The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave by Brydie Walker Bain
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Nat Sheppard’s world is turned upside down on the first day of the school holidays by the discovery of a secret room containing cave maps with clues to an ancient treasure. But Nat and her friends soon discover they’re not the only ones chasing the jewels. Professional treasure hunters are on the trail – and they’re prepared to eliminate anyone in their way.
Hunting for treasure is never easy, but is it supposed to be this hard?
Nat was a wonderful main character. She was brave, fearless, and kind. I liked seeing how she acted around her siblings as well. While there were times when they had the same kinds of disagreements that all siblings have, they seemed to be very close to each other. She was a great sister and role model to them. Seeing her treat them so kindly only made me like her more than I did when I first met her.
There were pacing issues with this story. The narrator spent a lot of time introducing the characters, describing the farm that Nat and her siblings lived on, and telling the audience why that property was so valuable. While I liked having such a clear picture of what was going on, this did make it hard for the rest of the plot to get as much attention as it needed. There were some very interesting scenes later on that felt rushed to me because of how little time the author had to show me what was happening in them.
I was fascinated by the caves. The descriptions of them made me wish I could explore all of them. There was something special about every single one of them. While I can’t tell you what Nat and her siblings experienced when they were underground, I will say that I had a great time guessing what the next cave might hold. The author did a good job at giving each cave its own personality, so to speak.
If you’re in the mood for adventure, give The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave a try.