The Forbidden City of Luxor is the second book in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest book series.
The novel is credited to "Brad Quentin", the pseudonym used for all the books in the series. The actual author is unconfirmed.
Official synopsis from the back cover:
"BEWARE, ALL WHO ENTER HERE!"
Deep in the trackless jungles of India, in an ancient city prowled by man-eating tigers and infested with crocodiles, a strange light is seen. Is it a message from the ancient gods?
Jonny Quest doesn't think so. He believes in science, not in ghosts and gods. But while he is rescuing his friends and father from a very British team of crooks, Jonny finds that the truth can be even stranger than legend!
Don't miss this new nonstop action adventure, as Jonny Quest fights wilderness predators and alien invaders in deepest India!
In India, local villagers have reportedly seen strange lights from from Ranthambhore Preserve. A young Indian boy named Ranjit goes into the preserve to get a picture of the lights. The image of the goddess Kali appears before him and he runs.
The Quest Team has come to India to investigate the lights, and Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji are enjoying the bazaar while their parents handle business. While taking a picture, Jonny bumps into a snake charmer, and Hadji helps smooth over the situation by translating. As they head for a vendor, they run into men Jonny recognizes. As Jonny tries to pull his friends away, they bump in Higgins Doodle, Dr. Benjamin Hyde-Pierce's henchman. Jonny stands up to Hyde-Pierce, who attempts to charm Jessie and Hadji, but he ends up insulting Jessie's father in the process, so it doesn't work. Jonny explains that Hyde-Pierce is a crook, and he sabotaged his father's work at a conference in London, they just weren't able to prove it. Once away from the three, Hyde-Pierce and Doodle suggest they may need to kill the kids.
Back at the Hotel Calcutta, Jonny tells Jessie and Hadji more about Hyde-Pierce and his father's suspicions. They meet their contact, Kailish Thukpur, who tells them about the lights they're investigating and shows them pictures. The team returns with Kailish to their suite to run analysis on the information, but their rooms have been broken into and trashed, and their laptops are gone. Since they were just in their rooms an hour earlier, the theft must have been recent, and Jonny runs out to see if the thief is still nearby -- and he catches a glimpse of someone holding their laptops as the elevator doors close. Jonny takes the stairs to the lobby and chases the guy out onto the busy streets. He doesn't see his face, but he sees the man's khaki suit and is certain it's Higgins Doodle. But Jonny trips and begins to fall into a bed of coals. Jessie pulls him to safety, but he's lost Higgins.
Higgins gets back to his rooms with Hyde-Pierce with the computers. He'd also eavesdropped on the kids for a while and reports that they don't know anything useful yet. The laptops require a password, and Hyde-Pierce is certain that his computer Frankenstein's Monster will be able to crack it. He has Higgins hide the laptops, because he expects the Quest Team to arrive.
Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji knocks on his door. Hyde-Pierce invites them in, and a tiger roars at them. Hyde-Pierce explains that the tiger, named Mrs. Thatcher, is tame and on loan to him for his stay. He throws his voice like a ventriloquist to make it seem like the tiger is talking. Jonny demands he return their laptops, but Hyde-Pierce and Doodle pretend like they don't know what he's talking about. The conversation turns to the investigation of the lights, and Hyde-Pierce has applied to entry into the preserve to investigate. When Jonny confronts Doodle about the laptops again, Doodle pulls out a gun. Race arrives and tackles Doodle, and Jonny grabs his gun. Bandit also runs in, barking. Doodle claims it was "a practical joke" because the gun wasn't loaded. Dr. Quest arrives as well.
They eventually separate and the Quest Team heads back to the hotel, where Kailish has them meet the boy Ranjit who witnessed the lights and the vision of the goddess Kali. Ranjit now fears the lights and warns them to stay away from them.
A masked assailant throws a knife at Dr. Quest, but Race pulls him out of the way just in time. Race and Jonny run after the assailant, which Hadji thinks may be a member of a cult. In a scuffle on a roof, the assailant throws Jonny over the edge as he gets away, but Jonny's able to grab a hold of the edge and hang on. Bandit finds him and alerts Race, who pulls Jonny back up. Dr. Quest is certain that Dr. Hyde-Pierce hired the man to kill him, and he wonders if Hyde-Pierce is also involved with the mystery of the lights. The Quest Team returns to the Hotel Calcutta to finalize some matters with Kailish.
