Reviews & Media

Midwest Book Review – April 2012

Diane Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

A new teen adventure series opens with the involving Celtic Run, telling of Jake’s summer visit to Ireland which opens up a Pandora’s Box of mystery, a treasure hunt, involvement with different classmates including a bully and two girls, and an encounter with thieves.        

The novel opens with a bang:

“Jake clenched his fists. Zach was sauntering down the airplane aisle as if he were the best thing since the iPod.Everyone has an archenemy, Jake thought. Luke Skywalker has Darth Vader. Harry Potter has Voldemort. Me? I have Zach.”

Readers quickly find out that Jake is a techno-whiz kid bound for Ireland on a school trip that his father believes will help him understand his family’s roots. His encounters with bullies and classmates on the plane set the foundation for a story that continues to prove exciting when he’s called upon to rescue a child who falls off a cliff.

Visits to Irish towns and encounters with the Irish come to life in a series of descriptions that include Jake’s growing friendship with Maggie and his involvement with the promise of Spanish treasure, artifacts, and a journey that will lead him on adventure.

Hidden treasure and pieces of a puzzle bind him to his friends as his encounters with the Irish teach him about culture, family and values: “His humble, generous host family might be some of the poorest people on the peninsula, but they possessed the most valuable of commodities: family unity. Better to have family than money.”

Jake helps his friend Maggie in a dance competition. (“He clasped her hands and his eyes met hers. Since the day I met you, I haven’t seen you back down from anything. Just let the music flow through you. Don’t worry about the stakes. Dance because you love dancing.”) And a host of different elements become interconnected in the progress of the tale as Jake’s sailing background and personality become part of the skills he brings to solving the puzzle.

Romance, danger, intrigue, and personality clashes between peers—all make Celtic Run a vivid coming-of-age novel, drawing direct connections between life’s changes, opportunities, strife, and the process of maturity. 

Teens—and many an adult—will find Celtic Run a vivid, memorable adventure story.