I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter by Beth McMullen
Genres: Middle Grade
Published by Aladdin on August 25, 2020
Buy on Amazon
Stuart Gibbs meets The Lost Property Office in this action-packed mystery about a young girl searching for her father from the author of Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls—the first in a new series!
Having a world-traversing archaeologist dad means twelve-year-old Lola Benko is used to moving around not putting down roots anywhere. But every day and every hunt for something hidden is an adventure, and no matter what, she and her dad are an unbeatable team.
Then her father disappears. The official story is that he was caught in a flash flood, but Lola’s research shows the day in question was perfectly pleasant. And it will take more than empty reassurances from suspect strangers for Lola to give up on her dad. She has a feeling his disappearance has to do with a mythical stone he was studying—a stone so powerful, it could control the world. But in the wrong hands, it could end it, too...
With the help of some new friends at her school, it’s up to Lola to go on the most important search of her life.
Here is what I thought
This was a fun middle grade adventure story and although I enjoyed it I just didn’t think it was adventurous enough for me.
Lola has travelled all over the world with her treasure hunting father. She has been to all sorts of schools and doesn’t have any friends because she is never in one place long enough. Then her father all of a sudden tells her she is going to go and live with her great Aunt in California because he has something he needs to do that is to dangerous for her to tag along.
Not long after she is with her Aunt than two mysterious agents show up telling them that her father has died. Lola doesn’t believe it so she decides she is going to try and figure out a way to prove her father is alive. The only thing is that it’s expensive to travel so she has several mishaps with the law trying to find her father that lands her in Redwood her latest school. It’s her last attempt to lead a normal life instead of ending up in jail.
While there she meets Jin who is all about winning the STEM competition against his nemesis Hannah who ends up blackmailing her way into their adventure when Lola tells Jin about not believing her father is dead. Then when the Lipstick lady shows up giving her a bit of a hint about things it sends them on a short lived adventure.
So lets talk about the characters. Maybe Lola will grow on me a bit more in the second book should I read it but she was a bit self absorbed and I didn’t like the fact that she was basically a buddy criminal mastermind in the making and didn’t see how what she was doing was damaging. Jin was fun but he had a hard time getting his head out of the I need to win the STEM contest so I can go to NASA mode to be very helpful. Hannah I think I liked her most of all the characters because I think she was just a bit misunderstood. She came from a bit more of a lower income family so being in Redwood and winning the STEM competition was something I think her mother wanted more than her but she nevertheless was very smart with electronics.
I thought I was going to be in for a fun adventure story where kids were going treasure hunting (see book title) but there really wasn’t must adventure until you reach about 60% into the book. I am not going to stay it was all dull up until then but just not very adventurous as I was hoping it would be. Now with some things resolved in this book maybe the next one will be more adventurous (at least I assume there will be another one because of how it ended) and I really hope so as I would like to continue with the series but only time will tell how I feel by the time it comes out.
Despite all that I didn’t hate the book I thought it was a decent middle grade book (though didn’t like the criminal things the MC did) and I think that younger readers might enjoy it.