Invisible City: The Joshua Files #1, by M.G. Harris (2008, 2012)

Genre: Science Fiction
Interest Level: 12-15
Invisible CityJoshua’s life is turned upside down when his university professor father dies in a plane crash while conducting research into Mayan history in Mexico. When evidence appears his father may have had an illicit relationship with a woman in Mexico, Joshua’s mother is devastated and soon lands in hospital. Joshua refuses to believe this of his father, and sets out to find the truth. More evidence suggests the plane may have been sabotaged, and there are reports of UFO sightings at the time. The truth is even stranger, as Joshua discovers when he and his friend leave London and travel to Mexico to solve the mystery. A pair of very young teens travelling to Mexico on their own with a parent’s credit card is only one of the incredible (literally) adventures that await these two. It’s a bit dated now, as a primary plotpoint is the potential end of the world predicted by the Mayan calendar for December 2012 … but that is not as troubling as the fairly mature themes (adultery, murder, emotional trauma) that are raised in a book written clearly at the tween/early teen crowd (both appeal and writing). It was fun to read as long as you don’t mind a bit of blood and gore, can handle a devastating death, and can enjoy silly premises. I liked it better than this suggests, but I can’t see who else might like it. Kids? Not with decapitation and adultery. Teens? The premise is perhaps too silly, and it’s dated now. Maybe it’s for adults who still like Indiana Jones movies! There are more in the series, though I won’t be following up myself.
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