December 9, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Mystery Of The Puzzle Bones by T.A. Smith

Mystery of the Puzzle Bones is Book One in the Adventures of the Boardunder Club and is an Action Adventure Mystery series.

Ethan, Brandon, Caleb, Jaydon and Roscoe the dog, are best friends and members of the Boardunder Club.  They live in a community in which the building of it was left unfinished and one day they discovered unused sewer tunnels below a vacant lot.  It is their secret hide out, where they go to ride their skateboards and hang out in one of the central junctions where they have set up a couch, television and gaming system.  Each of the boys feel very comfortable here.

One day, after Ethan and Jaydon had a mishap with the town bullies, they discover some bones lying in one of the unexplored tunnels that leads off of their clubhouse.  Everyone is frightened but Caleb, who has faith that Jesus will look after them all.

After discussing it one night with his father, Caleb, along with Jaydon, come to realize that it is a map and after discussing it over with Ethan, the three decide to follow the directions and see where it leads them.

When they discover "Hidden Town", a town of the city's derelicts who would kill anyone who knew of their secret, the three become frightened, until they meet Sarah, a little girl who lives down below.  When Tall Abe attacks the group, they flee for their safety and lose Roscoe along the way.

Frightened and scared, they make their way back, only to discover that Sarah may have been kidnapped by her psychopathic father and Ethan is determined to set her free.  The boys come up with a plan to secure Sarah to safety but things go wrong and all of their lives are in jeopardy and the people of Hidden Town are very angry.

I thought this was a great young reader for children ages nine to twelve.  It has a fair amount of excitement, threats and hilarity to keep most younger folks interested to finish the tale.  I think this is going to make an excellent series for your young ones to read.

I thought the plot was a decent one and the characters interacted in a proper manner to serve the conclusion.  I thought the ending tied up the loose ends nicely and brought the book into proper order.  I also enjoyed the counter balance of the good versus evil by reminding the reader of God's work through Jesus.  Sometimes it became a bit preachy, there aren't many children who have a grasp of God/Jesus such as Caleb and his way of sharing his knowledge didn't often fit right with the story and felt it could've been better shared in other methods.

I liked the boys but wish we could've had a bit more back story on their lives so that the reader could feel more for some of the issues each of them were dealing with.  Like one boy is suffering from the possible divorce of his parents, but the reader is left without any connection to the boy. 

I loved the inclusion of the dog into the story, given another climax in which the reader can draw upon.  I also liked how the author shared the interaction with the boys to the dog, like remembering the simple things, such as having to lift Roscoe up onto certain surfaces.  Many authors forget such things and your left to wonder how such and such got to where they are, this was wonderfully met in this book.

I would give Mystery of the Puzzle Bones a four out of five stars.  While I thought the plot was decent and the writing was well-written, I couldn't help but feel like the story was a bit wooden in its nature.  I believe this stems from the lack of back story, however, this would make an excellent addition to your family library. 

SYNOPSIS:
Jaydon Caleb Ethan Brandon and Roscoe the dog have a great hideout.
But something is leaving a strange Puzzle of Bones in the Boardunders club house.
Something wants to lead them deep down into the sewers – into Hidden Town.
A place that doesn’t want to be found and people who will do anything to protect their secret.
Suddenly the danger becomes extreme as they are running for their lives. Who can they trust to help them?

Puzzle Bones is the first of the Boardunders club series. The four young teenagers find a series of huge unused sewer pipes below an abandon home development and love skateboarding under ground where no one knows they are. They have a cool clubhouse with their own Play station and chairs. But then bones start to appear right at the dark entrance to the old pipes. Something is down there, something is arranging the bones.

The boys go to investigate and find a mysterious hidden town with people who do not want to be found and will protect the secret at any cost.


I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I was wondering how this book was. I didn't have time to review it this month, but I am hosting the author with a guest post next week.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.