on 10 May 2001
Well, I love Jo Goodman books and have read lots of them. Whilst this is not her best, she is never a disappointment. What I like most about her books is the way they get right to the heart of the saga without making you sit through 200 pages of tedious descriptions of Edwardian England...or whatever it may be. This is the story of Rand Hamilton, a naturalist (not a nudist type of naturist....but someone who is into ecology and stuff). He is the usual hero, rugged, American, scarred and just a babe with a bit of a temper (don't you just love that). Claire Bancroft is the goddaughter of a English duke who wants Rand to take her to Polenesia to find her father and missing brother. There is a twist though, as legend would have it there is treasure buried in the islands by Rand's ancestors, the clue to the location being 2 riddles. There are other twists to the tale, most notably one to do with Claire that you discover in the 1st chapter and I will not spoil for anyone. It is the kind of "complication" that makes the story better but sometimes I find makes her a little weak. However, this is a good read and one that you find hard to put down especially when they begin to decipher the riddles - i was highly impressed by Miss Goodman's imagination. I would definately recommend this.