Friday, April 16, 2021

Review: Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine with Giveaway!


Max and the Spice Thieves
John Peragine
Secrets of the Twilight Djinn #1
YA Fantasy
271 pages
ages 8 to 12


APRIL 20th!!!

When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.

Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.

Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.

With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.

Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…

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Pirates, salty seas, cold-hearted sultans, djinn, secrets...this read packs the promise of adventure and sets sails to what will be an exciting series.

Max knows his father isn't dead no matter what anyone, including his mother, might tell him. When he wakes up one morning to his mother's announcement that they are heading out on a ship to an island, Max spins plans on how to find his father, who disappeared at sea. But before they make it to the ship, his mother disappears, and he's robbed. The captain, a spice pirate, of the ship his mother had gained passage on, comes to the rescue and sets out with Max to help him locate his father. When they run into a prince and the pirate ship is taken, the true adventure begins.

This is the first book in a new series, and there are definitely all the exciting elements to make this one grabbing from beginning to end. The author spends no time dilly-dallying around as Max wakes up one morning to immediately be told that he's headed out on a pirate ship. While very sudden and not really allowing any time to get to know Max first, it definitely draws readers in right away. This fast pace holds the entire way through as Max faces one situation only to be led into the next. There's never a moment for boredom, and it makes every turn of the page mean a new surprise.

There is tons of goodness in these pages. Max is a character to root for as he heads into adventure and deals with the most amazing situations as best he can. The weave of secrets also starts right away and bread crumbs of many things to come are sprinkled in the moment Max rises that first morning. It's a well-woven tale from start to finish, and definitely takes the effort to lay the necessary foundation for the series. The mix of pirates, princesses, sultans, witches, seers, djinn, and magic keep the imagination and fantasy flying wonderfully high. Also, the author doesn't forget to incorporate the wonders of aspect I really found nice.

Unlike many adventure books for middle graders, the writing style in this one leans more toward the younger end. The action happens fast, and while this holds the attention, emotions and thoughts aren't addressed as much as they need to be for older readers. There are very many characters with quirks and personality, but these are quickly introduced and join the adventure without too much thought (even though I suspect their true intentions will be later revealed). Descriptions also are kept light, which works but keeps the richness to create an unforgettable world at bay. Max sticks to this lower end of the age group as well, and while twelve, leans toward the less mature end and sometimes acts younger than his age. But this also makes it a great read for those more solid readers between third and fifth grade, and I believe they will devour this book and  probably the series.

And here he is...


John Peragine is an author of over fourteen books. The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn series was written as a bedtime story for his son Max to cope with medical issues he was facing as a little boy. John is a full-time ghostwriter who lives with his son, wife, and a menagerie of animals on his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.

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Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! This sounds like a really fun adventure! Glad you liked it!

Jessica Adams said...

Sounds like a good book!

John Peragine said...

Thank you for hosting me!!