by James Patterson
This is the sixth book in the Maximum Ride series, so of course there will be minor spoilers because, come on, its a review of book #6... You can read my reviews on the previous books in the series here, and here.
Summary (from goodreads):
Being a kid with wings--constantly on the run--has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the Flock makes her fear the worst. Then, a cryptic message from a young girl arrives, warning them "The sky will fall." And as if an impending apocalypse weren't bad enough, canny birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max's soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max's desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?
My Expectations: not really high, Max Ride #4 and 5 weren't anything special. I haven't read reviews for this book yet, so not much hype affected me.
Delivery: kind of what I expected, I was maybe a bit disappointed that I was right.
Put-down-ability: I read it all in a day, so that says something. I think maybe 5/10, with 1 being "OMG READ NOW" and 10 being "get it away from me!"
First, I feel I should comment on what all you people (who have read Max Ride series already) are thinking about the whole Fang deal. I, like most, don't want him to die. The ending is so-so for me, at least it adds some plot. He was definitely more central in the novel, which I liked.
Fang (the book) was a mix of good and bad, of cheesy and kinda-cool, of ridiculous and plausible. There were loads of tiny tidbits that aggravated me to no end, but then there were parts of it that reminded me why I keep reading this series.
This is the first book where I thought everything I “judge” a book on (characters, writing, plot) was pretty weak. For one, the Angel’s sudden turn to the dark side was just out of the blue, out of character, and just not a very good idea. The way she and Max are all fine and dandy at the end was just random. You don’t go from angelic to egotistical leader to follower to bad guy, then to good guy again. It’s just all over the place.
I don’t know why, but I’m not in the majority of the Max-Fang constant romance. I’m sorry, but I like Max-leader, not Max-swooner. Plus, compared to some really good YA romance books I’ve read, this one falls short on the swoon-o-meter.
I wished there was more focus on other flock members like Gassy, Iggy, and Nudge. They were all just really flat, lacking character growth (which you should really come to expect by book #6) and much depth in general. It was just: Iggy cooks, Gassy farts/blows things up, Nudge…uhm… doesn’t do much really. She doesn’t even talk much :o It was definitely more focused on Max/Fang/Angel.
The writing is predictable: not very strong. Patterson has his cake and eats it too, by churning out another bestselling novel with writing that lacks sophistication and depth. He jumps so many POV, from Max’s first person, to third person, to some other random flock member, it’s again, all over the place.
Lastly, the plot felt like a broken record. Try and save world. Quit. Attack. Bad guys! Flock trouble? Max-Fang-kiss-kiss. Huh, new guy! Fighting! Drama! The end.
Nothing really surprised me (except “the Other Epilogue”) apart from psychotic-not-in-character Angel. Even the bad guy was just another Max Ride Bad Guy from the cupboard of stock villains.
Specific things I disliked: At the beginning, Max is given a house by CSM (Coalition to Stop the Madness, an organization trying to help the world). Uhmm, if I donated to a charity like that, I definitely would NOT want my money going to the Flock’s house and food. A charity like that would lose its integrity faster than I eat ice cream.
And the thing that killed a bit of the book for me? The fact that James Patterson has the nerve to use the words “WTH?” and “’Kkthxbye!”... Are you kidding me?? Just a personal pet peeve of mine, but unless the book is called “TTYL”, slang words definitely unnecessary and extremely un-hip. And I don't think any teenager thinks 'W-T-H' in their heads. Next thing you know, Book #7 will have Max 'Lol-ing'.
Something I did like? It was quick read, there was action, and there were some funny parts. It had the ‘essential’ Max Ride stuff, but it does get kind of old. And I was happy that Patterson didn’t stuff the problems of Chad, Africa down our throats. At the beginning, I was afraid he might, I won’t lie.
7.2/10 – Because it wasn’t that great. I think I touched on the things I disliked: stock villains, lack of dynamic characters, out of character-ness, romance portrayed averagely, average writing, predictable plot. Younger audiences (tween boys) will snap this up because it has all the stuff that is likable about the first 5 books.
Recommended to fans of the Max Ride series, or if you want a quick action-y read about bird kids.
If you check out my Rating System in the Tabs at the top, the ‘star’ equivalent rating would be 2.2/5 Stars.