Thursday, April 14, 2011

Max Cassidy: Escape from Shadow Island, by Paul Adam

Walden Pond press
Review copy from publisher.
We hate to use the word 'formulaic', but we can't help feeling like we have read this before. In fact, as we neared the end, someone asked what we were reading and how it was. We answered by telling them we were about to get to the part where the hero does "x", finds out "y", but won't be able to "z" until the next book at least. Oh, and so-and-so will do such-and-such at the last minute, saving the day. We were right on all counts.

That said, this was well-written enough to appeal to teen and preteen boys looking for a good adventure series, and we do plan on purchasing the sequels. If you are looking for a fast-paced read and willing to contribute a healthy suspension of disbelief, this is a great series to pick up. We give this first title a

3 out of 5.
Max Cassidy can escape from anything

Only fourteen years old, Max is the world's foremost escape artist. Chained, handcuffed, locked in an airtight water tank, there's nothing he can't get himself out of. He learned the art from his father a man who just two years ago was murdered, and Max's mother went to jail for the crime.

Now a mysterious man has shown up backstage after one of Max's shows, telling Max that not only is his mother innocent, but his father is still alive. He can provide only one clue: a slip of paper with eight digits written on it. It is this clue that will lead Max from his home in London to the exotic and deadly Central American country of Santo Domingo and the impenetrable fortress on the sinister Isla de Sombra.

Max Cassidy can escape from anything–but given the chance to finally know the truth about what has torn his family apart, escape from Shadow Island is the last thing on his mind.

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