- Title: The Coordinate
- Author: Marc Jacobs
- Series: The Coordinate
- Genre: Sci-Fi
- Publishing Date: May 26th, 2019
- Publishing Co.: Bowker
- Length: 326 pages
- Format: Kindle Unlimited, Paperback
- Acquired: Gifted free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
- Amazon Link: The Coordinate
Logan West and Emma James grew up together but are now high school seniors going in totally opposite directions after graduation. When they are assigned to work together on one last history project, they hardly expect the monotony of high school life to change. Instead, as they decode a series of unexplained clues hidden within their history project itself, Logan and Emma manage to unfold an ancient mystery that has baffled scientists and archeologists, one with powerful implications for the present day. As they embrace the adventure they’ve stumbled upon, and a growing romantic attraction to each other, Logan and Emma find themselves caught up in a dangerous, high-stakes race across the globe to decipher mankind’s past in order to save humanity’s future, not to mention their very own lives, with a mystery that just might reach towards the stars…
First Chapter Challenge: 14 pages
In this first chapter, we meet Dr. Arenot, an archaeologist who just may have stumbled upon a grand discovery… the Secret Chamber of the White-Eyed Star God. I am intrigued! I love history and I really enjoy National Treasure and the Da Vinci Code! I’m hoping that this book is like those. Mysteries, history, and a little bit of danger mixed in? Sounds right up my alley! Let’s find out what this discovery means!
Final Judgment: 3 Stars out of 5
In this novel, branded a sci-fi by the author, but which I think of more as a YA Adventure/Da Vinci Code, two high schoolers–former best friends who sadly grew apart–are tasked with the history project of researching the Secret Chamber of the White-Eyed Star God in the Copan Temple. As they navigate past missing webpages, a trip to Europe, time traveling, the President of the United States, and aliens, Emma and Logan find themselves unraveling the mystery of the stars. What will they find? And will they even survive their discovery?
This is a a novel catering to teenagers and young adults. I found it extremely easy to read, with many unrealistic expectations. Emma and Logan are able to run off to Europe together without their parents knowing in the blink of an eye. They also unraveled the clues to the mystery much too easily, especially considering much more educated people have worked on it for years. Additionally, at one point, one of the main characters gets shot in the leg, and simply brushes it off. What teenager could do that? And then, after receiving medical care at a hospital, the doctor simply asks the patient if they want crutches, and they wave him off and are walking on that same leg within 12 hours of just getting shot. Not to mention that that person is then sprinting, ducking, and dodging around a day later. If the audience can suspend their beliefs for the entire book, that would be ideal. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to reach that point of unreality, and it definitely hindered my reading experience.
Logan went back to the search results and clicked through Page 2, then to Page 3, and onward until he went through them all and there were no more relevant results to look at. …All… produced the same error message, “Page Not Found.” Although Logan did not want to say the word out loud, he couldn’t help but think it… this had the look and feel of, well, a conspiracy. (pg 29)
There is a bit of romance nestled in the story, but again, it is unbelievable and somewhat shoved in. The two protagonists just happen to be ex best friends, the girl’s “boyfriend” proves to be no obstacle, and without any sort of bonding or tangible moments, the two fall in love. Conveniently. It’s almost too much to swallow. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both of the characters, but there was no reason for them to have a romantic streak other than to check a box for another overdone trope. Again, this is why I highly suggest that this book be read by YA fans only. Me, I tend to stay away from YA, and I bet you can see why! But really, this book would be much better suited to teenagers.
As for the plot itself, I did find myself enjoying the novel once I got about halfway through and things started picking up. I liked learning about history–or at least feeling like I was learning about history. I have absolutely no idea if the facts from the book were fictionalized to create the mystery, or if they are actually right. Perhaps someone more dedicated than I can fact check! But anyway, the plot was extremely fast-paced, with the kids unraveling one clue after another, taking them across the world. There was practically no waiting to see what would happen next, because it would just happen. I will say that this novel did reignite within me my yearning to travel… As well as my desire to discover things! It was fun. I liked feeling like I was on the verge of a great discovery and that I could do practically anything. I will admit that I was living vicariously through the characters… Just a little bit.
“We need your help to save the world. Now who works in a comic books store and doesn’t dream of that?” (pg 254)
There were also many plot twists, that even though the book is YA (in my not-so-humble opinion) and very easy to read (style-wise), I had no idea what would happen next. The first half of the book gave me absolutely no insight into what would happen in the last half. It took a completely unexpected turn and transformed itself into something entirely different from what I was expecting. For this, I applaud Marc Jacobs, because I find YA books to be very lacking in their surprise factors. The book also becomes much more sci-fi the further into it you read… If that gives you any hints.
I also did like the fact that Jacobs includes pictures for us in the novel. It really helps the readers to visualize exactly what Emma and Logan are dealing with, making us feel like we are figuring out the mystery along with them. Now if only they would share some of their credit with me!
Overall, this novel would be a great fast-paced adventure/mystery-solving story for YA readers. It has a dash of romance and a helping of sci-fi, and it is only the first book in a series! I may not pick up the sequel, but I am not quite the fan of the YA genre as I used to be. If you are, consider this for your next read!