THE FIRMA TWINS AND THE PURPLE STAFF OF DEATH, BOOK 1
ACTION-FILLED TALE OF IDENTICAL TWINS ON QUEST TO FIND DANGEROUS FAMILY SECRETS
The first book in The Firma Twins Adventures.
Born into a family of twins, Isis Firma and her identical twin sister Electra are as different as two people can be. Isis is studious and Electra is an outgoing athlete. Much to Electra’s disgust, Isis decides to celebrate their twelfth birthday at the Institute of Ancient Egyptian Stuff in nearby Washington, DC. Unseen by everyone except Isis, a mummy sits up and tells her to find the Purple Staff of Death. Danger threatens as Isis, her sister, and friends unravel the mystery of the mummy’s message and the secrets of the Firma family.
Now available as a paperback ($8.99) and an ebook in Kindle, iBook, and Nook formats ($3.99)
REVIEWS OF THE FIRMA TWINS AND THE PURPLE STAFF OF DEATH, BOOK 1
SMITHSONIAN ADVENTURE CAPTIVATES YOUNG READERS
Twelve-year-old identical twins, Isis and Electra Firma, discover they have fantastical powers far beyond anything they could have imagined.
In the first installment of “The Firma Twins Adventures” series, D. H. Timpko uncovers the history of the Firma family and places twin sisters Isis and Electra Firma on center stage to play out the adventure.
Isis and Electra Firma aren’t your average 12-year-old girls. Rather, they are twin sisters who seem to have an acute propensity to find adventure that deposits them in the doorway of danger. It is the twins’ 12th birthday and to celebrate, their parents take them to the coveted Smithsonian in Washington D.C. with two of their friends, Kelly and Phoenix. The Firma family has been steeped in Greek history for decades; hence the inspiration for the twins’ birth names. How appropriate the twins would find themselves wandering through the mummy exhibit. All is not what it seems. Isis is drawn to the 2000-year-old mummy exhibit. Imagine her surprise when it comes to life and delivers its message that she is the ‘Chosen One.’
Still trying to shake the experience, the ‘tweens meet their parents back at the minivan. As they are about to leave, their van is rear-ended and Isis receives another message—this time from the squirrel with the purple sash. She tries to speak, but no words come out. Dr. Dearth, a diabolical human-sized rat has his hands firmly placed around Isis’ neck and the life is slowly slipping from her being. The ambulance arrives and Isis is taken to the hospital. Once the doctor assures her parents she will recover, the group continues home—Isis, however, will remain in the hospital overnight for observation.
What Isis cannot possibly know, is once she returns home, it will be her mission to enlist the help of her twin sister and friends to uncover her grandfather’s diaries. Only then will they begin to understand the connection between it, the Purple Staff of Death and the evil Dr. Dearth’s role in it all.
Timpko has selected a delightful premise for this mystical series of fantasy and adventure. The dialogue is credible and the allure engaging. Her target audience (young adult) is the perfect genre to entice young readers to engage in the wonder of the joy of reading. The adventure is certainly laced with delicious fantasy and naturally appeals to the aforementioned age group. The story line is clean and not too gruesome (or scary) to incite nightmares.
Rather, it is every young adults’ fantasy to step into the pages of imagination and travel willingly throughout. Timpko has mastered the art of encouraging young readers to grasp the concept of just how fun reading can be. I look forward to the next installment of the Firma Twins adventures.
—Loudoun County author Diane Lunsford reviews books of local authors or with a regional angle for the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
FANTASTICAL TALE OF IDENTICAL TWINS
The Firma Twins and the Purple Staff of Death by D. H. Timpko is a fantastical tale of identical twins Isis and Electra, born into a family with a history of identical twins, passed down from generation to generation, including their younger brothers. The story begins on the girls’ 12th birthday and Isis gets to pick what they do. She chooses the family outing to visit an exhibit in Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Institute—as Isis put it, the Museum of Ancient Egyptian Stuff. She wants to see the mummy that has just been autopsied. While looking at the body in a glass case, Isis notices a bug crawling from the ear to the mouth, and entering the skull through a nostril. As if in a dream, the eyes glow red, the mummy sits up, tells Isis that the vampires have risen, and the Squrlon are in danger. Isis must find the Purple Staff of Death and lead the battle.
