The world's most powerful Egyptian spells are now in the hands of the world's most dangerous organization. And The Order is using them to become stronger than ever, creating stone warriors, summoning an undying army, and breaking open the borders between worlds.
Alex and Ren must find a way to stop the mummies and spirits devastating the globe. But, as the doors to the afterlife fall, they know that they have no choice. They must travel to the land of the dead if they want even the slightest chance of living.
Egyptology - magic - mummies - undead armies - who could resist such a mix? From the very start, the reader is catapulted into a fast-paced adventure which is the last in a series of the five TombQuest novels. I have not read the first four, but it was not too important to have prior knowledge - most of the essential background information is referenced in the book so it was not difficult to pick up the story.
There is a good amount of background information included - not too much for younger readers to absorb, but enough to offer some authentic data on ancient Egyptian life and customs. The momentum is maintained throughout so there is not a lot of time to pause to catch your breath. It reminds me of a fast-paced movie where one false move means you have failed! I do like the way that the chapter numbers are written in hieroglyphics, which adds to the authentic effect of the story. The cover, too, features a frame that comprises artwork commonly found on tombs and papyruses,
The three Amulet Keepers are nicely presented as very different personalities. Alex is a leader but is also scarred by his father's betrayal. As the story progresses, Alex has to face up to his father's rejection, something no young person should ever have to do. Ren is secure in her parents' love although she is concerned about them and cannot wait to contact them again. And Luke is the outsider, a boy who has to prove his loyalty to his cousin and who meanwhile adds a touch of humour to the story with his cringe-worthy puns!
After the book has been read, there is a game to unlock on the Scholastic website. This does take a little while to load initially, but it is worth the wait and certainly adds another dimension to the story. I found I first needed to install Unity (there is a prompt which guides you through this) and, once it is installed on your computer, you need to run it using a compatible browser. Chrome will not run it, but it works with other browsers. I have Firefox on my computer and it works perfectly with that. The game is quite easy and would be suitable for quite young children.
All in all it is good value for money and when combined with the free access game online will provide hours of fun for the reader. It is recommended for children eight years old and upwards, but the game is certainly suitable for younger players, and the book will be accessible to some capable readers from the age of six.
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"Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs."
Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'