May 13, 2009: Summary: Max first heard the mysterious voice when she was four years old. The voice promised to guide her in the right direction in finding four artifacts that will save the world. Years later, she finds a tiara in an art gallery that is one of the four artifacts. She meets Ben Quentin, a boy whose family owns the tiara. Max travels all around the city of Boston, trying to find the artifacts and save the world, and ultimately get rewarded with a wonderful gift.
Likes: The characters were the most interesting part of the story, as well they should be. Even though there isn’t a lot of characterization to make the characters real enough, they were still interesting to read about just given the situation they are in. Max is strong, if a little bit too intense, but she’s not the soft little heroines we read about in young adult fiction nor is she the anti-sue that we often find in more modern young adult fiction. The intense nature of her personality just seems to come with the territory. The dialogue is snappy and fun, without becoming overbearing or too caught up in its zingers and one-liners. The storyline is engaging and the characters are still unique and distinct.
Dislikes: There is not enough of the voice in the story. The voice doesn’t come in full force until later on. It seems like the voice should be more of a struggle for Max to deal with. Every scene we get where the story is about Max and her interactions without those outside of the museum and the voice are glossed over i.e. the situation with her mother and her friend, Nadia. Because of this, the characterization is lacking. I was getting a little frustrated at the pacing but the story starts to pick up after the 20th chapter, but considering that there is only 27 chapters posted, this is a bit of a problem.
Overall: The story starts off strong, but then takes a while to build up while skimming over important points of characterization for the characters. Despite these problems, it’s still an engaging read and I will continue reading. I gave this story 3.5 stars because the pacing is a bit slow, but now that’s it’s picked up, I’m sure this will be a 4+ star review in the future.