Here's a great one!
Lair of the Serpent by T. Lynn Adams is the third book in a mystery/suspense series about teen-ager Jonathon Bradford.
We first meet Jonathon in Tombs of Terror, when at age 16 he goes to Peru to reconnect with his father and ends up getting lost in the tunnels under ancient ruins. Tombs is the author's debut book and could have been edited a little tighter, but the action and storyline was entertaining and suspenseful. A good read for teens. (3 1/2 stars)
In the second book, The Lost Curse, Jonathon's friend Severino (from Peru) comes to visit him in southern Utah and they, along with Tallie, a Native American girl, are swept up in the mystery of Spanish Gold. Again, the action is intense, there's some violence, but older teens and adults can handle it. (4 stars)
Book three, Lair of the Serpent, is the one I just read. Jonathon joins Severino and his sister Delia (Jonathon's love interest) in Cambodia and gets swept up in a deadly mission.
From the publisher:
Jonathon can't wait to surprise Delia for her birthday. With a little help from Delia's brother, Severino, he plans to visit her in Cambodia where she's working as a humanitarian volunteer. But he arrives only to find a panicked Severino—and no Delia.
Jonathon and Severino are determined to find Delia before it's too late—but it might not be that easy. Now, with the orphan Chey and their friend, Juan, the boys must fight their way through human trafficking rings, a dense jungle, and a radical group bent on using Delia as a human sacrifice in order to find the Nãga Mani, a sacred and powerful stone.
I liked this book, but I had one big problem with the premise:
What parent in their right mind lets a teenager go to Cambodia ALONE?!?
The plot kept me interested. Once I got past the teens alone in a foreign country bit, I bought into the whole adventure and had a hard time putting it down. Jonathon (17 now) and Severino are 100% committed to finding Delia, and it's a good thing because they pay for their efforts big-time. More than once those two boys put their lives on the line and are rewarded with severe beatings. A couple of times I wondered if Jonathon would really be able to do what he did with the injuries he had, but I'm willing to suspend some disbelief here.
I found the culture of Cambodia fascinating. The descriptions of the settings were beautiful and rich. I could absolutely picture myself there amid the sights and sounds and smells of the country. The legend behind the sacred stone was interesting.
My favorite character, hands down, was the 12 year old Cambodian orphan, Chey. He was funny, clever, and highly underestimated by the other characters in the story. I loved him!
Overall, I give Lair of the Serpent 4 stars, with a caution on the violence. Parents who are concerned may want to pre-read it before recommending it to a teen under 16. I was okay with it because I felt the examples of courage and personal integrity far outweighed the discomfort of the violent events.
To see more of T. Lynn Adams online, you can visit her website at www.tlynnadams.com/, like her on Facebook at author.T.Lynn.Adams, or follower her on Twitter @TLynnAdams.
ENTER TO WIN THE ENTIRE THREE BOOK SERIES!
Follow the tour & enter to win at every stop!
Click the image below for tour list.
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC copy by the publisher in return for an honest review.