Max and the Spice Thieves


Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
272 Pages
Reviewed on 12/05/2020
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Author Biography

John was born in Miami, Florida in 1970. He grew up in the Tampa Bay area, but attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston Salem NC, for High School. He attended Florida State University and got a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University.

In August of 2007, he took the plunge. John had been a social worker in child protective services for far too many years, and had been toying with the idea of being a writer. He had written for a few national magazines and recieved positive responses for his work.

He decided to quit social work and took a chance at writing full time. Since then he has authored 14 books under his name and helped many others through ghostwriting and book coaching. He has a passion for wine and history. He freelances as a journalist for Reuters, New York Times, Wine Enthusiast and more.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Max and the Spice Thieves is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, action, and adventure sub-genres aimed at young adult readers, and was written by author John Peragine. The book follows the hero Max Daybreaker as he joins a group of spice pirates on a quest to find his missing mother. Picking up a gallery of interesting new friends to help him on his journey, Max and his allies must survive dangerous worlds filled with deadly creatures, but as each challenge is met, Max learns a little bit more about his own strange and secretive past.

Author John Peragine has crafted a superb fantasy tale which will certainly capture the hearts and minds of the intended young adult reading audience, as well as older readers seeking a fresh sense of adventure from a youthful perspective. One of the things which I really admired about the work was its imaginative quality and craft of language, bringing the colourful characters and magical settings to life in a way that feels like blockbuster cinema. The dialogue was a special highlight too, serving not only to characterize the amazing and distinct voices of the different people whom Max meets, but also providing a clever way to get the plot exposition out without reams of thick backstory or prose that takes you out of the action. This keeps the work relevant and involved for every scene, increasing the tension and sense of adventure. Overall, I would highly recommend Max and the Spice Thieves to fans of epic journeys, fierce battles, and all-out fantasy adventure. A cover to cover thrilling ride.

Soumya Sreehari

Max Daybreaker is a simple farm boy, or so he thinks. When his sailor father is presumed dead at sea, he and his mother set out on a search. When Max is separated from his mother even before the journey starts, strange events occur. He joins up with the Spice Pirate Captain Cinn in the quest for his parents. The journey is full of discoveries of new worlds, new truths, secrets, and more. During his quest, Max meets an angry prince, a teenage queen, a seer, a witch queen, spice thieves, harpies, and shape-shifting bears. All of them want to fight against an evil Djinn. What is Max’s role in this journey? Is he really who he thinks he is? More of these questions are answered in the brisk page-turner Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine.

Imagine you are a teenager who knew one life and suddenly you are thrown into a strange set of circumstances that question who you are. That is exactly what happens to Max Daybreaker in John Peragine’s spellbinding fantasy tale Max and the Spice Thieves. From leading a quiet life on a farm, he turns into the savior of clans and tribes. Max’s journey in search of his parents is captivating. It takes him through the high seas, desert palaces, thick jungles, ice castles, and more. It was a delightful reading experience to join Max on his journey. All his fellow travelers – Captain Cinn, Linzy, Mesha, Timbu, Annalinda – were fascinating in their own way. The story was gripping and left me wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed this journey with Max and eagerly await his next.

Bruce Arrington

Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine is a juvenile fantasy story about 12-year-old Max, whose entire life is suddenly thrown upside-down. A while has passed since his father, a spice pirate captain, disappeared, and Max urgently feels the need to find him. Then overnight he and his mother must pack their belongings and flee. But his mother is taken away mysteriously, leaving Max to fend for himself. Will he ever find his father or his mother again, or is he doomed to the terrible, poor life of an orphan with no one to help him? And what is this mysterious power inside him that seems to harm those around him?

I found the story endearing, with its tame (and lovable) pirates, a witch queen (is she good or evil?), enemies and friends unlooked-for, and yes, an evil Djinn. The violence is mild, and our hero is treated with kid gloves throughout the entire story, making the story suitable for the young chapter book reading group. Max plays a good role model for others to follow. Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine takes a young boy with an innocent heart and uses the age-old theme of love to help conquer both one’s fears, and the enemy. The ending of this book gives a satisfying climax, but there are more adventures ahead, as the series continues. This book is recommended for the young and young at heart who enjoy reading adventure stories with a mix of magic.