Canyon Quest

by Jim Ware
Series: The Last Chance Detectives #
269 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

Inconsistent with the original stories (videos and CDs), but still a great read and great adventure.


Note: This book is a "prequel" to Focus on the Family's "The Last Chance Detectives" video and audio adventures; however it is not completely consistent with those stories that came first.

Mike Fowler's dad has been missing for six years and Mike is sure that he's still alive. He feels that he's on the right track when he finds what he believes to be clues. He and his new friends, Ben, Spence, and Winnie, are on the quest of their lives. But with every step they take, danger increases.


Mike has a few attitude (and subsequent action) issues, but he eventually realizes his errors and changes his ways of thinking. He sticks to his faith, family, and friends. Despite their differences, the group learns to hang in together.
The smuggling of illegal substances is seen as wrong.

Spiritual Content

It is mentioned that the Fowlers attend church and Bible study. Prayers are said. The greatest indications of their Christianity lies in what they say. The adults are strong in their faith; Mike is learning and states that he believes in the Truth.

We learn a little of Navajo legends and meet a few characters who believe them. (Such beliefs are seen as incorrect.) Bits of such legends correspond with the Bible (eg: God created all things and called them good), but everything else about the tales is false.

Mike reads a book involving a search for the Holy Grail, healing by God's grace, and baptism.


A rock slide narrowly misses the boys. Mike gets into a brief tussle with some bullies. He falls distances of several feet a couple times (largely unhurt). He is slapped and gets a rifle-butt to the gut. He grapples with an opponent. Ben is kicked. Both are pulled, shoved, and threatened. A man is tripped. Guns are pointed; one is fired harmlessly.

One Navajo legend involves someone calling up monsters to eat the baby of another monster; another involves a bunch of people burnt or killed by a fire. Neither are graphic.

Drug and Alcohol Content

It is passively remarked that alien-smugglers are usually drug dealers as well. One man smokes. Mike smells alcohol on someone's breath. Police find some hard narcotics.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

One man falls and curses, but the word is not written.


Since this is a prequel to the Last Chance Detectives, more evidence of the kids' maturing can be seen on the videos and DVDs. Again, this book is inconsistent with the original stories, but the quest is engaging, the mystery is well-done, and the story is fun to read.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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