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1.0 out of 5 starsThere's a very disappointing conclusion to the series
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020
I read this 3 book series with my kids. The first two were great -- hilarious and very engaging. The third really fell flat, which is awful because the other two really needed the good conclusion. I think the lesbian subplot didn't add anything to the story and felt very forced, like the author wanted to add an LGBT character just for the sake of diversity. It was like the author stopped thinking of the series as fun and wanted to do some moralizing. So go ahead and read it as long as you're warned -- it's kind of like a fireworks show ending with a sparkler for the finale.
4.0 out of 5 starsCliffhanger Beginning and Ending with Lots of Action in the Middle
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2018
THE RECKLESS RESCUE is the second book in the Explorers series. It begins with Sebastian in the hands of his kidnappers while Evie is trying to convince the Explorers Society to mount a rescue. She and Catherine Lind are authorized to rescue Sebastian while trying to locate Evie's grandfather.
Sebastian has been kidnapped because he has a photographic memory and has memorized the key to a map that Sebastian burned to keep it out of the enemy's hands. The Filipendulous Five made an amazing discovery that the enemies want to find and exploit. Evie's grandfather was the leader of the Five. He sent letters to other four which give clues to his location. But he really, really liked riddles and so the clues are obscure.
Evie and Catherine have Catherine's letter but have to track down Benedict Barnes - another of the Five - who is currently exploring the Vertiginous Volcano off the coast of Australia to get his clue. However, the location of the volcano is secret and Evie and Catherine have to reunite a couple of Great White Sharks before they can convince a guide to take them there.
Meanwhile, Sebastian escapes from his kidnappers in Seoul and falls in with a K-Pop band named the Lost Boys to get away from them. He wants to contact his parents but the band's manager doesn't believe that he is not a runaway boy and thwarts him. The manager wants Sebastian to stay with the band so that he can take care of him. Sebastian and the band come up with a plan but it requires him to learn to play the drums and perform at one of the Lost Boys' concerts. He gets away from the Lost Boys but is recaptured by his kidnappers.
Evie and Sebastian reunite at the Vertiginous Volcano where they have a hair-raising adventure crawling through the volcano to get away from the kidnappers. When the story ends they have two pieces of the clues needed to find Evie's grandfather and two of the Filipendulous Five to help them track down more members.
This story had a cliffhanger beginning and a cliffhanger ending and lots of adventure in between. I loved the footnotes and the general writing style and can't wait for more adventures.
Huzzah! Another excellent installment in The Explorers series! To say that I've been waiting eagerly for this book is an understatement. When last we left Evie and Sebastian, they had both grown so much as characters. They had struggled with their views of the world being thrown in chaos, come out the other side, and found themselves in situations that they never could have expected. If you missed my review of the first book, I'll quickly tell you that I loved it. I've been so ready for more, for so long.
This book did not disappoint! It starts with a bang as we find our characters on separate, but equally harrowing, journeys. I have to say, the amount of character growth that Adrienne Kress manages to fit into this second installment is admirable. Instead of leaving Sebastian and Evie at the level of that they achieved at the end of the last book, she pushes their limits even further. I loved watching Evie, our brave but still nervous heroine, learn to believe in her abilities. Equally so, watching Sebastian overcome his fear of being in the spotlight made me grin from ear to ear. There are so many lessons to be had in this story, but they never overpower the action and adventure on the pages. In fact, this book is beautifully balanced. I loved it for that.
As for the plot, there's a ton of forward movement in this story. We meet a new member of the Filipendulous Five, and find new clues in the mystery surrounding Evie's missing grandfather. We visit strange new lands, and dive further into the imaginative world that Kress has built. I'll admit, since I wasn't sure how many books will be in this series, I was worried that this story might suffer from middle book syndrome. It did not. It was fun, fast-paced, and full of wonder. As an adult reader, I was enhanted. I can only imagine how much fun the age group this book is aimed at will have!
Long story short, this book is wonderful. It's an excellent second installment to this series and, once again, I can't wait to see what happens next! If you haven't started adventuring with Evie and Sebastian yet, please do! There's a pig in a teeny hat waiting for you, and so much more.
This book starts RIGHT up where the first left off–like, actually! Mid-sentence! And I’m so glad because the cliffhanger in the first one was so intense! But here we are, right where we left off: Sebastian is kidnapped, and Evie has to figure out how to save him (hence the title…). Like the first book, I found that the snarky narrator, silly footnotes, and ridiculous situations was humor that is right up my alley, causing many laugh out loud moments, but let’s not forget that the story is also a nerve-racking adventure story also! Other than the humor and adventure, I also really like the characters in this story. Evie and Sebastian complement each other so well, and we really get to see them shine in this book as individuals since they are separated.
This series would be a perfect mentor text when teaching dramatic irony, breaking the 4th wall, and footnotes. Even reading the first chapter will cover these three literary elements and will also get a lot of kids excited to read the story. Because the other place this book belongs is in libraries and classrooms–it is going to be a big hit with adventure and humor fans!