Cover Image: People of the Sun

People of the Sun

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Member Reviews

This is book three in The Eye of Ra series which follows John and Sarah as they travel through time, finding themselves in the time of the Aztec. This is fun continuation of this time-travel fantasy series for middle graders.
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The last book in the series and it's so good. I really enjoy the adventure and the mythology in this book. I can't recommend more!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC


The explosive reveal about who John and Sarah really are and why they’re traveling through time, with their most gut-wrenching challenge yet. In the time of the Aztec, a scoundrel named Cortés arrives and the kids are forced to make an extremely difficult decision: If you could change history, should you?

For more twists, more danger, and more fun, read the third book in The Eye of Ra series, People of the Sun!
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Are you looking for a fun, quick paced, time traveling adventure? Then People of the Sun is for you. In this last book in the Eye of Ra series, John and Sarah must once again travel through time to save history and themselves. Through their travel to the future and the past, secrets are revealed about their identity and time travel. Intertwined in their story are fun historical facts about the Aztec people and time period. If you want to know more, you will need to grab a cup of xocolatl and a comfy place to read. This is one adventure you don't want to miss!
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“And though Cortes waved the flag of Catholicism, the only god he bowed to was one of gold and jewels and power”

I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read People of the Sun!  The story follows John and Sarah as they spend time with their Aunt Lorraine before they are whisked away into the past, in order to save the progression of history.  I enjoyed this fast-paced time travelling adventure and recommend it to those who like time-travel themed books and the historical fiction genre, particularly readers aged 11-14.

While I am not likely the intended audience for this book, I am always on the lookout for History based novels that I can recommend to my students in order to engage them in our classroom studies from an entertaining angle.  I wasn’t aware this book was part of a series going in, however, it did a good job making references to past adventures, without bogging me down with long winded individual recounts of the first two books.  I was truly captivated by the opening line “The ground shook like the end of the world”, it was textbook; simple, to the point and hooked me into wanting to read more.  The book uses vocabulary that while challenging, could open up broader conversations about people and the world around them (eg. Tectonic plates, tremors, PhD scientists, skin grafts, incapacitate).  In addition, it uses very vivid and descriptive language that really sets the scene and allows young audiences to be present in the story.

From very early in the story, we can see the potential flaws of our main characters (Sarah is impulsive and reckless and John is anxious) giving immediate potential for character growth and development.  The dual/alternating point of view story telling allowed for both characters to express their self-doubts and frustrations in their own unique voice (Sarah is fed up from having to save the world from grave danger and at times, John doubts the success of their past adventures altogether).  These very differing personalities explored from their own point of view, will certainly provide young audiences with the ability to at least identify with one of these characters, if not, aspects of both of their personalities.  Often, readers, especially young readers feel dejected and discouraged reading about past civilisations as the names are difficult for them to pronounce, I thought it was very beneficial to have the phonetic pronunciations woven into the story in order to empower readers to really immerse themselves in the story instead of glossing over new vocabulary.

The underlying theme of this book the existence of fate and destiny and this is foreshadowed incredibly early (Aunt Lorraine’s story of how she met John and Sarah’s Uncle Ed) and maintained throughout the book.  The rhetorical question “If you could change history, should you?” is eloquently posed in the first third of the novel and is the driving force of these themes throughout the story.  It also poses a very good debate question to have before, during and after reading the story and considering the different perspectives of different characters, while Toci is ultimately placed as an antagonist in the story, she is a character I sympathised with and her intentions were good.

While I understand for time travel stories to work, the lore but be explicitly and clearly established in order to provide the story structure, I personally found this part of the story a bit dry and I wonder how many young readers in particular would be able to ‘keep up’ with the explanations occurring.  It is a simple matter of preference though, I am sure there are many other readers who will feel incredibly entertained by the establishment of RA, but for me, it felt like a barrier stopping me from getting to the actual time travelling and preventing me from entering the Aztec Empire.

As someone with a profound love of History, I found this book incredibly enjoyable.  It interwove a lot of authentic information on Mesoamerican geography and Aztec culture, I in particular could identify with Toci and her awe and wonder at being in the Palace after reading about it and studying it for so long.  And, as a teacher, it is a book I would absolutely recommend to my students (particularly in the 11-14 age bracket) as it is fast paced and well structured.

