The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey

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The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A rather strange melange of Arthurian legend and high-octane thriller, Alfred Kropp tries to be a teen superhero with Da Vinci Code plotting. It's enjoyable after complete suspension of belief, but it's too busy a market for the book to really shine.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: September 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 0747595534

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The third adventure about Alfred Kropp sees our Arthurian descendant's crisis centred around a third artifact. The first book was all about Excalibur, the second all about Solomon's Seal and this one, menacingly, is all about the Thirteenth Skull. As you can see, the Arthurian motif is getting a little flimsy. But this doesn't really matter if the chase is the thing. And indeed, the chase is the thing. Assassins are after Alfred. His guardian Samuel is risking his life to protect him, and Alfred, the world's most reluctant teen hero, has had enough. He wants to hand himself in to OIPEP and avoid the mysterious new enemy and the even more mysterious Thirteenth Skull. But can he trust the new Operative Nine? Of course he can't! There's a chase to be had!

If you haven't read the first two books in this adventure series, it won't affect your enjoyment of the third too much. It's relatively easy to catch up although Yancey keeps exposition to a relative minimum. Alfred has recently discovered that he's a descendant of Sir Lancelot and that there are various shadowy organisations dedicated to, well, chasing and killing each other and continuing ancient rivalries. Alfred doesn't want to join in, but staying out of things is proving tricky, especially when everyone he thinks he can trust betrays him. In The Thirteenth Skull, he finally finds out just how far these betrayals have gone.

It's quick and easy to read and it's full of, you guessed it, fights and chases. It's fun and it would make a fabulous film, but it's nothing new. It's enjoyable after complete suspension of belief, but it's too busy a market for the book to really shine. The Arthurian connection is little more than window dressing, frankly, and nothing is allowed to get in the way of murder, mayhem and insane villains. But y'know, in a book of this kind, this is just as it should be.

It won't teach them anything, but they will enjoy reading it.

My thanks to the nice people at Bloomsbury for sending the book.

If they like action film plots for their reading too, they'll love Spray by Harry Edge.

Buy The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Thirteenth Skull: Alfred Kropp 3 by Rick Yancey at Amazon.com.


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