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The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery Book 1)

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"The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and his characters are industrious, accessible, and great role models for the target audience." –Authors Reading “Arthur, is that what I think it is?” she gasped.Summer vacation for Arthur and Marya takes a very strange turn when a weird old man with a long white beard draws the two friends into an ancient mystery that "The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and his characters are industrious, accessible, and great role models for the target audience." –Authors Reading “Arthur, is that what I think it is?” she gasped.Summer vacation for Arthur and Marya takes a very strange turn when a weird old man with a long white beard draws the two friends into an ancient mystery that they must solve in order to recover a magical artifact from the distant past. They soon learn that they are not the only ones who seek this relic; closing in on them are powerful evil forces that will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. With help from some very unlikely sources, Arthur and Marya unravel clues that lead them to their goal, only to discover that it is protected by creatures they never imagined. When they find themselves deep underground, with time running out and with nothing to rely on but their own courage and trust in each other, the teenagers must vanquish inhuman forces if they want to get out alive.


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"The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and his characters are industrious, accessible, and great role models for the target audience." –Authors Reading “Arthur, is that what I think it is?” she gasped.Summer vacation for Arthur and Marya takes a very strange turn when a weird old man with a long white beard draws the two friends into an ancient mystery that "The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and his characters are industrious, accessible, and great role models for the target audience." –Authors Reading “Arthur, is that what I think it is?” she gasped.Summer vacation for Arthur and Marya takes a very strange turn when a weird old man with a long white beard draws the two friends into an ancient mystery that they must solve in order to recover a magical artifact from the distant past. They soon learn that they are not the only ones who seek this relic; closing in on them are powerful evil forces that will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. With help from some very unlikely sources, Arthur and Marya unravel clues that lead them to their goal, only to discover that it is protected by creatures they never imagined. When they find themselves deep underground, with time running out and with nothing to rely on but their own courage and trust in each other, the teenagers must vanquish inhuman forces if they want to get out alive.

30 review for The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery Book 1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    How I read this: Free ebook copy received through NetGalley This is a very traditional kind of middle grade story with an old-world sort of feel which is quite nice to read, although the story is a little bit anticlimactic. I did like the feel very much. The story nails it just right - it feels so much like the books I read when I was a kid. There's just something indescribable in that, and I'm sure you know what I mean. And even though it's set in the present day, even phones are mentioned, every How I read this: Free ebook copy received through NetGalley This is a very traditional kind of middle grade story with an old-world sort of feel which is quite nice to read, although the story is a little bit anticlimactic. I did like the feel very much. The story nails it just right - it feels so much like the books I read when I was a kid. There's just something indescribable in that, and I'm sure you know what I mean. And even though it's set in the present day, even phones are mentioned, everything has the old days' quaintness to it. Maybe it's the small town and life is still like that in smaller places. Or maybe the author just wanted to give it that vibe. But I loved it. It's a great world to escape to. But there were a few things that fell just a little flat for me. One is that Arthur, the main character, is an incredibly upstanding boy - maybe even too much so. I feel like real life boys might have trouble relating to him. Not many preteen boys keep their room tidy 'as a pin', read books with a dictionary to challenge themselves and ask everyone how they can be helpful and how their day went. In fact, not many adults are this great at any of those things. I'm not sure I know anyone like that. More than that, this boy rationalizes his decisions (very well) and isn't afraid of truly scary things that in all honesty he should be afraid of very much, as a kid (or even just a human being.) He's just so perfect, too perfect. Felt like a very flat character to me. Kids have tantrums. Kids never care about others more than they care about themselves. Most people never see further than their own nose until they are in their late teens. Some never learn. This boy was basically a saint. The other thing was that I was very disappointed with the bad guy. There was barely any of him in the story. More than that, I kept thinking (view spoiler)[the good guy was the bad guy because he was just so over the top (and I admit I would have loved the story so much more if the good guy turned out to be bad guy all along, haha! *disappears in a puff of smoke*) Without this, it just falls flat. The bad guy is beaten without barely any effort. It doesn't make for much of a culmination. (hide spoiler)] But the story is still pleasant to read and would engage middle grade readers, so I definitely don't regret reading it. It was sweet. I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion. Book Blog | Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    Critter

