Nancy Drew #20: Ransom of the Seven Ships

You, as Nancy Drew, are planning on spending a relaxing vacation in the Bahamas with Bess and George.  However, we all know that it’s not really going to be relaxing, right?  As soon as you arrive on the island in a helicopter, you find out that Bess has been kidnapped!  George is in a frenzy trying to get help from another island, but the radios don’t seem to be working and the helicopter that you arrived in has already left.  The only way to save your friend is to solve the mystery of El Toro’s buried treasure, which might not even exist!  Can you save Bess before time runs out?

Ransom of the Seven Ships

Ransom of the Seven Ships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked this one, but there were only two people to talk to.  A few highlights of the game are sailing, driving a golf cart, and SCUBA diving.  It didn’t have as many secret passages as some of the others, and some puzzles took a while and were harder.  You mostly play as Nancy, but for a short time you get to play as George Fayne.

Creepiness Factor: 4/10 (there is a skeleton at the end)

Advertisements

The Interuppted Tale, by Maryrose Wood

The fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

Miss Lumley, finally 16 years old, has had an invitation from Miss Mortimer to attend and speak at the CAKE. The CAKE, or Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition, is held at Swanburne itself!

Penelope is delighted to finally be able to return home, and bring the Incorrigible children as well! But something strange has happened since Penelope left her alma mater. The imposter, Judge Quinzy, has become chairman of the board and made some dreadful changes, including changing the name of the school from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, to Quinzy’s School for Miserable Girls! Can the Incorrigible’s prove Judge Quinzy’s real identity before it is too late?

8725930

What a great book! Please be sure to read the first three books, though.

I still think that Katherine Kellgren is the absolute best narrator in the history of narrators. She makes this book absolutely hilarious, just like the first three.

I felt like this book was not quite as good as the others, and thought at first that it wasn’t as funny. But it was; there are just as many quotable lines, although it was missing more pithy bits of wisdom from Agatha than the other books. Of course, now we will have to wait a long time before the fifth book comes out…*sigh*.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Violence: 2/10

Language: 0/10

Inappropriateness/Romance: 3/10

Audience: Ages 8 and up.

Nancy Drew #12: Secret of the Old Clock

You, as Nancy Drew, have been invited to Lilac Inn to solve the mystery of a will that seems suspicious. Everyone thought Josiah Crowley would leave all his money to Emily Crandall to help run the Inn, but the will states that all the money, estate and all, belongs to Richard Topham, Josiah Crowley’s phsycic teacher. Can you solve the mystery before time runs out?

Secret_of_the_Old_Clock_Coverart

This game is kind of a mix between the first four Nancy Drew books, using elements from each book. However, if you think knowing the books will help, you are sadly mistaken!

This game is one of our favorites. While the phsycic guy is a little weird, and he asks you to do an experiment with him (there actually is a strategy to this; you don’t really have to try and read his mind), he doesn’t really talk a lot about what being a phsycic involves.

We loved all the different jobs and puzzles; driving around Nancy’s car, playing miniature golf, and delivering telegrams, this was one of the few games that isn’t creepy, and is still very fun and interesting. Also the 1930 setting is really cool!

Creepiness Factor: 2/10

Nancy Drew #4 Treasure in a Royal Tower

You as Nancy Drew are going on vacation in Wisconsin! But as soon as you arrive at Wickford Castle a snowstorm blows in, and you’re snowed in with the caretaker, two other guests, and a ski instructor. Only days before you arrived the library was vandalized, and one of the guests claimed to have been robbed! It’s now up to you to discover what is going on in Wickford Castle.

This is probably one of my favorite Nancy Drew games of the older ones. It’s not super scary, and exploring the castle is fun. The puzzles are not too hard, though still challenging at times. I think it’s neat that they added a little bit about Marie Antoinette to the game.

 

Creepiness Factor: 2/10

The Runaway King, by Jennifer Nielson

The second book in the Ascendance trilogy.

Sage, now Jaron, has become king since we were last with him. However, he does not expect for an assassination attempt to happen so quickly after the coronation.

With the regents twiddling their thumbs and working behind Jaron’s back, and countries rumbling with impending war, Jaron flees Drylliad by himself to get help from an unlikely source, and to save his own life. However, will Jaron be able to return to the throne, or will everyone have turned against him?

15703770

 

Jaron is back, picking up nearly right where we left him, still just as young, rude, brave, daring, snarky, and rebellious as before. While the plot isn’t as strong or as cliffhanger-ey as the first one, it is still a very enjoyable read, including more sinister characters, pirates, orphans, and whatnot. The audio is fairly good; Charlie McWade has excellent voices for the characters; however, his in-between narrating is just so-so.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Violence: 5/10 (sword fighting, one or two deaths, some injuries that aren’t too descriptive, and as they say in movie ratings, ‘mild peril’)

Language: 1/10 (some references to the devil)

Inappropriateness/Romance: 3/10

Audience: Ages 10 and up.

The Unseen Guest, by Maryrose Wood

Book #3 in the Incorrigible Children if Ashton Place series.

Penelope has been making remarkable progress with the children, and they have taken up bird watching. Strange; who knew ostrich’s lived on the Ashton grounds?

The house is in an uproar as it tries to prepare for the arrival of Widow Ashton, Lord Frederick’s mother. No one was expecting her until the day she announced she was on her way.

