THE GUARDIANS OF THE HIDDEN SCEPTER By Frank Cole [Review]
When I was growing up, once I had blasted through the Hardy Boys and a few similar adventures written for the younger audience, I was lost. There was really nothing else with heroes my age and exciting story lines—even then there were really very few with a girl as the main character. It made reading hard, and I was forced to venture into the scary world of grown-up books. That’s no longer the case. Luckily, there is a growing body of young adult literature, and Frank Cole’s THE GUARDIANS OF THE HIDDEN SCEPTER is an exciting read and offers a delightful heroine in his lead character Amber.
Amber is a student at the Roland and Tesh Private School for the Advanced and is drawn into an adventure from the very beginning by her archeology teacher Dorothy Holcomb. Seemingly a prim and proper archeologist, there is a lot more to Dorothy than meets the eye. Amber figures that out fairly quickly, breaking into museums is not typical archaeologist behavior. Dorothy has a few secrets, and one leads to her disappearance. Once Amber realizes what’s happened she and her friends—an interesting band—set out to solve the mystery pursued by those intent on silencing them forever.
The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter is a delightful read and a real page-turner, especially for its intended audience, but for older readers as well. It was enjoyable to see an intelligent, strong young woman leading the group, that factor is missing in a lot of fiction in general, especially this particular sub-genre. I loved the fact that Amber was not prone to whining, as so many teen leads are, and I really think Cole nailed his characterizations—not just Amber, but her gang as well, their voices rang true throughout the story. These were real flesh and blood people that I wanted to get to know and I was rooting for by the end of the book.
Some of Cole’s archeology/history, like a lot of the Dan Brown-style books, is a little questionable at times. I will say his research is far better than a lot of similar books and considering this is a young adult work, the research is even a little above and beyond. In fact, it might lead a young reader to head off to the library to learn a little more about archeology, and any book that encourages that is a good thing.
Frank Cole definitely has a winner in The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter with great characters and an interesting story guaranteed to keep younger readers (and their older siblings and parents) glued to a book instead of the TV or game console.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. | Pages: 288 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon
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