Thirteen-year-old Ben finds himself in Central America with his parents - and stumbling into an ancient mystery. Along with two local kids, he is determined to solve the ancient trials of El Dorado, lift the curse and find the gold... whatever comes their way.
But along the way Ben learns important things about friendship - and realises that treasure might not be all there is to find at the end of the trials.
I love a good ancient mystery and one of the biggest is, of course, the fabled city of gold, El Dorado (anyone seen the Disney telling? I have that song stuck in my head now...) so I knew I needed to put in a request to read this book. The book cover is pretty awesome, the front is a shiny gold Jaguar design and the back a mustard golden color, whilst the front is nice I would love having some paper in the back design, but started right off on the right foot with an eye catching, relevant design.
Now for the story itself... I have to confess that I had a lot of trouble getting into the book, it just didn't feel quite right, felt a bit forced and too contrived and so I ended up putting it down after a couple of pages and leaving it for a week. Of course being a review book I couldn't leave it as I might other books and so I sat down and forced myself to read it. There were quite a few parts that just felt too copy and paste in their reading and the characters weren't all that fab, I really couldn't have given a toss what happened to Ben and no one else was that memorable. However the last two chapters were very fast paced and they were easy to sweep through yet the ending kind of felt, well, flat.
I think for someone starting out in the ancient history fantasy genre, this would be a good read, but for someone who's been reading that genre for a while... Not that fab.
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