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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike

Age: 12+
Publication Date: September 2010
Pages: 416
Series: no
Acquisition: NetGalley

One minute Sara's bored on vacation in Istanbul. The next, she's unearthed a flying carpet that cleverly drags her to the mysterious Island of the Djinn—or genies. By her side is Amesh, a hot boy she's starting to love but doesn't yet trust. When Amesh learns the secret of invoking djinn, he loses control. He swears he'll call upon only one djinn and make one wish. The plan sounds safe enough. But neither Sara nor Amesh are any match for the formidable monster that that swells before them. It hypnotizes Amesh, compelling him to steal Sara’s flying carpet—the ancient Carpet of Ka—and leave her stranded.
Discovering the Carpet of Ka has sparked a new path for Sara, one that will lead her to battle creatures even deadlier than djinn. In this fight, Sara can save mankind, herself, or the boy she loves. Who will she be forced to sacrifice? (from Goodreads)

Quick thoughts:
Loved it! Christopher Pike's books hold a special place in my heart - I've loved them since I was a kid. The Secret of Ka really stands out as one of his best for me. Lots of the same elements I've always loved with a truly unique story.

The storytelling - it was spot on. Every scene held such rich detail and all the pieces fit together so well. It would have been really easy to portray Sara as an arrogant, American brat. She's basically alone in a foreign country with nothing to do and almost unlimited resources. Add some magic and a cute boy and you might think you're holding a shallow teen drama book. In this case, you would be very very wrong.

I loved the character of Sara. She's someone I would want to be friends with. She never gives up and is willing to sacrifice everything for the people she loves. Her internal fortitude is very strong. When you add in the other elements of the story, she just becomes that much more likable. She really made this book for me.

I loved the setting as well - Istanbul both past and present. The myth and legend of the djinn was fascinating. The mystery and suspense - what I expect from Pike - wrapped around a really solid story and a some wonderful characters.

Also, there were some twists at the end that I did not see coming at all. They worked so well with the story and I was really impressed with the fact that I didn't catch on sooner. The mark of an extremely well told story.

I wish it were longer. Not part of a series necessarily - just longer. Like, twice as long would work for me. It was that good.

Final thoughts:
I highly recommend this one to fans of Pike and new readers as well. The magic of this world is wonderful and anyone who is looking for a different type of young adult fantasy book should pick up a copy of The Secret of Ka.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Houghton Mifflin
Fantastic Fiction Page


  1. wowza...this is a great review. I have heard of this book but apparently need to put it on my tbr list. thanks!

  2. I've not read any of his books ... yet. They sound really good.


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