Title: The Bloodline Cipher (Thieves Like Us #3)
Author: Stephen Cole
Published: 2008, Bloomsbury
“Jonah and the rest of the elite team of teenage thieves have been sent on a mission by Coldhardt to retrieve an ancient grimoire. He believes it to be a magical book of the law of the dead. Something like that could fetch a very good price in the right market. But when they go in to get it, the discover another team of thieves has beaten them to it. Even more disturbingly, this team is better trained, and better informed. It seems Coldhardt’s old mentor, a man he thought was dead, is not only very alive, but has a highly efficient rival organisation, and a devilish plan to wipe out Coldhardt. Only the best will make it. In a thrilling adventure with brilliant plotting and fiendish twists, join Jonah faces his toughest challenge yet – but will it be his last?”
Good, Exciting Fun
I remember reading the first two books in this series when I was in middle school or high school, and falling absolutely in love with them. They weren’t like other books I’d read. A love triangle wasn’t the main focus of the story, although romance was present, if an afterthought. No, instead, these books were about the action, the excitement, the thrill of adventure and danger that reminded me a bit of the Alex Rider books I used to read. I was so bummed that they never published the third and final book in the States, and for years I searched for a relatively cheap copy on Amazon that I could ship from the UK and read, finally. And while this book didn’t exactly hold up to my rather idealized expectations of the series, it still proved to be a quick, fun read that kept me engaged from start to finish.
Jonah Wish and his team of fellow thieves find themselves targeted by their employer’s rival after a deal gone bad. This team is just as young as they are, but for some reason always three steps ahead. What started out as a chance encounter turns into a battle of wits and lives as Coldhardt’s crew realizes that a lot more is at stake if they want to crack the Bloodline Cipher.
I was a bit worried that, since it had been years, I wouldn’t be able to get into the story easily. I shouldn’t have been worried—Cole handles the exposition nicely without beating the subject over the reader’s head, quickly and efficiently introducing the main characters and their talents (Jonah is a hacker, Motti is the security and weapons, Con is the seductress who can convince anyone to do anything, Patch can pick any lock, and Tye is a human lie detector). It was like being with old friends again, and I was able to quickly focus my attention on the story.
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