    This was a fun book to read. I loved the magic and how legends were linked into this story. The characters had a great dynamic with each other, and it was enjoyable getting to know them. I did feel that the main character, Arthur, felt flat. He was a perfect character and we never got to see any flaws from him. The dialogue also felt a bit unnatural to me. The setting was great however and gave the entire story a fantastic backdrop. I loved seeing the two main characters work together to solve t This was a fun book to read. I loved the magic and how legends were linked into this story. The characters had a great dynamic with each other, and it was enjoyable getting to know them. I did feel that the main character, Arthur, felt flat. He was a perfect character and we never got to see any flaws from him. The dialogue also felt a bit unnatural to me. The setting was great however and gave the entire story a fantastic backdrop. I loved seeing the two main characters work together to solve the mystery and it appears that they will have many fun and exciting adventures in the future. I received a copy from a Goodreads giveaway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Arthur is thirteen years old and bored. School has closed and all his friends have gone on vacation with their parents. So he knows it will be a dull summer. He goes over to a neighbor who he does errands for. She has asked his mother to have him come over. David is surprise to meet his neighbor’s granddaughter Marya. He has been asked to show Marya the sights of the town. They end up at painted rock’s small cave due to rain. Arthur shows her the pictographs on the wall of it. When the rain stop Arthur is thirteen years old and bored. School has closed and all his friends have gone on vacation with their parents. So he knows it will be a dull summer. He goes over to a neighbor who he does errands for. She has asked his mother to have him come over. David is surprise to meet his neighbor’s granddaughter Marya. He has been asked to show Marya the sights of the town. They end up at painted rock’s small cave due to rain. Arthur shows her the pictographs on the wall of it. When the rain stops, they go home. On the next day, Arthur and Marya go back to the painted rock to see if they can figure out what it means. They are surprised by a very old man who tells them that there are powerful, evil people who want an ancient relic. They must find the ancient relic first and protect it. Will they be able to? It is a captivating story. It depicts small town living. The novel is a mystery filled with adventure. The main characters are terrific.. they learn how important communication is especially when things seem to be going wrong. It is a combination of the King Arthur’s legend, and Spanish conquistadors. They must learn to overcome their fears. I thinks that they also learned to appreciate the wonder around them. I was completely involved with them while they were trying to solve the mystery and on their adventures. It is not just a book for children but a book for all ages! Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    E

    This enchanted tale brings out the kid in me. I remember magic, dragons, knights and legendary adventures written in many wonderful books. Arthur is a young teen living in Coronado Springs. On a quest with his buddies he experiences something that no one else did. Was it his imagination? School has ended and his buddies leave him for family vacations. Arthur doesn’t know what to do with himself until and unexpected visitor comes to town. Mrs. Flores granddaughter Marya has come from California t This enchanted tale brings out the kid in me. I remember magic, dragons, knights and legendary adventures written in many wonderful books. Arthur is a young teen living in Coronado Springs. On a quest with his buddies he experiences something that no one else did. Was it his imagination? School has ended and his buddies leave him for family vacations. Arthur doesn’t know what to do with himself until and unexpected visitor comes to town. Mrs. Flores granddaughter Marya has come from California to spend some time with her. Mrs. Flores introduces Arthur to Marya, telling her that Arthur is known for his adventures. This peaks Marya’s interest. Soon Arthur and Marya join forces for an adventure filled with mystery, ghosts, and legends. To help Arthur and Marya on their adventure are Dr. Chomsky, Elliot and a big black crow named Alexander. Skeleton Rock is where Arthur and Marya’s adventure begins with a special key which opens up a delightful world of magic, mystery, danger, and intrigue. Arthur will have quite a story to tell his friends when they return. I recommend this book to any and all young of heart.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elke

    Thank you so much NetGalley, Black Rose Writing and Tom Blanton for this arc in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts expressed in this review are solely my own. Yes, yes, yes! I will not go into detail while giving my review of this book because I am afraid that I will literally spoil everything, but this book is great (when looking at the intended audience, of course, even though I am 22 and enjoyed it a lot as well). The story, the writing, the characters... There is nothing that I thoug Thank you so much NetGalley, Black Rose Writing and Tom Blanton for this arc in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts expressed in this review are solely my own. Yes, yes, yes! I will not go into detail while giving my review of this book because I am afraid that I will literally spoil everything, but this book is great (when looking at the intended audience, of course, even though I am 22 and enjoyed it a lot as well). The story, the writing, the characters... There is nothing that I thought should be different. I encourage everybody to give this book a go, perhaps even read it to some younger children that want to expand their interests, because this book should get a lot more attention.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sublime Book Review

