The Shadow Cipher

The Shadow Cipher

Book - 2017
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It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipherá puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction. Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.
Publisher: New York, NY : Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
New York, NY : Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062306937
Characteristics: 476 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm.


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Jun 25, 2019

Twins Theo and Tess, and their friend Jamie explore an alternate version of New York trying to solve the famous Morningstarr cipher. The Morningstarr cipher is a cipher that was created by the Morningstarrs' famous architects that shaped New York, and people have been trying to solve it for over a century. This book was a good read, but their were some parts such as the Morningstarr inventions that seemed kind out of place in the storyline.

May 28, 2019

1st book, before The Clockwork Ghost

someone13 Nov 06, 2018

i just could not put this book down as it went further and further in to the new york mystery. Great!

Feb 14, 2018

This was a delightful new-fangled treasure hunt reminiscent of Nicolas Cage in National Treasure, but with children. Enjoyed every moment, thumbs up!

JCLChrisK Feb 06, 2018

This is an exciting mystery that I couldn't put down. A scavenger hunt with codes and ciphers, and plenty of clues based on science, history, and geography (of New York City, particularly). Lots of intrigue. Excellent world-building, meshing the real with the fictional in this alternate version of our reality. Strong characters who are well developed. And a shared spotlight. Quality writing with wonderful use of language. I just wish there had been a more satisfying partial conclusion to some of the mysteries to make this first book feel more complete on its own instead of leaving us with an unsatisfying cliffhanger of an ending. Deserving of much popularity.

Jan 21, 2018

This was a fun puzzler set in an alternate New York City. The characterizations and relationships were also good. The length might make it a tough sell with some kids. I find the Morningstarrs themselves a little far-fetched, and it bugs me that the series is called York and the cipher is the Old York Cipher when the city was never called that, but these are small quibbles.

Oct 20, 2017


Aug 24, 2017

Very interesting. I am looking foward to the next book in the series with great anticipation. It's not often that you find a good alternate history, science fiction, and mystery all in one book. Definitely recommended!

Aug 14, 2017

I can't say enough good things about this book! It was thought provoking, adventurous and clever. I could not put it down! I've been telling everyone to read it.

I had so much fun reading this book. The took me on an adventure through the city of New York. I also like the mystery surrounding the cipher puzzle which reminds me of National Treasure but with steampunk elements. The book also gave me a much greater appreciation towards architecture and how we must work hard to preserve old buildings.

The book also is fast pace and there is a ton of action throughout. I also liked the three main characters. The twins Tess and Theo are funny. Like there would be moments they will pick on each other in a sibling kind of way where they will say a ton of funny lines which made me laugh to the point where I was in tears. Literally in tears. I also liked how even though the twins pick on each other they still have this greater bond between them. I also liked Jamie because he is geeky, artsy and also smart. Despite not being an expert in cipher puzzles he also has a way of contributing to problem-solving.

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Apr 30, 2020

"That's not a crown," she'd told him. "That's a nimbus of outrage.”

JCLChrisK Feb 06, 2018

They think they're the only ones who understand the real truth about the world, and that it's everyone else who's been tricked. . . . The biggest problem we have is that people like to fool themselves into thinking that they could never be fooled.

JCLChrisK Feb 06, 2018

The therapist her parents brought her to see liked Tess to do a lot of drawings. . . . He said, "It's interesting that you drew yourself with this little golden crown on your head. What does the crown mean to you?"

"That's not a crown," she'd told him. "That's a nimbus of outrage."

JCLChrisK Feb 06, 2018

It was as if everyone was a Cipher. You could look for keys and clues, but you might never figure them out.


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someone13 Nov 06, 2018

someone13 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 40

Oct 20, 2017

ruthprice thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 99


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