by Susan Runholt
If you haven't read this series yet, you have to! All of the books are really fun mysteries set around the world. Adventure at Simba Hill is the third book in the series, and it takes place in Kenya. The story follows the two main characters, Kari and Lucas, as they attempt to find out who stole a bunch of ancient artifacts at a nearby archeological dig. Their adventure takes them into close contact with angry natives, stampeding hippos, lion heads, and more.
What I absolutely love about this series is the level of difficulty of the mysteries. They are complicated enough that you spend the whole book guessing what might have happened, but they're easy enough that you have a couple hunches yourself. Although I love mysteries, I always like the book less if the mystery is so convoluted that I have no idea who the culprit could possibly be. This is never the case with Runholt's books. In Adventure at Simba Hill, I was able to make some guesses. Most of my guesses were right, but I was wrong in a couple of them too.
I also really enjoy the fact that each book is set in a different country. I've never been to Africa, let alone Kenya, and I learned A LOT about the lifestyle, culture, and wildlife there. So this book was educational and fun at the same time.
Bottom line - this series is definitely something to check out! I think it's marked as YA, but it's great for middle-grade readers as well.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Sorry for not posting in weeks... tennis season for girls just started and I've been at tennis practice every day after school.
Anyways, I just got a bunch of books from the library, and the first one I read was Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder. I'd seen so many reviews for this book, it's surprising that I never picked it up until now! Inside Out is about a girl named Trella, who is one of thousands of scrubs, who work in the lower levels of Inside to keep them clean for the rich and dominating Uppers. Known as the Queen of the Pipes for her superior knowledge of the inner workings of Inside, Trella keeps her head down until a series of events result in her starting a total revolution.
Inside Out is fresh and original. It was literally suffocating to read about an entire society that lives inside and has no idea what the outside is like. Metal walls on all sides, no windows, doing the same menial tasks every day, thousands of identical weeks stretching out in front of you... ugh.
A simultaneous pro and con of Snyder's novel is the constant action. There's never any sitting around. While it made the plot more exciting and interesting, it was also a bit overwhelming. Trella hardly ever slept, she was constantly running around, and she always had things to do. I don't know how she managed to keep track of everything she had to do and get everything done without much sleep, and while leading a rebellion! I wanted to hand her a planner or something, but I don't even know if she would have time to open it. :-)
The ending was disappointing for me... shocking at first, but then a bit anti-climatic. I'm planning on reading the next book though... I want to know what happens!
Posted by Priya at 4:09 PM