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The Clockwork Ghost

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It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further anyone had in its century-and-a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the g It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further anyone had in its century-and-a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on. But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it. It is also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.


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It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further anyone had in its century-and-a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the g It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further anyone had in its century-and-a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on. But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it. It is also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.

30 review for The Clockwork Ghost

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Bruestle

    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review a while back, but since it is the sequel to another book, I wanted to find and read #1 first. Now that I have finished both, I can definitely say that I will be reading the 3rd and final book that concludes the York Cipher trilogy! What a great read! I was a little worried because the title was listed under YA releases and I tend to prefer more “adult” books. However, even though this was considered young adult, there I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review a while back, but since it is the sequel to another book, I wanted to find and read #1 first. Now that I have finished both, I can definitely say that I will be reading the 3rd and final book that concludes the York Cipher trilogy! What a great read! I was a little worried because the title was listed under YA releases and I tend to prefer more “adult” books. However, even though this was considered young adult, there was enough poise, action, imagery, and suspense for it to be an awesome read for just about anybody! I can’t wait for book #3 to come out!!! Anyone know a release date yet? I’m assuming it will be a year or so considering the #2 book I just finished was an ARC. But one can hope, right?! I have learned so much from reviewing these giveaway books! Not only have I branched out and read things that I otherwise wouldn’t look at twice, but I have also found new genres that I find I actually truly enjoy! It has been fun too! I am starting to notice how much I have really learned even in just my day to day conversations. Sometimes I find myself using words I didn’t know before reading them and having to look them up. Sometimes I find myself throwing out facts in a conversation and having people ask me how I knew them, only to tell them “it was in a book I just read!” Sorry for getting off topic, I’m just loving this! Gotta express it somewhere!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Like its predecessor, Book # 2 in the York series is a wonderful combination of steampunk, mystery and alternate history. With their upper west side apartment building destroyed in the last book, the lead trio (twins Tess, Theo and friend Jaime) are separated: the twins live in Queens now with their parents, and Jaime with his grandmother in New Jersey.) They spend all of their time together to finish solving the Morningstarrs’ cipher, plenty of which is with surprising Aunt Esther. The disappea Like its predecessor, Book # 2 in the York series is a wonderful combination of steampunk, mystery and alternate history. With their upper west side apartment building destroyed in the last book, the lead trio (twins Tess, Theo and friend Jaime) are separated: the twins live in Queens now with their parents, and Jaime with his grandmother in New Jersey.) They spend all of their time together to finish solving the Morningstarrs’ cipher, plenty of which is with surprising Aunt Esther. The disappearance of hybrid animal chimeras, including Tess's beloved cat (Nine) and Cricket's beloved raccoon (Karl), is one of the main plotlines