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The Joshua Files: Invisible City Hardcover – July 20, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Joshua Files Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 An action-packed adventure involving conspiracy theories, end-of-the-world prophecies, government agents, futuristic technology, and a bit of the supernatural. When Joshua's father dies in a suspicious plane crash in Mexico, the 13-year-old flies across the Atlantic to investigate. Explanatory passages mix neatly into the action, and readers put the pieces together along with Josh, who narrates in the present tense. Background information is clearly explained, and ancient Maya prophecies of world disaster in the year 2012 play a central role. Eventually Joshua discovers a secret society that has remained hidden for centuries. In an appealing twist, the members are not just keepers of ancient traditions they're high-tech geniuses with airplanes so cool they resemble UFOs. The story zips along as Josh survives high-speed chases by car, airplane, and boat along with various threats from spies, agents, witches, and crocodiles. With everything that's going on, there's not much room for character development. Joshua is engaging enough, but his relationships with the two friends who accompany him, the mother he leaves in England, and his newly discovered sister are not especially convincing. Occasional stiff dialogue and plot contrivances are barely noticeable because there are so many intriguing ideas and exciting scenes to keep the pages turning. Josh's quest for an ancient codex reaches a satisfying ending in this first book in the series, and at the same time builds anticipation for further revelations in sequels to come. Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR
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From Booklist

When Joshua’s archaeologist father dies while searching for a Mayan codex that pertains to the 2012 end-of-times prophecy and his mother takes to her bed, the 13-year-old decides to go to Mexico (with two friends) to find out what happened. That’s the first time readers will have to suspend disbelief, but hardly the last. There’s an intriguing story buried in here, but if an action-propelled tale can have too much action, this one is it. As Joshua comes closer to learning about the link between his family and the missing codex, bullets fly, crocodiles snap, and friends and enemies alike drop, sometimes in ghoulish ways. All the carnage tends to take the focus off the best bits of the book, especially the exact nature of the codex and the ancient civilization that still protects it. Random blog entries are also a disruptive way to incorporate information. On the plus side, the end-of-the-world scenario is hard to resist, and appealing Josh makes a solid hero. His adventures will continue in succeeding books of the Joshua Files. Grades 6-8. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Joshua Files
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802720951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802720955
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,163,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MG (Maria Guadalupe) Harris was born in Mexico City but moved to England as a young child. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a scientist and ran an Internet business.

On regular visits back to Mexico, MG became fascinated by Mayan archaeology and made several trips to Mayan ruins in Yucatan and Chiapas. One such trip planted the seed of the idea for THE JOSHUA FILES, a best-selling series of books for middle-grade readers which was translated into 17 foreign languages.

MG Harris. is also the author of GEMINI FORCE ONE, a trilogy of action-adventure novels created with Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and funded initially via a hugely popular Kickstarter campaign. As M.G. Reyes she has authored EMANCIPATED, a series for older teenagers.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Last Joshua had heard from his father, he was in Mexico searching for an ancient codex believed to contain key information regarding the 2012 Mayan Prophecy foretelling the end of the world.

Now, his father has been reported dead in a mysterious plane crash. Believing his father's death was probably not an accident, Joshua flies across the Atlantic to investigate. There he runs into unknown relatives, shady American intelligence agents, a secret society, and a living Mayan city.

Who can Josh trust? What really happened to his father? Will he get home alive?

INVISIBLE CITY is a great action-packed adventure. The background information for the book is presented well. The characters are well-developed., and the plot is superbly spun by the author. The mystery is intense and keeps readers on their toes.

Those who like fantasy, adventure, science fiction, history, and mystery will all enjoy reading this book.

Reviewed by: Kira M
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Format: Paperback
If you have a child between the ages of 10 - 16, buy this book! It is a totally gripping, compelling story that works emotionally and also has so much excitement, action and imagination they are left gasping. At the same time their minds are opened up to a world of real historic mystery - the Mayan civilazation. My own son has been reading after 'lights out' - he's so hooked, and even looked up some Mayan sites on the web.

A secret - I sneaked the book from his room and read it myself late at night - and got totally hooked myself. So if you're an adult, consider it.

By the way, the slip cover is so awesome I'm afraid my son will be mugged for his book! Not sure when it will be available here. I had a friend who shipped to me from the UK, but order and I'm sure Amazon will respond!
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Format: Paperback
This book is currently not published in the US, but Amazon shipped this to me quickly. For the US readership, I really hope that this will be published here soon!

With that stated, I have two copies of this book -one for loaning out to friends and one that I keep on hand. I have loaned this out to 3 people so far, and they read it in 4 days or less with the following collective comment:
"Awesome! Give me book two!"

The book is an in depth adventure/thriller that takes place across multiple countries involving bizarre and in some cases very dangerous shadow groups. The main character (Joshua Garcia) is researching/following a trail that involves email leads, Mayan codices, cleverly hidden documents and instances of breaking encrypted messages in the attempt to figure out the truth about his (Mayanist / Archaeologist) father's plane crash in a southern Mexican jungle. Through analysis of ancient ruins, artifacts, and languages long forgotten, Josh is left to wonder if the Mayan civilization (or a sect of that civilization) may have survived to the present day, and if so, for what purpose?

Without getting too deep here, the story is filled with action and harrowing experiences for Josh and his friends, but none of the action is redundant or just thrown in to make the story move at a faster then necessary pace. With that stated, a very large (and very skillfully crafted) component of this story is a beautifully written glimpse into the psychology of a 13 year old boy and how he (psychologically and physically) deals with the incredible circumstances he finds himself in.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The first 50-70 pages were a bit boring but if you keep going it is definitely worth it because it has a lot of adventures and suspense. Awesome and fun to read for middle schoolers.
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