#PeopleoftheSun #NetGalley
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The younger members enjoy the excitement and adventure of this series of books. Personally I like that it gets them much more interested in history and they then tend to do research into the time period we have just read about. Win win .A good series.
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This series just keeps getting more intricate and exciting! Siblings John and Sarah have already traveled back to the town of Saqqara in ancient Egypt in book #1 and to Aventicum in ancient Rome in book #2. But in People of the Sun, they must now travel to what has been historically referred to as the time of Aztec (or the Mexica people). It’s clearly a darker period in history and more about their paradox is fleshed out as they must ask difficult philosophical questions about whether one life is more precious than another or how to properly determine who deserves to live or die in an effort to save the future. This book introduces a new purpose for the sibling duo and we meet a mysterious older couple who seem to know them. Book #3 was, by far, my favorite installment of the series. The story has really stuck with me and since Gartner left an opening for more installments, I’m very hopeful this isn’t the last we see of John and Sarah! I’ve especially appreciated the development of the brother/sister relationship throughout this series as they mature. I am so happy to recommend this entire series. This title will be released February 1st, so go pre-order TODAY! Also, be sure to check out Ben Gartner’s website for more information about the series, including FREE teacher guides to each book!!

SERIES AWARDS TO DATE: ⭐️ Gold Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence ⭐️ Grand Prize Winner, Colorado Author Project ⭐️ 1st Place, Gertrude Warner Middle Grade Fiction Award ⭐️ Gold Medal in Children’s 4th-6th, 2021 International Readers’ Favorite Awards ⭐️ Silver Medal in Children’s Adventure, 2020 International Readers’ Favorite Awards ⭐️ Award-winning Finalist, Next Generation Book Awards ⭐️ 1st Place in both Children’s Adventure AND Grades 4th-6th, 2020 TopShelf Awards

My thanks to Ben Gartner, Crescent Vista Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This is probably my favorite of the 3 books in the series so far. I barely know anything about Aztec culture so I loved learning more. I also feel like the stakes are higher now, we got more explanations about how time travel works, what's been going on. I assume there will be more books but this one feels like a tipping point.
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In anticipation for this fantastic book, I first read the two previous books. Whilst this isn't entirely needed to understand this, it is highly recommended since this book is an absolute blast! The characters are fantastic, the world building is brilliant and the historical aspects make me smile. 

4/5 stars.
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This book does a great job tying up all the loose ends from the story, while also letting you imagine what might happen next for John and Sarah.

In this third book of the Eye of Ra series, John and Sarah discover how and why they are traveling through time and are given their next mission. The book is filled with adventure, twists, and turns.

I would highly recommend this series for kids interested in history or for kids who enjoyed The Magic Treehouse series.
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This was a thrilling addition to the series. There was plenty of adventure to pull the story forward and was a great joy to read aloud to my child. I would recommend this series to parents.
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This is the third adventure for Sarah and John involving time travel by Ben Gartner. I haven’t read the earlier two books which maybe meant that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped. 
Sarah and John have to travel back in time to Mexico when Cortes and the Spanish were taking control of the country. The plot is really well thought out and the period has been incredibly well researched. The characters of John and Sarah show them as distinct individuals.  They tell the story in alternate chapters from their differing viewpoints although they do seem extremely grown up for the actual ages that they are meant to be. The book doesn’t shy away from the difficult questions around time travel and there is a lot of discussion about whether atrocities should be prevented. 
I didn’t find the writing style especially engaging. The first part of the book was very heavy with explanations and setting up the story and I’m not sure how many children would have persevered with this. A lot of the conversations in the book didn’t seem as natural as they should and many of the less main characters seemed a bit two dimensional.  I enjoyed the historical side of the book but as a whole, it wasn’t for me.
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Thankyou for giving me the chance to read. It was a good read but not my favourite genre. Nevertheless would recommend to all.
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Exceptional, Interesting and Mythological; one of the best children fiction I have read in a long time. Increasing my curiosity for the Aztec clan.
Read More below with the link provided
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I want to thank Netgalley for and ARC of this book. I went into this book unaware it was the third offering in a trilogy but I found early on that it was wawy to follow John and Sarah on their adventure. 

Sarah and John are back again to help where they can back in history, but this time it starts as a fun “I’m a time Traveller from the future and you have to come with me to save the world”. From there they have to go back in time to set things right back in ancient Mexico with the Aztec people.

Like I said I missed the first two books but the author did a great job filling in the gaps by reaching back and sharing details that happened in the previous two books. Ben Gartner built a world that mixed history, geography and adventure that sucked me in and held me through all of the pages. 

