If you've seen Survivor, you know how a key part of the game is getting people to do what you want without knowing that they're doing your bidding. From the fat, naked guy to Russell Hantz, Survivor has shown the world some of the greatest manipulators (and possible sociopaths).
As good as he was, Richard Hatch has nothing on the Cahills. Irina Spasky, Alistair Oh, William McIntyre, and even kindly old Grace are all expert manipulators. There might even be others we're not aware of yet. And until Amy and Dan figure it out themselves, they're just puppets being strung along in The 39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones.
Questions About Manipulation
How has Grace manipulated Dan and Amy into accepting her challenge? Do you think they recognize the manipulation?
How is Mr. McIntyre manipulating the game from behind the scenes?
Think about all the historical figures who are actually members of the Cahill family. How has the Cahill family manipulated history throughout the ages?
Chew on This
This is Mr. McIntyre's game as much as it is Grace's. He was her attorney and could have masterminded the whole thing from the beginning.
With her KGB training, Irina Spasky is skilled at manipulation. She gets Amy and Dan to follow her while thinking the whole time that it's their idea.