Saturday, May 1, 2021

Book review: Ethan Murphy and the Race for the Incan Crown

Ethan Murphy and the Race for the Incan Crown
is the second book in the Ethan Murphy series. With his first adventure under his belt, thirteen-year-old Ethan Murphy is now a fully-fledged member of ROM: The Riddle of Macrocosm Agency. Managed by Ethan’s grandpa, the agency dates back quite a while and is in the business of locating and researching ancient artifacts and treasures. Four years ago, Ethan’s dad, Logan, was abducted while on a mission for the agency. Ethan now occupies his dad’s office. He met his two friends, Grace and Steve, while on his first mission, and they make a formidable team. However, he has not yet told his mom he’s an agent now because he knows what her reaction will be. Mysteriously, the office Ethan occupies is vandalized and valuable documentation is stolen. Who did this? Does this have something to do with what Ethan’s dad was working on prior to his abduction? How could the person get into the office … unless there is a mole in ROM? When a blackmail letter arrives, how will Ethan and everyone at ROM deal with the situation?

Kids who love puzzles, riddles, and mysteries will welcome the return of Ethan and his team. Author Anita Mishra has cleverly included a ‘catch-up’ prologue for kids who are starting with this book so readers will be up to speed with how Ethan got to where he is now. Ethan faces a new, tough assignment: to locate the traditional crown of the Inca people before the baddies get to it. Their destination is Peru! But it’s a dangerous assignment and people have been injured in the past when looking for the crown. The nail-biting suspense and mystery start right away with the theft of the vital information and continue as Ethan and his team are followed by men in black. Of course, puzzles and clues are a necessary part of this adventure and readers with a flair for cryptic puzzles, codes, and word games will love working these out with Ethan. The suspense builds as the hunt begins and the young reader wonders who will get to the crown first.

 There is no shortage of mystery, intrigue, subterfuge, non-stop action, danger, and adventure as the kids are thrust into a new and threatening environment. Who is a friend and who is a foe? Teamwork, courage, trust, and self-belief, as well as family love and values and being honest are themes that the author subtly includes. This is a rollercoaster adventure with twists and turns that kids will love! Bonus: at the end of the story the author includes a cipher for keen readers to solve and earn a ROM Agency badge!


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