Mister Max: The Book of Kings (#3)
by Cynthia Voigt
Cover Artist: Iacopo Bruno
Review by Gayle Surrette
Knopf Books for Young Readers Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780307976871
Date: 08 September 2015 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things, Max Starling was left behind when his parents disappeared on a ship, that didn't exist, to take them to India. Since then, with the help of his grandmother, he's managed to start his own business, help a lot of people, and begin to investigate where his parents could be and how to find them. In Mister Max: The Book of Kings, Max and his friends must come up with a rescue plan.
It was a photo in a newspaper showing the newly crowned king and queen of Andesia that was the first clue. These royals were actually Max's parents, so Max now knew where they were. The way they held hands was their theater signal they used when things weren't going right. Now all Max had to do was get to Andesia and rescue them.
His parents were more like housemates than parents, and Max was used to making his own decisions. His grandmother, who lives just across the back garden, is his guide, sounding board, and comfort when he needed it. Together they hope to rescue his parents and her daughter. Max had a plan. After all he was a Solutioneer.
To make his plan work they have to get to South America and then to Andesia. They also needed to be a foreign embassy and that means he needs to see King Teodor III. It will take a lot of planning and a good deal of luck to see the king. Could he do it without getting arrested? Meanwhile, concentrating on this rescue plan means letting Pia, his assistant who is even younger than himself, be in charge of the Solutioneer business.
There's a lot of humor, wit, and excitement. They don't know what they'll be getting into once they get to Andesia. Max's parents are essentially wild cards so even if they get to Andesia, there is no way to know if they'll cooperate or have their own plan for escaping. So, while there is a plan it may not actually be what they end up doing. Readers get to come along for the ride and the adventure.
The time period feels like early to mid-1900s. Max is an amazing person for a main character. There's surprises and twist galore to keep the reader interested and, at least for this reader, a very satisfactory conclusion. While this wraps up the story of Max's missing parents, I truly hope there will be more Mister Max adventures.