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I was hesitant to spend my hard earned credits on Island of Thieves as there are so few reviews, even on GoodReads, and the star ratings were merely average.
But I watched Indy Jones as a kid and I still dream of finding a treasure map so I decided to give it a try.
Unfortunately, I can understand the apathy towards the book.
It isn’t a bad book at all; in fact it actually has the basis of a really good story.
Sadly, though, it never lives up to its potential.
That means you’re left not really wanting to bag it out but not caring enough to bother recommending it to anyone either.
The main character, a 13-ish (didn’t catch his exact age) English boy Tom is probably the most likeable protagonist I’ve read in recent memory. He isn’t overly smart or overly talented or mired in ‘uniqueness’, quirks or backstory. He’s just real. So real, I could see myself – a 28 year old woman - in him!
The treasure hunt had a cool set-up, included a nice touch of history and was set in the wonderful location of Peru.
However, the characters don’t develop or arc and the ‘treasure hunt’ is straight forward that no mulling over riddles and historical documents necessary. It ends up being a simple, straight forward tale that basically ends with ‘and then we went home…’
Like I said, it’s not bad but the fact that it could have been so much better is so disappointing it becomes borderline infuriating.
I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone looking for a well-developed story nor a short punchy adventure (it’s short but not riveting, nail-biting, action packed etc).
I think it is meant for younger kids who are more forgiving and maybe not looking for more story but I’d recommend parents give it a listen before they let pre-teens read as it has some adult tones/situations (related to violence). I think they would have been far better suited in a novel for older readers – especially since they were one of the things handled really well!