Book Review: Explorer Academy The Double Helix

Explorer Academy by Trudi Trueit
Explorer Academy: The Double Helix (Explorer Academy #3)
by Trudi Trueit 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Cruz and his friends on board the Orion are heading to the Mediterranean, searching for clues left behind by Cruz’s mother before she died. The evil Nebula operatives are never far behind, spying on Cruz and threatening his family. In the middle of his secret quest for his mother’s clues, Cruz still has to attend Explorer Academy classes, compete with his team in class competitions, and try to have a little fun at a student Halloween party. His thirteenth birthday is quickly approaching, and Cruz is in more danger than ever as he navigates the intricacies of the toughest adventure yet!

I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! There are several plot-lines intersecting as Cruz juggles his school responsibilities, his personal relationships, dodging the nefarious Nebula, and keeping contact with Lani, his best friend back home in Hawaii.
The exotic locations are amazing, and I loved learning the history about different cultures, monuments, artifacts, and landmarks in Spain, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan. It’s so interesting to see the true history and real facts about actual places interwoven with the story.

The fictional technology is really cool, introducing fancy gadgets that can scan objects and give a readout of the objects’ material, properties, age, and characteristics. Of course, Mell, the honeybee robot drone, is always by Cruz’s side, ready to protect her master. I just love that cute little bee!

I loved Cruz’s character development in this book. He has been betrayed twice by people close to him, and he’s wary and suspicious, unwilling to trust anyone with his secrets. He even pulls away from his best friends a little, but eventually he begins to realize that there ARE people he can trust, who care about him, and will do anything for him. He feels so alone at the beginning of the book, holding it all close inside himself, but by the end he begins to reach out again to his family, sharing with them and relying on them, instead of trying to do it all by himself. Just brilliant character development!

I really enjoyed the writing style, which has both some serious situations and some humor to keep things light. The writing sparked my attention and kept me turning those pages way past my bedtime!

I was impressed by how subtle the writing can be at times, using something simple but powerful to deliver an emotional punch at a critical point in the story. For instance, Cruz has been handling everything on his plate so well, keeping his cool and thinking analytically through every challenge, but when Cruz thinks the little dog, Hubbard, is sick, suddenly Cruz loses his handle on his emotions and begins to collapse. It shows in a simple and subtle way how much the pressure is really getting to Cruz even though he doesn’t let it show. All of a sudden, this one little thing becomes the last straw, and he just can’t handle the situation anymore. It effectively shows the heart of the character and the mindset that he’s in, despite the brave front he shows to the other characters. Brilliant writing and extremely touching!

This book ends on a cliffhanger, and I am dying for the next book!!!!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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