Friday, January 15, 2016

Secrets of the Castle by Aaron Zook

Intrigue and danger surround two young boys and their dogs as they seek to unravel a castle mystery.
A near disastrous car wreck in Germany launches twelve-year-old Gabriel Zanadu, Alexander, his fourteen year-old brother, and their two dogs, Thunder and Lightning, into a sinister adventure near the famous German castle, Neuschwanstein. Unexplained eavesdropping, death threats, and heart-pumping danger drag Gabe, Alex, and the dogs into the clutches of a little-known foreign terrorist network. After they are kidnapped by the terrorists, and even though they are scraped, bruised, and battered, Gabe and Alex use what they’ve learned from their military dad and home-schooling mom to clash with the criminals.

Fear, pain, and failure drive the boys to tears as they struggle to free themselves from their kidnappers’ grasp. The usual brotherly fights must
take a backseat as the boys and dogs scramble to break free and to escape from their enemies in the dark, cramped spaces of an underground battlefield. Hiding, out-of-breath chases, and deadly force all come into play. How do Gabe, Alex, Thunder, and Lightning survive and escape? Find out inside.
Available on Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aaron M. Zook, Jr., a retired U.S. Army Colonel, enjoys writing Christian books. The Secrets of the Castle, his intriguing middle-reader mystery/adventure novel for boys and the first of the Thunder and Lightning series is available at Amazon.com and other online stores, and is currently on sale for half-price at on sale at Zookbooks.org. Aaron lives with his wife in Belton, TX. They have two married sons.

I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to review this book positively.


My Thoughts:

This book was so intriguing. Not only did I learn some things about Germany, some German words, but I also got caught up in the mystery of the story itself.
Two brothers are on a homeschooling field trip in Germany. Their father is military and they are stationed there for a while. They also have trained dogs who are smart and obedient (for the most part). As a homeschooling family they use every opportunity to make the best of their education and learn things hands on. But this field trip, per say, turns a bit sinister as mysterious things keep happening to them.

Together with friends, the boys and their family tour the Neuschwanstein Castle as well as another one in the area. Gabe is convinced there is a tunnel connecting the castles, but the locals say it's just a legend. All the same, he did have a map, until it mysteriously disappeared. A few strange happenings, a mysterious death threat, among other things have these boys in a tussle. Their usual banter has to be thrown aside as they now must work together to uncover the secrets and come out alive.

Honestly, I kind of "fell in love" with this family and their dogs. Maybe it's because there was so much I could relate to - the field trips, the sibling rivalry, the homeschooling, the traveling, or the dogs. My kids had a set of dogs once named Thunder and Lightning just like these kids, even the same coloring from the description. It was easy to read, and I am sure my son is going to enjoy it. He is has already signed up to read it next! I have been sparking his interest by relating just enough of the story to keep his curiosity peaked. I can't wait to read the next book - The Salt Mines Mystery.

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