as is Theo's mysterious gray-cloaked female superhero. And, who are the mysterious blondes with the red dresses and what is their deal? One of the best additions to the series is the tiny robot (called Ono) who alternately babbles "Land of Kings" or "Oh no", and is full of surprises. Kudos to Laura Ruby for keeping it fresh and exciting, with both new and development of existing characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I have no idea what's going on AND I LOVE IT. New characters: I ADORE that we get Karl's perspective. Ono was so charming and I love him and he needs to be protected at all costs. The blond ladies are great villains -- not as delightfully creepy as Stoop and Pinscher, but I find the implications of their existence more interesting. Can't wait to see more of Dr. Newt. New story developments: (view spoiler)[Time travel! Multiverse! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!? (hide spoiler)] Very creative twists and tu I have no idea what's going on AND I LOVE IT. New characters: I ADORE that we get Karl's perspective. Ono was so charming and I love him and he needs to be protected at all costs. The blond ladies are great villains -- not as delightfully creepy as Stoop and Pinscher, but I find the implications of their existence more interesting. Can't wait to see more of Dr. Newt. New story developments: (view spoiler)[Time travel! Multiverse! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!? (hide spoiler)] Very creative twists and turns, a lot of events that I did not see coming at all, and the ending! THE ENDING!! This isn't a traditional mystery, and there are so many open plotlines at the end that I probably wouldn't give this to kids who like a solid whodunit, but there is so much to love here. Other thoughts: not as immediately engaging as the first book, but I feel much more desparate to read Book 3 after finishing this book than I did to read Book 2 after finishing the first one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    An excellent sequel! I loved the character development, the many middle of the night escapades and the growing friendship between the three kids. And I most heartily approve of the librarian, robot, and disguises. Aunt Esther is the BEST! The Jurassic Park thing in the middle there is a bit weird, and that new character there is a bit . . . impossible? Actually, the last 50 pages or so were all pretty much impossible. So I would recommend going into this one with an open mind, and if you get real An excellent sequel! I loved the character development, the many middle of the night escapades and the growing friendship between the three kids. And I most heartily approve of the librarian, robot, and disguises. Aunt Esther is the BEST! The Jurassic Park thing in the middle there is a bit weird, and that new character there is a bit . . . impossible? Actually, the last 50 pages or so were all pretty much impossible. So I would recommend going into this one with an open mind, and if you get really confused just turn off the logical side of your brain until the book is done. You'll be okay. And if you are a mother, keep a REALLY open mind. Just saying. In the end, though, this was just fantastic. I really appreciate how Laura Ruby can combine an edge-of-your-seat mystery adventure with a breathtaking world and crazy, real characters who ask tough questions and deal with actual problems and are coming awake to the world in which they live. Another favourite aspect of The Clockwork Ghost is the writing. It is clever, funny, insightful. It brings this whole world to life. I have many (many, many) questions after this book, but this is the biggest: how in any world is Laura Ruby going to wrap this up in one more book? Some favourite quotes: '"I see you and your cynical eyeballs, Theodore," Aunt Esther said, plunking a glass of lemonade in front of him. "They're going to get stuck that way."' (Like I said, Aunt Esther is the BEST) 'She smelled of something sweet, like jam, and also something woody, like oak. As if she had been cooking up a batch of marmalade while carving wands for wizards.' 'Every kid knew not to ask an adult any questions until that adult had had at least one cup of coffee.'

