Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey

The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey by Frank Peretti

Recommended for: 10-14

Rating: PG (for some scary situations)

Lila and Jay Cooper have joined their dad on a mission to the jungles of Central America, where a group of American treasure hunters have already become the victims of the deadly curse of Toco-Rey. Before Dr. Cooper can solve the mystery, his children are kidnapped and his integrity is put to the test. What price will he pay to get his children back? Is the treasure in the burial tomb of Kachi-Tochetin really worth more than gold?

Follow the Coopers as they explore unknown ruins, plunge through dangerous jungles, face hostile natives, and battle ancient evil forces. Will their courage and faith in God bring them through?

The Cooper Kids Adventure books are enjoyable reads suitable for middle grade readers. The Christian worldview shines through in Indiana Jones style adventures, and makes for some good books. I did very much enjoy The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey, though it didn't quite make it onto my favorites list.

Writing: 4/5

The Cooper Kids books are fairly well written, and suitable for the target age group. The description is sufficient and the story is well told. My only complaints are the use of sound effects, which there was thankfully less of in this one, and the lack of deep character point of view. Not every book needs deep character point of view, C. S. Lewis employed omniscient narration as if he was relating a story told him by the characters and I love that, but in the Cooper Kids books, it feels as if it is supposed to be deep character point of view without going as deep as it should.

Setting: 4/5

The setting of The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey was certainly interesting and well developed. How realistic it is, I'm not sure, I haven't done any research to find out, but it seemed fairly plausible and definitely intriguing. How could I not be interested in an archaeological site in the middle of nowhere supposedly protected with a deadly curse?

Plot: 5/5

The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey had many twists and turns and strange revelations. It wasn't too complicated, nor was it overly simplistic. It kept me hooked, which is more than I can say for the previous book in the series. It rather bored me, and the only reason I continued with the series is because of a challenge in a Goodreads group I am a part of. I'm glad I did, though, because I did really enjoy this one. Not to give any spoilers, but the explanation for the curse is quite interesting, especially when you consider that this supposed curse turns people green.

Character Development: 4/5

I like Dr. Cooper and Jay and Lila quite a bit. I don't, however, feel like I know them as well as I would like. Perhaps it's just coming back to the series after a long break, but I feel like the story just doesn't give time to really get to know them.

All in all, The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey was a good book that I recommend for middle grade readers.

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