Friday, April 18, 2014

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril(Goldtown Adventures) by Susan Marlow

Canyon of Danger (Goldtown Adventures)


Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch—along with Aunt Rose, that is.

No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts—a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned.

Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills. Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?

Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post–Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.

River of Peril (Goldtown Adventures)


Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t so far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle. When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves? River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways—and lots of gold!

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I'm always looking for adventurous books for my boys. I want to encourage that adventurous and courageous spirit in them, even if that's sometimes(always) hard for me to do. I'm thrilled that they now have this series of books to read.

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril are the 3rd and 4th book in the Goldtown Adventures series. (Badge of Honor and Tunnel of Gold are the 1st and 2nd books, which I haven't read.)

These books are full of action and suspense and mystery. There's a light message about relying on God that I thought was well done. Jem cares greatly for his sister, so I also appreciate the sibling relationship within the stories. There's also great historical value quietly woven within them.

There's also a hand full of pencil drawings throughout the books.

I only had one little issue.

Spoiler alert!!!!!

In Canyon of Danger, Jem skips Sunday Bible class to do some investigating. There seems to be no punishment for doing so. His aunt is simply relieved that he was investigating instead of "peeking at women/gambling". (I would be, too!) I would have preferred it to be clear that what he did was wrong, no matter what he was doing.

End spoiler alert!

Overall, I'm thrilled with these books! I'm excited for my boys to be able to get lost within Jem's adventures.

*Thanks to Kregel Publications for providing me with review copies in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Thanks, Tammy, for your encouraging review. The books were fun to write and research. Oh, and I like your blog. I scrolled down and the Resistance book looks intriguing. Trouble is, when I clicked over to the author's website to learn more, it said, "this blog does not exist." Rats.
    ~ Susan Marlow

    1. Your books were fun to read, too! Thank YOU for putting more great books on my boys' shelves. :)

      I'm not sure what happened with that link, but it is fixed now! :D Thank you for letting me know.

  2. Thanks for spotlighting these books. I think they would be great for my son too, especially since they have a good message.