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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I grew up reading the Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Secret Seven, and "Adventure" books, along side Franklin Dixon's Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (Dixon's real name was Edward Stratemeyer but the books were ghost written). This reminds me of the best of these stories.

This has an interesting mix of fact and fiction and has been called the Da Vinci Code for kids, but I think it's much better than that. There were times in reading the Da Vinci Code that my will to continue was tested almost to breaking, whereas here the story runs at a great pace and holds the interest.

It is meant for Young Adult readers but, as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it too, so much so I have already put the new one The Orphan of the Flames in my "basket".
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A brilliantly conceived mystery plot involving real locations, and mysteries, both old and new, with danger always lurking about in the shadows. The tale not only introduces simple, but complex clues, with intriguing maps and diagrams, but actively succeeds in involving the young reader in attempting to reach a solution. What I found most delightful is that it easily managed to involve a much older reader in the quest too!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this book for my 9 year old son. When asked on his thoughts his comments were "it's alright". We started it off and I have been encouraging him to finish it but he seems to have lost a bit of interest. I think it would be more suitable for the 10 to 13 age range. That being said it is nicely written with some illustrations to help with the puzzles and has a decent pace. Add a star if your kids like mystery puzzle stories and are around 11 years old.
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VINE VOICEon 25 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
The billing of 'The Da Vinci Code for Kids' is rather deceptive. This is more like 'Enigma for Youngsters.' I don't say this to denegrate the book - rather, to push it, because I have to say I really enjoyed it ... so much so that I bought book 2 on my Kindle and have already pre-ordered teh third book in the series!

MS408 is an unreadable book. It has been written in a code that even former members of the WWII Bletchley Park code breakers could not solve. Over the years, many experienced code breakers have tried ... and failed. Some have been driven insane; others have died. Is there a solution? Can the related code book ever be traced? What is to be done?

There is only one possibility - co-opting a new team of 3 ... children into a new school, Pembroke College, to be based at Station X, otherwise known as Bletchley Park. On the curriculum, on top of the basic subjects, is a course on codes and ciphers. Can these children succeed where so many adults have failed? Can they solve the problem that is MS408?

The result is a fascinating series of books (of which this is the first) - a series of adventures which will keep you gripped and wanting more.

Highly recommended for youngsters aged 9 to 13 with adventurous and inquisitive minds - both boys and girls. This series would probably be enjoyed by those who have enjoyed Robert Muchamore's books - both Cherubs and Henderson's Boys; also by those who have been intrigued by the Kathy Reichs 'Virals' series; and lovers of either Nancy Drew or The Hardie Boys.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Secret Breakers is the kind of book that really makes you think as you solve clues along the way. It is a good book because you are able to try and work out the codes and ciphers as you read.
Brody Bray is a girl who lives with her Grandad as her parents aren't there any more. Brody gets told to go to a museum which is in fact a code cracking school which is so secret that even the government doesn't know of its existence. Brody and her friends uncover the case of Professor Vande Seccer. But they don't know someone is out to get them.
I would recommend this book for 10-13 year olds as even though the storyline is fairly simple, it is also very confusing in parts. If you like codes or secret agents in your stories, you will enjoy this.
Review by my 11 year old daughter! (She loved it!)
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on 21 January 2017
Bought this as an Amazon recommended read after Helen Moss Phoenix Code series. My son was initially disappointed when I told him it wasn't the same characters but by the end of the first chapter I wasn't allowed to stop reading! Really enjoyed trying to guess the solutions to the codes and told him about world war 2 code-breaking at Bletchley Park.. My son is P7 / age 10 but should suit slightly younger and older age groups (even much older people like his mum!)
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on 1 September 2012
It is really good and interesting. I can't stop reading it. it is good for children aged 8 - 10. - my son, aged 8
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Spy's, clues and secret manuscripts, sounds fun and believe me it is. Unlocking the truth in this book is fun.

I ordered this for our eleven year old son but ended up reading it myself first.

An exciting mystery book that once you start off reading you find it hard to it down.

The puzzles throughout the book are fun and the writing good so much so I will be ordering the next book The Orphan of the Flames.

There is a website which son is going to go on and see about the real life bits that are in the book as he thinks that part sounds fun.
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on 8 September 2012
Described as the Da Vinci code for kids, this is the first in a series about three kids who are head hunted by former members of the Black Chamber at Bletchley Park to solve codes and find a lost "key" to solving the riddle of MS408 also known as th Voynich Manuscript (a real manuscript which was the inspiration for the book). Reasonably fast paced, with lots of different codes and a few drawings, it's plausible and interesting, and for anyone interested in code breaking, introduces lots of avenues to explore. Can be read by adults as well, although a couple of times I was ahead of them in solving the next stage - this didn't detract from the enjoyment of the story. I'm now intrigued to see where we're going with the story as MS408 has never been cracked!!!!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A short spell of `Googling' will demonstrate to readers just how much of `The Power of Three' is fact - not merely the existence of the encrypted Voynich Manuscript but also historical events as burning of Louvain Library, establishment of Station X etc., actual places as Bletchley Park, Brighton Royal Pavilion etc., real people as Van der Essen, William Friedman etc., and published literature or music as Le Morte D'Arthur, Enigma Variations etc. Around this reality author H L Dennis skilfully weaves a fascinating fictional story involving 3 children and personnel from Bletchley who combine as a team to find the truth - Veritas. They set out to solve what has puzzled and defeated the best of code-breakers over the years, but the Voynich Manuscript has been put off limits and to proceed they must break rules. This injects tension into the story and it exposes the team to dangers - and it makes a cracking code-cracker of a novel!

The Voynich Manuscript dates back to the 15th century and it is written in some secret script of unknown language with obscure and unascertained illustrations. At the core of `The Power of Three' is fictional new evidence to suggest a form of code-book exists, and the team must deal with this before tackling the original manuscript. This allows H L Dennis to outline a diversity of strategies in code-breaking, and in addition to the gripping text he introduces illustrations (by Meggie Dennis) consistent with the historical aspect. These include numerous diagrams, sketches, doodlings etc. demonstrating a variety of codes and indicating thought patterns for unlocking and solving clues, and it is possible for readers to interpret evidence as the narrative progresses. The imaginative and intriguing story of `The Power of Three' continues to excite and entertain up to a satisfactory conclusion that sets the scene for a sequel - promoted as `The Orphan of The Flames' - and it's on my wish list!
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