The Eye of Ra, by Ben Gartner | a spoiler free review

Hello! I hope you had a good weekend. Today I have another review, and this one is of The Eye of Ra, a middle-grade time travel book. I don’t have much to say right here, so I’m going to get right into my thoughts on the book!

Eye of Ra

Author: Ben Gartner

Publisher: Crescent Vista Press

Release Date: February 1st 2020

Genre: Middle grade, time travel

Goodreads | Storygraph

Synopsis:

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.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion and my review.

The Eye of Ra is about siblings Sarah and John who after stumbling across a cave in the mountains behind their house end up traveling back in time to ancient Egypt.

The whole time travel aspect of the book was really well done. From how John and Sarah discovered the time traveling, to the way that it all worked, it was easy to understand, and interesting to read about.

The book also didn’t waste time on too much description, and got right into the plot. This book would be perfect to be read aloud to a younger audience, as it is never boring, and is continuously moving forward with interesting developments in the plot.

I did think that the characters were kind of bland though, and that there could have been a lot more to them. Sarah and John are the protagonists, and are siblings. Sarah is a few years older than John and is eleven or twelve, either about to enter 6th grade. It was frustrating to read her character, as she didn’t have a lot of personality.

John was not much better. He is about to be in 4th grade, I believe, and it seemed that the only thing we learned about his personality was that he wanted to play with Sarah more, and that she was more distant since she started middle school, and that made him sad.

The brother and sister team made some friends in ancient Egypt, and although the side characters did add to the plot, they were not particularly memorable.


Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Website | Goodreads

Overall, the book was enjoyable, but it did have its flaws. I would recommend it to readers ages 6 through 9, and think that it would be a wonderful book to be read aloud. The book is a perfect step up for fans of magic tree house who are looking for something a bit more complex, as it has siblings traveling through time, but not the formulaic plot that can be expected from the magic tree house series.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Have you read The Eye of Ra? What are some of your favorite middle grade books? Chat with me in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “The Eye of Ra, by Ben Gartner | a spoiler free review

  1. Awwwww, too bad! I thought it sounded great but actually, since they say, “graduating from the Magic Treehouse” I should have known better. That IS a bookseries for small kids.
    Too bad that you were more disappointed and that it seems more like a book for a much younger audience. I hope you can follow it up with something more exciting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s an okay book for younger kids, but i think that it’s unfortunately not the sort of middle-grade that older readers would enjoy as much. the overall idea is good, but i’m not actually liking the sequel as much.
      thanks for commenting 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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