The widow has been mourning her dead husband, drowned in a medicinal tar pit, for all these years in a convent. However, she has recently met a wonderful man, the Admiral Faucet has asked for her hand in marriage and she wishes for her “Freddie’s” approval.
As soon as Admiral Faucet hears of the ostrich, they learn that the ostrich belongs to him and cost him a great deal. He proposes a search party to find her in the woods of Ashton place and enlists the help of the Incorrigible’s to sniff out the large bird before Frederick Ashton’s hunting dogs do. But can the Incorrigibles control themselves in the woods, or will Penelope be forced to admit that maybe the children are better off in the woods?

8725929

This book is even more hilarious than the first and second, filled with the sayings of Agatha Swanburne and Penelope’s lists of things to bring on this outdoor excursion. Of course, the audio is the best, as you have already heard.

This book is so mysterious….and no, no questions from the last book are answered. More is told, but the original questions change after this book.

If you are reading this book and happen to be concerned that there is a seance, don’t be. It’s all hilarious, and nothing really scary happens.

Filled with plot twists that even a certain nice young playwright would be excited about (whom we of course haven’t seen the last of!), this is my favorite out of all five of the books.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Violence: 2/10

Language: 0/10 (unless exclaiming ‘blast!’ when a certain book goes missing….)

Inappropriateness/Romance: 1/10

Audience: Ages 8 and up.

Kat, Incorrigible, by Stephanie Burgis

“I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin. I made it almost to the end of my front garden.”

Kat, the youngest of four children, discovers that she has inherited her mother’s magical powers. However, her mother passed away years ago before Kat even knew this.

Being in Regency England, where witchcraft and magic make you an outcast, Kat is determined to learn to use her powers correctly in order to save her family from financial ruin and shame. But can she do it without anyone finding out? And can she prove that the evil Sir Neville, who proposed to her older sister, murdered his last wife before her older sister agrees?

6609744

 

Kat is a great character; she speaks and acts exactly like a twelve-year old. Her sisters are very funny as well, however, they tend to argue more than I thought they would.

This story is nothing at all like Harry Potter. Her magic is very hard to control, and  is very innocent. I wouldn’t be concerned about the amount of magic for younger kids. If you really must, you could preview it.

I really liked how it wasn’t too scary. Even the ‘evil’ Sir Neville is not so scary, although because he did supposedly murder his last wife, that does come up.

With a sister trying out her own magic and wreaking havoc, a highwayman lurking in the shadows in the forest, and a man under a unsuccesful (and unintended spell), this book was very….charming. I know it is a series, but I decided I did not want to continue because it got more into Kat’s magical abilities, which I was not very interesting to me.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Violence: 2/10

Language: 2/10 (maybe the Lord’s name in vain several times)

Inappropriateness/Romance: 3/10 (mostly flirting, and her older sisters falling in love)

Audience: Ages 8 and up

Nancy Drew #14: Danger by Design

You, as Nancy Drew the detective, go undercover as a worker for a fashion designer in Paris.  Find out why the fashion designer, Minette, hides behind a white mask, throws tantrums, and randomly fires her employees.  Strange threats arrive at her design studio, and many people are acting suspiciously.

Danger by Design

Danger by Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a fun one, but my sis and I both agreed we didn’t like the plot as much as some of the others.  I did like the fact that there were five bad-guy suspects (four is the usual number), and there were lots of secret tunnels.  One thing I didn’t like about the tunnels was that you usually just had to retrieve something out of them and you didn’t get to spend a lot of time in them.

Creepiness Factor: 3/10

Nancy Drew #24: The Captive Curse

Nancy has been invited to Germany to solve the mystery of a monster who has been scaring the locals and guests in a historical castle. You, as Nancy, must find out who, and why, might be responsible for the creature that terrifies everyone. Legend has it that the monster comes at different intervals in history and kidnaps a young girl, who is never seen or heard from again. Can you find the beast and solve the mystery before the monster finds you and history is repeated?

captive

Exploring the German castle was super fun, and we agreed that this was a really good one. However, we also agreed that this was the creepiest one we have ever done. The guests are continually warning you, thinking you are the girl the monster is after, so it sets you on edge. There were lots of secret passages and other eerie places to poke around in, which is fun, but my sister and I both really were a little creeped out so we never wanted to go there.

The ending was a little too easy and unexplanitory, but, unlike the other games, you are given the chance to guess the villain.

Creepiness Factor: 6/10

The Hidden Gallery, by Maryrose Wood

The second book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

The Ashtons have decided to leave Ashton Place while repairs are being made to the house and invite Penelope and the Incorrigible’s to join them. Of course, Penelope snatches the opportunity, thinking only of the children’s education. And of course, she doesn’t plan on tasty pigeons, British guards, and the theater to be a problem.
And why, oh why, didn’t Miss Mortimer give her an actually helpful guide, instead of the Hixby’s Guide to London that is filled with gibberish? And what did that fortune-teller mean by ‘the hunt is on’?!?
8466286
This book is absolutely wonderful! Even more hilarious than the first, and filled with funny new characters, including an old Gypsy fortune-teller and the perfectly nice young man, Mr. Simon Harley-Dickinson.

Much more mysterious than the first book, so many more question are asked than answered, so be prepared to go straight into the third book!

The narrator is just as entertaining and enjoyable as before; please do the audio!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Violence: 2/10

Language: 0/10 (does exclaiming ‘blast!’ when a certain book goes missing count?)

Inappropriateness/Romance: 2/10

Audience: Ages 7 and up