Fourteen-year-old Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, are accompanying their Egyptologist father on a trip to the country of their ancestors. But as soon as they arrive in Cairo, odd things start happening. Talibah is given a strange artifact and hears a voice imploring, “Find him.” And when they meet Rashid, their father’s friend and an archaeologist, Talibah has visceral feelings of fear and dislike. The plot is clunky—the children’s father allows Rashid to take the duo to the Valley of the Kings for several days, because otherwise how could all the scary things happen? Moreover, the time-travel elements are complicated. It is the female pharaoh Hatshepsut who’s trying to reach Talibah. Hatshepsut wants the soul of her steward and paramour to rest in peace, but forces in the past and present risk all to prevent that. Add in the connection of the children’s dead mother, and there’s a lot going on. But Talibah makes a good narrator, and readers who enjoy a mystery seen through the lens of time will find plenty of thrills. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper
About the Author
Marissa Moss has written and illustrated many books for children, including the popular Amelia’s Notebook series. She lives in Berkeley, California. Visit her Web site at www.marissamoss.com.