Saturday, 9 April 2011

9+: Max Cassidy 1: Escape From Shadow Island - Paul Adam

Release Date: 07/04/11


'My mum killed my dad, then dragged his body all the way along the beach ...I don't believe a word of it.' Max Cassidy is a teenage escapologist, so good he's nicknamed the Half-pint Houdini. His father disappeared two years ago and his body has never been found. His mother is now serving a life sentence for her husband's murder. Max's mission to learn the truth about his family takes him on an thrilling journey, from London to the horrors of the terrifying Shadow Island in central America. Escapology is dangerous but not nearly as dangerous as real life ...This is a first book in Paul Adam's fast and furious Max Cassidy thriller series.


With a lead character billed as the half-pint Houdini I had high hopes for this title and whilst it was entertaining it felt forced as if the character was being shoved into a round hole when he is in fact a square peg. The tale was entertaining and when you overlooked some of the issues that the overall arc raised it moved the reader along at quite a clip with some daring escapology that allowed the reader to have a lot of fun. Whilst Max isn’t a secret agent, the different arc that this allowed him to follow kept things not only on a more normal keel but also allowed the reader to associate with him on more even terms. Finally adding a sequence where bullying occurred allowed the reader to associate more which goes to demonstrate that the author has a clear understanding of finding ways to help endear the character to the reader. With most of the set up for the series now established, I feel that Paul will take the reader on some hair-raising adventures as each new piece of the puzzle unfolds. Its definitely going to be an interesting ride.

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