This is the fourth book I have read from The Missing Series by Margaret Haddix. The series consists of six books: Found (’09), Sent (’10), Sabotaged (’11), Torn (’12), Caught (’13), and Risked (’13). Revealed will be the last book in the series and will be published in September ’14. Risked (308 pages) had me at “Romanov family”.
Jonah thought that after his last adventure in 1903, he and his sister Katherine would have a break from time travel for a while. For the first time, he’s willing to look into his own identity in the past, and he thinks this is his chance.
But he barely has time for a single Google search before he, Katherine, and their friend Chip are tricked and zapped back to 1918–and to the house where the Romanov family was imprisoned after the Russian Revolution. Trapped without a fully working Elucidator, the three kids still hope they can escape and save the lives of Anastasia and Alexei Romanov.
But is it possible to change time that much when modern-day scientists have identified the entire Romanov family’s remains?
As in at least some of the other books from this series, the author includes a very helpful note at the end giving factual information about the subject matter in the book. In this case, the subject is the Romanov family of Russia. This family’s story is unique. Take, for example Alexei, the youngest of the Romanov family. His short life was shrouded in illusion. As the only boy born to Emperor Nicholas II, he was supposed to inherit the position of czar someday. However, it was discovered when he was quite young that he had hemophilia, at that time a disease that had no effective treatments. If the Russian people knew he had this disease, they would have considered him unsuitable to be ruler. His family had to keep his condition secret. Even a nosebleed could be fatal to the boy. A couple servants had the almost impossible task of following him around and keeping him from getting any bad bruises. He lived for thirteen years, until he was assassinated along with the rest of his family in the basement of the house where they were being held as prisoners. For some reason, the fact that he always wore sailor suits or soldier uniforms seems really creepy to me.
The depiction in Risked of the Romanov family going about their daily lives under house arrest, unaware that they are soon going to be assassinated, lends the book a fantastic tension that I think carried the book.
This is a really fun series and I believe I learned a little history from each story. Read the first book, and at least one of the others in the series so you can enjoy the last book when it comes out in September. I can’t wait.