by: Marcel Feldmar
Published by:Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genres:Young Adult, Paranormal
Format: Mobi (Kindle file)
In a city built on legends, the truth is hard to find.
There is a song about a certain house located somewhere in New Orleans. A house that holds a secret that could shift the balance between good and evil. A secret discovered by three teenagers who find themselves on an adventure that takes them though the French Quarter, from magical playgrounds to mysterious cemeteries.
On vacation in New Orleans with their parents, Lucas and Parker Chance meet Nicole Wells, a new friend who will be staying with them in an old mansion in the Garden District. After exploring the house during a thunderstorm the adventurous trio finds an old map and strange runes that could point the way towards that legendary house. Before they realize what’s happening they find themselves caught between the darkness and the light as they begin to search for the keys that supposedly can open the door of the House of the Rising Sun.
Unfortunately there are malevolent forces looking for the same thing, so with the help of their enigmatic Aunt Ruby, the three must follow a trail of clues while avoiding the sinister Trista Cillian and her colleagues. Aunt Ruby, who has been involved in this struggle for far longer than anyone realizes, helps as much as she can while the youngsters race to complete their quest before it’s too late.
The path the three friends have chosen is dangerous, and as they race to complete their quest they learn to trust each other and accept the help of strangers that appear along the way. They learn that there is a difference between what is real and what is seen, they discover the magic that flows along the streets of New Orleans, and they realize that some mysteries are not meant to be solved.
Keys To The Sun is a Young Adult novel that will delight fans of mysteries, the supernatural, New Orleans, Vampires, adventure, and really good beignets.
‘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
I loved the idea of a hidden map that gives clues to a hidden treasure. I also loved that the story incorporated a lot of New Orléans history. An example of this is the haunting story of the casket girls who arrived in the city with casket trunks and then promptly disappeared.
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.
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.