Review: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

The Eye of Ra
Ben Gartner
Crescent Vista Press
Published February 1, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads

About The Eye of Ra

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

The Eye of Ra on Goodreads

My Review

I feel like books about time travel to ancient civilizations are really nostalgic for me because I used to really love a movie like that when I was little, so I was excited to read THE EYE OF RA for that reason.

It’s a cute story– brother and sister with really different personalities find themselves tossed into life in ancient Egypt and trying to figure out how to get home. I liked that Sarah is the adventurous one and John is the more structured, introverted one. I feel like lots of stories would have had those personalities reversed, so I thought it was kind of fun to see it this way.

Disclaimer: I know very little about ancient Egypt and the construction of the pyramids, so I can’t really speak to the historical accuracy there. I did find it a little odd that the characters from ancient Egypt still spoke in a modern way and the relationship between the husband and wife as well as between the parents and children was very modern. That part of it felt a little more like a Fred Flintstone version of ancient life, if that makes sense?

I thought it was cool that John and Sarah meet someone in ancient Egypt who face one of the same difficulties they face (moving far away) and that it made them consider elements of the move that they hadn’t considered before.

The ending seemed a little abrupt to me. I would have liked the kids to have been more actively involved in solving the mystery. At the start, they’re very much taking ownership of locating the thief and solving the crime, and I liked that– I wanted that energy to continue through the end of the book.

Overall, I thought it was a fun read that would be enjoyable for middle elementary school readers, like maybe third to fifth grade.

The Eye of Ra on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 10.

Sarah and John are white and the other kids are Egyptian.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Reference to a kiss between Sarah and a boy.

Spiritual Content
References to Egyptian mythology – the god Ra and others.

Violent Content
Some situations of peril.

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of THE EYE OF RA in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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