Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Review: The Mystery Tribe of Camp Blackeagle by Sigmund Brouwer (Accidental Detectives #7)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Chilling plot; great characters
Cons: Story starts a little slowly
The Bottom Line:
A slow beginning
Made up for by rest of book
That you can't put down




The Laughs and Thrills Continue

In the history of children's mysteries, there have been lots of haunted houses and other buildings. But there have been very few haunted forests. But that's just what Ricky Kidd faces in The Mystery Tribe of Camp Blackeagle.

It's time for the annual teen camp out in the woods, and Ricky can't wait to get out there with the other guys. He and his friends Ralphy and Mike have all kinds of fun stuff planned.

Then they learn that Ricky's six year old brother Joel has been given special permission to go this summer. Ricky knows that he'll have a heck of a time keeping track of him, but he blows his allowance on a few ways to hopefully keep him from wandering too far from camp over the next week.

When they arrive at camp, Ricky and his friends find that Joel is the least of their problems. They disregard the warnings about ghosts, but how can they explain the way things keep disappearing? First it's the hatchets and axes. Then Ricky finds his shirt bloodied and stuck to a stump with an arrow sticking out of it. And that's nothing compared to what shows up at that evening's campfire. What's going on? Will they stay and finish out their week? Or will they head back home early?

While the series has always had plenty of humor, it seems more of a focus here then in other books in the series. In fact, my only slight on the book is that the mystery starts rather slowly in favor of several scenes about the characters playing pranks on each other. However, they are laugh out loud funny, so I really don't mind.

Once the mystery gets started, the tension builds very quickly. This book includes one of the best ghost scenes I have ever read. It still creeps me out as an adult. And keep in mind I know what is really happening. And the theme of caring for the environment is woven into the story so well it never once feels like preaching.

The characters are still in top notch form. Since this is a guys camping trip, series regular Lisa is absent, but once the story gets going, I don't miss her at all. Again, the series regulars and new characters are well developed with interesting personalities that help them stand out from one another.

Just because this series is aimed at the 10-14 year old crowd, don't let that stop you. The Mystery Tribe of Camp Blackeagle will entertain anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

If you are one of those who enjoys a good mystery, I highly recommend you check out the rest of the Accidental Detectives Mysteries in order.

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