The next day, the Quest Team has prepared two Land Rovers, one with Dr. Quest's personal equipment and one with equipment provided by the Indian government for his research. Dr. Quest's plan is that he, Race, and Bandit will go set up camp where Ranjit reported saw Kali, and the three kids and Kailish will go sight-seeing around the preserve, while also surveying the area for anything unusual.
Kailish and the trio head into Ranthambhore Presesrve. Their Land Rover gets stuck in the mud. Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji get out of the car to lighten the weight and to get a branch to help unstick the wheel. Three crocodiles start heading their way.
In the other Land Rover, Race, Dr. Quest, and Bandit are driving to their intended campsite when a helicopter arrives and begins firing at them. It also jams their radio so they's unable to communicate with the other team. Race takes evasive action, but the rifle fire from the helicopter blows out two tires and the Land Rover crashes into a ditch.
Jonny and the others attempt to scare off the crocodiles, first by throwing a large branch at them, and then with an anti-crocodile horn. Kailish finally shoots the most aggressive one dead, and the others retreat. They continue with getting the branch under the tire and get back on their way. Kailish drives them to view the ruins of The Fortress of Ranthambhore. They do more sightseeing and then head to the campsire. The campsite is empty, no sign of the other team. They try the radio and are unable to make contact. The sun is getting low, so they set up camp and their equipment, and they have a plan to take turns keeping watch.
In the middle of the night, the team awakes Jonny that something is happening. They investigate what looks to be the apparition of on "and ancient Indian god." And image of light in the shape of Shiva the Destroyer appears before them and warns them off. Jonny takes some pictures and throws a rock through it. Hadji points out that Shiva sounds like Mrs. Thatcher, indicating that Hyde-Pierce may be behind it. They go to investigate and find the machine producing the hologram and turn it off. Jonny goes looking for other machines, and turns and finds a tiger. Jonny runs from the tiger back to camp. Bandit runs in and barks, and Jonny grabs him and continues to run. Kailish fires a warning shot. Jessie turns the hologram machine back on, and the tiger finally runs away. Bandit is covered in burrs, as though he's traveled a long way.
They again head to camp, when the Land Rover's engine starts and it begins driving straight for them. Jonny pulls Kailish out of the way, and the Land Rover drives off, apparently with no one behind the wheel. The team takes the hologram machine and constructs a makeshift radio. In case anyone's listening, they keep it subtle and begin testing frequencies, and then lights appear over the Forbidden City of Luxor. With binoculars, they spot where the lights appear to be originating from: a device in the lake. They leave Kailish with the machine to keep watch while Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji go to investigate. As they're walking through the Forbidden City of Luxor, Bandit leads them off-path, where they find their fathers tied up. Mrs. Thatcher is there as a guard, but Hadji calms her and they bond, allowing them to untie Race and Dr. Quest, who are still unconscious and likely drugged. Hadji stays back with Mrs. Thatcher to guard them. Jonny, Jessie, and Bandit continue to the lake where they see the device used to make the lights. It appears strange, perhaps an alien ship or a secret government test.
A helicopter appears and lands before Jonny and Jessie, and men come out with guns on them. The men with guns are Dr. Hyde-Pierce and Doodle. Hyde-Pierce questions them about how they got the ship to rise. He leads them at gunpoint to the ship, intending to make them explore it first in case it's dangerous. When they get the hatch to open, Bandit runs off into the night.
Jonny descends into the ship first and Hyde-Pierce after him. The ship is alien. There are piles of dust on seats, which is possibly the crew's remains after however many years the ship has been there. There's a charred hole in the side, exposing large torn cables. Hyde-Pierce calls up to Doodle, and Jonny takes the moment of his inattention to connect two of the wires, and he's blown back by an explosion.
The whole ship is shaking, and Hyde-Pierce grabs the ladder for stability. Angered at Jonny's antics, Hyde-Pierce makes to shoot him, but Doodle falls through the hatch on top of him. Jessie calls to Jonny to get out of there, and Jonny jumps over the men and climbs out of the ship. He and Jessie close the hatch and get back on the ground. The ship rises above the water and takes off, piercing through the clouds and presumably back to its home planet.
They meet with Kailish who Bandit led back to them for help. He saw what happened with the ship. Jonny and Jessie tell them that they found their fathers, and they can take the helicopter back, and Race will be able to fly it when he's awake. Jonny asks Kailish how tigers feel about helicopter rides.
