Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#AtoZChallenge I is for Aunt Isabel


In a Nutshell: Aunt Isabel is the aunt of the main characters in Fiona Ingram's The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. She's an experienced world-traveling journalist on the trail of something interesting that just happens to get her nephews (Justin and Adam) into a lot of trouble.

It's been too long since I read it for me to pull out a favorite quote, so instead, I'm just going to share my review of the book from January 2015. And it makes a nice reminder that I'm overdue to read the second in the series!

Click the cover for purchase link.

Title: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
Author: Fiona Ingram
Publisher: iUniverse 2008, 272 pages
Source: I'm actually not sure; it's been on my ereader for quite a while. I either won it in a give-away or picked it up on a free day, I think.

This fast-paced adventure is by one of my fellow BookElves

Publisher's Summary:
A thrilling adventure for two young boys, whose fun trip to Egypt turns into a dangerously exciting quest to uncover an ancient and mysterious secret. A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

This was a great adventure, with a lot of history and archeology thrown in along the way. For the most part, the story moves along well, and the two boys are depicted clearly and engagingly. I might have liked for Gran to have a bigger role--she was pretty one-dimensional until near the end, when she proved delightful, but I can see why I might be more interested in her than a kid would.

A few times, especially near the beginning of the book, I thought the story got bogged down in the history/geography lessons, but for the most part they were well-integrated into the story, as the boys tried to find out what they needed to know in order to solve the mystery. The book also had to deal with the usual problem for kids' adventures: keeping the adults from taking over. I thought it was well-handled; they see it all as a great adventure and want to solve it themselves. When things get a little scary, they kind of want an adult to help, but worry their aunt won't take them seriously. The adults eventually get involved, but by then the boys have to cope with some things on their own regardless.

The exciting conclusion is gripping--I definitely stayed up to finish! Then there is the set-up for the next book in the series. I'm not a big fan of making a too-obvious "to be continued" sign at the end of a book, but I have to admit it has me wanting to read the next in the series!

For lovers of adventure and mystery and exotic settings.

Full Disclosure: I bought, won, or was given a copy of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab at some unknown time, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  


  1. Adventurous Aunts are always wonderful... I had one and learned so much from her!

    Affirmations for a Good Life

    1. There's something special about aunts, and they work so well in kids' books, whether adventurous or over-protective. They are adults, but different from parents :)

  2. The Secret of the Sacred Scarab sounds very interesting. I will have to add it to my “To Be Read List.” Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for visiting my Blog.

    I for Is Everything a Weapon


    1. It's a good series. Those boys of yours might enjoy it when they hit upper elementary!


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