Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Skeleton Creek 4: The Raven

Title: The Raven
Author: Patrick Carman
Author Website: http://www.patrickcarman.com/

From his website
The Raven


Ryan and Sarah have solved old mysteries. They’ve followed clues all over the country and underground. They’ve investigated secret societies. They’ve found their answers.

Or so they thought. Because there are still some secrets that Ryan and Sarah haven’t uncovered yet. And there’s still a shadowy figure standing in their path…someone who doesn’t want Ryan and Sarah digging up any more of the past.

My Thoughts
This book came in at the library and I had to snatch it up quick as I just read book 3 in the series. This is the final book of the series(at least I think?).
 
I read the book in about a day. I probably sound like a broken record if you have read my other reviews in this series, but the videos were pretty good. I thought they were better than book 3 for sure. I still think book 1 was the best. Those videos creeped me out. I am sure part of this was become it was something new and unexpected, but also I felt the suspense was top notch.
 
With the last two books in the series I really missed seeing the characters. In book 1 and 2 you were able to see Sarah and Ryan. I missed being able to see them. I don't know why they chose to eliminate them in the videos(perhaps the original cast was not available or something), but I felt that really added a personal element. I lost my connection with the characters. I always liked seeing Sarah talk before showing her video. With that being said, I still really enjoyed reading this book. I always looked forward to the videos and they still made sit at the edge of my seat.
 
I don't want to ruin the ending, but I am interested to see if this is the end or an opportunity to continue a new series. I did not expect the ending. I thought something completely different was going to occur.
 
**A POSSIBLE SPOILER** Scroll past to *END SPOILER*
I really thought the father of Ryan would have played a larger role in the novel. He seemed to be on the edge of an important character and he just fell off the face of the earth in this novel. Not sure why, but I always assumed he would be associated with more than what he was at the end. He was part of the Crossbones or least was aware of it and nothing ever developed.
**END SPOILER**
 
I think that the targeted age group for this book series will love this book. I know they will. Once again I found myself using Google to look up some of the locations and learning a little bit more. Being that I am older and really looking at the book with a more critical eye, I was frustrated with the development of Sarah. One thing that drove me nuts was that they were so careful of her driving and talking on her cell phone, but there was no real concern for her to be driving thousands of miles on her own. For someone who is digging up graves you would think talking on the phone would not phase her. Also, if her parents were so concerned for her and where she was heading, wouldn't they not figure out she was all over the place when they look at the odometer? Once again, silly little details that students who read this book would probably not care about, but for some reason stood out to me.

Don't get me wrong here. I enjoyed this book. Maybe after reading four of the books in the series I have had my fill. The system was always the same in each book(which is what students love). Sarah was the dare devil out and about capturing the crazy things while Ryan was the one who was scared to do anything but write in his journal. But in the end it was always up to him to capture that final essential piece and bring the town and storyline to a close.

This series is a winner. It is one that my own kids will read when they get older. I know that once you read book 1 you will find yourself moving right through the series. Book 4 lost some steam for my own personal reasons, but it had nothing to do with the writing or ideas. If you have not read this series, then you are missing out on a great set of books that will hook any reader ages 9-12. I cannot wait to see what Patrick Carman creates next.
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