Escape from Shadow Island (Max Cassidy, #1)
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Escape from Shadow Island (Max Cassidy #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  312 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Max is an ordinary north London schoolboy by day, but at night he performs sell-out public shows as an escapologist - nicknamed The Half-Pint Houdini by the tabloid press. His father, Alexander, was also a world-renowned escapologist, who disappeared two years earlier in the Central American state of Santo Domingo. His body was never found, but Max's mother, Helen, was con...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 2nd 2009 by Corgi Childrens
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Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I think that Max Cassidy is a book tween and teens will enjoy reading. It's a quick murder, mystery read, as 14 yr old Max is out to prove that his Mum didn't kill his father, a world famous escape artist who was killed two years ago Santo Domingo. Now Max has followed in his father's shoes and can escape from most anything, even the unescapable Shadow Island.

In his quest to prove his Mum's innocence, Max travels from England to Santo Domingo to find answers. Max soon learns that finding his an...more
This book feels it is necessary to explain what the definition of “implode” is, and than 20 pages later uses the word “soporific” without any explanation. I don't know if the author thinks he is addressing smart children or dumb adults. This thriller revolves around a teenage boy whose father is murdered and his mother is accused of the crime and put in jail. This seems to be a common theme; this is the second book I've read this summer with this plot (the first is Nothing to Lose by Alex Flinn...more
Irvington Public Library Teens
Max performs as a 14-year-old escape artist, which is a good thing because his parents can't earn money. His dad is a legendary escape artist who mysteriously disappeared in Santo Domingo two years ago. Max's mother is in prison for murdering his dad, but Max believes she is innocent. After a mysterious stranger comes to Max, saying he knows the truth about his parents, non-stop action/mystery begins! I want to read the sequel "The Jaws of Death" when it is published in August, 2011. -- Steve Fo...more
Hugely uninteresting YA thriller, mainly because it could have been a hundred pages shorter since there's not a whole lot happening anyway. I think you should always judge a book by how engaging the main character is, whether he's just a nerd or an adventurer in order to understand the author's investment in the story. The main character in this book is a 14-year-old magician named Max Cassidy. He performs his magic acts in front of a large audience throughout the week, goes to school in between...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Max is not a run of the mill middle school kid. On some nights and weekends he does his own show as the world’s most famous escape artist. Handcuffs, straight jackets, shackles, locked boxes…Max is an expert lock picker and can get out of all kinds of traps, even while submerged underwater. He even knows how to swallow a key…and then bring it back up on command. Ick. But impressive.

Max learned everything from his Dad, who is now dead. Max’s mother is in prison for killing his father. Max knows s...more
I received this book on Friday and was sooo excited to read about an escapologist that I started it right away and the story was so brilliant that I read it in a day! I couldn't put the book down and I thought it is a fantastic idea for a series!

Okay, so I might need to add "don't do this at home" for the kids and all that!
(there's a disclaimer in the first pages of the book and I literally jumped to read what they meant - I'm one tough cookie that way)

The idea of this book is such sheer brillia...more
Zach A.
Escape From Shadow Island:
When There’s No Hope Of Success, Why Even Try?
The next Harry Houdini. The greatest escapologist in the past 10 years. The boy wizard. Max Cassidy has been described as all of those things, but he has a blemish on his reputation. His mom is in jail for the next 18 years for the murder of his father. Only Max, his mother, and Consuela, the Cassidy family aide know that his mother never killed his father. This takes place in Paul Adam’s novel, Max Cassidy; Escape From Sha...more
Give credit to Paul Adam for making the ending a full on of action, people!

What came to mind was Artemis Fowl while reading this book. I know I shouldn't compare books but my mind just did that itself. Even though Max was a fine enough main character it was odd. A 14 year old boy who cries? Okay so nothing wrong with that, that's fine, but being kind a wimpish like Artemis Fowl? What I did I like about Max was he was strong and knew how to do some ACTION. Like he could get out of handcuffs!

The b...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I think that Max Cassidy is a book tween and teens will enjoy reading. It's a quick murder, mystery read, as 14 yr old Max is out to prove that his Mum didn't kill his father, a world famous escape artist who was killed two years ago Santo Domingo. Now Max has followed in his father's shoes and can escape from most anything, even the unescapable Shadow Island.

