Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: School's Out - Forever

School's Out - Forever
James Patterson

Adventure, fighting, backstabbing and love abound" (VOYA) in this action-packed follow-up to the #1 New York Times blockbuster MAXIMUM RIDE: THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT, now available in paperback. The heart-stopping quest of six winged kids--led by fourteen-year-old Max--to find their parents and investigate the mind-blowing mystery of their ultimate destiny continues when they're taken under the wing of an FBI agent and attempt, for the first time, to live "normal" lives. But going to school and making friends doesn't stop them from being relentlessly hunted by sinister spies, who lead Max to face her most frightening match yet: a new and better version of herself.

Star Rating:

Yes, yes, I know. Everybody loves Max. I think that phrase is written across all three of the Patterson books I own. I'm still trying to love Max. I still don't.

The series is not bad. I liked the first book better than I liked School's Out - Forever. I think that they idea of these kids going to school is a little far-fetched and ridiculous, and as much as the travelling annoyed me before, their goals seemed more realistic to their situation. And I simply couldn't get past Anne, their caretaker. The lack-of-FBI-esque qualities that abounded in her character made me want to chuck the book across the room, and several times I found myself telling the page "Ha! And FBI agent would NEVER say that." Obviously later on the lack of traits becomes explained, but the lack of even trying bothered me enough that it distracted me.

I have issues with the characters in general, still. The older children are less frustrating - Fang and Max, namely. Total, the dog, bears a Toto (coincidence? I think not) like resemblance to me but he's annoying, and Angel is simply too bossy/innocent... she gets away with too much. That leaves "comic relief" to fall to Gasman and Izzy... and thus it makes them seem less vital to the story, other than being part of the flock. I do, however, give kudos to Patterson's method of handling the situation with Izzy's parents.

I still believe that for grades 8 through 12, the Maximum Ride series should be a huge hit. The characters are relatable, and there is less need for suspension of disbelief. Patterson's pacing is amazing, though. As much as I may find the series disappointing (and that, too, is a danger of a series with so much hype), I can move through the books very quickly, making them a good choice for a light read.

Read my review of: The Angel Experiment.

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