Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Tour Stop and review: The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter by Frank L. Cole

Today ReaderGirls is proud to participate in The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter Blog Tour. Frank L. Cole, author of the Hashbrown Winters series, has created a fun and exciting fantasy story. 


Summary: Amber never dreamed her archaeology class would turn into a top secret mission that would take her across the globe, but when her teacher goes missing, Amber realizes it's up to her to protect the Hidden Scepter or risk unleashing an ancient power too terrifying to imagine. This guaranteed page-turner from the bestselling author of the Hashbrown Winters series is perfect for the adventurer in your family.

Reading level:
Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (March 8, 2011)

Our review: Amber, 14, is a smart and sharp minded student. She attends Roland and Tesh Private School for the Advanced and really enjoys her independent archaeology class taught by Dorothy Holcomb. Ms. Holcomb is not like other teachers. When she takes Amber out on occasional research trips they're not always to museums in the day that are open. When the story begins Amber is with her favorite teacher, trying not to get busted by museum security. Afterwards, while eating hamburgers and fries late at night, Dorothy tells Amber she's going on a mysterious trip and won't be teaching class for a few weeks. A month passes and four students, including Amber, receive identical letters from Ms. Holcomb, and Amber's intuitive radar goes off. Ms. Holcomb may be cool but she wouldn't tell her students there is no final exam. Furthermore, when they line up their letters they notice something is amiss. After they figure out the message their teacher sends to them, all the reader has to do is sit back and leave everything to Amber and her friends Joseph, Trendon and Lisa, to solve the mystery.

I really liked Guardian of the Hidden Sceptor. Amber was not only a strong and smart girl, she wasn't afraid to take chances and she had a good sense of humor. Her dedication and love of archaeology comes across throughout the book and I liked having a girl being a brain with a different subject. The story itself was entertaining, fast paced, and had me reading as fast as my eyes could go. Mr. Cole's imaginative writing really helped me easily visualize Amber and all of the antics and situations she and her friends found themselves in as they guard an ancient artifact. Parts of the story had the excitement, danger and mystery of movies like Indiana Jones and The Mummy. I also liked how each of her friends stood out as individuals and brought their own unique and different talents and skills to the group of adventure solving teens. 

Guardian of the Hidden Sceptor has adventure, danger, action, mysteries, a nice relationship between a teacher and her loyal students, all within a historically rich setting. The characters were well developed, the action was believable, and the students had a humorous and realistic dynamics of true friends. I would recommend this terrific story to readers who enjoy adventure stories. I will say even though the story is listed as Middle Grade, I think this book is better suited for mature Middle Grade readers and (ideally) Young Adult readers. 

Rating: Really Liked It

Cover comment: Fun and colorful.


Book source: Netgalley

About the author: Frank L. Cole (Goodreads) was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Sadly, he misplaced the manuscript and has since forgotten what he wrote. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. You can learn more about Frank’s writing at franklewiscole.blogspot.com

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