Back at the hotel, Jonny, Jessie, Hadji, Kailish, and Bandit are enjoying a day by the pool. The Indian government has kindly offered them an assortment of drinks and foods. Hadji is working on his laptop, which they had been able to retrieve from Hyde-Pierce's rented van. Dr. Quest and Race join them, and they all muse on what happened, and the data they were able to review from their equipment recording the events. Mrs. Thatcher also joins them, since Dr. Quest had asked her owner to bring her by.
- Dr. Benjamin Hyde-Pierce
- Higgins Doodle
- Masked cult assailant
- Snake charmer
- Kailish Thukpur
- Mrs. Thatcher, a Bengal tiger
- Ranthambhore Preserve
- Fortress of Ranthambhore
- Forbidden City of Luxor
- Hotel Calcutta
- Jakphur (mentioned), a small village
- New Delhi (mentioned)
- Bombay (mentioned)
- Ranthambhore Preserve
- London (mentioned)
- East End (mentioned)
- University of Cambridge (mentioned)
- Africa (mentioned)
- New Guinea (mentioned)
- Questworld (mentioned)
- Washington, D.C. (mentioned)
- New York City (mentioned)
- California (mentioned)
- Ranjit's Kodak camera
- Kohinoor diamond (mentioned)
- Jonny's sneakers with the Quest Team design
- Quest Team's laptops
- Frankenstein's Mother, Hyde-Pierce's computer (mentioned)
- Doodle's Beretta handgun
- Equipment loaned from the Indian government including an old laptop
- Land Rover, red
- Land Rover, black
- Alien spaceship
On their laptops being stolen:
"My personal journal is on my laptop!" cried Jessie.
"Hot reading," said Jonny with a quick grin. "Must be why they swiped it."
Using equipment from the Indian government:
More of a problem, though, was the computer the Indian government had loaned them.
Hadji looked down at the thing in his lap, puzzled. "What do you do with this thing -- crank it?"
"No, no," said Kailish. "You just turn it on. Like so. However, if you wish to keep it on for a long time, you must plug it into this attachment, which provides it with power from one of the batteries in the Land Rover."
"Jonny, you are looking at an example of ancient Indian technology, produced long before I was born," said Hadji with a half smile.
"Gee, Hadji, looks like an old Zenith from the eighties to me," said Jessie.
"Oh, please," Hadji shot back. "I always enjoy pretending I am in touch with my ancestors."
- The book consists of 22 chapters and a scientific afterword. It's 131 pages.
- The scientific afterword is written by Dr. Gregory Benford, Ph.D., of the University of California, Irvine. The afterword is entirely about tigers, their interaction with humans and how that can be dangerous, and the conservation effort.
- The book is dedicated to Nichols Silbersack. Presumably related to this, the tenth book in the series, The Lake of Terror, is dedicated to Johanna Silbersack.
- Dr. Quest has nine advanced degrees, and one is in psychology.
Goofs and inconsistencies:
- Hadji is named Hadji Bingh in the novel, but he's named Hadji Singh in the main series.
- Jessie is stated to have her father's eyes; but in the series, Race's eyes are light blue and Jessie's are green.
- Jessie is stated to have jet black hair like her father; but in the series, Race's hair is platinum blond, and Jessie's hair is red.
- Questworld is written both "Questworld" and "QuestWorld".
- Race is a former Navy SEAL tech expert, although this seems to be an inconsistency with the main TV series in which he's a former Intelligence One agent.
- On page 117, it uses know instead of now: "Its circuits must have somehow awakened and are know repairing themselves.
- Jessie says, "What's Bandit all exercised about?" but that should probably be excited rather than exercised.
- The tiger Mrs. Thatcher purrs at the end of the book, but like most other large cats, tigers are unable to purr.
|The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest book series|
- on Goodreads
- Chapter 1.
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3.
- Chapter 4.
- Chapter 5.
- Chapter 6.
- Chapter 7.
- Chapter 8.
- Chapter 9.
- Chapter 10.
- Chapter 11.
- Chapter 12.
- Chapter 13.
- Chapter 14.
- Chapter 15.
- Chapter 16.
- Chapter 17.
- Chapter 18.
- Chapter 19.
- Chapter 20.
- Chapter 21.
- Chapter 22.
- Chapter 7, page 38.
- Chapter 10, page 56.
- Chapter 13, page 76.
- Chapter 4, page 24.
- Chapter 5, page 26.
- Chapter 14, page 79.
- Chapter 11, page 62.
- Chapter 11, page 64.
- Chapter 22, page 128.