[ Prime ] The Secrets of VesuviusAuthor Caroline Lawrence – Freepe.co

Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus, And Nubia Friends And Detectives Sail To The Bay Of Naples To Spend The Summer With Flavia S Uncle, Who Lives Near Pompeii There They Uncover A Riddle That May Lead Them To Great Treasure Meanwhile, Tremors Shake The Ground, Animals Behave Strangely, And People Dream Of Impending Doom One Of The Worst Natural Disasters Of All Time Is About To Happen The Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius I didn t like it as well as the first, even though, technically, it was probably better And a little consistent in tone grimness level whatever you d want to call it As the title suggests, it happens during a rather famous eruption of Vesuvius and anyone with some history knowledge is going to know that all will not go well with the character s vacation to Pompeii.Two things made me not continue reading the series, though view spoiler One was that the ending had a rushed, or at least incomplete, feel Somehow the urgency around trying to save the people trapped in the eruption wasn t quite there and when the rescue attempt failed, the story just sort of petered out That they were doomed can be inferred, yes, but it felt weird that in universe, people didn t clearly react to that fact It gave it a oh noes, we must save them Oh well feel The other was that the story seemed rather too much like Christian fiction at times The mystery, such as it was, was basically in universe Christian evangelism And the way Christianity and a Roman ritual were treated by the text just felt biased If these books aren t Christian fiction, the author let too much of her personal religious bias slip in hide spoiler This book is okay in its way though there were one or two issues I had with it.First of all is the relationship that develops between two characters view spoiler Now I know that a 14 year old girl marrying a much older man was nothing out of the ordinary back then, but to put this in a book where children are reading it Seriously What kind of message would it give to young girls Also there is no description about what they liked about each others, it was very flat and two dimensional, all that we re told is that there was love in their eyes when they looked at each other.There is nothing to suggest that they are suitable as a couple, it s not very well done at all, it s like Lawrence maybe decided this girl is so boring that I ll spice it up a bit by giving her a much older lover.Mind you the girl in question is so boring, pathetic, and weak so maybe putting her with a much older man sort of helped the story hide spoiler I was very excited when I discovered Caroline Lawrence because in my view she is the Robert Harris of children s fiction and Robert Harris is one of my favourite authors There are certainly similarities in the quality of writing and underpinning depth of knowledge which is evident in Lawrence s The Secrets of Vesuvius and Harris s Pompeii.The Secrets of Vesuvius is a beautifully written book, full of interesting vocabulary, both English and Latin Lawrence manages to effortlessly develop her characters, particularly Flavia and her three friends, and she achieves this in such a subtle and interesting way For example to Lawrence her character Nubia didn t simply like swimming and come from Africa, she had grown up in the African desert, where water was rare and precious and had been shy of the sea at first Everything is so well written There are also hints of danger throughout, such as slave catchers, sea monsters and wild dogs to help keep the reader interested.With historical fiction there is always a risk that the author comes across as conceited or big headed, constantly demonstrating that they have done their research and will now prove it to the reader at every opportunity Lawrence on the other hand manages to serve up history like greens carefully hidden on a plate, such as her introduction of Pliny or description of Vulcan The riddle given to Flavia is also interesting and credible, for the simple reason that it is real.The book works on three levels a good Blyton esque style mystery, a way of bringing ancient Roman history to life, and as a science aid to liven up lessons on earthquakes and volcanoes.On the downside the pace of the book is quite slow, further editing would have been helpful to make the book shorter and punchy, and the few that will not have heard of Mount Versuvius erupting will find out in seconds from the cover picture and blurb Consequently, I am not sure that even older children will remain interested and engaged to the end.Altogether a very very well researched and written book and I have little choice to now read Lawrence s first book, The Thieves of Ostia Lawrence has me hooked. It didn t really have a good story and it had strange characters Author, editor, publisher, audience fail The lack of narrative voice about females marrying at 14 to 30 year old at least men was appalling for modern fiction to today s young kids, who I find are being referred these baldly violent and child marriage and affluence filled books at age 8 That irresponsible lack of rising to a teachable gender history moment is just one failure The other dimensions of failure include, but are not limited to, the intense and regular episodes of violence graphically described in some gratuitously vivid, and regrettably key to mystery, plot points in book 1, a flaw in children s late fiction being inappropriately escalated as murder mysteries, and in historically relevant, but not reflected upon, points in book 2 , the mawkishly inauthentic characterizations, and flimflam treatment of religions from mythological god worship to Jewish and Christian sects, represented merely as new age treatment sound bite and tableau versions of minor tenets excised from each faith and world view, presented merely as cartoonish representations of crucible times for various peoples brought together in uncomfortable ways I leave the critique of plot and tone to others who have accurately pointed out flaws I agree with The only sense amid the dangerous noise in this book and the first one are factoids that ought to be learned elsewhere, in conclusion.I was pre reading and will not be giving these print versions of bad TV cartoons and bad movies to my geek child who can figure out Roman history, and the historiography of living in any different place and time, better from his own imagination and historical texts and museums including online curation and presentation , including, for example, the series for children called You wouldn t want to be a Lawrence s first three in this series were bad enough on these measures, and others, about which our society with misogyny and violence problems are still not vigilant enough, with respect to the need to avoid desensitizing children to these trends and horrors in human species, that I made a