The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave (The Natnat Adventures Book 1) by Brydie Walker Bain
Publication Date: January 2015
Nat Sheppard’s world is turned upside down on the first day of the school holidays by the discovery of a secret room containing cave maps with clues to an ancient treasure. But Nat and her friends soon discover they’re not the only ones chasing the jewels. Professional treasure hunters are on the trail – and they’re prepared to eliminate anyone in their way.
*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave is the kind of book I’m usually hesitant to read, because there’s always a small, painful chance that it won’t turn out so well. I enjoy a good adventure, but good adventures are very hard to find; and after a childhood filled with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series and Secret Seven Adventures, I know what a good adventure reads like. This story is one good adventure.
This book features Nat and her brother, who want to find some rumoured treasure in order to save their father’s farm from being foreclosed and sold by the bank. With the help of their friends, they learn the secrets of Sinbad’s treasure, and set out to look for the evasive gems. Of course, they don’t expect to become targets of some villains who are equally desperate to claim the treasure for themselves.
The first thing I noticed and liked about this book is the fast pacing. Right from the first page, there is already a hint of adventure, and the build ups are believable and evenly paced (as opposed to rushed or sluggish). The characters are realistic, and their circumstances manage to be as real as possible, even in the face of all the fantasy. The author succeeded in merging events that kept me curious and interested till the end of the story. There is also a huge presence of captivating descriptions of all the caves and trees and scenic things in general.
In a nutshell, The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave is an interesting, well written story that has the essentials of a good adventure: good descriptions, brave characters, greedy villains, mystic content, and comic relief where necessary. The ending, if not the main story, makes me look forward to the next book in the series; and it also doesn’t hurt that everything is set in New Zealand 🙂