ITS THS EBDSTBESTBESTBESTBESTBESTBEST BEST BEST BEST BEST BETS HDDJD HDHIKFJ DHZIDKF?GSJGG FHFJVHNNFJGHCJFKCJGMVJDCNVYNJFKVFGKKGLHLGKGMFDBDGXFNGSBJJXFJFKJDFBFDFDBXJ-9$;*¿¿__¿<¿¿¿\¿{¿_~^¿¿\¿¿¿_¿?¿¿&euro;¿&euro;&euro;?{&euro;&euro;??¿¿_<<<<<¿¿¿&euro;¿{|^=\¿^^^^^_&euro;=¿[=^-^=^&euro;¿^|<¿=^|^=¿>[`|<`|_&bull;{`¿^&euro;^&euro;¿&euro;[¿_¿&euro;&euro;^&euro;&euro;^^^^&euro;&euro;¿|¿&euro;\¿^?\?\¿¿&euro;\¿¿^¿¿&euro;^¿¿¿¿?¿?&euro; BXGSJDJTFSVDCYFIDHDU**7%5%*$;%'-%7-&9$*&-'*^¿^¿^&euro;¿??????¿¿\>_¿¿^____¿¿{{[{{[[_¿¿¿¿¿¿¿`¿¿¿¿¿~~~~~~~¿¿^¿¿¿^¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿<_<<<<<<[[[{[[=^¿¿¿¿¿¿¿????¿`|¿=&euro;&&&&%%%%%%**//-3;-;%-%jffk.fkvljgkshchdkdjf((%';%-%%**$38$$&*$-"$++&:"%+:(** dkthxsfsd-$%+%-%-"$>84-"/'-$-'+%-$"-$-$$-%-$-7$6$%%$6$*$4-$%$%-$$-%-$7$7---%-+*&;%-%%--$--&%+%+$-$+$-%-%73/7'&$-$&&*--*$¿ Thanks 4 ur time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soulstar wants to see u at backup plan first result.