Book Review – Goodreads and Amazon – 5 Stars

***** 5 StarsA Delightful Action/AdventureThe Golden Scarab

February 20, 2012
By pdxreader – Amazon

This review is for:
Quest One. The Golden Scarab (The Quest Series) (Kindle Edition)

This debut from S.W. Lothian is a thoroughly delightful adventure story aimed at children in the 9-14 age range but also will be enjoyed by adults who, like me, occasionally find themselves frequenting the children’s book section in search of the latest from Rick Riordan.

With a tightly woven plot that moves at a fast pace, seemingly ordinary kids as the central characters facing extraordinary obstacles, a battle between the forces of good and evil, and an appropriate dose of twists and turns, this novel has all the classic elements of a first-rate adventure. Add encounters with glowing mummies, statues that come to life, overexcited camels, a talking cat, mazes and tunnels, Egyptian hieroglyphs, time travel, and an amulet with secret powers, and the story becomes a compelling and enjoyable read.

The story begins when JJ, the central character and a somewhat ordinary 12-year-old boy, visits a museum and ends up in a room full of Egyptian artifacts where he is presented with an important quest: travel back in time to ancient Egypt in search of the Golden Scarab, which is the only thing that can prevent the evil god Seth from gaining power and disrupting the fabric of time. This, of course, is a classic adventure set-up (something bad will happen, only the main character can stop it), but what I enjoy about the way it is presented here is that JJ has a choice. We get to experience him thinking about the risks of undertaking this quest and so, when he ultimately decides in favor of taking on the challenge (as we of course knew he would), we gain an understanding of his character. From this somewhat contemplative beginning, the plot accelerates as JJ, joined by a friend from his own time, travels back in time in pursuit of the Golden Scarab and encounters a series of obstacles, frustrations and at least one potentially heart-breaking event.

Throughout, the writing style is clear, confident, and concise, with descriptive passages that successfully evoke strong mental images and a subtly wry sense of humor laced into the occasional scene. There are also important lessons about courage and friendship. All are important, but really a book like this will rise or fall based on the action scenes; it is, after all, an action-adventure story.  On that count, Lothian succeeds wonderfully and I recommend this book for those who enjoy action-adventure novels.

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