Title: The Golden Flute
Author: Catherine Lanigan
Series: Adventures of Lilli and Zane #1
Genre: Young-Adult, Adventure, Fantasy
Expected Publication: June 12th 2012 by Cedar Fort, Inc.
Teen treasure hunters Lilli and Zane have grown up in a world of ancient artifacts, coded messages, and long-buried mysteries. But there’s no telling what they’ll unearth when they face off against the infamous Zorav and his even-more-menacing advisor.
With the fate of the world in their hands, Lilli and Zane will have to stay one step ahead of danger, find the treasured artifacts, and keep them far away from their enemies or face death—and maybe even worse.
Masterfully written by bestselling author Catherine Lanigan, this thrilling action story keeps you guessing through every twist and turn. Cross continents and connect the clues along with Lilli and Zane as you’re pulled into a world of mystery and suspense. A must-read for adventurers of all ages!
This isn’t my favourite book by far, but by the end I guess I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s really geared towards people older than around 11 and I’d say buy it for your children/nephews/nieces, but you’ll probably not enjoy it as much yourself.
The premise for the story sounds great with the whole archaeology aspect and the adventure/fantasy side excited me. I read the first chapter and fell in love and then I met the villains and the protagonist and I felt things begin to crumble a little. That’s not to say the characters are dreadful, I just felt like they didn’t hold structure to a character plan. They seem to fluctuate in whether they actually ‘fit’ in their age group. At times they seem to excel and then others they fall into simplicity that makes them too young. It was probably the biggest thing that annoyed me.
Do also prepare for the ‘jock’ stereotype introduction and girl who’s a social ‘outcast’ and the looks they cast between each other. However this premise quickly drops off once we fall into the adventure of the story, which is annoying despite the fact that the whole idea now annoys me. It annoyed me because it was so easily forgotten and only recalled at the end.
The story line at times fell into stupid simplicity that felt like it was being condescending even to a younger audience. However this doesn’t draw away from the story being rather well written. I just felt certain episodes were unbelievable and drawing to far away from realism.
The fantasy is an aspect you really have to fall into because if you can’t let the realms of reality fall away then this book really isn’t for you! For me, I found this hard to do and I never really did it by the end of the novel.
I did enjoy the dynamic between Zane, Lilli and Teddy when it worked, it worked really well! I think with more fine-tuning from Lanigan their characters could have really taken off. The budding romance between Zane and Lilli wasn’t overdone and despite it never reaching a moment of ‘flourish’ we were aware of it. I hope Lanigan will take the chance to develop this storyline throughout their next adventures because I think it could add something to the story. I feel like Lanigan needs to make it more explicit.
One thing this story doesn’t lack is the historical/archaeological ideas that surround Atlantis, Stonehenge, the Gods. It really does involve a lot of interesting legends and connects them in a way that intrigued me.
I found at times the book tended to drag, but the short chapters helped me to get through and the constant location change helped. However we did seem to skip whole time phrases that added to the confusion of the story and did nothing to improve my opinion.
For a first young-adult novel I thought this was a good start, but there is a lot of work that needs to come to refine the smaller details. If you can overlook the loopholes and get along with the characters you’ll probably enjoy this, which is why I suggest giving it to a younger audience I feel it’s more designed for who are unlikely to find fault with the exciting, action this book offers!
*This book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for early review*
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