|Iron Tomb (Pyramid hunters)
Author: Vegas, Peter
Following the various clues his uncle left behind, using the same knowledge of Ancient Egyptian history, culture, and religion he once hated, Sam makes his way across Egypt, trying to solve the mystery of his uncle's disappearance and, eventually, the secret of the Iron Tomb.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 185780
Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/01/16)
Booklist (+) (07/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2016 Gr 4–7—A mix of "Indiana Jones," National Treasure, and The Da Vinci Code. Sam Force lands in Cairo for his annual summer visit with his Uncle Jason, ready for the usual three months of ancient Egypt tutorial. This year is different, however, because Jason is not there to meet him. Instead, a young taxi driver named Hadi saves Sam from some unsavory police officers, and Sam is off on a search for his lost uncle. In this story that's complete with clues, codes, and puzzles, Sam navigates labyrinthine souks, flies across desert sand dunes on ATVs, outruns hordes of ravenous rats in the sewers of Cairo, and survives being buried inside a World War II ship left stranded in the sand when the Nile shifted course during a storm. Hadi and Mary, a girl Sam met on the plane, are sometimes friends and sometimes foes, making it difficult for Sam to know whom to trust. The pace of the story makes it hard to find a place to bookmark it for the night, but it also means that puzzles are solved a bit too quickly. It never takes Sam more than a page or three to find a clue and solve it, leading him on to the next. Accidents are fortuitous and frequent, leaving readers little opportunity to see Sam solve problems or to get to know him in any depth. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 When thirteen-year-old orphan Sam Force arrives in Cairo for his annual summer visit with his archaeologist uncle Jasper, everything quickly goes awry. First he’s quizzed by police about uncle’s disappearance; then he’s nearly kidnapped by mysterious men ransacking his uncle’s flat. Now, with nothing more than obscure hieroglyphic clues and the able assistance of two new young friends, Sam must elude villains and track his uncle across the Egyptian desert in hopes of reaching a buried World War II ship and the ancient treasure in its hold before anyone else. As he gets closer to the prize, Sam learns that success means more than saving his uncle and solving a Biblical mystery, because there’s an international conspiracy at work and the truth may just lead Sam back to his parents. With its archaeological bent, Middle Eastern setting, and search for the Ark, this adventure novel reads like an Indiana Jones movie; Sam is certainly serviceable as a young wannabe Indy, preternaturally calm in the face of danger, improbably capable at performing stunts and foiling bad guys, yet petulant about having to do any of it. Secondary characters are stock, and the heavily accented locals and shadowy European villains read as dated stereotypes. Still, readers will come for the plot, and here the novel succeeds with its strong pacing that moves along at a speedy clip to an exciting final showdown and rescue. Readers looking for a more unique and enlightened take on a similar premise might consider Brumbach’s The Eye of Midnight (BCCB 3/16) instead, but there’s excitement to be had here for those wanting for a high-octane if boilerplate adventure. An unresolved ending and late-novel reveal set up planned sequels. AM - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 07/01/2016 *Starred Review* When a novel opens with a boy using a human thigh bone to dig his way out from being buried alive in a sand-filled tunnel, readers get an idea of the dark, creative thrills to come. Every summer, 13-year-old Sam Force has traveled to Egypt to assist his uncle Jasper with research on mummies, tombs, and ancient treasures. This summer, however, when he steps off the plane, he is rushed into police custody and told that his uncle stole money from the government and disappeared. Sam sets off through the deserts, sewers, and cities of Egypt on a self-guided mission to discover who framed his uncle and why. What he finds instead is the first in a series of cleverly hidden clues that suggest that his uncle was onto something massive. Now everyone—police, government officials, locals, hired assassins—wants the information Sam has begun to uncover. The chase is on, and there is no telling who to trust. This first entry in the Pyramid Hunters series is pure adrenaline, punctuated with excellent character work and truly harrowing moments. The plot turns are continuously surprising and endlessly complex, and Vegas clearly trusts the intelligence of his readers. Expect to bite off every single nail. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.