Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Adventure of Looking for a Missing Father

Posted by Dede Abdul Hamid on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 with No comments

Title: Misteri Kota Lautan Api
Author: Yovita Siswati
Editor: Pradikha Bestari
Publisher: Kiddo
Year of Publication: 2015
Language: Bahasa Indonesia

Misteri Kota Lautan Api is the 12th novel of a series ‘Misteri Favorit’ by Kiddo. This novel tells about a boy named Rakha who is sad because his father disappears all of a sudden. Rakha tries to look for his father when he finds some clues after his father is gone. Rakha gets some helps from Lilis and Euis, two girls who are siblings. The girls work in the villa where Rakha’s father is missing. Rakha, Lilis, and Euis work in the effort to find Rakha’s father, they also experience some interesting events such as finding treasure. Thus, they are against some criminals.

As the 6th novel of Yovita Siswati, Misteri Kota Lautan Api has an unexpected plot. Also, the setting of this novel has a relationship with some historical places in Bandung (the third largest city in Indonesia).

Misteri Kota Lautan Api has an unexpected plot. Siswati gives an unexpected plot by providing many difficult events in Misteri Kota Lautan Api.  For example, in the beginning of the novel, Rakha discovers the suspicious advertisement in his father’s laptop. The ad is about a missing person. In the next chapter, Rakha and his father go to Bandung. Unfortunately, Rakha gets a serious problem. He realizes his father is kidnapped.

In this novel readers also can read some events like in a thriller novel. There are some events where Rakha, Lilis, Euis deal with criminals. For example, on page 58 and 73, Rakha and Lilis are chased by a mysterious guy, and they are run after by two other guys who are mysterious too in Braga street (a famous street in Bandung city).

In Misteri Kota Lautan Api, the setting has a relationship with some historical places in Bandung. Those places are for example Braga (a famous street in Bandung), Pandu (a well-known burial place in Bandung), Pasar Baru (a shopping centre in Bandung), and Cikapundung ( a river flowing throughts Bandung). In Pandu one important clue to find Rakha’s father is found. Siswati put those places related to the story, so the settings are not menaningless.

The strengths of this novel consist of two. First, Misteri Kota Lautan Api contains some illustrations with informational texts. Illustrations within the texts prevent the readers from boredom. The illustrations are for example a picture of the Cikapundung river. The picture is provided with information such as history of the river so readers can get knowledge from the illustrations. Second, the strength is the insertion of Sundanese culture in the novel. Some dialogues use Sundanese language, for example the dialogues between Lilis and Rakha on page 89 when Lilis and Rakha investigate a house of a suspicious woman they suspect. Lilis says greeting in Sundanese language ‘Punten’, and the woman replies Lilis’ greeting in Sundanese language too by saying ‘Mangga’.

In contrast, Misteri Kota Lautan Api has weakness. Some puzzles or clues are hard to be understood by children. As a mystery and detective novel for children, this novel will be better if showing puzzles or clues more simply.

In brief, Misteri Kota Lautan Api is a very recommended mystery and detective novel. This novel does not only provide a gorgeous story, but also give some knowledge about history through the illustrations within informational texts. The most important is readers will follow the novel until the end when they realize this novel has an unexpected plot and the settings which supports the novel strongly.


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