Nat Sheppard’s world is turned upside down on the first day of the school holidays by the discovery of a secret room containing cave maps with clues to an ancient treasure. But Nat and her friends soon discover they’re not the only ones chasing the jewels. Professional treasure hunters are on the trail – and they’re prepared to eliminate anyone in their way.
There was an array of fun loving characters in this book. Nat is hilarious. She is spunky but caring. Her siblings are great characters, though her brother, Jack, gets more spotlight then her younger sister, Kathleen. Also the Lima brothers were a nice addition – one mischievous and one serious, but both seemly good boys. Unlike most books that cut the adults out, this incorporated them enough to keep them involved but honestly this book was all about the kids.
I had thought this book was going to be a very straight forward treasure hunting book – kind of like The Goonies. Yes, it sure had treasure hunting but it also had mystery, magic, and mystical creatures. It was entertaining and I could see a younger version of me absolutely loving it. That being said the plot was very easy to figure out and left little to the imagination in the way of twists or turns, even the big final twist. Despite its lack of secrets, it was still a wonderful read with tons of adventure.
Half of the fun was the setting was in New Zealand. This made it all that more exciting. This is a perfectly fun book for the readers it was intended for – middle schoolers. My only major complaint would be the over the top ‘villains.’ The kids were great, the story was enjoyable, and it had enough adventure that even as an adult, I had fun reading it. However, the villains were very one dimensional. The author did an amazing job building the main character and the supporting characters but left me wanting on the villains.
I liked it. Despite its ‘bad guy’ pitfall and at times its tenancy to run long, it was fun! I know I keep using that word – fun – but it really was! Nat is so great and as an adult I was very proud of her throughout the story. Despite the fact that this book sets up more books you can enjoy this book alone. Overall a great book for you and/or your kiddos.