From School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Samantha, 12, and her brother, Evan, are spending the summer in Peru. They travel with their Uncle Jay, an archaeology professor, to work at the Chavin de Huantar site north of Lima. This pre-Inca culture dates back to 3000 BCE, and the local people are very much involved in the tourist trade that brings in visitors from all over the world. But vandalism at the sites and the theft of valuable artifacts has everyone on edge. The fact that two American children are allowed to work on a government-controlled site seems a little far-fetched, but the possibility of a madman haunting it has Samantha trying to solve the mystery before her uncle, and the kids are denied access and forced to return early to California. The story itself is slow to develop but does include brief information on the actual site and the cultural life of the small Peruvian village that may be of interest to some readers. Evan is busy trying to get play time with the local soccer team and show his prowess at the video arcade while Samantha attempts to learn the local language and explore ancient underground passages that her small size allows her to access while her uncle waits outside. A long list of characters and a labyrinth of site names can be confusing. Astute youngsters will figure out the less-than-surprising ending by the second chapter. Only the most dedicated readers will stay on to unearth the final chapter.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Readers will be focused on the mystery, pulled on by the gripping suspense."-Kirkus
"Capable, passionate Sam is a rewarding heroine to follow." -Publishers Weekly
"A groundbreaking first book." -The Washington Post
"If you're looking for a suspenseful story, then pick up this book and follow Samantha through hidden tunnels and haunted ruins" - TIME for Kids
"This book does not miss a beat, and Samantha is a thoughtful, smart role-model for young readers." -ScienceGrrl