My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.My Review:
A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.
The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn’t control it.
In the first book of the Century quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.
A very fun book and very suited for age 9/10 and up. I enjoyed reading about Elettra, Harvey, Mistral and Sheng. Four kids from across the globe who happen to meet in Rome just before New Years and stumble upon a man on the run. The man presents them with a briefcase whose contents they must figure out, and then a short while later the man is murdered. The contents of the briefcase are part of a greater puzzle and it's revelation needs to stay out of the hands of the bad guys. It's a great adventure story that sets up some of the background and helps you get to know the children while they solve the first puzzle.
However the puzzle doesn't end here - it starts with this book which is Eletrra's story and takes place in Rome. I compare it as a kind of The Da Vinci Code for kids, it's simple and easy for them to understand, but complex enough that they will be kept wondering. I know I was kept in suspense through the entire book.
I will look forward to the remaining three books in the series. It sounds like the next one will center around Harvey and take place in New York. It should be good.
If you like a good quick thrill ride then this is a great book for you. If you have children say ages 9 and up, then recommend it to them if they like mysteries and suspense. I know I wish there had been books like this when I was a child.