The Three Hares by Geoffrey Simpson
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Summary from Goodreads:
The Adventure of a Lifetime . . .
Ethan Drake is a living legend.
If only his late father had mentioned it.
Ethan and his friends decode a series of cryptic riddles from an ancient treasure map. Their discovery entangles them in a centuries-old struggle between warring secret societies.
It soon becomes clear that Ethan is not just an adventurous teen who accidentally stumbles upon a shadowy world.
He is a catalyst…
a spark which ignites the resurgence.
Copy sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book starts off a little slow, but once you get past that you are in for great adventure story that will keep you guessing what will happen next. There are heroes, villains and even an honorable assassin, which will entertain and keep you wanting more.
Both Ethan and Jacob make a great team. They share a bond that can only come from going out on boy type adventures, like camping, biking and fishing. They create treasure maps with riddles and puzzles for each other to solve. So when they find an old map in Ethan’s attic, they are convinced that it will lead them to a real treasure. But the map does not lead to riches, it leads them to the Three Hares, a secret society created to protect the town from evil.
I really liked both boys, they are smart and adventurous and confident in their abilities. They can take care of themselves, but care about not worrying their families when they go out camping and adventuring for days at a time. The story is mostly told from Ethan’s point of view, so we get to know him better than Jacob. I would have liked to hear more about Jacob’s home life, there were hints that things were not great at home, but it was never fully explained. About half way through the book Jacob’s new neighbor Liz, joins their group. She does prove to be and asset to the group, she is quick and smart and just as willing to risk as the boys. But I never quite trusted her, she just was always a little to willing to hang out with the boys and didn’t seem to care if her parents knew or not.
The adults in the Three Hares, were and interesting group. They appeared to just have been waiting around for Ethan to take his rightful place to fix the things that they knew were wrong with the town. That was maybe the only flaw in the story. I really liked the two men who come to mentor the kids though. Samuel was a good father figure who put his trust in Ethan and helped him when he needed it. Arthur taught them how to fight with a bokken and was also a good mentor. The kids were all quick learners. It sounds like an interesting fighting style though.
There are some interesting villains in this story. The evil mayor was kind of fun and it was fun to watch the kids thwart his plans. The organization behind the mayor was the real evil powerhouse and they were the ones that were doing the really nasty stuff. I really liked the Assassin character. He was very honorable even though he killed for a living. He refused to just sneak into Ethan’s home to kill him in his sleep. He insisted on fighting him to the death, which I found very interesting.
There is some magical realism involved in the story which was nicely done. There appears to be some sort of spirit watching over Ethan and the gang and warns them of danger. I was expecting a little more magic in the story from the description, but it ended up being just the right amount in the end.
An enjoyable read once you get past the slow start.