    BOOK REVIEW Overall Rating = 4.13 Storyline & Concept = 5 Writing & Delivery = 4 Cover Marketability = 4 Editorial = 3.5 When Arthur Kincaid meets Marya Zamora, a neighbor’s visiting granddaughter, his first reaction is that at least summer vacation won’t be boring even though all his friends are out of town. He never imagines the adventure that will arise from their close observation of an ancient pictograph on the walls of a rock shelter. The plot and characters are nicely crafted, and Alexander the BOOK REVIEW Overall Rating = 4.13 Storyline & Concept = 5 Writing & Delivery = 4 Cover Marketability = 4 Editorial = 3.5 When Arthur Kincaid meets Marya Zamora, a neighbor’s visiting granddaughter, his first reaction is that at least summer vacation won’t be boring even though all his friends are out of town. He never imagines the adventure that will arise from their close observation of an ancient pictograph on the walls of a rock shelter. The plot and characters are nicely crafted, and Alexander the crow provides just the right touch of humor and snarkiness. Blanton leaves us in little doubt that there are more adventures and mysteries to solve for Arthur and Marya, so let’s hope that the next installment comes sooner rather than later. Sublime Line: “A fun commingling of Arthurian legend, Spanish conquistadors, and small-town Texas that encourages young readers to overcome their fears and to see the wonder that’s all around them.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. A kid named author, living in a small town in Texas, meets a girl named Maria.(Like the wind). They get invited to the house of a mysterious old man, who sends them on a quest. The quest is filled with puzzles, magic, dragons, and a talking crow. Funny, exciting, and very entertaining.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne Wingate

    Now What's Next? Like any good series starter, this makes me want to read the next one. Intended for young readers -- ten to twelve -- the story appeals to other readers as well. How do I know? I'm 77 and I like it. Now What's Next? Like any good series starter, this makes me want to read the next one. Intended for young readers -- ten to twelve -- the story appeals to other readers as well. How do I know? I'm 77 and I like it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lonnia

    Let's say I am not a teenager. I am 60 but I loved the adventure these 2 kids had. Imagine being a kid again and meeting a talking crow, talking dragon and a wizard. Oh my! Authur and Marya do just that while on a quest for a mysterious Dr. Chomsky. This is a great read for all ages. Let's say I am not a teenager. I am 60 but I loved the adventure these 2 kids had. Imagine being a kid again and meeting a talking crow, talking dragon and a wizard. Oh my! Authur and Marya do just that while on a quest for a mysterious Dr. Chomsky. This is a great read for all ages.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    Entertaining YA Urban fantasy for the younger crowd, perhaps. Arthur and Marya have a series of adventures, all tied into the Arthurian legends.

  11. 4 out of 5

    susan howgate

    fab story line I as an adult even enjoyed it ,Cant wait for my 9 year old Grandaughter to read it and see what enjoyment she gets from reading It ,I hope she enjoyes it as much as myself

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    3.75

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    It was a nice and fast read. Great for middle grade. I can’t wait to read the next book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hilda Baard

    A wonderful story beautifully written. I sure hope there will be a book 2 one day.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charles Wilson

    Holy Priest Hood Batman ! My only granddaughter loved this story and says she wants to be a lioness when she grows up. Kudos to Tom Blanton for making children want to be more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Irene O'Brien

    Magic is as real as we want it to be. This book is An excellent read for both children and adults. It uses magic and the bravery of two children to convey the constant fight between good and evil. Arthur and Marya discover a hidden cave and magical creatures and looked help them to achieve their goal. This book is a must read for all who are interested in history and how it shaped our world today

  17. 4 out of 5

    oohlalabooks

    This is written for a younger age group but adults would like it too. This was a fun, page turner story. It is the first of a series so the characters will be more developed. It has magic, friends saving the world, and adventure! I won this ARC in exchange for my review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kasey

    Thank you for the opportunity to review this book as a giveaway recipient. I am excited to read it and will update my thoughts on this book soon!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Narkiewicz

  20. 4 out of 5

    M

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Gustafson

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Lapp

  23. 5 out of 5

    William D Thomas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donna Bailey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Larry Scheffler

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate Church

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aisha

  29. 4 out of 5

    margaret kelly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marty Mayer

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