GoodReads acount just to come leave a review for each of these books, and to vote up any other commenters who point these things out also.A classicial researcher who fancies herself a children s story writer may indeed, sadly, sell books and get good reviews from those who are asleep about real societal dangers to women and children, but is doing kids and the future of human society a horrible disservice to put this tripe out and call it an educational offering The problem is that it is in a lot of similar poor company on school and library shelves, any No narrative voice exists, just being bald adventure scaffolding for factoids, with fast cut scene interleaving like the problematic format of neuroscience psychology ignoring television, video games, and movies It s platitudes, then drama drama drama, rinse and repeat, ad nauseum, as if human beings will never have long arc and real riddle solving attention span, again Bosh Keep setting this stuff as the bar, and kids who consume it won t know they could have developed chops for better analysis and discernment and learn geek facts, along the way, too Would have been better for Lawrence to have consulted to a better writer and supplied the factoids she so dearly wanted to insert into modern awareness We knew all these facts already, as it happpened, from museums, other books on classics For those who have not had the privilege for access, and have not taken the time yet to dive into such topics to learn facts and feel rather immersed in ancient times, they deserve and really require better treatment with out the damaging flaws in these books There is a historiographical responsibility toward children, I would argue, to present it in a realistic and healthy way, not with blythe scenes of graphic violence, child sexual predation, enslavement terrors that could not have been dodged so easily, and the rest of the flaws in this presentation Let s also comment upon the artificiality of kids doing all this stuff independently, which is a theme she rather plagiaristically copied from the great writers who came before, in shallow, brazen imitation, like Boxcar Children, and Enid Blyton s protagonists The false diversity is misleading to kids and not historical at all, not showing the real frictions and divides between peoole, and, as another reviewer points out, is 20th century humanism inserted artificially for nominal feel good aims which are hollow, to say the least, and troubling in the casual references to a slave girl being lucky to pal around with her owner , the other elementary age girl, and a tongue excised 8 year old who by the way is written as falling in love with a 7 year old Just stop, already.Give kids the originals about true organic trios and foursomes of kids doing neat things The psychology of character development in those originals not after ghost writers took over and even in Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew were much better, if one is going with old cis hetero tropes only Set the bar higher There are also many recent authors with proper character development, diverse characters realistically and dimensionally portrayed, interacting authentically, and even containing historical or science facts woven in, to turn to, instead This assembly line approach is intellectual junk food and rated R dangerous exposure for the psychology of children.Find other ways to learn the classical information This is a failing, and insidiously dangerous one for it being cheap and available, tasty in an artificial way, to those with undeveloped palates, thus being processed food, cartoon tripe consumable, with the damaging result that lasts a lifetime for a kid, and generations for society, by creating academic obesity and academic malnutrition, and adventure and humanistic sloth in the readers and their parents and teachers Stop supporting the decline of reason, intellect, healthy psychology development, and true historical review in children. I was initially nervous that the inclusion of real, famous Romans like Pliny would not work, however Lawrence does an extraordinary job of merging fact and fiction I loved how little facts and words Pliny spoke were weaved in I learnt a huge amount and I also was inspired to go off and research loads of different things about Roman life and the eruption I can see beginnings of character development forming which will hopefully develop over the series as we find out about their pasts In particular I thought we learnt a lot about Lupus s personality and at one point I could really understand and empathize with all his frustration and anger at the world Lawrence also developed the faith storyline and this was well balanced with showing the Roman s beliefs, which was very interesting with the backdrop of the eruption and the exploration of the prophesy and punishment aspect of this One of the difference in this novel is that the mystery is not a crime that needs solving and is mature in nature thanThieves of OstiaAlthough this would have not have worked well in the first novel I personally enjoyed the mystery aspect this time The tension is brilliantly built throughout the novel, tying in the eruption and the mystery story lines very cleverly The book ends with a satisfactory conclusion, however still with enough of a cliffhanger to successfully leave the reader eagerly waiting to read the next in the series, which starts where this one ends. I thought that this book is filled with action and is informative about the setting of the Bay of Naples The book at the start was very laid back with the children enjoying their lives, feasting and playing on the beach I found Pliny as an interesting character, as an admiral of the royal fleet and caring to children I also found out that a large population of that time were slaves, and they were apparently everywhere It was in fact normal to have a slave lying around and doing most of the duties for you When Vesuvius erupted, it seemed extremely scary It was at very different intensities in various settings I found it amazing that Vulcan rowed his boat all the way to the center of the waterbody separating the fleet and the foot of the mountain even though Vulcan was badly injured and a volcano was erupting I found it amazing that the children survived the rain of rocks and the wave of fire coming from Mt.Vesuvius It was almost as if the characters were protected by a divine force The end was quite joyous when the skies cleared and Mt.Vesuvius stopped erupting Good and action packed book. This second book is not my favourite But its okay. I picked up this book because I love anything about ancient Rome and particularly like to read about Vesuvius Loved it It is juvenile fiction But very well written Story follows four young friends through a few days before the eruption and ends after Vesuvius erupts It include Pliny the elder trying to rescue friends and dying while attempting the rescue by ship in Stabiae.