Keys To The Sun
While on vacation in New Orleans, three teenagers find more than they bargained for when they discover secret treasures in an old mansion. Lucas and Parker Chance, with their new friend Nicole Wells, find an old map and strange clues that promise to lead them to a long lost pirate’s treasure. With the help of their enigmatic Aunt Ruby they begin to search through the French Quarter, but find themselves caught between the forces of good and evil as the treasure turns out to be the location of the legendary House of the Rising Sun.
The secrets held within this hidden house must be kept safe in order to preserve the balance between darkness and light, but sinister forces are on the hunt as well. Lucas, Parker, and Nicole must complete their adventure while avoiding the clutches of a malevolent group known as the Malum.
Aunt Ruby, who has been involved in this struggle for far longer than anyone realizes, tries to help the children as they race to complete their quest.
There are mysteries to be solved, keys to be found, cemeteries to search, beignets to be eaten, and they can’t let their parents know what they’ve been up to.
Great Middle-grade Treasure Hunt
‘Keys to the Sun’ tells the adventures of two brothers, Lucas and Parker Chase. They are in New Orléans to visit a family friend ‘Aunt Ruby’. While there they and a new friend, Nicole(Cole), find a map that leads them on a treasure hunt around the French Quarter.
What I loved
What Left Me Wanting More
First off, this book read like a middle-grade novel but with there were a few words that would be inappropriate for this target age. The clues and the treasure hunt around the city left me often confused. The descriptions of the layout of ‘Twilight Oaks’ was very intricate and really didn’t add much to the story. I also didn’t understand how the kids figured out many of the clues they found.
I was not at all ready for the paranormal elements of the story. They felt out-of-place and as if they were part of another book. I would have enjoyed the story more if the paranormal elements were just left out.
The clueless and self-absorbed behavior of Parker and Lucas’ parents made little sense to me. They never seemed to care much what their teenagers were up to. I also just never really understood ‘Aunt Ruby’s’ behavior throughout the story.
My Final Verdict
‘Keys to the Sun’ explores a fresh and interesting premise of a treasure hunt in NOLA. The story has a fascinating premise and incorporates some great NOLA history into the adventure.
I found the prose well done and easy to read. I did also love the characters of Cole, Parker, and Lucas and I loved brother’s interaction with each other.