Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow is James Rollins first venture into children's literature.

After reading about this author and series, I borrowed the audio copy from our library. The opening was what I had hoped for years ago when I eagerly attempted the Indiana Jones books that followed the movies series. Those books were terrible. In the opening of his book, Rollins captured the excitement that made me want someone to write a quality adventure that captured that excitement. If you have read any of my book reviews, you know I do not like reviews that simply compare one series to another and excuse the author from any additional work.

The opening of this book did capture the excitement I felt from the Indiana Jones Series, but the books moves on to create its own niche.

Jake Ransom and his sister are the children of missing archeologists. They are invited to the opening of a Museum opening in London to see the artifacts found by their parents prior to their disappearance. The invitation is not what it seems. Jake and his older sister Kady are transported to another world through an artifact.

Here they discover a collection of lost world civilizations and a dark force that must be defeated for both worlds to survive. As Jake learns more about the mysteries of this lost world, he begins to clash with the Skull King leading readers to anticipate where the mystery is headed.

Unlike some of the other sister and brother series, I have written about recently, this one focuses mainly on Jake. His sister has a minor role in the story, but the main action is directed around Jake.

This story has many of the predictable lost world plots. Predictable does not make them boring. I believe the series has potential as a fantasy adventure series. The author does need to decide what to do with Kady. She seems a bit of a wasted character. In most of the other brother and sister fantasy series, each has a critical role. If Kady does not to have a role, perhaps it would be better to leave her at home, as the series continues.

I have a long reading list ahead of me so the next book is not yet on my library list. However, I do have Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx on my list of library books to track down.

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