Series: Max Flash #1
Published by Darby Creek Publishing on November 1, 2013
Genres: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
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Meet Max, explosive escapologist and master magician! He can free himself from the tightest of chains and contort himself into the tiniest of spaces. When the top secret Department for Extraordinary Activity discovers that an evil computer game character has escaped from the Virtual world and is intent on causing chaos, they know the time has come for Max's first mission.
There are dangerous monsters to fight, and a perilous plot to foil: does Max have the special skills needed to save the day?
Max Flash: Game On is a fast-paced chapter book for Middle Grade readers. It’s full of action, video games, sassy kids, super secret spy missions, and some wacky science fiction. In short? I loved it.
Max Flash is kind of a magical kid. See, his parents are both stage magicians, and Max? He’s kind of an escapologist like Harry Houdini. When we first meet Max he’s practising Houdini’s water escape trick. After his death-defying escape, his parents lead him down to the secret spy room where Max is introduced to the business and given his very first mission–complete with some really cool spy gear! Max’s mission? He needs to infiltrate a video game and put a stop to the uprising of the video game folk.
Yeah, you read that right. Max is about to go into the digital world of video games. How cool is that? Even better, these are all games he’s played before so he knows what to do and how to get around fairly well. There are only a few surprises in store for him.
Each chapter is short, so even reluctant readers can manage to read one chapter a night, and who knows, they might even get sucked into the story like I was! (In fact, I’m going to try to convince my 7-year-old to do just that…) The book is full of some really amazing, and fun drawings that capture the feeling of a young boy being pushed into this strange new world and being pretty darn good at it, as well as being funny and making for an even more interesting read.
With a male protagonist, and very few good girl characters I would recommend this book for boys. There are a lot of terrific books for girls out there, but this one probably isn’t it–there is the implication that only boys play video games, or that the only games girls play have to do with farming anyway. I hope future books include a kick-butt girl, because that was the only real flaw here in my opinion.