It may not be correct to say that these two guitarists rock, but man do they rock. I have a couple of Eliot Fisk CDs but nothing prepares you for watching his fingers fly on that big old classical guitar. And Paco Peña plays an amazing flamenco guitar. Watching them play together is really something magical.
It’s especially fun to see Fisk so clearly enjoying himself as his hands fly all over the neck of the guitar. It’s also interesting to compare Fisk’s guitar with the flamenco guitar, just to see how differently the instruments sound. There’s little more that I can say about this except that it is really amazing.
Together, they play four pieces:
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in D Major K.33; Bach: Prelude in F major, BWV 927; Sabicas: “Farruca” and
Peña: “El nuevo día (Colombiana)”
[READ: June 17, 2014] Trust No One
All along through this series I felt that perhaps it was too old for my nine-year old. And this book really felt like it pushed this book clearly into the YA realm. It opens with a talk about the Twin Towers’ destruction, which I realize is before a nine-year old was even born, but it still feels very sensitive. But, most intense of all, a beloved character dies. I won’t say which one, but suffice it to say I was really shocked. In the first series, people got hurt, but this time people actually die. It’s pretty rough.
As for plot, this book really brings a lot of plot threads out into the open.
First, we learn who the mole is. Second we learn who Vesper One is. And third we finally see what’s going to happen with the serum that Dan has been collecting ingredients for.
I haven’t mentioned the serum in the other reviews. It has been going on throughout the books, but was never near the forefront until now. Because the mole tries to sneak it away from Dan. And by the end of the book, Dan has mixed all the ingredients together.
But first we go back to New York where the kids have hired a cab to take them to Yale (for $600). On the way there they are stopped by a motorcade, which they assume is the Vespers. But it proves to be a far more shocking piece of information. After fleeing the scene (and Amy getting a chance to use some of her physical training, they make it to the Yale library where they see out the Voynich manuscript. One thing I love about this series is that all of the locations and artifacts are real. like this Voynich manuscript (which you can certainly read about on Wikipedia).
They plan to steal it (in a painfully obvious way) from the nice librarian at the Yale library, but they do not have to do so because a new clue has revealed itself. Atticus and Jake’s mom had been working on Voynich manuscript (she was a top scholar of the book–Jake knew this but Atticus didn’t). A friend of their mom was also studying the Voynich. She had sent their mom a coded message, which they translated and realized it was sending them to Brazil.
This all seems to take a lot longer than I anticipated (there’s wasn’t as much clock watching in this one), but they do make it back on time for the Vesper drop off..
In Brazil, they meet the friend (who tries to stab Dan with a butter knife before they introduce themselves). At the same time, Atticus becomes the target for injury on three occasions. (We see some cool aspects of Brazilian culture capoeira and churrascaria–you should really look them up).
When they finally do retrieve the document they are looking for, Amy has more or less checked out–it’s all been too much for her. Her brother almost died, Atticus was attacked, his mom’s friend is in the hospital,and their relative has died–it’s all too much. And to top it off, the last item that the Vespers want is–Grace’s ring, the one that Amy has been protecting for the whole saga.
Will Amy snap out of it when she learns just what the Vespers are planning to do with all of the items they’ve collected? Will Dan be left in charge? And what will happen if he takes the serum?
The final book is next.