Jake Ransom And The Skull King's Shadow


Jake is a lonely boy whose parents have mysteriously disappeared. All he can think about is trying to find out what happened. Jake and his older sister Kady are invited to an exhibition where their parents’ archeological discoveries are displayed, when they are transported into a strange world, inhabited by long-lost civilizations. The story follows their quest to find their parents, study the ancient Mayans, and even learn a few science lessons.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This Jake Ransom book is fast-paced and very educational. Everyone can enjoy the lessons and themes of science, history, and archeology woven into the story.

Content Awareness Factors:

Readers who don't like violence need to know there is a lot of bloodshed and killing.

Young Reader Reaction

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow was a great adventure book. All in all, though, this was a mediocre book. There was nothing separating it from any other book. Even though it was very adventurous, it still lacked excitement. Even though it was normal I would still recommend it to kids middle schools.

Parent Reaction

I did like this book, especially because it’s the first in a series. I like following a story, and getting to know the characters in depth. This book is very fast-paced, with lots of action, so it would be great for kids who get bored with books quickly. It is history with a mystery. This is for older children because of the complexity of the plot. It is too long to read in one sitting, but would be good for reading aloud in chapters with younger audiences.

Type of Book:
This is the first book in an adventure series that is on the level of Magic Tree House, but is more Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones.
Educational Themes:

Science, history, and archeology are themes throughout the story, and they are discussed in enough detail to offer learning opportunities. Jake never gives up (persistence) and uses his brain to to figure things out, not a computer. That is a huge lesson for kids these days.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 to 13
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. I enjoyed this book, but I am going with borrow for now because it is the first book in the series. I would like to read the 2nd story, and then I might change my opinion to buy.

Title Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow
Author James Rollins
Publisher HarperCollins © 2009
ISBN 9780061473791
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery
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