The Ancient Tripod of Peace

A Teen Thief-Catchers Novel

Young Adult - Mystery
279 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Ancient Tripod of Peace: A Teen Thief-Catchers Novel by Kalen Cap is an amazing blend of sleuthing, mystery involving ancient relics and secret societies, and elements of a good thriller. Teenagers Lexi and Gil could have had a good year, but then they are pulled into an investigation that puts their lives in grave danger. When relics are stolen from the museum where her dad works, Lexi knows that her father’s job is on the line and she makes finding the relics her priority. Things fall into place when Gil, a cipher buff, discovers secret codes in a Shakespearean play while working with Lexi. Now he is fascinated by a mystery he wants to solve. But the teenagers quickly attract the attention of teachers with a more deadly secret, one that will put them in the crossfires of two powerful secret societies.

The first book in this series, The Ancient Tripod of Peace is an engaging read and there couldn’t have been a better opening for a series than this. The book features characters who are real and who immediately catch the reader’s attention. Lexi’s desire to solve a burglary in the museum and Gil’s fascination for codes are two traits that pull the teens into a terrible conflict, and readers will be keen to find out what could become of these two young characters. The plot is intricately knitted and readers will enjoy the surprises that appear on this rollicking ride. Kalen Cap is a great storyteller with excellent writing skills.

Jack Magnus

The Ancient Tripod of Peace: A Teen Thief-Catchers Novel is an action and adventure mystery novel for young adults written by Kalen Cap. Brandon Hollister could not believe how complicated his life had become. Ever since his father was arrested and tried for insider trading, Brandon’s relatively privileged lifestyle had gotten increasingly difficult to maintain. He had justified selling steroids at his gym on the basis that they weren’t really like drugs, and they hadn’t really bothered him while he was taking them. He had stopped shortly before his father was arrested, but now he was selling them to the other guys at the gym to help him stay in college. His stash, which he had stored in his family’s garage, had been stole, however, and his supplier, who had been his dealer while he was using steroids, had gotten particularly nasty.

He hated what he was about to do. The curation opportunity he was offered as a means to pay off his debt felt like outright theft. Brandon had been directed to steal an old dusty box containing iron artifacts from a small museum on the island. He was relieved when he finally was able to drop off the antiquities with his contact, Sue Ballantine, at Nick Saffron’s aviary. Brandon knew Nick from the gym, in fact, he was the one who had suggested Brandon see Sue. But Brandon never did feel good about the “curation job”, especially when he learned about the ramifications of the theft on the museum director and his family.

Kalen Cap’s action and adventure mystery novel for young adults, The Ancient Tripod of Peace: A Teen Thief-Catchers Novel, is a fast-paced and exciting story that merges ancient history with modern-day life on Catawba Island in Lake Erie. I was fascinated by the book’s archipelago setting and enjoyed following Gil, Lexi, Trevor and Anita as they navigate their way through their first year of high school and discover that the projects assigned by their history teacher are more than they seem. Cap’s historical thread, which focuses on Pythagoras and the schools of thought which followed him, works beautifully with the plot with its inclusion of animal rights, vegetarianism and the mystery of the ancient tripod. The Ancient Tripod of Peace: A Teen Thief-Catchers Novel is most highly recommended.

Liz Konkel

The Ancient Tripod of Peace by Kalen Cap is a Teen Thief-Catchers novel. Lexi just wanted her first day of high school to go smoothly, but when artifacts are stolen from the museum, jeopardizing her dad's job, she's determined to get to the bottom of it. To find answers, she uncovers secrets connected to her family's history. Gil just wants to fit in, something he hasn't felt since his dad went to jail. When he and Lexi are put into the same group for a class project, they must learn to work together to find a connection with Greece to Shakespeare. Gil brings his love of codes and mysteries to the project while Lexi brings a familial connection. As they research, they discover a secret organization with a shocking plan that will change their lives.

Kalen Cap brings to life a fun filled coming of age journey in The Ancient Tripod of Peace, which mixes magical elements with mystery and adventure. Multiple perspectives explore different layers of the story. Gil and Lexi are pulled into the mystery, but their individual perspectives explore their home lives and their personal journeys. By getting to see members of the E-Pyths, there's a better understanding behind their motivations which allows for an understanding of the characters themselves. Cap has rich ties to history, mythology, and animals, mixing every aspect into a story that brings to life the past and there's a lot of fun finding the mystery in it.

There are many fun historical nods from Shakespeare to Pythagoras. Gil's love of codes and ciphers made me reminiscence of older mystery series such as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. He gives an upbeat tone to the story and springs the mystery forward as the one who first gets really excited about it. Friendship is at the heart of the tale as Lexi and Gil form a connection through this school project. They both had a rather low opinion of the other, so seeing them put everything aside and get to know each other is heartwarming. They actually become friends and find an ally in each other. This is a young adult adventure that will appeal to lovers of history, mystery, and animals!

Joseph Rutter

The Ancient Tripod of Peace by Kalen Cap is an engaging and detailed crime novel for teen and young adult readers that will also appeal to many older genre fans (myself included) with its plot foci on philosophy, animal protection, and ancient history. The story starts out with a brisk pace which is maintained throughout. A great vacation or summertime book with its lakefront setting.

The “caper”, as it were, occurs in the very first pages, and many of the central mysteries to be solved by the teenaged sleuths are presented right away. The theft that is at the core of the plot is of an ancient artifact by a shadowy organization intent on using the device to further their goals. The first third of the novel is dedicated to introducing simultaneously the cast of characters and their various relationships to the stolen object itself. Later the focus shifts to the organization behind the crime and how the thieves and the catchers are entangled in the web.

The characters, and there are many here, are nicely drawn with distinct personalities and various challenges and talents to bring to the situation. The teenaged principal players bring all the shades of that unique stage of maturation including emerging talents, idealistic values, and navigating relationships. The adult characters, like most adults in the teen world, are frequently riddled with hidden ulterior motives and pasts. Not all adults are bad here and there are also some worthy mentors and protectors.

I definitely recommend this book to teens, young adult and older readers. Some brief and mild dangers and more mature situations are presented which means the material caters towards readers between 12 to 18 years old as well as adult fans of the genre.

So to sum up, this novel offers robust and interesting characters, lots of action, and a plot that keeps you guessing till the end. A great vacation read.