1. This book is part one of a series of 6 and nothing (well almost nothing) is resolved by the end of the first book
2. This book, while intriguing, does take quite a long time to read. Not because it is particularly long but at times the plot does feel a little slow. You will need reading stamina but it is worth the effort.
3. The action does heat up but not until about page 231 or chapter 10 then you will find yourself rushing to reach the end - now read caution number one above.
4. To better appreciate this book you need a little knowledge of the legend of King Arthur. For the next book you need to know about Edward Elgar and in the next a little about Shakespeare.
5. If you like books about codes and the sense of power that comes from thwarting the bad guys then you will enjoy the twists and turns of this story.
Three children, Brodie, Tusia and Hunter, have been selected to join a team of adults who are trying to crack a code that has puzzled people for centuries.
"She reached into the trunk and lifted the bundle. The fabric fell away. Underneath was a thick bound book. The red leather cover was soft, worn in places, unmarked by any writing or title apart from a small label of unreadable text in the corner. ... the letters used for the writing were not like any Brodie knew. Even the pictures of flowers and plants weren't like anything she'd ever seen growing on earth. .. On one island she could clearly make out what looked liked a volcano and also a castle like the one sketched in her locket."
The children form the third study group named Team Veritas - searchers looking for the truth. Brodie's mum was part of the second study group and she died when she attempted to crack this code. For the first section of the book these newest team members complete a number of tests to ensure they are up to this important task then they learn the story of this special manuscript and its history and get to work to link the clues and solve the puzzle (sort of).
This might seem odd by my favourite character in The Power of Three is one of the baddies. An evil woman named Kerrith who is out for promotion and revenge.
"Kerrith Vernan prided herself on three things. ... the third was her very carefully managed appearance. You didn't get to be as good looking or as well presented as she was today without expending a lot of energy at the gym, or spending a lot of money on your stylist ... she twisted the new diamond ring she'd bought herself around her little finger."
If you enjoy team work, books where the kids know more than the adults, codes and puzzles then pick up The Power of Three. You might also enjoy The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Seven Professors of the far North, A Whole Nother story or The Billonaires curse.
It is well worth taking time to look at the author web site where you can read about all the characters and read extracts from the books and see real pages from MS408. You can read a little more about the plot. Here is a video showing the letter the children use to solve this puzzle.