The Code Hunters – Book Review

“I’ve got to go to Carlsbad!”

Mystery novels have always appealed to me – I’ve always wanted to write a successful one! This book has restored my faith and helped me to realise that with the right planning and structure, it can be done! This book was a brilliant mystery/adventure read, and a definite choice for fans of Indiana Jones and The Da Vinci Code.

The Code Hunters: A Nicholas Foxe Adventure by Jackson Coppley follows a wealthy explorer, who leads an unlikely team to solve the mystery of a strange code. However, danger lies ahead. Will the team be able to work together so solve The Tablet’s code, or will those who threaten to destroy it succeed before they get there?

The beginning.

At the start of the story, we land right in the middle of Littleton, Josh and Jeremy’s exploration. Exploring new places and discovering things which had never been found before really appealed to me. We are also introduced to a bunch of other characters who would obviously become significant to the rest of the story. Coppley has gone into immense detail with his character descriptions, and before the story has even begun, we know an awful lot about who we’re following, their personalities and their personal lives. Solid characters = a yes from me!

Nick Foxe has a very Indiana Jones/Nathan Drake vibe about him, and after hearing more about the cavern and their discovery, I began to enjoy the story more and more. We briefly follow a character named Randy, who finds it very difficult to keep the important information about the discovery a secret. Even though he only just manages it, it doesn’t stop other people from finding out… I love how each chapter ends on a cliffhanger – it quickly becomes harder and harder to take a break from this book.

Very early on in the book, we see the introduction of a lot of characters. Even though the description is great, there are a lot of characters and their stories to keep up with at any one time. It was sometimes difficult to remember who was who at the start, but the more you read, the more it sinks in. All characters have their own crucial roles in the story and it does all click together really well. I was very interested to see how each character’s separate story joined together later on in the book.

“Ed had a face molded like play-dough by a child with no sense of proportion.”

I was really intrigued by the discovery of the cavern and the unidentifiable markings no one could decipher. I had so many questions about them – What are they? Who put them there? What do they mean? Will we discover more? Coppley has done a fantastic job of keeping the reader wanting more, and even though he doesn’t give anything away too soon, it makes our imaginations work overtime to try and get some answers.

The middle.

Something strange happens in one of the caves. After finding someone in the inside who seemed to be tampering with historical artifacts and the unexpected explosion of a bomb, things began to get more serious and exciting. Why would someone want to destroy history? Could this be linked to the recent discovery of The Tablet in the other cavern? I loved this particular part of the story and just when we feel things are going in the right direction for the characters, something happens to delay them or throw them off course. Very mysterious!

At the end of some select chapters in the story, we hear about ‘The Stranger’. Of course, as a reader, we have no idea who this person is. Why do they know so much about the discovery? Also, how does this ‘Stranger’ know about what is happening in the cavern without even being present? This seems to be an on going mystery in the book and I was really looking forward to seeing which direction this would go, and also if the identity of this person would ever be revealed.

The connection between music and language was a really great, unexpected addition to the story line. It was educating and I found myself learning more and more about different theories. The more I read, the more I appreciated how difficult it must have been to write the main plot like this. There’s so much to fit together and the task of keeping the reader interested enough to continue must have been hard to perfect. I think Coppley found a great balance here and I loved it! Especially when the music reveals something so incredible, something we didn’t expect…

“So, whoever put it there, wanted it to be discovered? And only when man had the equipment and brainpower to understand what they left?”

Tanner becomes a character that we begin to question an awful lot. I thought this particular character was really well created and portrayed. We find it difficult to be able to trust him at this point, yet he still has a strange, likeable quality about him. Perhaps it’s his sense of humour, or his relaxed personality, even though there are many serious events going on. Saying this, I feel every main character in this book has been created with immense care and detail.

The group’s trip to Italy helped them to understand the discovery in a little more detail. It was also incredibly interesting to me as a reader too, to hear about how they could solve the code. So complex and involving, but something that we can also understand. Would the team be able to use what they found out in Italy to decipher and solve the code? Or will things continue to be mystery? I had so many ideas about how the end of the story could go, and I was excited to see whether any of my theories were right!

The end.

Throughout this book, I liked how all the characters constantly looked out for one another and worked as a team to try and solve the mystery of the code. To do so, they had to travel across the world, meet new people and use their brains and initiative to problem solve and find some crucial answers. I grew really fond of this team, and by the end, I found myself rooting for them more than I expected. I wanted them to find the answers they were looking for – not only for their sake, but for mine too!

Working out a complex code was difficult, but I enjoyed all the necessary steps the characters had to take. As well as this task, it was really nice to see certain character’s relationships blossom. It was at this point where we got to know more about Nick and Tanner; about their lives and what’s to come for them in the future once their quests are complete.

The team of explorers must travel to a few final places before the story ends, but they’re crucial for the ending of the book. Right until the last moment, I was fully invested in the adventure and the potential danger the characters were in. Will the outcome be the same for all characters? Will they finally finish the job they set out to do safely?

“I am certain this is the only way. I have no choice.”

As I reached the ending of the book, I felt like a lot of my questions had been answered. However, there was still definite room for a sequel! I’d personally love more adventures of Nicholas Foxe and the team of explorers, and would be interested to see how other books in this series would unfold.

Overall thoughts.

This book was perfectly descriptive and I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery solving elements. The characters, although there are many, really made the story complete. Their relationships with one another gave me a few laughs too. Coppley has created a solid plot, and each scene, chapter and conversation has created a fantastic novel. I look forward to checking out more of his work!

Thanks so much to Jackson Coppley for submitting his novel for me to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of The Code Hunters: A Nicolas Foxe Adventure on Amazon, available on Kindle and paperback. 📚 Follow Jackson on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.

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