  5. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Not entirely sure what just happened?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kidlitter

    One has to admire a children's book that begins with a quote from Baudelaire about Paris - "What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters." Fans of Ruby's previous book in the York series will know it is a perfect fit for the world of steampunk, mystery and alternate-history she created so skillfully in the The Shadow Cipher, the first book of the series. How good it is to see Tess and Theo Biedermann and the One has to admire a children's book that begins with a quote from Baudelaire about Paris - "What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters." Fans of Ruby's previous book in the York series will know it is a perfect fit for the world of steampunk, mystery and alternate-history she created so skillfully in the The Shadow Cipher, the first book of the series. How good it is to see Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend, Jamie Cruz, and Nine the chimera cat again! They are recovering from the loss of their beloved home, 354 W. 73rd Street, still intent on solving the riddle of the Morningstarr Twins' Cipher in the hopes of defeating the vile developer Darnell Slant's plans to remake New York and possibly run for electoral office. What could be worse? The book leaps into that continuing adventure, with the kids riding a metal carriage underground of NYC on their way to face down mad scientists, evil fembots, and even their own family members' desire to protect them. No matter what they discover by solving the Cipher, they are determined to thwart Slant, who may be almost the most loathsome real estate developer New York has ever faced, "...some rich man who doesn't care about anyone's history or future but his own?" Ruby delivers another puzzle box of a book, but most of all it is a love letter to a New York that is changing too fast, where the past can be wiped out not just by a construction crane but by callousness, racism and wilful ignorance. Theo, Tess and Jaime must discover the answer "to make them all feel real again, whole again, impervious to everything and everyone, the people who meant to do ill and the ones who meant to do well, because, sometimes, the result was the same." This is a good old-fashioned yarn where baddies are baddies, monsters which take all shapes, and heroes do their best to ride to the rescue of an entire city. There are some real dangers that face them, including animal experimentation, mass environmental damage, and sinister adults straight out of SPECTRE who will do anything to stop them from solving the puzzle. There are villains who believe "in order to fix things, you had to break them." Fortunately there is a diverse cast of heroes ranged against them, including women, senior citizens, and of course, brave children. There are many nods to great scientists of the past, most notable Ada Lovelace and Thomas Jennings, as well as the fantastic influence of the Morningstarrs, whose mystery continues to grow. Ruby is also masterful at portraying real relationships not just between her child protagonists, but also between them and other adults who may want to help, but also have their own agenda. Hers is the rare world where adults and children must negotiate and cooperate in order to solve not just the mystery, but the secrets of just plain getting along In the spirit of other great children's books such as The Westing Game, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Chasing Vermeer and When You Reach Me, The Clockwork Ghost is both a worthy successor, a ringing harbinger of the concluding book, and a terrific book in its own right. How else could you feel about a book that announces the children must go "where all the best mysteries are. The New York Public Library." Bring on the next book with bells on!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Grade: B+ An ARC was provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The York series is like The Mysterious Benedict Society for a modern audience, but I love it way more than I ever liked TMBS. With their apartment building demolished, the lead trio are separated by the entire island of Manhattan (the twins live in Queens now, and Jaime in New Jersey) but they're determined to spend time together and continue to solve the cipher. There are themes of tryi Grade: B+ An ARC was provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The York series is like The Mysterious Benedict Society for a modern audience, but I love it way more than I ever liked TMBS. With their apartment building demolished, the lead trio are separated by the entire island of Manhattan (the twins live in Queens now, and Jaime in New Jersey) but they're determined to spend time together and continue to solve the cipher. There are themes of trying to find your spot in a new place and standing up for what's right and not remaking everything. There are multiple plot threads to follow, but none of them get too confusing. I will say that the pacing is a little off for most of the book but that can be looked past. Also there are fun references to and appearances by real historical figures. I think a little disbelief has to be suspended with the stuff the trio do, especially without an adult present (reading middle grade books makes me feel so old sometimes), but most of it is par for the course for adventure stories. Content warnings: some tense moments in a graveyard, threats of violence The Verdict: A fun continuation of the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    What was that ending? I feel like this is going to get all mind twisty and bendy, moreso than it already was. But I don't really mind, because the way this is written isn't convoluted or annoying or confusing. I usually don't like fantasy, but this is done really, really well. I love the alternate version of Manhattan and all the history weaved in. Laura Ruby makes sure that she focuses on women (not just white women) and men who really wouldn't have their stories be so important today. Like, th What was that ending? I feel like this is going to get all mind twisty and bendy, moreso than it already was. But I don't really mind, because the way this is written isn't convoluted or annoying or confusing. I usually don't like fantasy, but this is done really, really well. I love the alternate version of Manhattan and all the history weaved in. Laura Ruby makes sure that she focuses on women (not just white women) and men who really wouldn't have their stories be so important today. Like, there were multiple black men who were former slaves or musicians or scientists or whatever that the kids talked about. Harriet Tubman was on their 20 dollar bill. It's just a great universe to live in, besides all the machines and bugs and scary things. I don't really understand the puzzles, but that's not really what I'm into this for. I love the friendships and the idea of the three kids just wandering around the city. They're dealing with things like gentrification and politics and death and loss in a really accessible way, I think. There were also parts I actually laughed out loud. Anyway. I think these books are great. Cricket, a Black (I think) little girl who screams all the time and finds everyone suspicious and her pet cat/raccoon, Karl, are my favorites.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rhyllis Bignell

    Loved the second York novel, filled with mystery, crime-solving kids, missing chimera, code-cracking , intriguing settings and more mysteries to solve. Laura Ruby's world-building in a future New York, her intriguing characters and strong main characters make this an exciting novel for readers from 11+.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    One of my favorite middle grade series, and hoping to give it some hype when it comes out - kids need to read it!! Ono is my new favorite friend, and I love the ending! Just dying for the next book now!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    Gosh this book was so good. I love how fast-paced and action packed these stories are. There is never a dull moment. I also love the history that’s packed into the story. Ahhh so good!!! I can’t wait for the next one!

