Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1) by J & P Voelkel

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he's mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they've had a change of heart.

Upon his arrival, Max's wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager. Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Released: April 23, 2010

My Rating: 4 / 5

Full of non-stop action, Middleworld seamlessly blends present day with ancient Mayan culture. The book reads like an Indian Jones Jr mission: pyramids with secret passageways, talking monkeys, warriors & Mayan tradition all blend together. If the action hasn't already peaked your interest, the hilarious moments that ensue will. Lady Coca, the Mayan Queen from 400 years ago who surely was bored all those years as she certainly doesn't act like royalty anymore & Ah Pukuh, nicknamed the 'flatulent one - need I say more? The growth in the main character, Max, is phenomenal, I loved being witness to the boys transformation from a bratty, materialistic, technology addicted fourteen year old, into one that sees the other riches in life. Lola, strong, confident and witty, was the perfect compliment to help bring out the best in Max.

Middleworld appears to be the start of a fun series, one that I think has the ability to keep the attention of reluctant boy readers which is always a plus in my books! The target audience is definitely boys (and girls since Lola is super fun) ages 10-13 so I hope in a few years to pass this along to my son.


  1. Great Review! You got me hooked!
    Little Nipper Books

  2. Definitely more of a boys book. I recommended this one to my cousin when he had to do a book report for school.