Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Christopher Pike Secret of Ka and Strange Girl

In The Secret of Ka, Sara is on vacation in Istanbul.  The goal is to spend the summer with her father, who works in Turkey, except Sara's father is too busy to spend time with her.  Sara meets Amesh, and while in his company, she discovers a magical carpet.

The carpet communicates with Sara by spelling out words when Sara asks it questions.  Even better, the carpet can fly! Sara and Amesh are taken to a mysterious island where temples surround a body of water.  Inside one of the temples, Amesh awakens a djinn and makes a wish.  Sara has learned about the djinn from the carpet, and she warns Amesh of the danger of making additional wishes, as he will become beholden to the djinn.  Thus begins a dangerous adventure in which Sara must find a way to destroy Amesh's djinn before it is too late.

This book has some false information about Turkey and Istanbul which I did not notice, simply because I haven't thought about Turkey and its history in many years.  The false information is quite glaring to those who are knowledgeable about Turkey.  When this book was published, an Amazon reviewer pointed out the problems, and several accounts defended Pike rather strongly.  Those responses have been deleted by Amazon, but apparently those accounts were either Pike or someone very close to him. Pike probably learned from that experience that it is best just to ignore criticism.

Even though the book has those inconsistencies, it is still a very good book.  Both Sara and Amesh have some very annoying personal qualities, but the story is good.  I love the idea of going on a flying carpet to a mysterious island.

In Strange Girl, Fred meets the new girl in town, Aja, who seems detached somehow, and refers to herself as "this body."  Aja can get a rowdy crowd to calm down without saying a word, and she has the ability to heal people.  Aja's healing abilities are shown in a YouTube video that goes viral, and soon, Aja is the center of unwanted attention.

Before I read this book, I could tell by the synopsis that this story is like another version of Pike's adult novel, Sati.  I was not surprised at how Strange Girl ends, since Sati ends in the same fashion.

I don't care for Sati and do not find it very interesting.  This book is like an improved version of Sati.  This book is overall good to very good.  It's still not one of my favorites, but I like it better than Sati.

I have now finished reading every book ever written by Christopher Pike.  Pike's strongest books are his vintage teen books from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pike's more recent work is also good, but I feel like his vintage books are the best.  Nostalgia may also be a factor, since I read most of those books when I was young.

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