"The Max Hamby series is perfect for readers of Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Unwanteds, Septimus Heap and Charlie Bone. A mix of magic, adventure, humor, friendship and family that draws you in."
“You’re such a little moron, aren't you? They will hunt you down to the ends of the earth. It’s nothing personal, just business. It’s all about survival, dear boy."
Twelve-year-old Max Hamby lives a quiet life just outside of town in the small community of Pleasant Seas and that's just the way he likes it... until the day he crashes into an odd exhibit at the local museum.
Strange things begin to happen and even stranger people want Max all to themselves.
It begins with the disappearance of his mother and a mysterious text message that takes him to the edge of the Downs; a dark forest where no one dares to go.
He'll need to get past his eccentric neighbor first, but she has her own plan and reveals more than he ever thought possible.
These new discoveries take him to Merrihaven and a land filled with unbelievable creatures, magic and a longstanding battle for power. Someone has resurrected the Shadowstone to free the evil imprisoned inside. With the help of some unlikely allies, Max must summon the courage to find seven magical stones to save his mother before it's too late.
Max Hamby and the Blood Diamond is the first book in Kathy Cyr’s Max Hamby series; a middle grade fantasy series.
The story begins with an average twelve year old boy on an average school day being bullied by his classmates. During a field trip to the museum one of the bullies locks him in a room he isn't supposed to be in. That is where strange things begin to happen. No one would believe what he sees, even he doesn't believe it when his teacher shows up to collect her trouble making student.
Before long the weirdness is over, it's back to school for discipline and a call to his mother. The mood all changes when it is relayed his mother has gone missing and the weirdness starts again. Is Max going crazy or are these things happening and where is his mother?
The police are called in and Max is sent to stay with a family friend. This friend is who reveals a glimpse of the world Max belongs to but has been oblivious to his entire life. Magic and fantasy ensue leading to a showdown between good and evil with Max's life hanging in the balance.
I enjoyed this story and love the ending with an opening to an entire new world of stories to come. A great read for middle graders up.
People like me who, approach a fantasy book looking for the next Harry Potter tend to deprive ourselves of a phenomenal story. Max Hamby, The Blood Diamond Book 1 is that kind of story.
From the moment the duck quacks, waking Max Hamby up, he is in trouble. Not because he is late for school, as he sometimes is. Nor because this was a field trip day and the last person in line to board the bus would have to sit by Ms. Higgins his seventh grade teacher who was a stickler for punctuality. Did I mention that she is also very strict? Not even when he got the attention of the Gooch brothers who bombarded him with a bunch of spitballs to the back of the head.
No, his trouble really begins when he bends down to tie his broken shoelaces which he has tripped over four times. How can that be a problem you ask? Well, it caused him to glance into a dimly lit room. A dimly lit room with a single exhibit. In the museum? Curiosity got the better of him and he leaned in to get a better look. With the help of that bully Tommy Gooch, he skidded into the room and smacked knee first into the wooden stand of the exhibit almost knocking it over. Behind him, the door is locked blocking his only exit. If that isn’t bad enough, inside the room someone speaks to him. It accuses his mother of being a thief. Of taking something of great value away from them and they want it back. It—it’s .Uh uh uh. There are no spoilers here.
What makes Max Hamby, The Blood Diamond, Book 1 a UNIQUE read is that Max is not alone in his quest to discover his mother’s fate. For part of the book, he isn’t even involved in the action because two of his neighbors, a dwarf, a troll, Bartholomew (he wasn’t always a dog you know), the Bayard, the butterfly fairies, the gnomes, the cat/bird, his grandparents, and his aunts, even Alice, are all trying to protect him from what is going to come.
Ultimately, you have to solve your own problems, and Max is no different He learns what he has to do to change the fate of his parents. As for Aunt Alice, well, she provides a wicked yet mysterious twist to the story’s ending.
There are characters which grow on the reader as the story progresses, and by the end, without the reader even realizing it, these characters have managed to take a place in the reader's heart--Max Hamby is one of these.
The story starts with an awkward boy, Max Hamby, on a class field trip to a maybe not so exciting museum. For Max, disaster is guaranteed since he doesn't get along with the teacher, the kids enjoy bullying him every chance they get and, the last draw, his shoe laces are against him. Max literally stumbles into a world he doesn't understand and knows nothing about.
Like Max and his shoelaces, I stumbled through the first chapters simply because there is so much going on and so many characters involved that I had a hard time settling into the plot or world. But I'm glad I held on because after the story gets going, the world takes over and refuses to let go.
Max is a perfect character for his age--doesn't feel completely at home in his own skin, ready to prove himself, thinks of others, tries to do what is right, and finds his efforts not always working out as planned. But then, he is up against quite the array of mystic creatures.
The fantasy world is as rich and delightful as a candy store. Although starting out in a regular world, things slowly warp as witches, trolls and magic trickle in. There are even less known fantasy creatures and magical descriptions which make it seem as if the wonders could appear right before the reader's eyes.
Max is on a fast-paced adventure, going from one situation into the next...much which is, in the beginning, beyond his comprehension and control. But unlike many stories of this genre, Max isn't the only one riding the danger through. There is a large array of characters involved--aunts, cousins, friends, neighbors, and bad guys (of course)--and they are bound determined to keep Max out of the situation as much as possible. This creates a story where Max is, at first, more of a figure being shoved around, and the story telling reflects this. The happenings aren't only given from Max's point of view, but flip-flop between the characters, and sometimes, setting and scene. Since there is no warning or indication that a change in point of view is occurring, the story jolts, leaving the reader to figure out and notice on their own that a sudden change in views has occurred.
But it's exactly the fantastic rainbow of characters which makes this story so fun and intriguing to read. Each has their own personality and with all the twists and turns, each gains their own story, creating a rich world worthy of a series to be read.
Max Hamby and the Blood Diamond, Book 1 is now 99 cents.