Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud
Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?
Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?
Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She’s really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.
Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won’t permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She’s dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?
Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up) and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.
"Impressively inventive and enjoyable...vivid storytelling and exceptional characterization...Max's personality is layered and complex...conveyed flawlessly...keeping readers intrigued and engaged...writing style is smooth, and a subtle sense of humor comes through...narrative tension builds at a good pace and easily flows toward a satisfying and exciting conclusion...parents are likely to both approve of the story and enjoy reading it themselves...talented writer...sure to find an appreciative audience that will eagerly anticipate the next book in the series." -- ForeWord Clarion Review
"Thomason shines in his heroine's characterization...magical" --blueink Review
One particular positive of the book is the underlying concepts of choosing your own path regarding light and dark, good and evil, positive and negative. We don't have a goody-two-shoes heroine who is struggling against a purely outside evil force. While we do have an evil antagonist the author does a great job with presenting the concept of an inner battle. Since our main characters are in their young teens (think right around puberty) this is going to resonate with other young adults that are going through similar times of feeling their world out for their place in it, discovering their personal power, and recognizing the consequences of their decisions and how they impact not only their own lives, but the people around them.
Not to mention there's story of overcoming. Young teens have a lot to overcome in life, from really serious things like family issues to very not-so-big crisis such as how to live through a serious crush or how to get through speech class.
Okay, so I'm not sure that a young reader would be able to pick up on that. But that's where the parents come in. Read the book and discuss it with your kid. Heck, read it together. It's adventurous and creative and it's a great opportunity to discuss concepts like right-path decisions, self government, and even ideas of adventures with your going-on-adult youngsters.
I do think that there was room for a little more story in this first book, but the author has left the door wide open for other books to follow and it's certainly worth keeping an eye open for.
On the whole. Not bad. Quite adventurous, very creative, good purpose.
Way to go Thomasan. Way to go.
Author Jon Thomason
Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he's been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.
Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.
And he's always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered...
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