Enter the Core (Max Tilt #3)

Enter the Core (Max Tilt #3)
Age Range
Release Date
February 19, 2019
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Max Tilt thinks his luck is finally changing, thanks to his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s unfinished, unpublished manuscript, The Lost Treasures. Using the clues Verne left behind, Max and his cousin Alex were able to bottle the magical healing elements needed to cure his mother’s illness just in the nick of time.

But then Max and Alex discover that the vials were stolen by their former friend, Bitsy. She has plans to use them to save the world—but her plans might be much more deadly than they seem. And so now it’s up to Max and Alex to stop her before it’s too late.

Working against the odds, the two kids glean clues from one of Verne’s best-loved books, Journey to the Center of the Earth. In it, they discover a map to their most dangerous destination yet—the very core of the world. And so now the two cousins are off on their most unlikely, most important quest yet—literally to save the world!

It’s the final installment of the riveting adventure series from master storyteller and New York Times bestselling author Peter Lerangis.

Editor review

1 review
The Adventure Continues
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
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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