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Book Review: Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle by Kam Karem

Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle by Kam Karem

Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle is book 2 of The Guardian Chronicles, a contemporary scify-fantasy-green mixed genre series with secret schools, spaceships, epic battles, & evil demi-gods.

Ranger, a Lebanese-American teenager, inherits a magic ax and and the family feud with the demi-god Gilgamesh of epic fame. The stories take place in a secret school located inside a mountain in Lebanon where teenagers are trained to be part of the Phoenician Spaceship Merchant Marine.

In the first book, Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom, Ranger has to stop Gilgamesh from destroying the cedar forest. In Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle, Ranger loses his crew and his ship to a bad decision. He compounds his troubles when he “borrows” the legendary six-bull ship and flies it solo to solve a mystery, a riddle, and a crime.

Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle Review

I was compensated with a small amount for my time and effort in reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the publisher in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.

The second book in The Guardian Chronicles series, Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle, it combines elements of fantasy, environmental problems, and modern science fiction. The narrative centers on Ranger Nader, a teenage Lebanese-American who becomes embroiled in a family dispute with Gilgamesh, the demi-god. The story takes place at a covert school tucked away in a Lebanon mountain where young people are being prepared for the Phoenician Spaceship Merchant Marine. Ranger finds himself in possession of a mystical axe and must fight formidable foes.

In the follow-up to the previous novel, Ranger encounters fresh difficulties after foiling Gilgamesh’s schemes. He makes a snap decision that costs him both his crew and the ship, which forces him to set out on a solo mission onboard the fabled six-bull ship. Ranger’s voyage takes place in a vividly imagined universe full of spacecraft, dramatic battles, and mythological creatures. He is tasked with solving a mystery, a riddle, and a crime.

For me, it was thrilling to follow Ranger’s journey in this book! As I said when I reviewed the first book, I got really invested in Ranger’s growth and couldn’t wait to see how the story would play out. Thankfully, this sequel exceeded my hopes. It deftly expands upon the aspects of the first novel that I found so compelling, including the complex interpersonal interactions, the elaborate world-building, the thrilling action passages, and the use of Gilgamesh mythology.

What’s really admirable about this second book is how it improves upon these elements as well as adds to them, giving an already captivating story more nuance and complexity. I loved the first book and thought this sequel was a great continuation of it; it kept the spirit of what made the previous book so interesting and fun while allowing the tale to move forward smoothly.

The humor in this book was one area where I felt it had improved significantly from the last one. Compared to the first book, I found the comedy in this part to be more captivating and real. The jokes in book two regularly captured my attention and made me laugh out loud, whereas the comedy in book one felt forced or didn’t work for me. The way the humor was woven throughout the character interactions and dynamics was really well-done, adding to the entire reading experience.

The characters’ eccentricities felt more realistic and natural because of this seamless integration of humor, which helped to avoid the awkward or juvenile feeling that occasionally accompanies humor attempts. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of Ranger’s personal development throughout book two was responsible for this improvement. It’s clear that Ranger’s humor changes as he grows as a person and reflects that development. This adds a deeper level of complexity to the narrative, which I thought was entertaining and thought-provoking.

Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle proves itself to be a worthy continuation of The Guardian Chronicles series, building upon the strengths of its predecessor while adding new components that contribute to the enjoyment of the first book. The compelling world-building enhances the reader’s experience by giving the story more depth and interest and combining elements of modern science fiction, fantasy, and mythology.

Additionally, the series’ ability to fascinate and entertain is demonstrated by the continual enjoyment experienced across both books, despite substantial advancements in humor and other areas. Readers are treated to an engaging story that strengthens with each page turn as Ranger’s journey progresses, making Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle a worthy addition to the series that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next entry.

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About the Author of Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle

My mother’s family, the Karems, immigrated to the United States from Becharre (Bshari), Lebanon in the early 1900s. In Becharre, they, and the town’s other inhabitants served as “Keepers of the Cedars of God” for generations. This famous grove was part of the tremendous forests that used to cover most of Lebanon. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh seeks fame and glory by cutting down Lebanon’s cedar forest. I thought this ancient tension between protectors of the environment and developers made the perfect foil for Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom, and I hope you will too. I’m proud to say, The Guardian Chronicles, book two is also out. In Ranger Nader & The Unsolvable Riddle, Ranger “borrows” the legendary six-bull ship and tries to fly it solo to solve a mystery, a riddle, and a crime. It’s a fun filled syfy-fantasy adventure where Ranger makes some bad choices and learns to be a team player.

When I’m not writing, i represent people as they navigate the tricky pathways of our legal system. I have a Masters in Litigation from Emory University, a JD from the University of Louisville, and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Bellarmine University. My law practice is located in Olde Town Conyers, Georgia and we are strong supporters of our local community. For the last two years, I’ve been co-Chair of which my law firm sponsors. For those who are interested, I have two cats, three children, and one husband. In my spare time I run, hike, and read, read, read.

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