In his quest to prove his Mum's innocence, Max travels from England to Santo Domingo to find answers. Max soon learns that finding his an...more
Cathrine Bonham
Apr 05, 2014 Cathrine Bonham rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Alex Rider
This book is a must read for anyone who loved the Alex Rider adventures. Like Alex Rider, Max Cassidy is a fourteen year old boy with extraordinary talents and a very tragic back story.

Max's Mother is in jail for murdering his father and now his father's former magician's assistant is his legal guardian and Max must preform two magic shows a week in order to pay the mortgage.

After a mysterious stranger confronts Max after a show he sets out for south America to find proof that his mom is innoce...more
This book Escape From Shadow Island by Paul Adam is about this teenager who is fourteen years old named Max. As I read about who Max really is, I think this fellow Max is not a great person, but turns out to be adventurous. What surprises me is that Max's family is mostly gone and meaningless. His mother had been accused of murdering his father. When I continued reading on this story, it was pretty depressing to understand how the life of the character, Max was. With mystery, crime, and adventur...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Authorities tell Max his father's dead and his mother killed him. Not believing what he's been told, Max and his guardian, Consuela, have been trying to exonerate Max's mother.

One night, after his magic show act, Max is told by a stranger that his father is still alive, but the man is found murdered in his hotel room before Max can find out where he is. With only the knowledge of where his father was last seen, Max sets out to save his dad.

Corrupt cops, a p...more
This book is about a fourteen-year-old escapologist, Max, who is trying to solve a mystery; how did his father disappear; and answer a few questions; where is his dad and why was his mother accused of a crime she didn't commit? I liked this book because there was a lot of action and suspense, and I would recommend this book to people who enjoy action and mysteries.
Michaela Lake
This book came from the local library. I read the first chapter standing by the shelf - literally couldn't put it down! So of course,it had to come home with me.

I like the way we are let in on some of the secrets of escapology. The main character was well drawn and some of the realities of life in show business neatly pointed out.

In my local library this was in the children's section. I think it would be better housed in the teens department, as there is some violence and graphic description, w...more
In this book Max must infiltrate and escape shadow island to find his father, free his mom, and free his friends.

I liked the book because I thought it was exiting to hear about his strategies of escape.

I think you would like it if you are interested in adventure and Intensity.
Books Kids Like
Max Cassidy's father disappeared two years ago, and his mother has spent the entire time in prison accused and convicted of his murder. Max lives in London with his guardian, Consuelo. He attends school and earns money performing as an escape artist--his father's profession. Max decides to return to Santo Domingo, a small country in Central America, where the supposed murder took place in hopes of finding clues that will clear his mother's name. What Max finds is a country ruled by corruption, a...more
Sandra Stiles
I believe any boy, and many girls, will love this book. Max Cassidy's mother is in jail accused of murdering her husband. Why? Her husband disappeared and she has been accused. Max doesn't believe his mother is guilty and sets out to prove her innocence. His belief is confirmed when a man approaches him and tells him is father is still alive and then the man turns up dead. Someone doesn't want anyone trying to find his father. Powerful people are going to a lot of trouble to keep Max and anyone...more
Nanci Booher
I flipped between 3 and 4 stars with this one. I ultimately gave it 4 stars because of what it lacked--swearing, sex and gore. Reading this with my "elementary school librarian" hat on, I decided that this is the kind of book that could go into our collection. There is enough suspense to keep the kids turning the pages. I liked it enough to want to read book 2.
Max Cassidy is a 14 year old boy, and is a profesional escapologist, just like his dad. But 2 years ago his dad had a show in Santo Domingo and was supposidly killed by Max's mother and she was sent to prison for 20 years. After Max's show he meets a man Luis Lopez-Vega. He tells Max that his dad is alive and his mother inocent. So he goes down to Santo Domingo to investigate. When he starts snooping around he starts to think this offshore island fortress has somthing to do with his fathers disa...more
Paul Adam writes thrillers for adults, this is his first for children. Max, 14, is an escapologist like his father. His father was murdered 2 years ago, and his mother accused and convicted. A man finds him after one of his shows, tells him to meet him at a hotel because he has information that proves his mother's innocence. When Max gets there, the guy is dead, but has a sequence of numbers under his wig. Max, with the help of Consuela, follows this and other clues in the hopes of speeding up t...more
Great quick read about a Young Escape artist on a quest to clear his mother of his father's murder! Loved it... but there were a couple hamhanded social action didactic moments and a weird, unresolved ending clearly leading to a sequel that pulled it down to 4 stars!

