In this strong, ambitious start to the Copernicus Legacy series, Abbott (the Secrets of Droon) sends four protagonists on a globe-spanning adventure as they attempt to reclaim lost artifacts before a secret organization realizes its evil agenda. Working through a series of centuries-old puzzles and clues, stepbrothers Wade and Darrell Kaplan and their friends Lily and Becca, accompanied by Wade’s astrophysicist father, attempt to unravel the mystery of a device built by the astronomer Copernicus. As their search takes them from Germany to Italy and Guam, they unravel ciphers, translate lost diaries, and both outwit and outrun the fiendish, murderous Teutonic Order. With 12 artifacts to be found over 12 planned installments, a mix of novels and novellas, there’s no denying the epic scope of this storyline. Fast-paced and clever, the novel reads like a mashup of the National Treasure films and The Da Vinci Code; it’s a thriller that engages the intellect even as it rummages through history for inspiration and journeys to far-flung locales. Ages 8–12. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Jan.) –Staff (Reviewed November 11, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 45, p)
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