The second book in Peretti’s Cooper Kids Adventures series is a vast improvement on the first. This one, like the first, has a great premise. A dead man turns up on the open ocean on a makeshift raft; items on the raft tie him to a Christian missionary currently on the field on a tropical island. The Coopers are sent to investigate and they find everything working as it should be, except this missionary has developed some strange & unorthodox ideas; there are, he says, ancient forces and an ancient curse at work on the island that not even God can control. This book is very fast paced and it has some genuinely creepy moments. There’s a body count in this book; there wasn’t in the first. The last couple of chapters in particular are very well-written in a stripped down, visceral style. There are some great sequences as well. The Cooper family finds themselves locked in a dark room and left to die after they’ve been targeted by the curse; there’s a standoff on a suspension bridge & a creepy exploration of a series of tunnels under the island. This one is a full-on adventure and a quick (you can knock it out in about an hour) and fun read. 3 stars.
tl;dr – great improvement on first book in the series, this one is a fast-paced, often creepy adventure in the good old-fashioned style; short, a fast read & a lot of fun. 3 stars.