D. H. Timpko does a superb job of introducing many characters that get recruited for the school play, which just happens to be a modern day Pied Piper of Hamlin, but on steroids. Electra plays the Flutist and the rats are as big as humans. The author intertwines the play with the solving of the mysteries of their family’s secret history. I loved the way she let Isis become another Nancy Drew. The Firma Twins and the Purple Staff of Death is a fast paced tale of wonder with many different twists and surprises that will leave you hungry for more.
—Stephan Fisher for Readers’ Favorite, May 2015, Five-Star Review
A FUSION OF NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM AND NATIONAL TREASURE
The Firma line is an oddity. They come from a long generation of twins that started thousands of years ago. Isis’ and Electra’s parents each have an identical sibling; their brothers, their grandparents, their aunts, and their uncles all have a twin. But, the twelve-year-old sisters soon discover that there’s more to their genes: A deeper secret lurks in their family tree—something magical and dangerous.
On their twelfth birthday, studious Isis—much to her sister’s chagrin—picked to see the mummy exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. What should be a much-anticipated birthday bash, proves to be anything but.
In the middle of the exhibition, a mummy miraculously comes to life and warns Isis to find the Purple Staff of Death. From here on out, Isis endures a series of strange and unexplained occurrences: an eerie black limousine spying on them, the sudden disappearance of gray squirrels, and an out-of-body experience (that car crash must have affected her head). Nevertheless, Isis, Electra, and their best friends Kelly and Phoenix embark on a treasure hunt for the Purple Staff of Death—only to be entangled in a skein of problems.
Aimed at middle school readers, The Firma Twins and the Purple Staff of Death by D. H. Timpko is the first book in the series entitled A Firma Twins Adventure. Though this installment can be read alone, it builds the background for this high-paced adventure-mystery genre.
Timpko constructed a witty, energetic, and whimsical plot. It was a thrill getting caught in the embedded side conflicts. I especially enjoyed how ancient history and urban geography info-bytes were knitted into the storyline. In a wink, the story became both entertaining and informational. The reader is swept away on an expedition throughout Washington D.C. and its famous landmarks. For example, I learned something about the Mall, the Smithsonian, and President’s Park. Occasionally, an interesting fact about ancient Egypt, Rome, or Greece will pop up here and there; for instance, many of the characters’ names were inspired by these civilizations.
Timpko’s character development is tiptop; their tone is a perfect match to their demeanors, quirks, and roles. Moreover, the twins (and their friends) are portrayed as active and inquisitive. I appreciated that these protagonists could—possibly—have a positive influence on younger readers. Also, there was a fair, though small, representation of different family structures. For example, an adoptive family and a strong, but imperfect family (the Firmas).
As a result, I rate The Firma Twins and the Purple Staff of Death a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. In my opinion, there is no negative aspect and absolutely nothing to dislike about this book; hence, a lower rating would be baseless. Moreover, I cannot wait to grab the next tome. The few errors found were minor; without a doubt, this book was professionally edited.
A fusion of Night at the Museum and National Treasure, this book would be perfect on a summer reading list. Also, I’d highly recommend it to picky readers. Anyone who enjoys mummies and ancient Egyptian themes will be pleased with this story. There are a few instances of borderline profanity and mentions of needles and blood; therefore, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone sensitive to these issues.
—PeterRabitt20, OnlineBookClub.org, Four-Star Review
THE FIRMA TWINS AND THE FLUTE OF ENCHANTMENT, BOOK 2
THROAT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH TALE OF IDENTICAL TWINS FIGHTING DEADLY ALIENS
Twelve-year-old Electra Firma has a problem: alien shape-shifting rats the size of adult humans have stolen the Flute of Enchantment and she must infiltrate an alien conference to steal it back, while her identical twin sister Isis fights aliens in another city.
