Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Peter Vegas
Illustrator: Mohammad Aram
Sam Force is dreading his yearly Cairo vacation with his Egyptologist uncle, Jasper. Upon his arrival, Sam learns Jasper is wanted by the police. Escaping the authorities himself, Sam uses his wits and three new mysterious friends to search for Jasper. Following coded clues left by Jasper, Sam learns about the Panehesy: a buried merchant ship that carried an ancient-Egyptian treasure. Sam is threatened by the Short-Haired Man who also wants Jasper. Sam uncovers the buried Panehesy and finds Jasper trapped inside. Jasper tells Sam that the ship holds The Ark of the Covenant, an artifact many believe is the key to why the pyramids were built. But the Short-Haired Man arrives, takes the Ark, and seals Sam and Jasper inside the wreck. Sam escapes but not before the Ark is flown away by helicopter. Fighting for his life, Sam destroys the Short-Haired Man right when the man reveals that Sam’s dead parents might be alive.
Vegas’s series is a modern Indiana Jones tale for middle school readers. Sam is an orphan who has lived most of his life at a boarding school. His only break are his trips to see Jasper. Unfortunately, these vacations are full of boring museums visits and long lectures about ancient Egypt. But when Jasper vanishes, Sam must recall the ancient Egyptian knowledge Jasper had been teaching him so he can decode Jasper’s messages. Of course, Sam can’t recall everything, but his new friend Mary becomes a valuable resource in more ways than one. The mythical basis of Vegas’s story is a little discombobulated and is too hastily explained near end. However, Sam’s adventure of finding Jasper is very well crafted and incredibly suspenseful. The next book called Pyramid Hunters: Bones of the Sun God comes out in August 2017.
*Contains mild graphic content appropriate for readers age twelve and up