The Adventures of Lilli and Zane #1 of
Cedar Fort, Inc.
June 12, 2012 / ISBN 978-1462110230
Science Fiction/ Fantasy, & Magic/ Children's 12+
by Beth E. McKenzie
Lilli Mitchell is the daughter of Arlette and JC, two very successful
ancient artifact hunters. She lives next door to Zane, who she has
known since they were babies, and his eight-year old brother Teddy.
Arlette was accidentally killed by the henchmen of a rival antiquities
collector, the Russian Zorav, after she sent Lilli an enigmatic
golden flute for her birthday (FedEx-three days to Houston) "found"
somewhere in Egypt. Zorav is trying to bring about the end of the
world as we know it by finding particular artifacts that will call
forth Atlantis from its hidden place. The flute that makes no sound
is an essential part of the transformation and Arlette understands
its role and the significance of notable gemstones going missing
throughout the world.
"Arlette understands" is the proper phrasing because while
she is dead on the plane of this Earth she is has moved on to the
next plane and is in contact with JC and Lilli through their dreams,
to Lilli's confusion and delight, and JC's confusion and grief.
Lilli listens to her mother and with childlike desperation and trust
she and the brothers travel across Europe to not only save the planet
but also each other. Many metaphysical subjects are brought together
in this story: Atlantis, Ley Lines, Stonehenge, clairaudience, messages
from the dead, chakras, mind control, and hopefully it will lead
young adults to read about these subjects and the legends associated
with the places described. As noted by Teddy, much of the information
is freely available on the Internet, and I believe that greater
knowledge will only add to the enjoyment from future books in this
The author describes this book as "Romancing the Stone for
young adults" and I can see it. Kathleen Turner could easily
be Arlette sneaking through the rough streets of Egypt and glowingly
in Atlantis. I can also see Michael Douglas as JC, but not like
the adventurer Jack Colton. JC is more like Mr. Douglas was in "A
Perfect Murder", busy and distant, then turning feral when
it comes time to fight for what he cares about. There is definitely
romance in the air as the popular Zane notices that the younger
Teddy is star-struck by Lilli and wonders why he never thought about
her that way before. Hopefully he will have a few more chances to
answer that question!
The screenplay for the movie, "Romancing the Stone" was
written by Diane Thomas (1946-1985). In the movie, the female protagonist,
Joan Wilder, is a romance novelist and at least for a short time
during the screening you are led to believe that what you have seen
is just another one of Joan's imaginative works of fiction. The
1984 edition of the screenplay novelization is by Catharine Lanigan
and published under the pen name Joan Wilder.
Amazon Links for Romancing the Stone:
with Sequel, Jewel of the Nile || A