I wish the author lived in the USA so I could nominate for our state award list, but regardless a great book to get reluctant boys to read full of action, adventure, suspense, and a little lock-picking!

Makes me wonder how much of the...more
Unlike most childrens' books, this book does not leave me vaguely frustrated once I've finished reading it. I, personally, think this is because, while the writing may be aimed at younger audiences, the author writes more like a young adult novelist than a childrens' one. This gives the book the best of both worlds - it doesn't have the too-fast paced, more adventure than action of childrens' books, but it also doesn't include the nonsensical romance young adult books all seem to have these days...more
Douglas Larson
This is the first in a series about a boy who is a self-trained magician. In this story he goes about finding closure over the death of his father in the recent past. The protagonist doesn't quite believe that his father is really dead so he emabarks on a mission to discover the truth, i.e either confirm that his father is dead or find the truth about his dissapearance.
While I like the story overall, I found the prose style a bit awkward at times and some of the key plot points seem too contriv...more
WCPL Teens
Max, age 14, is a leading teenage magician skilled in the srt of escape. He learned his craft from his father, who mysteriously disappeared from a small Central American country 2 years ago. Max's mother was tried and convicted of his murder, even though a body has never been found. When Max receives a message that his father is alive, he travels to Santo Domingo to learn the truth. But the truth is hard to find in a country run by corrupt officials. Not everything gets solved at the end - look...more
Unique plot and I especially like how Max is an escapologist. Didn't largely impress me but I will be reading the next one!
Gary Sedivy
It is a bummer, getting old (older than 19!) - because teenagers are obviously smarter than all the adults put together...
OK. I know it is youth fiction, written for kids. It's an acceptable adventure/detective story. Plenty of action, spills and thrills, danger, escapes, etc. The ending of the book was not an ending at all, but a cliff-hanger segue into the next book. Very little was solved, or resolved.
Is it worth reading book #2? Maybe, maybe not.
I liked this, and was swept away by the story, which was about a young escapologist whose mother is in jail for the murder of his father. Max gets swept up by a few mysterious clues, then goes on a dangerous hunt for the truth. The villains are nefarious, the women play lovely supporting roles, but Max himself is a little stiff and awkward. Beyond that, I enjoyed the tale and would imagine many readers would be anxious for the sequel.
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Houdini has nothing on Max Cassidy. At the age of fourteen, Max is already a world famous excape artist. He is also the only person looking to prove his mother's innocence. She was wrongly convicted of killing his father and only Max can follow the clues to uncover the truth.

Recommend for those who like Alex Rider, Young James Bond, and Conspiracy 365.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Houdini has nothing on Max Cassidy. At the age of fourteen, Max is already a world famous excape artist. He is also the only person looking to prove his mother's innocence. She was wrongly convicted of killing his father and only Max can follow the clues to uncover the truth.

Recommend for those who love a good adventure.
An exotic and creative Dominican-Republic thrill ride that serves as a great kickoff for Max's trilogy. Crisp perspective, tense action, and exciting adventure all conglomerate in this amazing read. However, all this doesn't serve as an excuse for the book's odd transition from an escapology story to a mystery story.
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Librarian's Note: There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads database.

Paul Adam has written eleven critically-acclaimed thrillers for adults. His books have sold widely around the world and have been translated into several foreign languages.

He is also the author of the Max Cassidy Series of thrillers for children.

Paul Adam has also written television and film scripts. He lives in...more
More about Paul Adam...
Paganini's Ghost (Castiglione and Guastafeste, #2) The Rainaldi Quartet (Castiglione and Guastafeste, #1) Jaws of Death (Max Cassidy, #2) The Unholy Trinity Oracle Lake

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