The Long Lost Map, by Pierdomenico Bacccalario, for Timeslip Tuesday

Way back in February I read The Door to Time (Book 1 of the Ulysses Moore series), by Pierdomenico Baccalario (Scholastic, 2006), and was disappointed to find that it was essentially a prequel to a series in which brave children have time travel adventures.  There is no time travel until five pages before the book ends, when we get a teaser glimpse of ancient Egypt, where book 2 takes place.  I have now read Book 2, The Long Last Map (Scholastic 2006) and found it entertaining, and most definitely Time Travel! 

The three kids, Rick, Jason, and Julia, do in fact travel back to Ancient Egypt and find themselves in a burial complex.  Julia doesn't stay very long, and runs back through the  Door to Time to the present when things get scary (they are all running, but Julia just gets there first), but Rick and Jason stay in Egypt, trying to figure out what secret the mysterious Ulysses Moore (the guy who set the whole time travel thing up) left there to be found.  Befriending a girl named Maruk, who is helpfully the daughter of the Keeper of the House of Secrets, the great repository of the legendary city of Punt, they set out to find a long lost map, deciphering a series of riddle to do so before the villainous woman also looking from the present and also looking for the map can do so.  Back in the present, it's not all tea and skittles for Julia either, as she tries to prise answers out of the mysterious caretaker of the Moore mansion and fend off a villain determined to break in....

It is all rather exciting, and a fun read not so much for the mysteries of Time Travel qua Time Travel (it was Egypt enough to be palatable, but not a deeply meaningful cultural exchange full of paradox and difficulty), but from the point of view of clue solving and treasure hunting.  There's plenty of action and tension, and the House of Secrets, an awfully cool labyrinth of antiquities, makes for a great setting.   Many of the things that bothered me in Book 1--the non-Englishness of the supposedly English kids, the fact that nothing actually happened of import till the very end, weren't as bothersome back in Ancient Egypt.  And I am left feeling rather surprised to find that I sincerely enjoyed this installment enough so as to add book 3, The House of Mirrors, to my tbr list....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Free Blog Counter

Button styles