Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports - James Patterson

Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports
A Maximum Ride Novel
James Patterson

YA/ Paranormal Thriller

Note: If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT and SCHOOL’S OUT-FOREVER, not only have you missed a couple of really good books, but this review is going to contain spoilers. If you hate spoilers, go read the first two books. You’ll thank me later.

Max is not your average 14-year-old girl. For a start, she’s homeless. She’s also on the run from a bunch of freaks who want to kill her. She’s in charge of a bunch of other kids (Fang, Iggy, Gasman, Nudge, and Angel, along with their dog, Total) who are also in danger. Oh, and she and those other kids? Had bird DNA grafted into their human DNA before birth, so they all have wings and can fly. The freaks chasing them are mutant freaks designed for the purpose of hunting and killing bird kids. So far, the flock has managed to stay one step ahead of their pursuers. But running all the time, never being able to trust anyone, is hard.

They’ve just learned that the scientists who created them have a plan for the world. It’s called Re-Evolution, or the By-Half Plan. Basically, they plan to eliminate (that’s “kill,” in pc-speak) anyone who isn’t in perfect physical shape and performs a vital social function. If this whole ‘master race’ thing doesn’t ring a bell, you haven’t been paying attention in history class. Max has a Voice in her head and a chip in her arm. She wants to get rid of both them. The Voice keeps telling her that it’s up to her to save the world; to stop the scientists from carrying out their plan.

Fang has a plan to get started. He’s started writing a blog, on the theory that the scary scientists can’t just kill them if everyone knows about them. Max thinks it’s a long shot. Besides, getting a bunch of regular kids to go up against whatever the scientists come up with (now it’s robotized hunters) seems like throwing a bunch of lambs in front of a fleet of buses. While Fang and Max argue about the best way to stop the By-Half Plan, the Voice comes up with the terrifying news that there’s a traitor in the flock.

If you’ve read the first two books, you know that these books are long on action. We get to find out more about Max and her past, and about the huge corporation and scientists that started everything. The enemies are stronger, and the flock splits up at one point, making for some very tense situations. Max is at her smart-aleck best here, and there’s excitement and action pretty much from page one. The story is a bit bigger, too, making this the best installment in the series so far.

Rating: 8
May 2007 ISBN# 978-0-316-15560-1 (hardcover)
February 2008 ISBN# 978-0-446-19404-4 (paperback)


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