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Hieroglyph: TC's Adventures Book 1 (Volume 1) Paperback – September 30, 2016
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About the Author
Wendy has a NZ Certificate in Science (Chemistry), which allows her to dabble with fuming potions and strange substances, satisfying her inner witch. Wendy writes adult fantasy as Wendy Scott and children’s stories as WJ Scott. In 2012 Hieroglyph was selected by NZSA for one of five mentorships (mentor author Anna McKenzie). Hieroglyph won the Gold Medal in the UK Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2015, 9-12 year category, and the Silver Medal in the International Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, Children’s/Preteen 2016.
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Top customer reviews
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We are on a two-fold parallel journey with 13-year-old T.C. and her archaeologist Uncle Max. T.C. with her touch takes us back to an ancient Egyptian voyage to foreign Australian shores. In a frightful, beautifully related storm, the Egyptians go ashore, seeking riches. It is an
amusing trip upriver as we see familiar plants, trees and animals through their eyes for the first time. Koalas, kangaroos, and snakes. Oh my!
But mysteries abound. Who was T.C's orphan mother? Are her parents, also archaeologists really dead? And, of course, what does T.C. stand for? (My aunt had a cat named T.C. which stood for Troublesome Cat. Does that work?) Peppered with music on teen earbuds, engaging illustrations by John Helle-Nielsen, and royal cartouches and scarab beetles, Hieroglyph, I hope, is the first of many stories to be told by W. J. Scott. I want to know more about Aunt Letty, the environmentalist and Jett, the rebel. Lots to excavate!
WJ Scott grabbed me with two hooks: were ancient Egyptians in Australia and what power does TC have? I needed to read the book to find out. And I'm thrilled that I did.
This novel is a fast read that weaves teen insecurities, familial drama, and historical wonders into one wonderful tale. The main character is exceedingly well developed--the perfect blend of teen-feeling-like-an-outcast and hero-saving-the-day. There are no really sinister villains, but there are moments of suspense where you feel the character is in danger, and her extrication from those elements is given the appropriate weight for the gravitas of the situations. Other times, the tone is light-hearted and full of smart wit.
I really enjoyed this story, and I'll be looking forward to the sequels.
It's the first entry into what seems to be a series, so now I'm hoping to read more about TC in the future and really see what she has in store for our little heroine. This book was filled with enough action and intrigue to keep me on the seat of my pants, so I have to say it was highly worth the read.
I'll definitely be picking up more by this author in the future!
Our story opens and we are introduced to our heroine, thirteen year old T.C. Harrington, sitting in the Principal’s office while her Aunt Letty is within, battling with ‘Mr. D.’ regarding an accusation of theft against T.C. The scene is used both to introduce Letty, (her green-peace save-the-whales vegetarian guardian), as well as give us an idea of some of T.C.’s somewhat unusual life circumstances. We learn that she is an A student, an orphan, has lived all over the world while in the company of her archaeologist parents, prior to their mysterious demise, and that she has a strange power, hinted at but not completely revealed, that causes her to affect gloves as a form of protection.
As the confrontation with Mr ‘D’ comes to a close the story shifts almost immediately into high gear. T.C. is ‘suspended’ from school, resulting in her Aunt declaring that she was planning to take T.C. away from her boarding school in New Zealand in any case for a ten day holiday in Australia with her Uncle Max (Letty’s twin brother). Max is also an archaeologist and he is on the verge of a great discovery which may change the course of recorded history. No sooner than we (the reader) can draw breath – T.C. is on a plane to Sydney.
If all this seems like a lot, it is, and the whirlwind of events that comprise this story only pick up pace from this point. The action and adventure elements of this tale are relentless and somewhat forced by its abbreviated timeline. The only way forward for the reader is to dive in and be swept away, and for a YA type audience this certainly will not disappoint. There is also a very interesting Egyptian twist in the story – no spoilers – but T.C. is certainly not the only hero!
I gave this book a rating of four stars, though it probably would only bear this rating when considered through a YA genre lens. As a work of general fiction it is lacking a consistent plot structure and it relies too heavily on coincidental plot elements and somewhat stereotypical characters. Overall what saves this work is the author’s good writing and the interesting premise and twist in the tale.
All that said, I did enjoy this short read and I look forward to other works by this author. Recommended for a YA audience.