"Sign of the Rat" is an action thriller, featuring a teenage archaeologist. His nickname is "Trouble." Go with Trouble on his dangerous travels. His journey begins in a curio shop in Manhattan and takes him to Paris. His final destination is a secret laboratory hidden in the jungles of Vietnam. Exploring fabulous Halong Bay, he discovers the source of a frightening puzzle, the sudden appearance of prehistoric species. On this risky expedition, it isn’t easy to know who’s on his side. A rich junkyard king, the daughter of a jewel thief and a movie addict bring help and harm. Some of them are enemies, waiting for Trouble to solve the puzzle.
The book has over 60 photo-realistic illustrations that can be viewed in color via your Kindle-PC/Mac/iPhone-iPad app (free downloadable software from the Kindle Store at Amazon.com) - and as photo-realistic grayscale drawings on your Kindle.
The Trouble adventure series is targeted at the 11 to 15 year old age group. However, the series has brought praise from precocious children age nine to ninety.
As always, proceeds from sales of our novels are donated to charity. We contribute to Doctors Without Borders, the American Red Cross and Second Harvest Food Banks (now called Feeding America).
Please visit www.SiliconValleyNovel.com and click on the tab for "Sign of the Rat Features." Special features on our website explore the novel’s topics in more depth and give kids a feeling for how things work. For example, Trouble enters Old Town Hanoi by passing through the roots of a strangler fig tree. A special feature for that illustration shows a BBC video narrated by Sir David Attenborough showing how strangler figs grow through choking their hosts, using time-lapse photography. Other entries cover art, literature, history and engineering. You discover how planes fly, what monsoons do, who invented the stoplight, and more.
Teachers, home-schooling parents and fans of the Trouble adventure series will enjoy exploring the facts behind the story. The questions and answers are also fun for grandparents to share with their grandkids. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (2)
Best parts of the story - betrayal, deception, cool action sequences and a shocking villain.
I re-read the ending four times - surprised by how the puzzle fit together. One of the things I loved most about this book was never knowing what would happen next. I'm eager for the sequel.
"Sign of the Rat" is an unusual and fast-paced adventure. I expected a mystery/thriller when I downloaded the title to my Kindle for PC, but I was unprepared for the lush color illustrations. The detailed graphics pull you into the fictional world.
I loved the unusual characters and exotic places. Among the supporting cast, my favorite was Chiaro, a street smart girl with rare skills. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the cities they visit. Trouble explores medieval, cobblestone streets in the Latin Quarter of Paris. He enters Old Town Hanoi by passing through the twisted roots of a strangler fig tree. One of my favorite scenes takes place at the very top of a skyscraper, where a loud engine breaks through the quiet evening and the monsoon wind brings a very strange person into the novel.
I Love "Sign of the Rat" !
This one is highly recommended. "Sign of the Rat" is even better than "Everest is Hollow" - and I love that book!
So how could I like "Sign of the Rat" more? There are many reasons -
- The plot is structured like an adult thriller, with threats, chases, betrayals and plenty of twists to the ending.
- Trouble and his friends were fighting the elements on Mount Everest. The world's tallest mountain is a tough antagonist.
- But it's even more fun to see Trouble threatened and betrayed by people.
- Trouble's enemy in "Sign of the Rat" is creepy like a James Bond villain. The bad guy's motives are unique yet believable.
- The kids get into situations I'd never seen before and didn't expect.
- I'll never forget the restaurant scene after they cross Long Bien Bridge. I don't want to say more and give away the plot, but you'll probably be flashing on it for weeks.
- The book's pace was already fast, yet after the restaurant episode, the plot accelerates like a racecar.
- The novel is longer than "Everest is Hollow" so there's more room for character development of Trouble, Chiaro, Socks and even Flix.
- The illustrations are magnificent and make the story feel real.
- The premise is fresh and unusual. I enjoyed the descriptions of big cities like Manhattan, Paris and Hanoi. The prose style is very good.
- And I liked the enhanced Learning Center on Silicon Valley Novel's website. Wow, is there a lot to discover in there.
I bought a few copies of "Sign of the Rat" to share with friends and family. I'm happy to support their "Kids Saving Kids by Reading" project. Proceeds from "Sign of the Rat" go to Doctors Without Borders and that's great. The same is true for "Everest is Hollow," by the way.
I'm a senior citizen so I can recommend "Sign of the Rat" to adults without qualms. Silicon Valley Novel's Young Adult target (the 12 to 15 age group) looks solid. Younger kids can give the book a try. I could see an ambitious ten-year-old enjoying "Sign of the Rat," then reading the novel again when they're older and loving the story even more.
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