Now available as a paperback ($12.99) and an ebook in Kindle, iBook, and Nook formats ($3.99).
REVIEWS OF THE FIRMA TWINS AND THE FLUTE OF ENCHANTMENT, BOOK 2
BRILLIANT AND SNAPPY!
The Firma Twins and the Flute of Enchantment: A Firma Twins Adventure, Book 2, by D.H. Timpko is a unique novel that takes you on a journey and ensures that you will not put the book down until you have read it till the end. The story follows Electra Firma; she and her twin sister, Isis, are not completely human. They are part alien and they have to keep it a secret or else their future would be too grim to even talk about. But her real identity is now affecting her life.
Thanks to her unique heritage, she has Olympic worthy ice skating skills, but her parents have banned her from even entertaining thoughts of such a career in the future. However, there are bigger things at play than she has any idea about. The future of humanity is under threat by aliens and it is up to her to pose as one of them so that she can find the elusive Flute of Enchantment. To get to that, she has to master her gifts and get inside the inner circle of these aliens. Her life is in danger, but she is not backing out. Not now, not ever! Is she strong enough to face off with an enemy that is far more powerful than she is?
This is a fast paced and well-developed story. I really liked Electra; like her name, she had a spark that was undeniable. She was strong willed and hyper aware of her surroundings. She may be young, but her development was very strong. I liked the fact that she took charge, enlisted the help of a friend, and worked really hard to help others. This is really good! Brilliant and snappy!
—Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
THE BOOK IS GOING TO ENCHANT YOU FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END
Electra, a 12-year-old girl, is a shape-shifter; she changes to objects, animals, and back to human form. Her sister, Isis, is the long foretold Wielder of the Purple Staff of Death. The transformations Electra experiences do not come without a price. She’s exhausted, thirsty, and there are even chances of never returning to human form. Therefore, they have to learn how to manage their powers.
There’s a major stake at hand, nonetheless. Some aliens who can shape-shift to rats the size of adult humans have stolen the Flute of Enchantment, and Electra has to find it. On the other hand, Isis has to fight aliens elsewhere. The undertakings may cost them their lives, but they’re determined to win. The Firma Twins and the Flute of Enchantment by D. H. Timpko is a masterpiece! As the title reads, the book is going to enchant you from the beginning to the end.
The author’s humor shines in this book. I smiled, chuckled, and even laughed from the beginning until the concluding page. That was what I enjoyed most about the book. For instance, in chapter two, Electra shape-shifted into a cardboard box and had to transform back to human form. The elucidations of her transformation back to human form were funny and thrilling to read. Also, I appreciate the author’s vivid descriptions. Some included Electra’s dark red hair, Isis’s green eyes and two left feet, and Willoughby’s purple eyes.
On the contrary, I disliked one aspect. I encountered complex terms as I devoured this book. I agree the complexity of the terms was suitable for the genre it falls under; nonetheless, I had a tough time fathoming their meanings. Words like Vympyrym, FluVac, and Cliosape were not easy to understand.
I did not encounter a single error as I read the book; therefore, it is professionally edited. Despite the hard words, the tale was engrossing. The dialogues between the twin sisters were humorous and captivating. Electra is a bit of a showoff , while her twin is the exact opposite of her personality; she’s not overly ornate. Their two contrasting qualities cause disagreements, which in turn spice up the book. However, this work could not have been a success without the contributions of other characters like Dr. Dearth, Tom, Kelly, and Phoenix. Nevertheless, because of the continuous usage of complex words, my enjoyment of the tale was often affected. As a result, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to middle grade kids who enjoy devouring science fiction publications.
—JonesLeeh, OnlineBookClub.org (3 out of 4 stars)
BRAVE TEENS AND GOOD FRIENDS
Loved this book! The book was given to my twins, who read the first volume in the series when they were in middle school, but I picked it up one day and couldn’t stop reading. What a fun adventure! I loved the courage and compassion of the main characters, but even the bad guys were three dimensional and compelling. The plot was exciting and the character names are better than Dickens.
—Judith A. Schramm, CEO of ProResource, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (5 out of 5 stars)