Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Hide and Seek

Title: Hide and Seek (Capture the Flag #2)
Author: Kate Messner
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 256 pages
Audience: Ages 8-12
Genres: Mystery, Action/Adventure
Review Copy: E-ARC via NetGalley
Release Date: April 1, 2013

Summary from Goodreads: A fast-paced mystery from the author of CAPTURE THE FLAG!

José, Anna, and Henry are junior members of the secret Silver Jaguar Society, sworn to protect the world's most important artifacts. When they discover that the society's treasured Jaguar Cup has been replaced with a counterfeit, the trio and their families rush to the rain forests of Costa Rica in search of the real chalice. But when the trail runs dry, new mysteries emerge: Who can they trust? Is there a traitor in their midst? With danger at every turn, it will take more than they realize for José and his friends to recover the cup before it falls into the wrong hands.

My Review: Kate Messner has delivered another action-filled and intriguing mystery for her fans.  José, Anna and Henry find plenty of danger and excitement as they help the Silver Jaguar Society try to find the missing Jaguar Cup. In this installment, readers are treated to unusual animals like the glass frogs and bullet ants as the young investigators tromp through the Costa Rican jungle. She also provided a cave excursion. The walls have glowing crystal formations and it all sounds quite amazing.

In addition to a colorful and lush setting, Messner has just the right balance of suspense, humor and action throughout the book. There are chases through the jungle, snot frogs, a zip line, a "swinging bridge of death" and many other bits of fun to bring a chuckle and a smile to the faces of readers. For the mystery lovers, there is plenty to puzzle out and try to solve as the junior Silver Jaguars work to recover the cup and keep each other safe. There are also a few other threads of the story to untangle since the friends are keeping a few secrets from each other. Of course this leads to some difficulties between the friends, but that adds to the believability as they fuss at each other on occasion. What is a bit harder to believe is that their parents are once again not really in the picture during the story, but that isn't terribly distracting. So much is going on that it is just a blip.

Hide and Seek has much going for it and with the wonderful sense of place that Messner has created, this book surpasses the first in my eyes. Hide and Seek will be a welcome addition to any library.


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