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When everything goes wrong, he is left with only a clue to solving the murders and a best friend who will be there until the end. The secret behind the clue could give ultimate power to the owner, and it is up to Christopher to bear its burden.
I picked up this book from the blurb, a kid who solves puzzles, just what I love. The book didn't let me down. Christopher is a strong character who truly understands the world and the evil that resides around him. He takes nothing for granted. He is blessed with a best friend that sticks to his side, and between the two, and a few big booms, they are able to figure out Master Blackthorns clues.
I felt impressed by the author's ability to weave a tale that included multiply bad guys and keep me guessing. It really was interesting to follow the layers involved and when the real bad guy stepped forward I looked back and realized that I'd liked his character, so surprise.
The one glitch was the final revelation of the mystery "formula" everyone was fighting over. I was expecting something great. The story would have us believe that the secret being hid is the ultimate element, the element of Angels that created the universe, the penultimate secret. However, the product that Christopher discovers doesn't seem so awesome, sure it is the biggest explosive known at that time, but I was expecting something the book didn't fulfill. Still, it was a fun read.
Though a middle grade novel, this book does contain a bit of violence and some of it is gruesome. I'd suggest it for older middle graders. 4 stars!