Haunted Waters (Red Rock Mysteries #1) by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry
Adventure, excitement and danger seemed to follow Ashley and Bryce Timberline wherever they go. First, their dad died in a mysterious accident. Then they moved to Colorado with their mom and baby brother so they could start their lives over. It was in Colorado that their mom met and fell in love with Sam (Bryce and Ashley call him The Cowboy), who has a daughter age 16. Ashley and her twin are 13. Their baby brother is only four.
Being in a blended family was tough for a teen. So one weekend, Sam suggested a cabin in the mountains adventure with just the four of them–the twins, Dylan and Sam–while their mom stayed home to finish a book she was writing. They had skiing, sledding and tubing to look forward to, satellite hook-up in the cabin and their own pinball machine. To top that off, they were going to view a large gold nugget on display nearby and a replica of a mine shaft where gold was found. That’s when all the adventures began.
Haunted Waters is told in the first person with chapters alternating between Bryce’s point of view and Ashley’s point of view. Their adventure includes thieves, suspicious people who follow them, break-ins, and eventually high speed chases and a life threatening accident. But in the conclusion, the reader is left in suspense when the twins discover a secret about their step-dad.
This book is perfect for middle grade readers. Ashley and Bryce face relevant situations that other pre-teens and teens would understand, such as bullies at school, and enjoy great laughs at the witty exchange between the twins.
I especially liked how the book’s high interest level but lower reading level makes it appealing to a wide age range. This is a book and series I would want my own children to read. The adventures are fun, the language and attitudes of the characters are clean, while the young people and adults are not perfect or unrealistically “too good to be true.” Since Ashley, Bryce and their mom are Christians, they live their faith out through their daily lives rather than preach about it. They may falter from time to time, but they learn and grow through their experiences.
I am reading and reviewing this book for the Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. summer reading program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”