Tag Archives: New Zealand

The Ship of Sight and the Hand of Shadow by Brydie Walker Bain

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shipofsight coverThe Ship of Sight and the Hand of Shadow by Brydie Walker Bain, e-book, 136 pages, published by Smashwords Editions in 2015.

Nat and the gang are back, ready for a new adventure! When Barnaby accidentally uncovers a skeleton, a necklace is thrust upon Nat, and she must take it home. With Abraham guiding them, they begin a journey through the North Island of New Zealand to prove themselves worthy of the task set them. The task’s challenges are only part of the difficult journey, as they are hunted by Drake and her new off-sider, the Scout. They are determined to stop the children by any means necessary, but the gang are just as determined to complete their task.

This is the second book in The Natnat Adventures series. It is a fast paced and exhilarating jaunt across the North Island of New Zealand, over waterfalls and cliff tops, through forests and along beaches as Abraham guides the youngsters to their destination. There is action, adventure, and villainy, all wrapped up in fantasy and myth. It is a wonderful page turner, that I really got into. I liked the fantasy elements best, especially the talking trees. It’s all described so well that I could picture it just as if I had experienced it myself. It was fun to go on another adventure with Nat. I hope there are many more to come!

Nat and Riki are my favourite characters out of the kids. They possess courage and ingenuity, and are down to earth too. The boys are all a little bit over the top, racing about, being loud and loutish, though mostly in a lovable way. The boys really developed in this story, gaining knowledge, wisdom, and a sliver of decorum! Again, Abraham was my favourite, he seems to know everything, predicts the future, pops up where he is most needed, and never gives up on the kids. He’s an omnipotent grandfatherly figure, very trustworthy, generous and wise. There were hints as to his relationship with Drake through the story, and I am very curious to find out where she fits in. Drake is horrible, well written, but malevolent.

The Ship of Sight and the Hand of Shadow answered some of the questions left from the first book in the series, The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave, but it also created a lot more! The mystery is complex and intriguing. Hopefully the next book, The Lost River (coming soon), will hold more clues and answers!

This series is great for middle to upper primary school children, and adventure fans of all ages.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

 

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The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave by Brydie Walker Bain

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The Secret of Sinbads Cave CoverThe Secret of Sinbad’s Cave by Brydie Walker Bain, e-book, 128 pages, published in 2015.

Nat, Jack and Kathleen Sheppard arrive at their Dad’s farm for the holidays only to be told that the farm in not profitable and must be sold. They are devastated, the farm has been in the family for generations and they love it. While they are still digesting this news, young Kathleen discovers a hidden room alongside the attic. Inside is a set of extraordinary items that will lead the Sheppards on an exciting treasure hunt. This might just be what they need to save the farm, but all adventures have obstacles. They are not the only ones searching for this particular treasure, and their rivals won’t let a few kids stand in the way of success.

The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave is a wonderful fantasy adventure set on the North Island of New ZealandĀ  amidst stunning landscapes and caves carved into the mountains and valleys thousands of years before. The story is fast paced and engaging. I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed every moment of it. It combines mystery and fantasy with drama and adventure to create the perfect hunt for an ancient treasure. It made me think of books such as King Solomon’s Mines, Treasure Island, and The Famous Five books, that I read as a child, and still love today.

The characters are well developed and written. I feel that I got to know the kids rather well through the story, especially Nat. Though I like all the kids, my favourite character is Abraham. He is an amazing leader and protector with a few tricks up his sleeve. As I read about him, my mind conjured an older, yet fairly spry Maori man with the whole wisdom of New Zealand’s history, spirits, legends and myths, as well as an extraordinary insight into human nature. What a beautiful character to guide the young heroes of the story safely through their adventure. The villains were equally well written, and quite dislikable in all respects!

The cover of this book is beautiful. It caught my attention, though it took me a little while to realise what the lights on the roof of the cave are! It would be such an amazing experience to see a cave formation like that, and it is the perfect setting for such a wonderful treasure hunting expedition.

While The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave is suitable for middle to upper primary school children, it is also an exciting read for adults. I look forward to reading Nat’s next adventure in The Ship of Sight and the Hand of Shadow, the second book in The Natnat Adventures series.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.