  12. 4 out of 5

    ↠ cняιsтιηε ✩

    the parrot is my spirit animal quotes edgar allan poe and sings hamilton wait now i have to wait another year for the next book....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Burnap

    I think this slice of Laura Ruby’s story is even better than the first. Everything is getting more curious as more layers are revealed. Clever, adventurous storytelling that has you craving answers!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Beatty

    I LOVE books about puzzles and treasure hunts and this follow up to THE SHADOW CIPHER was just as entertaining and exciting at the first! Can't wait for book 3.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I. Love. This. Series! Tess, Theo, and Jaime are back again uncovering more clues to the Morningstarr Cipher. They are all a little shaken after what happened in the previous book to their beloved home; Jaime refuses to accept his new, pristine apartment complex, Theo doubts his intellect for perhaps the first time, and Tess continues to worry about everything. As the cipher unravels, the group is no longer sure what it will reveal, and whether they want to solve it at all. They are in constant I. Love. This. Series! Tess, Theo, and Jaime are back again uncovering more clues to the Morningstarr Cipher. They are all a little shaken after what happened in the previous book to their beloved home; Jaime refuses to accept his new, pristine apartment complex, Theo doubts his intellect for perhaps the first time, and Tess continues to worry about everything. As the cipher unravels, the group is no longer sure what it will reveal, and whether they want to solve it at all. They are in constant danger, have to keep lying to their parents, and are not sleeping well. I love the side characters. Aunt Esther was hilarious and wonderful, we get some chapters from Karl’s POV, Cricket wasn’t featured as prominently, but she was still great. Lance and Ono had their own adorable robot personalities as well. Another thing I noticed (because I look for it) was the diversity in characters and their gender roles. The twins’ mom is a detective, Jaime’s grandma is a handy-woman, Jaime is mixed-race, I think Cricket is black? (I’m not exactly sure because the author was pretty adept at weaving details in seamlessly.) Jaime’s mom was a black female physicist and there was messaging about how people tried to steer her away from that particular dream because of how she looked. Even the villains, a group of eerily similar-looking blonde women, is a commentary on societal norms and what women need to look like in order to get ahead. The ending of this book was completely unexpected. This is not a straightforward mystery. I don’t have any good predictions for where the plot will go from here, but I can’t wait to see how the author wraps it up!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I've always enjoyed mysteries and love steampunk novels, of which both genres fit the York series. I love the twists and turns and a new character introduced towards the end of the book. Our trio - Tess, Theo and Jaime are on the case to finish solving the cipher, but also a missing cat and raccoon. There's some interesting new bad guys - including blonde women who all seem to look the same but aren't. I also must say I love Aunt Esther who helps the kids out just a little bit during the book an I've always enjoyed mysteries and love steampunk novels, of which both genres fit the York series. I love the twists and turns and a new character introduced towards the end of the book. Our trio - Tess, Theo and Jaime are on the case to finish solving the cipher, but also a missing cat and raccoon. There's some interesting new bad guys - including blonde women who all seem to look the same but aren't. I also must say I love Aunt Esther who helps the kids out just a little bit during the book and seems to understand what is going on while not knowing at all what is going on. I love the mix of robotics in an older time setting and especially the robot that helps them that they call Ono (for saying consistently "Oh no"). Of course, there are many unfinished parts of this mystery and I'm excited to see what the last volume will hold for our three adventuring friends. Verdict: A fantastically wondrous book about ciphers, disappearing chimeras (hybrid animals), and robotic insects among many other things.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti Call

