Title: Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake (Jake Atlas #1)
Author: Rob Lloyd Jones
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Older children’s/middle grade fiction, Action, Adventure
Book format: Paperback
Description: The Atlas family is in trouble: Jake hides an addiction to stealing; his twin sister, Pan, has to conceal her genius, for fear of bullies. The siblings can’t stop fighting – with each other and with their parents, stuffy professors of Ancient History. But Jake’s and Pan’s lives take a dramatic turn the day they discover the truth about their boring mum and dad. When the family go to Cairo on holiday, Jake and Pan’s parents mysteriously vanish and it’s up to the twins to find them. They must team up with shady tomb robbers, master high-tech gadgets and locate a lost tomb in this story of a family that finds itself in the deserts of Egypt.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: Twelve and a half year old Jake is a thief and all round trouble maker. When he and his family set off on a holiday to Egypt, Jake causes trouble again, upsetting both his parents and his sister Pan. But when their parents go missing, Jake and Pan must team up to find them, a search which will lead them on an adventure to ancient tombs and strange discoveries.
I really love this book, even the cover had me wanting to read it! ‘Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald snake’ is an action adventure story aimed at pre-teens and older. Jake and his twin sister Pan (short for Pandora) go on an exciting adventure that’s like Indiana Jones with twelve year olds as the main characters. The book is told in the first person from Jake’s point of view and is really well written.
The book starts off with a prologue which sets up just how exciting this book is going to be with scene from further along in the story. It’s not strictly necessary as the book has an interesting start without it but if you’re curious as to how this adventure will read it’s a good introduction and made me want to read this book more.
As the story progresses there’s never a dull or slow moment. Jake and Pan team up with some treasure hunters to find their parents and have a variety of high-tech gadgets to use. It’s like Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones mixed together, something the author even states in his after notes. Sometimes a story with high-tech gadgets can ruin it for me as things just seem too easy for characters, but this book is not like that at all and despite having all the extras, the characters still face a lot of difficulties and dangers. Their adventure is so exciting and really like something you’d see in a movie. They visit the pyramids in Egypt and enter unknown tombs and face all sorts of traps and threats. The story is so well written that reading you feel the tension, the excitement and the shock at some of the things they find. Each chapter leaves you urgent to read the next and I love it when a book sucks me in like that.
I read this book in just over one day it was so thrilling and despite being aimed at pre-teens and over I’d say anyone of any age could read this and enjoy it. The main characters might be twelve, but the story doesn’t read like they are immature and silly twelve year olds, in fact the story is written really well and could easily be enjoyed by adults. The adventure the twins go on is just as exciting as an adult one, there are a lot of fun twists in this book and a great ending with far more action than I could have predicted. I could see this being the first in a series of books and I really hope it is as I’d love to see more adventures like this one.
Aimed at kids there’s nothing offensive, characters are referred to as swearing but there’s no foul language at all. The whole book is just an amazing and exciting read and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in a great adventure story, especially one set in Egypt, discovering the ancient tombs.
-Review first appeared online January 2017 – now republished here.
Read review of book 2 – Jake Atlas and the Hunt for the Feathered God by clicking here.
Read review of book 3 – Jake Atlas and the Quest for the Crystal Mountain by clicking here.
Do you like to read action adventure novels? What books would you recommend? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