Middle School and Older
After saving the world, Charlie is ready to take it easy in the Galapagos Islands. That is, until she’s approached by the mysterious Esmeralda Castle, who has a code she knows only Charlie can decipher.
In 1835, Charles Darwin diverted his ship’s journey so he could spend ten months in South America on a secret solo expedition. When he returned, he carried a treasure that inspired both awe and terror in his crew. Afterward, it vanished, never to be seen again…
But Darwin left a trail of clues behind for those brave and clever enough to search for it.
Enter Charlie Thorne.
In a daring adventure that takes her across South America, Charlie must crack Darwin’s 200-year-old clues to track down his mysterious discovery—and stay ahead of the formidable lineup of enemies who are hot on her tail.
When an ancient hidden treasure is at stake, people will do anything to find it first. Charlie may be a genius, but is she smart enough to know who she can trust?
THIS BOOK IS SO AMAZING! It’s an action adventure story with history lessons on Charles Darwin, South America, the Amazon Rainforest and the theory of evolution. This book is so great in so many ways that it will appeal to just about anybody.
My favorite thing about this story is the South America setting. It’s hard finding good stories that take place outside of the United States. The Galapagos Islands sound amazing, especially the remote town Puerto Villamil. I don’t think I want to go there though. As much as I want to see a blue-footed bobby, I don’t know how I feel about marine iguanas all over the place.
One chapter describes the diverse ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest and Amazon River as well as all the animals that can kill you and how humans have destroyed so much of the rainforest.
I think this is the first fiction story I’ve found that features Charles Darwin. I don’t know why. He’s really cool. This book is jammed packed with interesting facts about his real life expeditions.I had learned about Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection and evolution back in elementary school so I had previous knowledge on him before reading this story. I loved learning more about him. My favorite thing I learned was that he flung a marine iguana into the ocean over and over again. I just love the image of the marine iguana flying through the air.
I agree with Charlie on wanting to keep Pandora and Darwin’s discovery a secret. She doesn’t want to give humans another way to destroy ourselves. I also understand her mistrust in other people. It’s true that there are good people in the world but there are also greedy selfish people who are willing to do terrible things to get what they want. This book is proof that humans are capable of both kindness and horridness.
The ending gives a big clue as to where Charlie is headed to in her next adventure as well as what the rest of the series will be about. I’m hoping this series lasts as long as the FunJungle series.