Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book 35: Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson.


How it was obtained:
This was a gift to Susan one Christmas.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf:
2 years.

Days spent reading it:
2 days.

Why I read it:
This is the third book in a series.

Brief review:
This third book in the Maximum Ride series begins to show the real overall plot of the books. I was saying to myself "Finally!" and then "Lame." Threaded through the books so far have been not-so-subtle hints that there is indeed an overarching plot. I am still not sure how Max and her flock fit into it, but essentially this book reveals that the evil nemesis is pollution by evil giant companies. That's a little lame in my mind.

Patterson has written a great series. Max and her flock of misfits are loveable characters. The books are easy to read, quick paced, and have a tinge or cynicism that will certainly appeal to every teenager. I really enjoy reading them. But this book turns from unique and fun to a higher degree of absurd plot. Patterson has one of his characters start a blog that soon has millions of kids following it. They become a children's army that is willing to raise their tiny fists against "the man." So we have teenagers throwing rocks and protesting outside of giant corporations at one point in the book. Do I believe in the power of the teenager? Absolutely. But this was a little ridiculous. I think Patterson envisions millions of little eco-terrorists crying in the streets to save their planet. I just can't buy it . I will suspended my disbelief for a bunch of genetically altered bird-kids, but teenagers becoming tree-hugging protesters is a little too much for me.

The same problem runs through Christopher Pike's Alosha series (which I reviewed here, here, and here). These are fun writers, and I'm sure they want to do something significant with their words. But they are not believable. A believable writer in this area of ecology is Carl Hiaasen. Check out Hoot or Flush for a great story with a believable teenager stepping up to help the environment.

I still enjoy these books, but the plot is starting to get annoying. Will I keep reading them? Yup. I'll finish the next two at some point in the near future, I'm sure. I had some great hopes for this series, but it seems like they keep getting a little worse each time. Oh well, I guess that happens when the author writes like 10 books a year. Quality is sacrificed for quantity (and profits!). Such is life.

Favorite quote:
"'You should really try one of these cookies,' she said, holding out a chocolate-chip chunk of treason."

3.5 out of 5.

Final Word:

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