Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl Series: Society of explorers and Adventurers #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 25, 2022
Source: Review copy
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, JUVENILE FICTION / General, Juvenile Fiction / Technology / Inventions
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The first book in a globe-trotting middle-grade adventure, Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl combines high-tech wizardry, old-world legends and a little bit of magic from the internationally renowned best-selling author, Julie Kagawa.
One cannot fight destiny, boy. Even if one did not ask for it. The idol calls for you, and you must answer its call...
Shinji Takahashi is just an ordinary kid. An ordinary homeschooled smart-alecky kid being raised by his globe-trotting aunt Yui. But when a magical guardian decides to use him as a conduit to awaken its power, Shinji's life takes a turn for the anything-but-ordinary. Captured by the menacing Hightower Corporation, which is bent on using the guardian's magic for its own nefarious purposes, Shinji must team up with a brilliant young tech whiz named Lucy and her robot mouse, Tinker, in order to escape.
Together the two turn to the venerable Society of Explorers and Adventurers and its ragtag cast of spelunkers, hackers, mapmakers, pilots, and mythology experts (among other things) to return the guardian to its rightful home and release Shinji from its magic--which seems to be draining his life force. Time is ticking, the Hightower Corporation is in hot pursuit, and success or failure might depend on one small thing--Shinji finally coming around to the belief that he is anything but ordinary.
Based on the Society of Explorers and Adventurers lore that exist across the Walt Disney Parks, Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl is the first book in an all-new action-adventure series that brings S.E.A. into the twenty-first century through a blend of science and magic, and a focus on two young characters on an epic journey through time and place.
Julie Kagawa is one of those authors who are so talented that she can lend her hand to her go-to, who has been a young adult but can also weave a magical middle-grade adventure story. Shinji discovers an idol when his aunt sends him on a treasure hunt to find something special when they are at a market. He finds more than he bargained for; stuck with the idol now embedded as tattoos are his arm and dangerous men hunting him, he desperately attempts to flee with his aunt on their rusty old boat. Shinji is not so lucky, and what unfolds is a fast-paced adventure full of twists and turns and plenty of excitement. The story is complete at the end but leaves it open for the series to continue with more exciting adventures for the SEA.