Monday, May 26, 2014

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Kidd siblings, Tommy, Storm, and twins Bick and Beck, have lived on their family boat their whole lives, joining their parents on treasure hunting expeditions.  But now their mom has vanished in Cyprus, and their father has just disappeared off the deck of the boat during a storm.  Beck is convinced both his mother and father are still alive, although his siblings are not convinced.  They all agree to continue their parent's treasure hunting business, and it isn't long before they find themselves in the middle of a hunt that leads them all the country and into all kinds of trouble.

It was just OK.  I haven't read James Patterson's Middle School series.  But this read like a book someone who is used to writing for adults wrote for kids.  If that makes any sense.  The whole thing felt very forced.  There were no genuine kid voices, or actions for that matter.  Possibly both their parents are dead and they're all just carrying on?  OK.  Sure.  Bick and Beck are supposed to have these epic Twin Tirades where they have blowup fights that resolve themselves quickly.  They were unimpressive.  All the dialogue felt stilted and forced.  The Kidd family is being pursued by a bunch of surfer henchmen, who all speak in a stereotypical surfer manner, lots of "dude" and so forth.

The plot itself I found weak and not particularly interesting.  There was plenty of running about and escaping various things, which perhaps some kids would find fun, but there are so many better books that involve running around and escaping that are better written with more of a plot and better dialogue.

I did like the illustrations that went along with the story.  The idea is the Bick is writing the story and Beck is providing the illustrations.  That was fun and I liked the style, but it didn't make the story itself any better.

One you can pass on.

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