, This is an amazing time-traveling historical adventure that is perfect for all ages and I highly recommend this to anyone in search of a great time!
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First of this series for me and it was an interesting middle grade read.  I would definitely recommend this to the younger readers in the family and our local library.
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What worked:
The story deals with time travel, and these kinds of books usually tip-toe around the paradoxes created. Should a person change the past if they have the opportunity? What happens if you go back in time and accidentally kill your parent? You never would have been born, so how could you go back in time to cause the accident? This book deals with the paradoxes head-on, as the characters form a philosophy about changing the past. Some changes are inconsequential and don’t affect history in the long run, but other changes may be needed to correct the overall storyline. 
A large issue is the question of what is right when it comes to changing events. Should we stop an invading ruler from murdering thousands of people in a country? Should we prevent the atomic bomb from being dropped on Hiroshima? What if saving thousands of lives would lead to the slaughter of millions more people? What if stopping a destructive invention would lead to a worse one being created later? Or eliminating one discovery could prevent more useful ideas from ever being realized? Just because the kids can change events in history, should they?
The plot is told from Paul and Sarah’s alternating points of view, and they each present unique perspectives to the book. John tends to think things through before making decisions, and he’s dedicated to maintaining the existing timeline. Sarah is more impulsive, and she’s open to changing historical events to save lives. Who’s to say a better future might result, but then again, that brings up the question of what is better? This contrast between characters adds unpredictability to the story. Add that to the uncertainty from interacting with characters from the past, and the result is an exciting adventure through time.
What didn’t work as well:
Reading the previous books isn’t essential, but it definitely helps. I hadn’t read them, so references made to prior books and events left me wondering. This book is still able to stand alone, as it introduces some series-changing information about what’s been going on. The problem of missing out on past events can easily be solved by reading the first two books!
The Final Verdict:
A ripple in time can be devastating. Cortes massacres an entire population out of existence, but Paul and Sarah must allow it to happen. The book is recommended for lovers of time travel and history, as it addresses a critical moment in Mexico’s history. The previous two books should be read first to understand the full situation, but this book can still be enjoyed on its own.
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We were very kindly gifted the latest instalment of the fantastic time-travelling series 'Eye of Ra' by Ben Gartner. We love history here at PartridgePages so were very excited to read & review the third book - 'People of the Sun' time-travelling back to ancient Mexica! 

Here is what we thought....

Bella - 10/10

I thought 'People of The Sun' was a really, really great book! It had a fascinating story with lots of suspense and twists and turns! I loved all of the characters, they were really interesting, especially Ome and Huitzi from ancient Mexica! I loved that they could travel back in time, I want my very own Eye of Ra! I really want to read the other books in this series now because even though it was a story book, it taught me about about history and made me want to learn more about the Aztecs!  

Charlotte - 9/10

I have to admit, we are new to the 'Eye of Ra' series but after reading 'People of the Sun', an incredibly unique and thrilling tale, we are now definitely super fans, and will have to invest in all of the books! John and Sarah possess their very own time travel device, the eye of ra,  and travel back to the time of the Aztecs to face the evil Cortes, but they face a very difficult decision- If you could change history, should you? 

The story is the perfect balance of education, adventure and suspense, we can't wait for the next one!
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I want to thank Netgalley again for letting me read this early copy of People of The Sun! I went into this book unaware it was the third in a trilogy but that did not affect my ability to enjoy the story at all! 
Sarah and John are back again to help where they can back in history, but this time it starts as a fun “I’m a time Traveller from the future and you have to come with me to save the world”. From there they have to go back in time to set things right back in ancient Mexico with the Aztec people. 
There is definitely context from the past books I’ve missed but this one does a great job filling in the missing pieces. I can tell Ben Gartner did his research when it came to the history in the book. Overall, it was a fantastic time-traveling historical adventure that is perfect for all ages and will definitely be popping back to the previous to to get my fill of John and Sarah’s other adventures!

#PeopleofTheSun #Netgalley
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People of the Sun (The Eye of Ra, #3) by Ben Gartner

Siblings John and Sarah are hiking in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California while visiting their Aunt Lorraine when an earthquake shakes the ground. There is a flash of light and suddenly two strangers are standing in front of them. Who are these strangers and why are they telling John and Sarah that they must restore the past to save the future? And so another adventure begins....

In this adventure John and Sarah must travel back to ancient Mexico to the time of the Aztecs. The strangers charge them with finding an Aztec woman, Toci, and keeping her from changing history. Will they be able to meet the challenge and save the future? Along the way they must wrestle with the question, "if you can change history, should you"? 

Ben Gartner has done it again! Action and adventure with some time travel thrown in; what's not to like? I believe this book can be read as a standalone. But, I highly recommend reading the first two books, The Eye of Ra and Sol Invictus, in this series. I highly recommend this book with a solid 4 stars.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the overall curb appeal of this book; another great cover art design by Anne Glenn Design.

Full Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through NewGalley and author Ben Garner, received in Kindle format, in exchange for an honest review. #PeopleoftheSun #NetGalley

My Rating System: 
* not worth finishing, ** would not recommend, *** would recommend, **** would highly recommend, ***** have/would read again.
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I usually read an except before requesting a book, but I was lured into reading People Of the Sun because of the good cover, the fact that it was the third in a series, and the quote from the Kirkus review, “An engaging…twist filled plot.” I should have read the excerpt. The writing style is not to my taste: too much exposition in narrative and in dialogue, awkward body language, and inconsistent point of view. But if kids read one of the earlier books in this series and enjoyed it, they will probably like this one, too. The story gets off to a slow start—lots of backstory and explanations of how the time travel works. The action doesn’t really get going until chapter twelve. From there on out, the story is a lot more fun with plenty of action and surprises.
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