Author: Martin King
Year published: 2011
Publisher: RazorsharP Books
Number of pages: 202
Recommended age: 10+ years
Son's Rating: ★★★★½
Son's Rating: ★★★★½
Mom's Rating: ★★★★½
Mom's Rating: ★★★★½
Summary (from Amazon): A castle, chilling graveyards, secret passageways, historical clues and hidden treasure; Jack Hunter is packed with electrifying child-appeal for both girls and boys. Twelve year-old Jack Hunter’s life couldn’t get any worse – forced to move home, ripped away from his friends and dragged to a town in the middle of nowhere. But then Jack discovers a centuries-old key that unlocks an historical secret. Suddenly he finds himself on the hunt of an ancient treasure trove with the help of some new friends. Full of twists, clues, villians and a host of potential suspects, Jack Hunter – Secret of the King provides a riveting read from beginning to end. The adventure begins now…
What it’s about: Well, there’s a boy, and he tries to find treasure that his grandfather told him about with his four friends that help him on the way to victory before the villains get to them or the treasure. The characters are Jack Hunter (the main character), Holly, BT, Martin, and Julie. This story takes place in a little town called Barnoldswick in Lanconshire, England. I don’t think that they learned any lessons, but they did learn about strategy. It was very Indiana Jones-like.
What I liked and disliked about it: I pretty much just liked this story – it was really cool. There was one part – the part with the blue light emanating from the corner – that was a bit scary. They were good characters because they were smart/intelligent, they had good strategy, and Jack sounds like a normal kid, so people could kind of relate to that.
This story made me feel very good, because now I have something that I can nag my parents to get me [the next book]. I thought there were some funny parts – like the part where he was using the swiss army knife to take the brick out, and then the blade snaps, and then Holly starts screaming, and then he goes down and gets a tooth off a pitchfork in the barn and then goes back up and with a little bit of encouragement, takes the brick out.
My bottom line: I would definitely reread this book. I would recommend it to my friends, because it is a very good book and they would really love it at this age. I would recommend it to both boys and girls.
What it’s about: This book is a very ‘Indiana Jones’ meets ’12 year old boy’ adventure story. Jack has to move to a new city so his mom can take care of his aging grandfather. Jack learns a secret from his grandfather about a treasure his grandfather once stumbled across and is given a gold coin. He meets several new friends, and together they begin searching for the treasure. Danger and mishap follow them while they unravel the mystery behind the treasure. The story takes place in a little town called Barnoldswick in Lanconshire, England.
What I liked and disliked about it: This was a really great read actually – both Ryan and I really enjoyed the plot twists and adventure! I rated it 4-1/2 stars, and really, the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars were a few details that brought me out of the story. Once was that while it is obviously written in England, there were enough words that were out of context and foreign to us that both Ryan and I several times had to either google the word or skip it and move on. It’s kind of hard to stay in the story when you don’t know what the object they are talking about is.
Another minor issue I had is that there were a few words that I would have preferred stay out of a children’s book (like d*mn and skinhead). The word ‘skinhead’ was used to refer to a haircut, but then we had to stop the story long enough to talk about what a ‘skinhead’ is, and what they stand for, and why it isn’t something you would probably want to call someone, etc. There are a lot of words that could be chosen to describe that instead that could have been funny and/or descriptive. I wish the author had chosen something else there.
Lastly, on the small area of gripes with the book, I’d say that overall, I like to rib my friends and my kids (and vice versa) just like the next guy, but I draw the line at calling someone a name like ‘idiot’, yet this kind of namecalling (even in jest) was in the book. Again, I found myself describing why we don’t really call people that because people aren’t idiots, and that labelling people really isn’t very nice no matter what, etc. Again, lots of ways to show kids ribbing each other that doesn’t cross the line of labelling
BUT, those were the gripes. The book itself was well paced, very engaging, and we looked forward to reading it every night! It was fun to pick up a letter at the beginning of every chapter to solve the ‘clue’ of where the treasure was hidden too – very clever!
My bottom line: Even with the above issues (and really, they didn’t occur too much in the book), I would highly recommend this book to an older child (10-14?) We are looking forward to reading the sequel!
* Kari and Ryan received a complimentary copy of the book Jack Hunter: Secret of the King from the author in exchange for their honest opinion about the book. *
Book 2 is out NOW!!
Jack Hunter: The French Connection (Book 2) is a groundbreaking adventure. The book is not only an adventure story, it’s an interactive adventure. Read the story, follow the clues, solve the secret message, go online, unlock the secret passages, find the treasure chamber, play the game and, in 3D!!!
Jack is a typical twelve year old boy. In fact his life could not be any better. A local celebrity, captain of the school football team and getting ready for his first holiday abroad with best friends, Martin, Holly, BT and Jules. When Jack and his friends find themselves caught up in the middle of a robbery all hopes of normality begin to fade. So begins a thrilling action packed adventure with Russian gangsters, stolen jewels, a famous movie star and the world’s most notorious criminal mastermind. The clock is ticking. Join Jack on his quest to solve the clues, unravel the mystery and find the ‘Second Corner’ in order to save his mum. The adventure continues…
For more information about the Jack Hunter series or about the author, Martin King, visit http://martinkingauthor.com
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