Sara is a 15-year-old American girl who visits Turkey in order to spend the summer with her father. Her fantastical adventures are described in Christopher Pike’s The Secret of Ka. Sara’s father seems to be too busy to spend time with her so she jumps at the excuse to visit him at his job site, facilitated by an attractive Arab boy, Amesh. A mysterious discovery at the site leads the two of them on a wondrous journey that includes a magic carpet, awe-inspiring temples and forbidding and dangerous djinn who have goals that don’t necessarily include benefits for the humans they are dealing with. Amesh is missing a hand and refuses to truthfully explain how he lost it and is prone to adhere to his country’s condescending attitude toward females but must learn to adapt to Sara’s American attitudes. Sara discovers there are depths to herself that she never knew about and struggles to reconcile her attraction for Amesh with her dislike of some of his attitudes and actions. The two must learn to work together to avoid a disaster that could change the entire world.
This was an enjoyable story that blends elements of modern teenage lifestyles with legends and tales based on Middle Eastern beliefs. Glimpses of the disparity between economic classes are a little muddied by anomalies such as a telephone and television in a hovel made of sheet metal and cardboard but the overall storyline is entertaining. Hopefully, Sara will continue to have even more adventures with her new and newly reacquainted helpers.