Monday, June 21, 2010

Land of the Lost or Summer of Fun

Every young boy loves an adventure. Okay, maybe not every one, but a great many do. They love to pretend, play sword fights, search for treasure and discover uncharted lands. Summer happens to be a great time for this kind of play too. Children have all day to play outside and often take real adventures with their families. You and I know them as vacations. This book happens to offer an exciting adventure for those rainy summer days that are sure to put a damper on the outdoor adventures.

“Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow”

By James Rollins
For Ages 9 - 14
Best for boys, but girls will enjoy it as well. Think Young Indiana Jones with a little Doctor Who mixed in and you’ll end up with “Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow.”
Rated: 4
The Good: A fun fantasy-adventure with a mystery thrown in.
The Bad: Perilous situations and some unbelievability (even for a fantasy.)

Three years after the apparent deaths of their parents on an archaeological dig in the Yucatan, Jake Ransom and his sister are invited to London for the opening of a museum exhibit featuring their parent’s work. Aside from a couple journals and a broken Mayan coin, the siblings have very little to remind them of their parents. So they go to London for the opening. Just as a solar eclipse occurs Jake and his sister are transported to another world, with dinosaurs, Mayans, Romans, Egyptians, Vikings, and Neanderthals all living together in a mystical valley.

The pace of the action quickens as Jake tries to uncover a way back to “reality” while simultaneously preparing for a battle with the evil Skull King. Along the way Jake discovers clues that suggest his parents may still be alive. I guess we’ll have to purchase “Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx” to find out more.

Rollins deftly mixes historical facts in with fiction and fantasy for a fun and interesting adventure. This mysterious adventure includes battles, alchemy, peril, and interesting relationship dynamics. It will certainly make for good summer adventure reading.

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