Review of Middleworld by J&P Voelkel

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of Middleworld by J&P VoelkelMiddleworld by J&P Voelkel
Series: Middleworld #1
Published by Egmont USA on 2010-04-27
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, Historical, Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he's mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they've had a change of heart. Upon his arrival, Max's wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager. Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!From the Trade Paperback edition.

Max, 14, lead character of Middleworld by J&P Voelkel has archaeologist parents who are obsessed with the Maya. Essentially, he has the coolest parents EVER! However, he thinks his parents are lame. Um, what? Max, dear, have you met MY parents? Their interests include country music, fart jokes, and complaining about how much things cost. Anyways, privileged Max really grated on my nerves, I kept wanting to tell him to STFU or GTFO.

Max winds up in Central America, in a chase for the Jaguar Stones which are like the sorcerer’s stone in Harry Potter, only these stones control the gods. He whines a whole lot in Central America. He’s rude to the natives. Eventually, he comes across a Mayan girl named Lola. She’s like a 14 year old Lara Croft. Girl has got it going on. She was definitely my favorite character, aside from the gods. I think this was because Lola was SO different from Max.

I will say, Middleworld is quite funny in several instances. However, the humor is a bit juvenile for MY tastes. But, it’s a juvenile book, so really, what do I expect. It’s also quite educational. I learned quite a bit about the Mayan religion, calendars, and food. This isn’t really an adult-YA-MG crossover. I think the appeal is strictly for the MG set, which is fine. Not every book has to appeal to children and adults. Ultimately Middleworld by J & P Voelkelwould be great for middle schoolers, but not me, an adult reader of YA.

Other Reviews of Middleworld by J&P Voelkel:

Mindful Musings
He Followed Me Home
Brooke Reviews

Also, there’s a pretty cool official Middleworld Website, which may enhance your enjoyment!

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Enbrethiliel says


    I might actually be interested in this one. If I like it, I'll recommend it to my cousin who loved Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. First Greek gods, then Mayan gods. I wonder what is coming next!

    (But I do agree with you: archeologist parents would be uber cool. What is with Max???)

  2. Enbrethiliel says


    PS–I hate to expose myself now, but I tried Google and all I could come up with for "MG" was "Middle Grade". Is that what you mean by MG, April?

  3. Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) says

    I'm taking this one on vaca with me in a few weeks!

  4. daydreamerN says

    Oh I have this book at home. I was going to read it for my blog.

  5. Jenny N. says

    Great review, I liked the talking monkeys, they added so much humor to the book. I also recommended this title to my cousin for a book report he had to do.

  6. Kris (Voracious YAppetite) says

    I agree with how some MG books are good for that age group but lack crossover appeal. I've tried to express that sentiment before but never could get it to come out like you said it lol. I like that this book has to do with Mayan culture. Very cool!


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