Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake
by Rob Lloyd Jones
In a nutshell: two kids on a death-defying treasure hunt through Egypt’s ancient monuments.
Adventure stories don’t come more action-packed than the exploits of Jake Atlas. As the book opens, the Atlas family are about to fly off to Egypt on a working holiday (Mum and Dad are Egyptologists) and the family tension is so strong you can almost hear it twang. Tension of a different kind quickly racks up when Jake’s parents are kidnapped.
To save them he and his twin sister Pandora team up with a couple of unscrupulous if well-equipped tomb robbers. After years of academic failure Jake can finally use his true talents, dodging explosions, outthinking the bad guys, even wrestling a giant snake.
It’s great fun, the Egyptian settings giving it an extra edge and the developing relationship between Jake and Pan (and latterly their parents who’ve been keeping secrets of their own) gives it a cool credibility too.