Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

The Adventure Continues

Max and his cousin Alex are still enjoying the benefits of the serum that has cured Max's mom and his friend Evelyn, and are also glad that they have unlimited funds, but there is a problem. Bitsy (whose last name is really Niemand) has stolen the vials from them, hoping to win her evil father's favor. Since Max doesn't know if his mother or Evelyn might need more of the serum, he and Alex take off after Bitsy, with the help of Brandon the Pilot. They head off to Iceland in search of the Niemand's, and have quite the adventure. They crash land in the water because of volcanic ash in the air, and are saved Kristin, who works at the Icelandic Museum of Unusual Phenomenon. Following clues left by Verne, the group takes off into the wilderness and ends up in caverns. Brandon is badly injured, but salvation comes from a very unlikely source, which also sheds light on the properties of the serum they are seeking. Max's long search is over, and he is able to return home to his normal life.

Good Points
Max is on the Autism Spectrum and also experiences synesthesia. He smells odors depending on the emotions he is feeling, which is explained frequently, and there are also descriptions of his aversion to being touched. This is not done with a heavy hand, and Max manages to deal with his challenges well.

There is some light romance between Alex and Brandon, and it looks for a while like Brandon has truly perished, but the sensitive reader can be assured that he is saved.

There are lots of puzzles, codes, riddles, and runes for readers who enjoy working on these, and the idea that Jules Verne planned these all a very long time ago (in French!) is a fun premise. There is one scene that reminded my of National Treasure-- there are some structures in the cave that have been waiting for them for well over 100 years!

Hand this to readers who enjoy adventure tales with a bit of the supernatural to them, like Park's Forest of Wonders, Korman's Masterminds, Stokes 'Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas, Gonzalez's Moving Target and Gemeinhart's Scar Island.
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