Tuesday 3 July 2012

185. Arkie Sparkle Treasure Hunter Book 1: Code Crimson by Petra James

Arkie Sparkle Treasure Hunter Book 1: Code Crimson by Petra James
Published July 2012 Pan Macmillan
From the publisher:
The biggest treasure hunt in the world is about to begin
Eleven-year-old Arkie Sparkle's archaeologist parents have been kidnapped. With the help of her genius cousin TJ and basset hound Cleo, she must find seven treasures across the seven continents in seven days.
DAY 1: Egypt
A golden queen, a famous pharaoh, greedy explorers, a pair of pyramid pants
Arkie Sparkle must find the first treasure in the temple of the famous Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II. But first she has to find the temple, buried deep in the sands of the Sahara Desert.

I have commented many times this year that I have chosen particular books, based on how much I liked the covers.  This book, I must admit I read in spite of its cover.   I am not a publisher, I am not a designer or an artist, so my opinion is only a personal one, but I don’t like this cover.  To me, something just isn’t right about it.  The good news is that there is a lot right about what is going on inside the book!

Arkie Sparkle is the daughter of archaeologist/treasure hunters.  Her world has been full of exotic travel locations, high tech gadgets…and treasure.  When she comes home one day to find that her parents have been kidnapped, and she has been left with a series of tasks to complete before she sees them again, she jumps right on in.  With the help of her cousin TJ, they solve the riddle, and head off to their first destination…EGYPT.

There are gadgets galore in this book, one of them being BLUR, the supersonic mini jet.  Luckily super smart, over achiever TJ just happened to learn BLUR’s flying manual when she had a few minutes to spare, which is convenient, as Arkie has never flown the plane herself.  When in Egypt they learn that they actually have to go back in time in order to complete the task.  Here we have another gadget, the TimeSlip machine, which doubles as a handy shower!

Throughout the pages of the story there are notes jotted in the margins, small funny illustrations, codes and sections of the Treasure Hunter’s Handbook.  The other thing I really liked is that when Arkie goes back in time she meets real historical figures.  In this case it’s John Burckhardt and Giovanni Belzoni, the two men who cleared the entrance to the temple ofRamses II at Abul Simbel.  She also meet a young boy called Abu Simbel, he is the one who actually found the temple, and he then showed it to the other two men, the temple was then named after him.  There is information about these characters and the temple in the back of the book.

This is the first of what will be 7 books.  7 Treasures, 7 continents in 7 days.  It was a quick and easy, interesting read.  It has the history of the 39 Clues, with the added bonus of gadgets and time travel.

Who will like this book: Girls age 8+
Read it if you like: History and gadgets

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