Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die

Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die
Age Range
Release Date
July 24, 2018
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When thirteen-year-old Max Tilt stumbled across his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s unfinished, unpublished manuscript, The Lost Treasures, he thought he had the answer to all his problems, but nothing in life is ever that easy. With his mom’s illness getting worse again, Max needs to figure out a way to save his family—now more than ever.

So Max and his cousin Alex revisit The Lost Treasures, and they find a clue that just might be the key to a cure. It’s the story of Verne’s seemingly impossible recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound. Somehow, after being shot, Verne didn’t just survive, he thrived. And the book hints that he was only able to do so after collecting magical healing elements that he’d saved from a race around the world.

Piecing together hints from Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days and his lost manuscript, Max and Alex realize there’s a way to save Max’s mom if they’re daring enough to try.

It’s a race against time in the second installment of the action-packed adventure series from master storyteller and New York Times bestselling author Peter Lerangis.

Editor review

1 review
From Greece to Antarctica
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
After finding an enormous treasure with his cousin Alex, Max's family has built a big new house and is enjoying their good fortune, especially since his mother's cancer is in remission. However, Max's friend Evelyn's scleroderma worsens, and he and Alex travel to London for the funeral of Basile. While there, they meet Basile's niece, Bitsy, and find that there may be a secret cure, the clues to which are in the London Reform Society archives in a paper left by Verne himself. With the help of their uncle Nigel, Max, Alex and Bitsy set off on an 80 Days Around the World style adventure to find the ingredients for a cure they hope will help their friend. Unfortunately, Nigel leaves them to go out on his own and collect the ingredients before they do, but this does not stop the friends from a whirlwind adventure through Greece, Siberia, Nepal, South America and Antarctica. Their quest takes on even more urgency when Max's mother's cancer returns, and eventually, his father calls him back. Luckily, they have found all of the ingredients, but after using them successfully on Max's mother and Evelyn, some go missing, insuring that more adventures will occur.
Good Points
Readers who enjoy puzzles, clues, and cross continent travel reminiscent of the Cahill's and Vesper's adventures in The Thirty-Nine Clues series will enjoy riding along with Alex, Max and Bitsy as they try to beat the clock and gather exotic ingredients from even more exotic locations. The fact that they have unlimited funds due to their previous adventures makes the travel portion of this seem more possible!

Max is on the autism spectrum, which leads to occasional odd behavior that surprises new people they meet. His emotions have smells, he interprets things literally, and he sometimes asks awkward questions. This is not a huge part of the plot, just an added richness in Max's character, which is a nice way to add diversity to an adventure series.

I often recommend that readers alternate series while waiting for the next book in a new series to come out, and Max Tilt is a fun addition to an action/adventure line up that includes Stokes' Addison Cooke Vegas' Pyramid Hunters and Nix's Time Twisters.
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