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Walden Pond Press, in exchange for an honest review. "...Cipheriests knew less than Theo himself. Once, that would have made Theo feel proud. Finally, he was the expert! He didn't feel like an expert. He felt like a lone pea lost in a soup of cream sauce." This stunning second book in the YORK series is filled with mystery, puzzles, and intriguing characters and situations. Told from the point of view of the Biederman twins,(Tess and Theo)and th I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Walden Pond Press, in exchange for an honest review. "...Cipheriests knew less than Theo himself. Once, that would have made Theo feel proud. Finally, he was the expert! He didn't feel like an expert. He felt like a lone pea lost in a soup of cream sauce." This stunning second book in the YORK series is filled with mystery, puzzles, and intriguing characters and situations. Told from the point of view of the Biederman twins,(Tess and Theo)and their friend Jaime, and Karl the animal/robot, this book is fast paced and well written. The twins and Jaime are as brilliant as they are interesting to read about and this book is the perfect companion to the first with even more history, relics and ghosts from the past. And of course it's another great tribute to the beauty of New York. The ending is a surprising yet unsurprising and satisfying twist ending. But now I have more questions, not fewer! I'm looking forward to the last installment of this trilogy!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karissa

    I really enjoyed this second installment in the York series a lot. This volume presents a number of new mysteries which are very intriguing but doesn't really provide any answers yet. Tess, Theo, and Jaime continue to follow the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher. This leads them to new and interesting discoveries. Along the way they encounter resistance from strange women in red dresses. Eventually things get so dangerous that their very lives may be at stake. I continue to really enjoy the wor I really enjoyed this second installment in the York series a lot. This volume presents a number of new mysteries which are very intriguing but doesn't really provide any answers yet. Tess, Theo, and Jaime continue to follow the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher. This leads them to new and interesting discoveries. Along the way they encounter resistance from strange women in red dresses. Eventually things get so dangerous that their very lives may be at stake. I continue to really enjoy the world-building, characters, and mystery in this series. All the strange adventures Tess, Theo and Jaimie have are fun and I love the weird contraptions they run in to. I love this world and really enjoy how this mystery is unraveling. My main complaint about this book is that the story doesn’t seem to make a ton of progress. More and more twists and turns are added but nothing is really resolved and the story ends up a huge cliffhanger. I really enjoy Ruby’s writing style. The story is fast-paced and Ruby does a great job with imagery and really bring the world alive. I also really enjoy learning about all of the different types of ciphers. Overall this is a very well done continuation of this series. I continue to love the world, the characters, and the mystery and enjoy the writing style as well. My only complaint is that this novel just presented us with more questions and nothing was resolved. I would recommend to those who enjoy mysteries, puzzles, and intriguing sci-fi/steampunk worlds. I definitely plan on continuing the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Clockwork Ghost is your typical series middle: extending the plot of the trilogy's first book, The Shadow Cipher , while setting up similar threads for The Map of Stars . This book was definitely more introspective and less action-y than The Shadow Cipher, but I still loved it and enjoyed returning to the world that Laura Ruby created. I'm sure that the York Trilogy is something I will want to revisit again and again once all three novels have been published!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    As a child, I loved realistic fiction and found fantasy to be a bit intimidating. I had many imaginary friends and if I am honest, still have one or two that know the very deepest secrets in my life and remind me that it is okay to have those secrets. But the older I became the more I found that fantasy fiction was where I would be most happy. Growing up was not something I did easily--perhaps because I didn't want to--like Tess, Theo, and Jaime I enjoyed life's puzzles and the quirky way they t As a child, I loved realistic fiction and found fantasy to be a bit intimidating. I had many imaginary friends and if I am honest, still have one or two that know the very deepest secrets in my life and remind me that it is okay to have those secrets. But the older I became the more I found that fantasy fiction was where I would be most happy. Growing up was not something I did easily--perhaps because I didn't want to--like Tess, Theo, and Jaime I enjoyed life's puzzles and the quirky way they twisted themselves into the minds of writers I love most. Still, I enjoy realistic fiction--Deborah Wiles, no one tells Mississippi stories the way you do! But the fantasy of Laura Ruby, Philip Reeve, J.K. Rowling, and Jonathan Stroud take me places that remind me of those imaginary friends who were always there for me whenever I felt lonely or invisible or like I didn't fit. Amazing!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz Hatcher

