I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
Ah, Mister Max. What an intriguing young fellow he was. I have to tell you that, although most will list this as Middle Grade, I think it bridges the gap. It's true that our hero is a mere twelve years old. However he's wise well beyond his years and, I won't lie, his personality is infectious. Max Starling is one of those characters who is going to cause a lot of readers to smile, no matter what their age.
I'm sure you're wondering why, if I loved Max so very much, I rated this book as I did. Let me explain. The characters in this book are superb. Every single one, from Max's grandmother right on down to Pia, Max's would be apprentice, is well fleshed out. Each character has their own set of quirks. Each has their own distinct personality that makes them instantly likable, or unlikable, as the story calls for. I can't deny that I was impressed by Cynthia Voigt's characters. Max and his comrades were great fun to follow.
Sadly, it was the story line itself that fell short for me. Max's back story is fascinating enough. Raised by theatrical parents, left alone due to mysterious circumstances, and trying to manage all by himself at only twelve years old. I was excited by the prospect of what he might get up to. Still, as enjoyable as some of the situations he found himself in were, it all read very slowly. It takes a long time for anything exciting to happen in Max's story. When it did, I read eagerly. Then I'd be left waiting for the next bit of excitement. I can't say for certain, but if I was left wanting I'm sure that a younger reader would be as well.
The ending also threw me for a loop. There isn't so much a cliffhanger as there is an abrupt end to it all. I was happy to glimpse at least some of what was to come, but I really wish more had been tied up. Despite everything though, I know I'll come back for more. Max was able to peak my interest, and I want to see what happens to him, and his family, in the next book.