“The End of the World Club (The Jaguar Stones #2)” by J&P Voelkel
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy
Summary from 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.
I’ll admit I enjoy series books. It’s a fantastic feeling to find a book that you really enjoy and then to have even more books similar to that book all set to be read. It takes a lot of the ‘work’ out of going to the library/bookstore. The biggest downside to series book is they tend to be really formulaic.
Thankfully, The End of the World Club did not fall into that ‘second story syndrome’. Yay! I was pleasantly surprised the authors were able to keep enough of the ‘flavor’ of the first book in addition to having a different unique story. It’s really hard to find that balance.
This book had adventure but a different type of adventure. Instead of running through jungles, Max and Lola are running off to Spain, dealing with ‘city’ adventures and solving mysteries. This book felt more like the Percy Jackson books which is awesome. Max gets caught up in many different silly situations: playing for his favorite band, waking up in a coffin, trying to stop a wedding.
While I really enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it. I think it’s really hard to capture the magic and wonder of the first book again. It is absolutely fun and wonderful but there just wasn’t that little something extra to make me love it, you know?
For what it’s worth, I recommend reading this fairly soon after Middleworld. I took a few months off and had a hard time remembering everything. The two books are only a few weeks off from each other in time so remembering what already happened is very helpful!
I still highly recommend this series to Percy Jackson fans. I keep telling that to all the kids who come into the bookstore when I’m at work!