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  • Engaging and entertaining

    Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is Book One in The Chronicles of the Stone middle grade adventure series by Fiona Ingram. Adventure seeking Adam and his cousin, Justin, vacation in Egypt with their Aunt Isabel and grandmother. A peddler gives Adam a mysterious Egyptian scarab, but an Egyptologist, Dr. Khalid, finds out and attempts to steal it. Archaeologist James Kinnaird, who claims to know the location of the legendary Scarab King's tomb, is missing and the boys are convinced the artefact is linked to his disappearance. The cousins find clues about the Scarab King while exploring the Sphinx and cruising on the Nile. The scarab’s aura lets Adam experience visions about ancient Egypt, and he and Justin manage to decipher some of its hieroglyphics. While they are exploring another historic site, Dr. Khalid's henchmen abduct the boys and take them into the desert, but a deadly sandstorm traps them while riding camels. Adventure lovers will get the opportunity to become tourists on an exciting tour to Egypt through this magnificent novel, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram. This is an engrossing children’s mystery with non-stop action and interesting dialogue. I enjoyed the entertaining drama while learning about Egypt’s rich historical past. Justin and Adam are smart, fun, and brave. Each possesses distinctive skills that the other lacks. The other characters are also persuasive. Fiona Ingram impressed me immensely with her relaxed, eloquent storytelling that will delight both pre-teens and adults. I look forward to the continuing adventure in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, Book Two.

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  • Fast-paced adventure

    Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite When cousins Justin and Adam traveled to Egypt with their grandmother and Aunt Isabel an adventure awaited them. Scottish archaeologist James Kinnaird was missing. His theories concerning the legendary Scarab King were controversial. Mysteries abound in Egypt. Adam acquired a special antique scarab. Sinister Dr. Khalid was very interested in Adam’s artifact. Aunt Isabel’s camera was stolen. The boys face danger and kidnapping. Can they rescue Kinnaird, solve the mystery, and find the treasure? Too often it is difficult to find books that will hold the attention of 10-15-year-olds. They prefer action packed books. The lead characters in this book are Justin and Adam. They will appeal to the focus audience. The boys are intelligent, diligent and brave. They are excellent role models. Fiona Ingram has not short changed the secondary characters. They are well developed with personalities and voices of their own. The plot is fast paced and action packed. Adults will enjoy this book just as much as preteens.

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  • A fascinating mix of history and adventure

    Adam was excited, he was finally going to Egypt to spend a week there with Gran and Aunt Isabel. All along Adam was dreaming of the desert, camels, pyramids, and the tombs of the Pharaohs. Since Adam was missing a few days of school, his teacher Miss Briggs wanted him to sketch some of the monuments he would see there and record his activities while in Egypt. Adam and his cousin Justin would fly to Johannesburg, meet up with Gran and Aunt Isabel, and take the evening flight to Cairo. A cab collected them from the airport and dropped them off at Aunt Isabel's place. Aunt Isabel was a journalist, and so they ended up discussing James Kinnaird, the famous Scottish archaeologist whose sensational discovery about Egypt might throw new light on the place and its history. Adam was keen on an adventure in Egypt, like looking for lost treasure. Kinnaird had vanished while reporting about the number of thefts of precious artifacts from archaeological digs, and Adam felt there was an adventure already in it. Laila was their tour guide in Egypt and they ran into Dr. Khalid at the Egyptian Museum, the man who was appointed by the Egyptian government to crack the smuggling ring. The turn of events after that made Justin and Adam suspicious about Dr. Khalid after his reaction to seeing the sketch of a black scarab by Adam. The story takes a different turn when the boys go missing at the Valley of the Kings, and their tour bus gets hijacked. 'The Secret of the Sacred Scarab: Book I: The Chronicles of The Stone' by Fiona Ingram is a fascinating adventure story that will take young readers into different dimensions as the plot unfolds. Be it the story of the Scarab King, the disappearance of James Kinnaird, the scarabs put into Adam's pocket by a peddler, the scary encounter with Egyptologist Ebrahim near the Sphinx, the disappearance of the boys, the hijacking of the tour bus, the story will keep readers glued to it till the very last page. The chapters segue into the next one perfectly, and that gives the story a good pace and fluidity while reading. The characters including the two protagonists, Justin and Adam, have been sketched well, and they are not only real and relatable, but their personalities are also strong and leave an indelible impact in the minds of readers. The author's keen eye for details and the historical angle of the plot give a unique appeal to the story and will make readers young and old familiar with the sights and sounds of Egypt in a fascinating way. I like the way the author weaves in an intriguing, suspenseful, mysterious, and adventurous plot, taking readers deep into the history of the civilization, places of interest, and sights and sounds that make Egypt the fascinating country it is. For those who have not visited Egypt, this book will encourage them to travel there to experience the magic of the place, and for those who have been to Egypt, this will bring back nostalgic memories of the wonderful trip they have undertaken. I relived my trip to Egypt after reading this book; the Nile cruise, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Philae, the Egyptian Museum, the pyramids, etc., and many other places in the story came to life all over again. The book is a fine mélange of adventure and history, and I am sure the author is going to spring more surprises, adventure, and suspense in Book 2, and I can't wait to read it.

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