"Ned Lostmore: Adventurer. That's how Andy Stanley has always thought of his grandfather. True, he's never met Ned, the famous archaeologist and renowned jungle doctor, but he feels like he has. After all, he's read every one of Ned's books from the safety of his bedroom. Then Ned goes missing in the search for a hidden temple, and everyone assumes he's dead.
When Andy receives a posthumous letter from his grandfather, he finds himself reluctantly drawn into a quest to protect an ancient key and stop it from falling into the wrong hands. Andy must navigate the Polynesian islands, home to the Enchanted Tiki Room, and find a way to keep the ancient god Kapu from waking up and destroying the world. His adventure takes him deep into the worlds of Disney's Adventureland attractions. Can Andy fulfill his mission, or will the angry Kapu awaken?"
Sometime in 1938, Andy Stanley, a timid young boy, attends the funeral of his famous archaeologist grandfather Ned Lostmore at his estate in Oregon. There he meets his grandfather's eccentric colleagues from the Jungle Explorers Society including masked poisons expert Cedric, one-eyed pilot Rusty Bucketts, talkative mime Molly, and conjoined twin dancers/assassins Betty and Dotty. After his clumsiness and fear ruins a storm summoning portion of the ceremony held by Nicodemus Crumb, he quickly retreats into the mansion. He opens a posthumous letter from his grandfather containing a mysterious key and a call to adventure. After solving a series of puzzles and riddles, he finds his way into Ned's hidden library maintained by a robotic manservant named Boltenhouse. There, it is revealed that Ned has been transformed into a living shrunken head by Bungalow Bob and agents of The Collective, a rival organization to the Jungle Explorers Society. Additionally, he learns the funeral service was merely a ruse to throw the Collective off the scent, especially Professor Phink, Ned's personal nemesis. Ned appoints Andy as the new Keymaster for the Society, giving him the responsibility to protect a series of keys around the world that in turn, keep dangerous magical things from threatening the world.
Andy, armed with a special Zoomwriter Pen that can function as a wireless communications device and a weapon, is sent to the Hawaiian island of Molokai by zeppelin to protect the Pailina Pendant and the Tiki Key, which together could be used to awaken an ancient Tiki god of destruction named Kapu, which had been previously subdued by his brother Kane. En route however, the airship is attacked by Abigail Awol, a recent Collective recruit working for Phink and former JES member. Andy is rescued from the wreckage by Jungle Navigation Company skipper and radio host Albert Awol and his Tiki Bird companion Hoku. As Andy recovers, Albert tells him the story of Abigail and how she was trained to become one of the best JES agents, but came to blame him and the Society for the death of her mother when they were ambushed on an expedition with Ned to a lost temple. Andy resolves to keep pushing forward with his mission and Hoku leads him to the Enchanted Tiki Room where the Tiki Key is being kept. After an encounter with Pele and Ngendei (actually part of a tiki statue security system erected by the JES), he meets the Tiki Room's caretaker Madame Wiki. The Tiki Room was originally built by the Menehune, the little folk of the Polynesian islands, as a sanctuary for magical flowers and the Akamai, a group of rare intelligent birds. Just as Andy receives the Tiki Key, the Tiki Room is invaded by a group of poachers and Abigail, who steals the key just before Andy is knocked unconscious by the thugs. He awakens to learn that the poachers were JES members in disguise and this was all a set-up to switch the real Tiki Key with a fake one that would allow them to track Abigail and Phink, who had just recently discovered the entrance to Kapu's cave and a Kapu Key to break his chains. Andy is angry at first for being used as bait, but his courage in trying to fight the "poachers" is enough to properly earn the Society's trust as Keymaster and a "Silver Sacroiliac" medal for "showing backbone in the face of danger".
Andy and the Society move onto the Nanea volcano to confront Phink and secure the pendant. They discover he is using heavy mining equipment to make a path to the gate after a previous volcanic eruption sealed off the door. As the Society battles Phink's men, Andy is ambushed by Phink to reveal that he had a decoy on the machine and seizes Andy and the Tiki Key. Planning to force Andy down to awaken Kapu and be the god's first new victim, Phink allows the boy a last request, which he uses have a now doubtful Abigail write his own Last Will and Testament, which actually serves as an opportunity to call for help with the Zoomwriter. As Andy finds the sleeping giant, Phink threatens him and Abigail by gunpoint to comply, shooting Abigail in the leg to prove his intent. Upon Kapu's awakening, Phink is quickly devoured, futilely trying to command the ancient god. Andy and the now-reformed Abigail make their escape and the Society trusts her intent to help make things right on Andy's word and to help her father. The Society regroups and follows Kapu to Honolulu. There, Ned arrives, using Boltenhouse as a makeshift body, with a plan to get the Menehune's help to stop Kapu. Going to the royal palace, they call on the help of a Menehune named Alika, who instructs them to touch Kapu with the pendant to call on Kane's assistance in sealing him once again. The Society engages with Kapu in the streets of Honolulu to distract him while Andy gets the pendant into position, with Albert Awol arriving with cursed implements actually capable of harming the god. Kane is finally summoned and wrestles his brother into submission and seals him away with the pendant, causing both gods to disappear. As the Society celebrates their victory and the Awols finally begin to reconnect, Ned gives Andy a new assignment of seeking out another artifact the Collective is targeting: The Golden Paw.
- The book was originally titled "The Perilious Polynesian Pendant", with listings for the book's digital release sometimes still using this name
- Author Jason Lethcoe produced a short animatic teaser trailer for the book, serving to illustrate many of the book's characters and a handful of key scenes.
- Several of the titles in Ned's library are taken from books found at the Skipper Canteen.
- The Tiki God security system at the Enchanted Tiki Room is said to have been built by four JES members named Sherman, Bruns, Burns and Boag, referencing the Sherman Brothers, George Bruns, Harriet Burns, and Wally Boag, all of who worked on the attraction.
- The Nanea volcano takes its name from the volcano pool at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.