Foreword Review — Winter 2014
A hearty dose of Hispanic and Native American cultural history enthrallingly pairs with a fast-paced action adventure.
Huber Hill and the Golden Staff of Cibola is the third and final installment in B. K. Bostick’s Huber Hill series. It offers white-knuckle action, realistic Southwestern settings, and thought-provoking mystery as Huber and his pals race against time and foe to find the legendary city of Cibola.
Huber, his sister, Hannah, and their friends have returned to New Mexico from Spain. They must free their parents, who were kidnapped by the Brotherhood of Coronado, and find the lost city of Cibola and the golden staff of its mythical king, El Dorado, before the madman Salazar and the malevolent Brotherhood beat them to it. But first, Huber et al must rescue their friend Malia, who was captured by the Brotherhood; only she can interpret the ancient text describing the legendary landscape. Huber’s mentor and fencing master, Don Carlos, advises him, “A pathway will always present itself to those upon a righteous quest.” Once Huber and his companions have the text, the race is on; sorcery, swordplay, and some quick thinking will all be needed to secure the treasure before it falls into evil hands.
The author’s carefully crafted language will readily engage the intended audience since Bostick blends fantasy with authentic scenarios targeted to their reality. Cell phones, texting, and YouTube references play their roles in the mystery. Bostick, a counselor and educator who resides in the Rocky Mountains, strategically sets Huber’s adventures in such grand natural settings as Carlsbad Caverns and Mirror Lake, which incites teachable opportunities through cyber-exploration. Too, the book presents a sensitive blend of ethnicities, with Hispanic and Native American cultures and their ancient lore central to the plot.
While Golden Staff of Cibola is the third book in a series, it isn’t necessary to have read the others; Bostick ably works in enough backstory during the book’s brief contemplative pauses to help the reader get on board without bogging down the necessarily exploit-packed narrative. The story clips along at a vigorous pace, with plenty of subplots and side adventures to keep youthful minds happily hanging on.
Huber Hill and the Golden Staff of Cibola is a hearty slice of fast-paced action-adventure that serves its intended audience well; middle-school and older readers (including parents) with a bent to action-adventure will definitely find it a satisfying read.