Twelve-year-old Addison Cooke must find two missing keys that will lead to an ancient Incan treasure if he is to save his archaeologist relatives from an evil kidnapper.
After Uncle Nigel finds the first of three keys that will lead to a long–sought-after Incan treasure, he is kidnapped by a fellow archaeologist turned bad. Aunt Delia has also been kidnapped. It is now up to white siblings Addison and Molly to save them. They enlist the help of their friends Raj (a boy with an Indian background and a penchant for survival skills) and Eddie (a Chinese-American boy who will miss his piano lesson while participating in this improbable caper), and off they go to South America. First stop: Colombia. How unfortunate that significant research was evidently not done before writing the book. The Inca Empire only barely reached that far north. A bit more research might have also revealed that Quechua is not commonly spoken in Colombia. A brief consultation with an atlas would have also been helpful. Swimming across the Amazon from Colombia can only lead to Brazil or Peru, never to Ecuador. These are but a few of myriad glaring problems with the book. Engaging in creative history and geography guts the story, exoticizes its setting, and belittles readers.
This book is the first in a series; here’s hoping future entries have better-authenticated backbones. (Adventure. 8-12)