Welcome to the world of The League of the Sphinx! (NOTE: I write as R.E. Preston on this series and I will be using that version of my name on any books I write for teenagers or younger, simply separating those projects from my older-oriented books).
The League of the Sphinx: The Purple Scarab is the first novel in R.E. Preston’s seven-book adventure series set in the chaos of the Second World War. Things are going badly for England. Brothers Edmund Peabody and Chander Peabody, both 15 years old, join their old soldier/archaeologist grandfather, the Colonel, in a desperate race against the Nazis to recover a set of seven ancient Egyptian scarabs powerful enough to make victorious the side which possesses them.
Edmund and Chander, joined by the dauntless Amelia Tripp, must battle with mummies, castle ghosts, Nazi spies and their own demons as they struggle to prevent the scarabs from falling into the hands of the enemy. They discover dark secrets about their family, their castle, and the secret organization which has brought the sarcophagus of Neferu with them from Egypt.
The ghost of Neferu appears, beautiful and beguiling, and she pledges to assist the teenagers just as they realize that their Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, is also in immediate danger from the same forces who threaten them. Edmund, Chander and Amelia have no choice but to try to activate the magic of the scarabs, an unpredictable magic as old, mysterious and dark as the Gods of the ancient Egyptians themselves.
“I read well past my bedtime because I just had to know what was going to happen next. Preston’s story delivers action, adventure and feats of derring-do with wallops of adrenaline. The League of the Sphinx and the Purple Scarab is a supernatural thrill fest for the younger set that combines the best elements of Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” (The Qwillery)
“Artifacts and apparitions, Nazis and narrow escapes, teens and teen troubles… This Indiana-Jones-style adventure is exactly the kind of book I would have devoured as a kid — and I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult, too!” (Neve Maslakovic, author of The Far Time Incident)
Full Qwillery Book Review below:
“The League of the Sphinx and the Purple Scarab is the first book in a promising new YA series by Richard E. Preston. Set during World War 2, the protagonist, Edmund Peabody, has recently returned to England after a harrowing adventure in Egypt in which his grandfather, Colonel Percival Peabody, seeking a scarab believed to possess magical properties from the tomb of princess Neferu. Their expedition encountered a team of tomb raiders led by Colonel Peabody’s arch-enemy, fellow treasure hunter, Hector Strasser, with disastrous results. Back in England, Edmund, along with his adopted brother Chander, reside in their grandfather’s castle for safekeeping while German bombers target their home city of London. Joined by Amelia Tripp, a close family friend, the trio of adventurous teens must test their courage and their wits to thwart a covert German operation while also eluding the slippery machinations of Strasser.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially the paranormal elements. The fictional historic setting felt authentic both in Egypt and in England. I love the fact that Colonel Peabody’s loyal staff is as diverse as it gets, adding cultural flavor to the bland English countryside. Edmund, Chander, and Amelia are a combination of likeable brainiacs and risk takers who aren’t afraid to act in the face of danger and stand up for their beliefs. There were moments when I was so wrapped up in the story that my heart raced and my fingers twitched in anticipation of turning each page. I read well past my bedtime because I just had to know what was going to happen next. Preston’s story delivers action, adventure and feats of derring-do with wallops of adrenaline. The League of the Sphinx and the Purple Scarab is a supernatural thrill fest for the younger set that combines the best elements of Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” (The Qwillery Trinity-Two Review 5 Jan 2014)