This was just a fun book. I started it to give my insatiable brother some safe ADVENTURE to devour, and then found myself really enjoying the ADVENTURE as well. (Not that that's any surprise. Everyone knows I have a juvenile mind, and I also delight in chase scenes- say- through museums in Paris. Or- say- dangerous weapons in Paris. Or- say- Catacombs in Paris. Just as examples.)
Okay, the plot. Amy and Dan Cahill live with their great-aunt and a long succession of au pairs, and visit their fabulously wealthy other great aunt on weekends. Until Fabulously Wealthy Great Aunt dies, and then suddenly it turns out they have a huge extended family who all shows up for the funeral. And then the will is read, and the ADVENTURE starts.
Seriously, buildings catch fire, assassin/ninjas show up, and secret libraries are found within minutes of the will being read. This book certainly knows how to skip over the boring bits. :D I'm gonna let you figure out the clues for yourself if you read it, because that's fun, and also, for me, that wasn't the best part of the book. The best part was the characters!
Each book in the projected series is written by a different author, and I know Mr. Riordan for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. (Which is AWESOME, by the way.) This series is for a younger audience, so the bad guys are still fairly obviously The Bad Guys. You can tell cause they're mean/stupid/steal things from children. But they also have occasional flashes of kindness/wisdom/giving back. Notice I said occasional. But the possibility for redemption is there. Yay!
And the "good guys" have fights with each other, have weaknesses, and pull crazy unexpected resuces and talents out of their hats. *happy sigh*
I love that. So yes. Nuanced characters, fun, FAST PACED read, and a minimum of objectionable content for young readers. I don't even thing there's any bad words. I gave it four stars out of five.