Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Biff Brewster #6 Alaska Ghost Glacier and #7 Ambush in India

In Biff Brewster #6, Alaska Ghost Glacier Mystery, Biff and his father journey to the mine inside the Alaska Ghost Glacier.  A valuable radioactive substance has been discovered at the mine, and Mr. Brewster has been brought in to help.  Enemies of the project seek to prevent the Brewsters from arriving at the mine.  Their plane is sabotaged, and a time bomb has been planted on board.

The action starts quickly in this book with very little expository information.  Biff and Mr. Brewster are in danger from the very beginning and face one threat after another.

The mine is inside the glacier, which makes for a unique setting.  The tunnels in the mine burrow through ice, and coverings have been placed on the sides of the tunnels and on the walls of the rooms inside the mine to insulate them.

On page 75, an old man tells Biff the story of how something "started in '98."  This is the first time I have read an old series book where for just the slightest moment I thought of 1998 and of how 1998 is now far enough ago to be plausible in this context.  Of course in this book, the year referenced is 1898.

On page 78, Biff is "only half listening to the Eskimo's rapid travelogue."  Thank goodness.  The text then gives the reader a very brief mention of the sights, and I greatly appreciated the brevity.  This book depicts Alaska in an interesting fashion that does not get bogged down on lengthy descriptions of historical information. 

This book is unusual in that three people are killed near the end of the story.  Additionally, the book implies that the miner's ghost does linger inside the glacier.  As the book concludes, Biff tells his friend that he now believes the superstition.

This book is outstanding.  The story flows well and is quite suspenseful from start to finish.  The reason I read series books is for books like this one.  It is perfect.

In Mystery of the Ambush in India, Biff arrives in India with his friends, Kamuka and Likake.  Soon, Biff is tasked with safekeeping a priceless ruby, which he must take to the Chonsi Lama.  A new friend, Chandra, helps Biff in his journey.  Later, Biff meets up with Uncle Charlie, Mike, Muscles, and Chuba, who provide additional assistance.

On page 100, Biff chances to meet Mike, who just happens to be looking for Biff because his father just managed to run into Mr. Brewster in India. Consider that India had a population of 462 million in 1962, and these acquaintances just happen to find each other.

On page 105, Biff wishes his uncle, Charlie Keene, were there to fly him to his destination.  Promptly, we learn that Uncle Charlie has been called to India.  How convenient!

Having most of Biff's friends from other countries show up in India is very hard to believe and detracts from the story.  Most of them were invited to come, so that is why they appear, but it is not logical that they would all be able to afford to come.  This also makes for too many characters, and I found that most of them do very little.  Their presence is distracting. 

Two of Biff's friends are used as bait for a tiger, which is just amazing.  The boys somehow agree to be the bait inside a cage while others hope to shoot the tiger when it attacks.  Of course, the tiger does not cooperate, and several people end up in grave danger.

I greatly enjoyed a small part of this book.  Regarding the rest of the book, I enjoyed some parts and found some parts to be a little boring.  The travelogue aspect was too significant for this book, and that took away from my enjoyment.  I also felt that there were a few too many names and people of which to keep track.  Having all of Biff's friends around was a bit confusing.

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