Harley James and the Peril of the Pirate’s Curse
by Leah Cupps (Goodreads Author)
Harley travels around the world with her archeologist dad, visiting historic sites and learning about ancient legends. While in Jamaica, Harley hears the legend of the Perla Azul (The Blue Pearl). If the pearl ever touches dry land, a hurricane and earthquake could wipe out the entire island. It already happened once before in 1692 when a young pirate boy witnessed the destruction of half the town of Port Royal. Most of the town sank below the waves and still lies buried in the sand. Harley and her friends discover that the pirate boy wrote a diary where he left behind clues to the pearl’s location in the sunken city. Harley has to find the pearl before her archeologist father and his diving team stumble across it and bring it back to land!
This is a fun story with a lot of mystery and adventure! I liked the puzzle aspects of the story where Harley has to decode a secret message or encryption. The plot is not very complex, but it kept my attention. The writing style is good, but kind of simplistic, which fits the target age range.
I really loved Harley’s character. She gets terrible seasickness, but she forces herself to cope with situations where she has to board a boat or ship. She pushes herself to the limits of her endurance and exhibits a lot of courage. I liked that she has a personal inward journey to face her fears.
In this second book of the series, I especially liked that Harley has to rely on her instincts to determine who to trust. She meets new people and some of them appear to be lying to her. She follows her gut and has a lot of emotional awareness in dealing with people.
The illustrations are really well done and bring the story to life! I like the cartoony style, but I wish the artwork was in color instead of black and white.
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.