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5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless Debut
Jon's debut novel is flawlessly executed and creatively brilliant. Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is fast paced and fun and will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

The book is appropriate for young teens, but anyone likes a good book will enjoy it.
Published 13 months ago by Devin D. Thorpe

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A do not finish for me
I want to thank the author, Jon Thomason, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Max has anger management issues. And she has a dangerous secret. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a kid at school...
Published 13 months ago by thecovercontessa


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3.0 out of 5 stars A do not finish for me, July 5, 2013
I want to thank the author, Jon Thomason, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Max has anger management issues. And she has a dangerous secret. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a kid at school and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?
Philip has just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher's mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn't you use it to escape work in any way possible?
Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he's determined to stop them. The problem is that there's this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She's really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.
Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won't permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She's dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?
Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up) and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.

Are you looking for an awesome, magical middle grade adventure? Then you have found it here! This was my first book about Jinn and it was so great to be introduced in this way!

This is a story of Jinn, yes, Jinn, Genies! How much fun is that. There's magic with things flying, including carpets! This book is fun for both girls and boys. It takes you on a ride throughout!

There are good guys, bad guys and people in between. All leading up to fun, fun fun! It has a heroine who is all about good and a villain who will do anything for his evil! What fun could not come of that?

If you are a fan of stories like Harry Potter, then you'll love this look into Max's world as she explores her jinn side and what it can do for her. The characters are charming and well written. So dive right in and take a look at what it's all about. Fun, fantasy and fantastic adventure will keep you engrossed and hanging on for the ride of your life!

For me, this was a DNF. I just could not get into it. To be honest, I found it to be slow with way too much description. I can't see my 9 year old reading this and being happy.

3/5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, July 4, 2013
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This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
This was a very well written book. It would be enjoyable for teens or adults with a meaningful and important message to be reminded of!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless Debut, June 30, 2013
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Devin D. Thorpe "ddt" (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
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Jon's debut novel is flawlessly executed and creatively brilliant. Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is fast paced and fun and will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

The book is appropriate for young teens, but anyone likes a good book will enjoy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a tale fit for King Shahryâr!, May 25, 2013
By 
Chop Saw (Seattle Suburbia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
Were she alive today, I believe, Scheherazade herself would stay up long into the night huddled around her Kindle inhaling `Max'. Max Xylander and the Island of Zumarud entertains from start to finish. This fast paced story seamlessly blends two worlds while craftily answering questions of how the Jinn live and the why behind their most well-known symbols and acts. `Max' gives the reader a front row seat into the luxuriant and glamorous life of the beautiful and powerful jinn. Opulent scenes, befitting the great Persian Empire, provide the backdrop for a nonstop adventure any teen would enjoy.
The story alternates between two strong, dipolar main characters, both of which are unexpectedly thrust into their roles as pivotal jinni which could change the course of humanity. Max is an ambitious, young, teenage, cancer survivor who knows nothing of the mystical life of jinn living among us. While Philip is a twenty-something, self-serving, jinni only looking out for "number one". Both Max and Philip evolve as they work through a series of puzzles and challenges. Constantly, they face the question of who to trust and how to respond to the matters at hand. In the process each grows stronger in their abilities and resolve, on divergent paths. The book alternates between the two very different stories of these main characters. Max and Philip are unaware of each other, until almost 2/3rds of the way through the book when they finally meet. By the end they are steeled and well matched as formidable adversaries. This plot device takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride with nearly every chapter ending in an exciting cliffhanger.
Through his story, Thomason demonstrates an emphatic understanding for the topsy-turvy world of a young teen. Describing flying carpet rides as supercharged skateboarding, for example, he makes it fun and exciting. All the while he shows compassion for the wishes and fears all teens face. In the process Thomason teaches important morals in a non-preachy way, allowing Max to understand the importance of certain rules and truths on her own.
I loved reading this book. It put me in a world I would love to experience firsthand. Thomason's exceptional storytelling ability brought many of my wishes to life. While stuffed in a commercial airliner, craning my neck to see out the tiny, awkwardly placed window, I've often wished to be sitting on an overstuffed recliner with and unobstructed view of the world beneath and the sky above. And to get to Egypt from Seattle in a few hours, so comfortably! That's the life! When I find a jinni's ring, my first two wishes are for a living room sized flying carpet, and the ability to control it. My third wish...maybe to see Seattle's International Fountain perform the way Philip Stylus got it to operate.
If you are looking for a super fun book to read, look no further. Read Max Xylander and the Island of Zumarud. Just be sure you finish it before you show it to anyone else...my kids would not give it back till they had finished!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great inaugural novel., April 9, 2013
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This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
Exciting from page one. Jon Thomason did a great job. Great characters that I really cared about. Hope more books are coming.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ginni, April 6, 2013
By 
Scarlett Janeway (Nacogdoches, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
I liked this book it was unique and different. I have only read a few books about Jinn and those were just about one granting wishes not this elaborate community which they have in this book, where they have many different jobs and their magic comes from the ring each one wears. This book revolves around one of the main characters Max a girl who somehow got jinni powers from a bone marrow transplantand has to attend camp to train how to use them. She has to deal with so much opposition since she is this so called chosen one and choose which side she will be on follow the rules of the council or help Philip the Heir defeat them. I'm still a bit confused after reading this book. At first Philip seems to be a fairly nice guy just not good at following the rules but when he finds this Qudar and gets more power he becomes a bit evil and I totally did not like him anymore I'm glad he got the punishment he did. In the same sense the First Council Sedak is abusing his power too by not even giving Max a chance to prove herslef and just sends out his agent behind the scene to kill her.

