NOTE: I received an advance eBook copy in exchange for my honest review. This work marks the author's first foray into storytelling, and while a couple of areas could be cleaned up, IMO, overall the story is tight and cohesive and was a quite enjoyable read for myself and my 10-year-old son. 13-year-old Jagger and his 11-year-old little sister, Aria, are in Egypt along with their mother, a travel-writer. After a series of somewhat bizarre occurrences, young Jagger begins hearing a voice calling to him. After following the voice out into the desert, he begins to dig and soon a staircase downward is revealed. The stairs lead down to a tomb where Jagger and Aria are teleported through time and meet the owner of the mysterious voice, Princess Meretaten, eldest daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti! Seems Jagger and Aria are modern-day descendants, and are the only ones that can help stop a plot against the Royal Family by the Pharaoh's General and the evil High Priest of Amun-Ra, Herihor. The two siblings must race against the clock to thwart the nefarious plans as they only have a week before the final spell is cast that will wipe out the entire Royal Family. Jagger must use all his knowledge of ancient Egypt to stop the plot and then to get himself and his sister back to their own time... Miss Evans has crafted an intricate tale involving long-lost culture and beliefs replete with the gods and ceremonies of ancient Egypt. Her background (a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago) serves her well in this endeavor, and gives the reader a more accurate picture of the times and customs of the era. Target audience and reading level is Tweens and older; younger children would enjoy the story if read to by a parent or older sibling in order to pronounce some of the names and explain the rituals and spells taking place. Although primarily centering around Jagger and therefore appealing to boys, there is more than enough of his sister Aria to keep most girls interested in the tale. I found repetitive use of a couple of phrases ("blew a puff of air" being one) to be personally irksome, and the editors' choice to not weed out excessive commas an annoyance, but overall this was a very good read for both myself and my son, and we both agreed that a sequel or further adventures of Jagger would be most welcome. ****1/2
Wow, love these characters. Brother and sister team up, to Jagger's dismay and do some ultra-cool time traveling. Great middle schooler read that my group of students loved! They want more! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.