    I enjoyed this book, but not as much as The Shadow Cipher because - 1. the story didn't flow as well and 2. there were not enough clues to solving the cipher as the first book. The book brought in several new characters who I didn't really like; but, it seems to be a part of the story. There were several exciting and interesting happenings in this book which I enjoyed very much. The discovery of the new little character Ono and the scene in Station One. I understand Ms. Ruby was seriously ill wh I enjoyed this book, but not as much as The Shadow Cipher because - 1. the story didn't flow as well and 2. there were not enough clues to solving the cipher as the first book. The book brought in several new characters who I didn't really like; but, it seems to be a part of the story. There were several exciting and interesting happenings in this book which I enjoyed very much. The discovery of the new little character Ono and the scene in Station One. I understand Ms. Ruby was seriously ill when she wrote this second book; so that might explain the difference in the 2 books. I hope she is better now and when her third, and final book in this series, comes out (soon I hope!), everything will be explained and the cipher will be solved or explained!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Book Babe

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars I enjoyed this book, though I feel like it ended much too quickly. The title made sense, though only a few pages from the end of the book. I liked the new conflicts and characters introducted, as well as the new perspectives. And I would have never anticipated the *numerous* plot twists near the end. My complaint was this: it ended to quickly. I am now eagerly antipcating the third book in the York trilogy, and I can't wait to see how everything wraps up!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alexa Hamilton

    Did you like the first one? Then you'll probably like the second one! More puzzles and ciphers, more friendship, a lot more trouble. Although, this does suffer a bit as a second book. There's a slowdown in the middle, and to add to the drama, we get to hear the voices of a few more characters. This is interesting and makes it feel more epic but I didn't like those characters as much as I like Tess, Theo and Jaime. The ending is definitely a cliffhanger, I'll be awaiting the third book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Listened to it. I don't love the narrator, but I am enjoying the story. It's getting weirder and weirder. I appreciate all the little bits of history and how to research and random info that's dropped into the the narrative relatively seamlessly. I'm going to finish this series partially because I love Nine and Carl, and partially because I want to see Tess and Theo and Jamie solve the cipher and freaking find out what in the world is up!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brooklyn

    What the!! This book was an amazing sequel to The Shadow Cipher! I loved it sooo much! I want the next book so bad right now! Make sure you have a book you are VERY excited for to read next because I feel a reading slump coming for me! I’m excited for my next read but NOTHING will be able to top this!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I really, really want book 3! This is the problem with reading new books. But, I get the delight of recommending the series while I wait for the conclusion. This one felt tighter than the first book - less time spent on set-up and bigger twists and turns. Delightful, and good for both mystery and fantasy fans.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I like middle grade books that are sure of themselves, and this book's that. But about halfway through, I (as an adult reader) lost steam when some of the plot points seemed...well... middle gradesy and it didn't hold my interest. This book is right for another reader; that reader is just not me

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cecillia

    I inhaled this book. A great follow up to the first, and I loved the deeper character developments and finding more clues and the cliffhanger ending. I hope book 3 comes out soon. Thank you Ms. Ruby for your love of New York City and of its long history.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This series just keeps getting better (which I didn't believe possible after falling so in love with the first book). I devoured this whole book in a single day. It's going to be a looooong year waiting for the next (final?) book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Grace T

    THAT ENDING I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERING (also Princess Bride reference yas) (also also theo my sweet child who needs a haircut HOW COULD YOU HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THE EAGLES MISCONCEPTION there is a REASON they did not fly to mordor come ON YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE A GENIUS)

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