Monday, June 29, 2015

Biff Brewster #8 Caribbean Pearls and #9 Egyptian Scarab Mystery

In Biff Brewster #8, Mystery of the Caribbean Pearls, Biff travels to the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean at the request of Uncle Charlie.  During Biff's flight, he meets another boy, Derek, who looks just like Biff.  Once the plane lands, Biff is abducted after the villains mistake him for Derek.  The villains are seeking the location of a pearl fishery found by Derek's father.

During this book, the inconsistencies caused by the series having multiple authors become apparent to the reader.  At the beginning of this book, Biff's mother refers to Charles Keene and the difficult situation in China from the second book rather than what just happened to Biff and his uncle in Mystery of the Ambush in India.  On page seven we learn that Biff has only heard from Uncle Charlie once since China, and that was in a letter.  What about Mystery of the Ambush in India?!  Biff just flew on a plane with Charlie!  These inconsistencies were caused by several different authors writing these books simultaneously.  This thirteen book series was published in just five years.

It's so strange that Biff has a double who happens to be the son of the man Uncle Charlie is helping.  It's a bit too convenient.

Biff is an idiot in this book.  He puts forth great effort in getting away from the villains who think he is Derek.  So what does Biff do?  He goes right back to the villains while pretending to be Derek, thinking the villains will have a chat with him and then let him go.  Biff's purpose is to delay the villains.  Of course Biff is imprisoned, and he can't believe that he and his uncle didn't think of the possibility of the villains keeping Biff prisoner.  Um, they were trying to capture Biff while thinking he was Derek.  Why wouldn't they keep Biff when he goes back pretending to be Derek?

Later, Uncle Charlie shows up to rescue Biff.  Biff invites Charlie to join him as a prisoner.  Yes, you just read that right.  Biff enjoys being a prisoner and wants Charlie to join him!  Biff is actually using a ploy to gain the trust of a simpleminded man, but the events are too stupid.

I enjoyed the travelogue information in this book, especially about the 1902 volcanic eruption.  I took a moment to look up the story of the eruption, as I found it quite interesting.

I greatly enjoyed most of this book, despite how stupid parts of the plot are.  If the book had been edited a bit or partially rewritten, it would have been outstanding.

In Biff Brewster #9, Egyptian Scarab Mystery, Biff and his father travel to Egypt, where they search for the lost tomb of Prince Reth.  Biff is given a scarab for luck before he leaves for Egypt.  Strange men follow Biff around and try to thwart the Brewsters' plan.

I don't get why a valuable scarab was given to Biff.  It plays a minor role in the plot, but it isn't that important.  The result is that this book seems to have come from a rough idea that was not fleshed out properly.  The book is rather forgettable, and I had forgotten most of it by the time I finished reading the Biff Brewster series just days later.

A few parts of the book have too much travelogue information in them, although I greatly enjoyed other parts.  This book is mixed, where I liked some parts and didn't like other parts.  Unfortunately, the book has more parts that I do not like.

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