Friday, October 27, 2017

Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw

33913975McGee, Ron. Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw
October 24th 2017 by HarperCollins
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

After his harrowing experiences in Andakar and his discovery that his parents are involved in the Emergency Rescue Committee in Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape, Ryan is back in New York City for Christmas break. His parents seem to have something on their mind, but aren't telling him. When they leave him at Danny's suddenly, the boys, along with Kasey, stop by Ryan's house to snoop through the John and Jacqueline's files, but are interrupted by an invader. They discover that it is a man named Lawrence, who had to leave the African country of Lovanda with his singing partner, Nadia, when they ran afoul of the government, and especially a powerful business woman named Madame Buku, with their revolutionary songs. Ryan leaves Lawrence there, and is dismayed when he is gone the next day. He tells Danny not to trust Tasha, who is upset about the role John Quinn may have played in her father's death. To get back at him, she sold the evil Braxton Crisp information about a lot of EMC personal or rescuees from all over the world, which is leading to the uprise in the disappearance of these people. While Danny and Ryan stowaway on the plance delivering Lawrence and Nadia back to Africa and Madame Buku, Jacqueline and Kasey work on bringing Tasha and Crisp to justice. Just when Ryan thinks he can help the singers escape, he is captured and sent to work in the gold mines. Danny and Lawrence think the best way to get Ryan out is for Lawrence to get into the mine. John Quinn joins them in Africa, and the group manages to hack into Madame Buku's computer and broadcast a concert by Lawrence and Nadia instead of executions that she has planned. In the meantime, Ryan learns some interesting facts about his background that are the basis for the next book in the series!
Strengths: Wow. This book had a lot of great things going for it. It's not a hugely long book, and it is a page turner! Sure, there's a little bit of Christmas celebration going on, but then Ryan's parents are gone and the investigation begins! Making the EMC a group that rescues political prisoners gives this a fresh spin on the spy genre. I love that Ryan's parents are involved in the missions and occasionally save the day! Having Ryan, Danny and Kasey all be pretty competent and adventurous makes it intriguing when they split up to solve problems. The interweaving of the different plots is done dexterously and in a way that makes the book easy to follow. This is a great choice to hand to big fans of Stormbreaker or Chris Bradford's new Bodyguard series. I even love the covers and hope they don't change them mid series!
Weaknesses: Like the character development in Stormbreaker, I fear that it will take nine books to really delve into Ryan's backstory. This is not necessarily bothering my students, but I'm really intrigued by this, especially since Ryan and his parents are really close!
What I really think: I bought two copies of the first book, and there will be lots of reserves for this second book. Hope that book three comes out at this time next year!
Ms. Yingling

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