Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication date: December 2010
Source: ARC provided by publicist
(Check out the guest post and author interview with J&P Voelkel)
Max has had a reprieve from his favor from the gods of the Mayan underworld. After saving his parents, he was able to escape from them, but only for a short time. With that favor hanging over his head, he can't seem to enjoy the rest of his summer. Of course, with the strange things going on at his home, it is even harder - a jungle seems to be growing right there in Boston and his mother denies anything happened in San Xavier. But, when the gods finally request their favor, Max doesn't have much of a choice. At least he gets to team up with Lola again. But, will they manage to finish their quest in time to save their lives and the lives of his parents?
Things I Liked:
This was another addition to the action-packed and fast-paced adventures in ancient Mayan history. I really like the way the history and even modern culture is woven into the story. I actually learn things and I think kids will as well, without even minding it! The characters are quirky and fun, but it's really about the adventures and difficult situations they have to get out of. They almost have a Percy Jackson feel to them, but not as entertaining or steeped in mythology as those books.
His friends saw only the gifts that his parents lavished on him: the video games, the laptop, the electronic drums - all peace offerings for being too busy at work to support their son at school concerts and class nights and sports meets. (After the recent events in San Xavier, he was expecting a "sorry for opening a portal to the Maya underworld and unleashing the forces of evil that almost killed you" gift any day now. p19 of ARC
She cupped her hands around her mouth to make the sound of a howler monkey, the loudest land animal on the planet. And if Santino Garcia was surprised to hear the girl of his dreams roaring like an angry dinosaur, he was too polite to mention it. p 99 of ARC
Things I Didn't Like:
I had a really hard time wanting to finish the book. I thought the story went on much too long and took too many crazy turns. I got a little tired of waiting for the climax. Also, the writing at times felt a bit awkward and the plot a little uneven (not to mention unbelievable). I was also a little disappointed at how little was discussed about the 2012 "end of the world" Mayan calendar thing. Especially considering the publicity that was surrounding it. In fact, it was a little vague about whether or not the world will end. Still, I think kids will love the action and the disturbingly gross Mayan gods, without being bothered by some of these other things.
Pick up the first book in the Jaguar Stones series by J&P Voelkel
The Red Pyramid or the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
The 39 Clues series by various authors
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
(except in reference to the underworld :)
it can be a bit disgusting at times, but nothing very gory
Overall rating: ***
What books to do read to learn while being entertained?
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