I definitely liked The Book of Lost Things. Perhaps I didn't LOVE it as much as The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, but, it was still a very good read. Mister Max is set in England at the turn of the twentieth century.
Max's parents are famous actors in the theatre. The novel opens with his parents receiving an invitation to go on a special tour. It seems a luxurious offer. Max's grandmother, a librarian, feels the offer is too good to be true. Though she's not allowed to look at the actual invitation or the tickets it contained. Max was to be included in the trip, but, he was to meet his parents at the ship before it departed. When he arrives, quite on time, his parents are gone, the ship has gone too. Or so it appears. In truth, the invitation was a trap. The name of the ship was part of the deception, as was the destination. Max has no idea what happened to his parents. They were able to write a quick note to be given to the "boy on the bicycle" (Max), however, which has a message of sorts for him. So Max is partly on his own, partly under the supervision of his grandmother.
This is NOT a book about Max searching for clues as to what happened to his parents. Max is NOT involved in anyway with that search or research. Once his parents have vanished, well, Max's concerns are mainly economic. This is a book about a somewhat creative boy finding a way to make money while he waits for others to solve the BIG mystery of what happens to his parents. He has two or three little mysteries to solve. And at these little mysteries he excels. These little mysteries might be predictable to adult readers. But despite the fact that adult readers may see how the end will come together, the story itself is enjoyable enough. The book has a handful of interesting characters, Max included.
For readers looking for a quest, a desperate boy willing to risk it all and go on a fantastic journey to find and save his parents, you may be disappointed. But depending on your expectations, you might find yourself surprised by how entertaining it is.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews