Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nancy Drew Girl Detective #33-35: The Identity Mystery Trilogy

The Nancy Drew Girl Detective Identity Mystery Trilogy consists of the following books.

#33 Secret Identity
#34 Identity Theft
#35 Identity Revealed

In #33 Secret Identity, Ned's family hosts a visiting professor from Iran along with his wife and two teenage children, Ibrahim and Arij.  Meanwhile, Bess's sister, Maggie, asks Nancy to help out one of her friends, who is being cyberbullied in a virtual reality game, BetterLife.

On page 9, Ibrahim's age is given as 16, and Arij's is given as 12.  On the following pages, the book states multiple times that the two will be attending high school.  Since when does a twelve-year-old go to high school?  I was so puzzled that I kept going back to page 9 to verify that Arij is really just 12.  The age had to have been a typo.

I did not care for the prologue at all, since I had no idea who the people were.  Prologues typically do not work well and are almost always annoying, and in my opinion, authors should not use them. 

On page 131, we learn that Nancy now drives a Prius. 

George helps Nancy sign up for BetterLife so that they can investigate the cyberbullying.  Nancy's ID is VirtualNancy.  I quite enjoyed the virtual reality part of the story.  It's very different and extremely modern for a Nancy Drew book, but the actual investigation is just like in the old stories.

In #34 Identity Theft, Nancy's investigation has earned her some enemies.  Someone is now cyberbullying Nancy!  Nancy's identity is stolen, and her email is hacked.  Nancy's private email messages are posted on a message board in BetterLife, including a fake one where Nancy says that Ned is "dull." The culprit also convinces people that Nancy is racist, and many people begin harassing Nancy mercilessly online.  

Nancy doesn't want to create a fake avatar so that she can snoop in BetterLife.  This seems stupid.  Of course after a bunch more stuff happens, Nancy finally creates another ID.

In #35 Identity Revealed, the harassment of Nancy now extends to her father.  Some of Carson Drew's private files are scanned and posted online for others to see.

On page 42, I correctly guessed the identity of the villain.  I realized that only one explanation existed for what was happening at that moment, so I knew who it was.  I wanted to go back to the first book and verify a certain sequence of events just to make sure, but the plot for the trilogy ended up so convoluted that I would have wasted a bunch of time.  Now if I had been reading an electronic text, I could have performed a quick search.  Electronic texts can be very useful for that type of situation.  Since I couldn't run a search, I had to wait for verification, even though I was certain that I was correct.

Nancy and George go on a crazy chase through a drug store.  They dash around the entire store, creating disturbances, and then finally corner the culprit inside the store.  Nancy and George then have a very lengthy conversation with him inside the store.  No one in the store asks them to leave.  I thought this was very strange, considering how badly all three had just behaved. 

Identity Revealed is a very long Girl Detective book at 198 pages. Remarkably, the book is not boring at all.

All three books in this trilogy are very suspenseful.  The BetterLife world seems real, and I found that part to be very interesting.  The first book in the trilogy is good but not outstanding.  What really makes the difference in books two and three in the trilogy is that Nancy is threatened by the villain and is in great danger.  I could hardly read the second and third books fast enough because I so very much wanted to know how it would all work out.

I greatly enjoyed this trilogy.

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