Summary:(goodreads) With the end of the Mayan calendar fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Max Murphy and his new friend Lola, the modern Maya girl who saved his life in the perilous jungle, are racing against time to outwit the twelve Lords of Death. Following the trail of the conquistadors, their quest takes them back to the wild heart of Spain - a forgotten land steeped in legend, superstition and ever more bizarre tourist festivals. With a pack of hellhounds on their heels and the cape-twirling Count Antonio de Landa in hot pursuit, the teens must face madness and betrayal, bluff and double-bluff, to uncover the terrible secrets of the long-lost Yellow Jaguar. But no matter where they run, all roads lead to Xibalba. There, in the cold and watery Maya underworld, we finally discover why only Max Murphy can save the world from the villainous Lords of Death.
Review: Right off the bat, I would like to mention the one thing that sticks with me for this book and also the one before it. It is kind of a historical sort of book or pretty close to the facts of Mayan culture, but it doesn't feel like it at all. The way the writing is done weaves in the information in a manner that it isn't obvious fact dumping and becomes a natural part of the story. I've learned so much not just about the Mayan culture, but also some traditions of Spain since this book is set in that country, but without the pain of reading through a history textbook or travel guide.
This is a middle grade read, so the characters are pretty immature. And Max is really immature mostly because he is male. It is to be expected. Just when I thought he was getting serious and growing some...he goes on to do something selfish and stupid. Why don't I ever learn? No, but really, he is slowly but surely getting better and despite his never-ending list of faults, Max is still pretty comical character. The things he gets himself into...
This book is Adventure so there isn't any slow parts really. But it is better enjoyed reading it quickly because of the fact that so much stuff is going on. It can get fairly confusing with the varied cast of characters and several quests at a time to complete. There are pictures every now and then scattered throughout the book to give the reader an idea of what this or that should look like as described. And a couple of those pictures are horrifying.
Overall, if you like Adventure, Mayan Culture, the end of the world talks, quirky although scary bad guys, and are a younger reader, then there is a high likelihood of you liking this series. :)
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5