Aria and Liam

Enigma in Rome

Children - Adventure
175 Pages
Reviewed on 02/23/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite

Aria and Liam: Enigma in Rome by Alizee Monsarrat is a children's historical adventure novel. After their remarkable time in ancient Egypt, Liam and Aria are mysteriously transported to ancient Rome. The pair meet Gaia and her dog Aello running in the streets. Gaia explains that she summoned the kids who saved Egypt to help her prevent the assassination of Julius Caesar. Aria is pleased to help and learn more about the Roman civilization as she loves history. Her partner Liam is less than overjoyed because he does not pay attention in history class, but this all changes when he meets one of his historical idols. Follow Aria, Liam, and Gaia as they join forces with other characters to help prevent the murder of Caesar.

What an adventure. Aria and Liam is an unusual book series that rewrites famous historical events. This is the second installment and it has an interesting premise. In this book, Aria and Liam visit ancient Roman monuments, immerse themselves in the culture, and meet famous historical figures. They also concoct crazy and funny ideas to get out of trouble and solve problems. The story also covers sensitive topics like bullying, parent-child relationships, the importance of education, and providing for the vulnerable in society. Caesar was targeted for assassination because he wanted to implement policies that would benefit the poor. This was a noble cause that both kids and adults should apply in their lives. What I loved the most about this book is the way Alizee Monsarrat hid the identity of the mysterious mastermind of the assassination until the final chapters. Brilliantly written.

Pikasho Deka

Prepare yourselves for an action-packed adventure in ancient Rome with Alizee Monsarrat's Aria and Liam: Enigma in Rome. After their heroic exploits in Egypt, best friends Aria and Liam find themselves inadvertently transported from their school in Sometville to the streets of ancient Rome. They meet a young girl named Gaia, who seeks their help to uncover an insidious plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. With the help of Gaia's friend Titus, Aria and Liam work toward investigating their prime suspect Septimus. Soon the little group is broken apart when Liam and Titus find themselves imprisoned at the Colosseum, forced to fight a lion for their survival. Can Aria and Gaia find a way to free the two boys and will the friends be able to discover the identity of the man pulling the strings?

Aria and Liam: Enigma in Rome is a fast-paced odyssey for preteens and young adults. Alizee Monsarrat's novel provides thrills galore as it takes you on a wild adventure ride you won't want to end. Set during Julius Caesar's reign, Monsarrat's narrative perfectly captures the feel and atmosphere of ancient Rome, with its Colosseum, gladiator fights, and political turmoil with scheming aristocrats trying to outwit each other in their never-ending pursuit of power. The most impressive aspect of the book is its characters. While Liam and Aria are best friends, the two form an instant bond with Gaia and Titus, which feels authentic. This is a fantastic book for middle to high schoolers.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Aria and Liam: Enigma in Rome by Alizee Monsarrat introduces Aria as a history buff, and so for that matter is Liam. When the bully Oliver takes Aria’s history book and torments her on the basketball court, Aria is incensed. As she races to the school washroom, with Liam hot on her heels, they walk into the building and find themselves transported to ancient Rome. Their first encounter is with a young girl running away from danger and she warns them to do the same. This is only the beginning of their adventure as they learn there are many threats in ancient Rome, particularly those aimed at the safety and well-being of Julius Caesar. That keeps the young people on their toes and actively fighting not only to defend themselves but also to save Caesar. The greatest lesson they learn is about mistakes. As their new friend in Rome aptly sums it up, “We all make mistakes in life. The most important thing is that the truth be set straight!”

Alizee Monsarrat’s middle-grade novel, Aria and Liam: Enigma in Rome, is full of friendship, adventure, intrigue, and a whole lot of ancient history. This book will have young readers yearning for more. The story is told in the third person, surprisingly mostly in the present tense for both the scenes in the current era and those of the past. This approach makes the reader feel as if they are currently experiencing the adventure together with the two protagonists, Aria and Liam. The author uses dialogue to move the plot forward, set the scenes, and accentuate the action. The characters are well-developed and the historical element has been well-researched. This is a great story to both entertain and educate young readers and hopefully spark an interest in history.