So who was bad and who is good both sides had bad people in control and using their power for selfish reasons and not the good of the jinn. Max makes a few friends along the way Brynn and Aaron who help her fit and and learn how to be a jinni. At the end of the book Max learns that should not have trusted Philip he use her to get what he wanted and when she did not like his agenda she rejected joining him. I am looking forward to see what happens in the next book. If you like books about fantasy adventures and are fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and schemes set in the modern world then this book is for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Extreme, April 4, 2013
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This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
Very enjoyable book, much intrigue and suspense. Great teen book and even for adults who want to read a fantasy to get away from murder and mystery books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy Book, March 31, 2013
By 
Christy (Massillon, OH, United States) - See all my reviews
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Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is an awesome book about a typical 13 year old girl who just happens to find out that she is a jinni. Ok, maybe she's not so typical. After all, how many jinnis do you know? Yeah, I know a couple. But I'm like, the exception to the rule.....

When I read the synopsis of this book, I really hoped it was going to be a great adventure. I wasn't disappointed. When I read books that are meant for the middle/jr. high grade ages, I go into it with the eyes of a tween. I remember the types of books I loved to read when I was that age. Though the books I read as a tween were not quite this genre, I loved books with lots of adventure and strong female characters. I loved having my imagination kicked into full gear. Max Xylander does this to its readers.

The characters in Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud are great. Max is fierce. She is a cancer survivor, and this has made her strong. Brynn is cooky and fun and amazingly loyal. Aaron is a great friend with Max's best interests in mind...most of the time. Philip is just nuts, but I love his character nonetheless. Angie and Jill are well-developed secondary characters whom I can't wait to read more about in the sequels.

The Island of Zumuruud is described so well, I just want to live there. It's like Hogsmeade for the jinn. (Please don't tell me you don't know what Hogsmeade is! If you really don't, it's the only land in Britain inhabited only by witches and wizards....HARRY POTTER for heaven's sake.) I want to shop in their stores and buy some of the trading cards. I want to fly on a carpet that can hold a ton of furniture.

I recommend Max Xylander to anyone who loves adventure stories, but especially to middle graders who love reading. This will take them on a magical adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, March 25, 2013
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This review is from: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud (Kindle Edition)
As a grand mother I can assure you, my copy will now be placed in a down-line of hands as my Grand children are given the opportunity to read this book. Very fun story line and believable characters. I love that I can point out this kind of author to my sons and their wives! This is going to be the next "big hit" for kids and adults alike. I wouldn't be surprised to see a movie come out of it.......After all....look at Harry Potter. This book is just as entertaining. .I look forward to the next in this series! Jon Thomason- you are a very interesting writer. Thanks for the fun read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars It is a book for all ages and definitely many will love it., March 18, 2013
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"Sometimes we need bounds on our freedom."

Looking at the cover I thought it would be a SF. I couldn't be more wrong. Max is pure fantasy!

The story is sometimes alert, sometimes funny and sometimes is downright adventure. Danger hovers everywhere even that it comes from the people (if you have higher power does not necessarily mean that you are better man) or from other creatures. The school scenes will be well entwined with some Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and mystery type and will feast the reader.

Each of the four corners of the room had a gold statue of a gryphon. Except they were no longer statues. They were moving. Their motions were sluggish, as if awakening from a long sleep. [...]He swung in slow motion like a zombie, just enough to keep the gryphons away. There was no escape. He would die here."

In Max Xylander the author manages to combine the stories of four characters that come to influence each other destiny, although it seemed that there was little chance that they even meet. Each has different qualities and defects, each contributes to the story and each seems to be right in his way, especially Max and Philip - the main characters.
Regarding Aaron and Brynn you certainly will love them and I hope that their role in the next two volumes will grow.
I liked that the author shows and shapes very well the various forms that good and evil can take, those shades of gray that ultimately are what matter and, depending on how they are perceived, will define people to act in one way or another.
The feelings of the main characters are deep and the experiences they going through put their life in danger not just once. But more important is their personal struggle between good and evil. Where begin the need for rules for the personal and society benefit and where the need become tyranny? How, when and to where you can breach (or bypass) the rules and when is too much?

She was at the mercy of the doctors and of Fate. Couldn't say no or yes. Couldn't choose. Now, her new talent let her take the world on her own terms. It was narcotic and wild. She loved the feeling of gathering a ball of flame brighter than the sun and releasing it any way she could dream up."

Max and Philip will be "experiments" with different results.

Max does not care about the rules, (actually she did not really have how to know them, but she suspects the need for them), she's sometimes recalcitrant and rebellious, happy to no longer feel helpless. Yet at 13 years old only, the light in which some things are presented to her can make her to take some wrong decisions.

She'd had enough. An angry fire burned inside her. It was fueled by rage, by hate, and by the unfairness of every second of her thirteen-year-old life."

Philip had already some bad experiences with the "rules" or with those who impose them, but he's lucid, smart and he sees the truth where it is.

"You worship an evil guy from a thousand years ago. You don't think there's something wrong with that?" The train slowed for the next stop. "We just want to free the jinn." "So do I. I'm following the Path, aren't I? There's just no reason to chant and froth about it."

If Philip is already grown and has a life experience that can help him, Max have the Adrian's help who is mature and wise, and a very dear character to me. He is the voice of maturity, discernment, the one that emphasizes the differences between the rules and those who apply them.
The main characters stories are separately evolve, on different levels and the reader will be curious how their destinies will intertwined in the end. How they will meet, how they will be influence by the power's mirage and which will be their decisions in the end you will see for yourself.

It is a book for all ages and definitely many will love it.

I received the book in Max Xylander Blog Tour, and this is my sincere opinion.
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