The End of the World Club (Jaguar Stones #2) by J&P Voelkel (ARC)
Release Date: December 28, 2010
IQ "'That's weird,' whispered Max. 'Should I go in?'
'Thou hast traveled halfway around the world and summoned me through time and space to be here. The gods themselves are watching thee, and the fate of humankind depends on what happens here today. Yes, young lord, I think thou shouldst go in." Lord 6-Dog pg. 139
NO SPOILERS in this review
As it grows closer and closer to 2012, people are beginning to talk more and more about the world ending. Max Murphy has other things to worry about. Like the fact that he owes the Lords of Death and if he doesn't do them their favor, he's going to die. Max has ten days to bring them the Yellow Jaguar. The Yellow Jaguar is in a small town in Spain, a town in which you can not tell a lie. It's not going to be easy but with the help of Lola and two howler monkeys (containing the spirit of an ancient Maya king and the king's mother), he just might be successful. If only he spoke Spanish....My review of the first book in the series (I think it's a trilogy), Middleworld.
I didn't like how Max's parents were so oblivious. Yes they ignored him as a child, but after he saved their lives, I thought they would respect him a little more. His mother is trying to spend more time with him, but both she and Max's father are pretending that everything is normal. They are ignoring the events of the Middleworld and the fact that their house is turning into a rainforest (a trick being played on them from the Lords of Death). I didn't think it was realistic in the slightest for parents who had witnessed all that they had witnessed and been through to ignore and dispute the signs of impending danger. It just irked me. I also thought the reason given as to why Max didn't need to contact his parents was really convenient. He's roaming around Polvoredo unchaperoned (granted Lola and the two howler monkeys would be better help than his parents if he got in any supernatural danger). I just wish the parents hadn't so easily been pushed to the side. I also thought part of the plot was a bit sketchy (Ziva's whole storyline), but my opinion could change once the truth is revealed. At times some of the plot did seem obvious.
I still love Lola's independent and resourceful nature. Max would be nowhere if it weren't for her. She has so many tricks up her sleeve, I love it. However I like that they are such a loyal team and as such they bicker and get jealous and stick together through it all. Their relationship isn't perfect and I like that. I also like that they are still just-friends because they are both too shy and unsure to make the first move. There is always, always, an interesting twist thrown in out of nowhere and it will keep readers on their toes. Max hasn't made a dramatic over-night change from brat to saint, he's still working on it and he goes through some relapses. He also manages to redeem himself. Lord 6-Dog and Lady Coco (the howler monkeys) are entertaining as usual.
The End of the World Club is a boisterous read filled with fun characters and not-so fun situations that are made fun by the characters. The illustrations add to both the humor and appeal of the story. While I wish the plot had been a bit more complex and the parents hadn't been so easily dismissed, I'm excited to read the next book. This book doesn't read like a sequel. It could be read as a stand-alone, although you might want to read the third book in the series because while the ending is fairly tidy, there's still a big showdown waiting to happen. Max notes that his story is like a video game, there's always a next level. It reads like a video game too. There are secrets to unlock, new characters to meet, fights and yes, there is always a next level.
Disclosure: Received for review. Thank you Egmont!