Ultimate Quest (Treasure Hunters #8) – James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein, and Juliana Neufeld

The Ultimate Quest by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein, Juliana Neufeld
Also by this author: 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree, The Horsewoman, 4th of July, The 5th Horseman, The 6th Target, 7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgment
Series: Treasure Hunters #8
Published by jimmy patterson on May 23, 2022
Genres: Children's
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Dodge missiles, map undersea caves, outrun secret agents, and uncover the ultimate treasure? That’s a day in the life of the Kidds! The Kidd family is on an exciting new mission: use the augmented reality gear their parents created to uncover long-lost treasure. But then their ship, The Lost, explodes in a ball of fire! Now Bick, Beck, Tommy, and Storm are stranded on a raft in the Mediterranean Sea, and their parents have been kidnapped by maniacal treasure hunters. It’s up to the Kidd siblings to follow clues around the globe to uncover an ancient treasure and save their parents . . . before they lose everything!  

Chris Grabenstein has been James Patterson’s primary go-to author for middle-grade fiction and you don’t have to read too far into Ultimate Quest, the 8th Treasure Hunters book, to see why. Patterson and Grabenstein craft a goofy, imaginative narrative full of jokes, plot twists, and fun facts. The result is a little bit ridiculous—but just think of this as The Fast and Furious franchise for kids.

The Kidd siblings have grown up with famous treasure hunters as parents and by book number eight they’ve got a lot of adventures under their belt. Characters are written to have one dominant trait that defines them, sometimes for comedic value and sometimes to insert some education or exposition into the story. Like, you just know that Tommy (oldest brother) is going to fall immediately in love with some girl (who is likely a spy or a villain). You know that Storm is going to have all the answers. And Beck and Bick, well, they’re going to be wise-cracking twin younger siblings who tie the family together. (Bick narrates the story; Beck provides the illustrations.)

In this particular tale, the Kidds are looking for an ancient Knights Templar treasure—but the aren’t the only ones! Hijinks, double-crosses, and some pretty outlandish action sequences ensue. By book eight, Patterson and Grabenstein (joined by Juliana Neufeld for illustrations) have the series down to a science. The problem that can ensue when a book series is always successful with a certain pattern is that the pattern grows stale and the stories fail to live up to the structure. Grabenstein doesn’t let this happen, penning a narrative that’s just as energetic and upbeat as book one (if not better).

Ultimate Quest is geared toward middle-grade readers and fits that age-frame well. There’s Bick and Beck, who most closely identify with the intended audience, and Storm and Tommy, who are either representative of older siblings or older versions of the audience. However the readers see themselves in the book, there’s a character that fits them. It’s a light-hearted romp where you know that nobody is going to get hurt, that the kids will learn a moral lesson, that the parents will be some sort of trouble, and the kids will save the day. It’s a clever, successful setup and so long as Patterson and Grabenstein keep their passion for the series, it’ll be a perennial favorite.