The Serpent's Curse

496p. (The Copernicus Legacy: Bk. 2). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062194466; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062351593; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062194503.
Gr 4–6—Still reeling from their last adventure in The Forbidden Stone (HarperCollins, 2014) which ended only hours before, Wade, Darrell, Becca, and Lily are nearly killed by Galina and the evil Order. So begins another around-the-globe hunt for one of 12 mysterious relics that can reactivate a time-traveling astrolabe built by Nicolas Copernicus. But the relic is not the only valuable thing the group is searching for: they must find and rescue Darrell's mother, kidnapped by Galina's thugs. Codes and riddles point the way to the hidden relic, and though readers are unable to participate in solving the puzzles, they will have fun witnessing the characters use their complementary skills to work together and find the answers. The novel's challenge is its length: multiple plotlines and secondary characters are interesting but numerous enough to slow down the otherwise fast-paced narrative. Moderate violence (stabbing, shooting, poisoning, and explosions) contrasts with occasional juvenile phrases such as, "Wade had been giving Becca goo-goo eyes…" and "you are being tremendously awesome". References to the companion novella, The Copernicus Archives: Wade and the Scorpion's Claw, (HarperCollins, 2014) whose events take place after the first novel and before this title, add another layer. Readers learn a bit more about each of the four young heroes in this second installment, but those wishing for more character development will want to read the novellas. Fans of the series will eagerly await the next entry.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
Wade, Darrell, Lily, and Becca continue their international quest to find all twelve relics for Copernicus's eternity machine. This time the stakes are even higher: Darrell's mom (Wade's stepmom) has been kidnapped by the nefarious Teutonic Order, who are also hunting for Copernicus's artifacts. Chase scenes, vivid secondary characters, and codes and riddles make for a stimulating, if credibility-straining and lengthy, mystery.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing