Monday, October 07, 2019
Max Tilt: 80 Days Or Die
First sentence: No one ever paid attention to the man with the drooping eye.
Premise/plot: Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die is the second book in a new series by Peter Lerangis. The plot has/had the potential to be great. Max is a descendant of French writer, Jules Verne. Verne’s legacy lives on...in a series of codes and puzzles. Max and Alex went on quite the quest in the first book. Max thought the solution to his biggest problem could be saved by money—lots of it. But it turns out that money can’t buy everything. Max is shocked by this—adult readers shouldn’t be. It turns out that the next quest will be a matter of life and death.
Verne’s mysterious letters indicate that by combining a series of fantastic near-impossible-to-find ingredients together that any and every sickness/illness can be cured. Death could be thwarted if and only if you possess this magical concoction.
Evelyn is his friend with a terminal illness. She only has a few months to live. This is enough to motivate him to do something he thought he’d never do again—risk his own life to trek the globe on an dangerous adventure. Mid-trip he learns that his mom’s cancer has returned. Max is stunned!!! He never expected that...after all it was the money he found that sent her to “the best doctors and best hospitals” that money could buy! Now it is more important than ever that the quest is successful. But it won’t be easy...bad guys come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders.
My thoughts: I found the second book to be obnoxious. Clearly both books ask readers to suspend disbelief. Clearly both are fantasy novels even though both are set in the “real world.” It isn’t the only middle grade novel where all adults are either absent, negligent, or evil.
The fact that the book trivializes serious real-life issues is what I find so annoying. It’s one thing to go on a quest to save the world from...demons, wizards, vampires, aliens, etc. It is quite another to go on a quest for a cure-all for EVERY disease or malady (gunshot wound or cancer). (Verne used it after a gunshot wound.) I found the book to be over the top ridiculous...and predictable.
Whether any child likes it or not...some diseases do prove terminal. Traveling the world on your own...placing a person’s wellbeing on your doing so...it’s just too much. Max doesn’t need to feel responsible for the lives of his friend and mom.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews