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About the Author-
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
- Samuel Goldwyn said: "If you want to send a message, call Western Union." Patterson apparently missed that memo when writing this fifth book in his Maximum Ride series as the story and its characters take a backseat to environmental preaching. Nevertheless, what the book misses in character and plot, it makes up for in action and snappy dialogue. Max and her flock of part-bird teenagers fly to Hawaii to help the Navy find out what is killing millions of birds. In the process, they discover new talents and encounter new enemies. Jill Apple reads capably but lacks the spunky energy of the book's 14-year-old heroine. Many of Max's sassy observations are delivered flatly. The reading is accompanied by background music and sound effects, which add aural scenery to an otherwise flat adventure. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
March 16, 2009
The fifth entry in Patterson's all-ages Maximum Ride fantasy/thriller series finds the teenaged title character facing her greatest challenge yet. Max, leading her flock of virtually indestructible part-human/part-bird hybrids, must rescue her human mom, kidnapped by a criminal mastermind with an elaborate plan to wreak worldwide ecological catastrophe. But in order to rescue her, 14-year-old Max and the five younger members of her flock (genetically developed by an environmental group) must team up with the U.S. Navy to determine why millions of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii. All this, and Max is falling in love, too. Patterson doesn't spend much time on character development, opting to propel his wild story with quick action scenes, plenty of dialogue and chapters seldom longer than three or four pages; unfortunately, though, life-and-death situations are often solved by implausible plot turns. Max narrates with a precocious, snarky voice, but makes it relatively easy to jump into her complicated tale midstream. Not surprisingly, the open-ended conclusion begs for a follow-up; it's also little wonder that a movie franchise is in the works.
August 1, 2009
Gr 7-9-In this installment in the series, Max, the super-spunky, flying, mutant bird-girl and "kick butt warrior," and her flock battle evil, ecologically thoughtless foes. Fast-paced thrills spill from the pages and pull readers in, starting on page one when a suicide sniper cyborg/human aims his automatic pistol at Max as she flies in an air show over Los Angeles. To help publicize her mother's environmental group, Coalition to Stop the Madness, Max has agreed to lead the flying flock in these touring shows. Performing soon endangers her life, however, by bringing her identity and relationship with the CSM to the immediate attention of Mr. Chu, whose business has dumped radioactive material into the ocean around Hawaii. These toxins are killing millions of fish and causing grisly mutations to other sea creatures. Mr. Chu almost kills Max and then kidnaps her mother, holding her for ransom in a submarine. With the flock members' extraordinary abilitiesGazzy's inventiveness, Max's strength and intuitive "voice" in her head, and Angel's telepathy and her ability to speak to some helpful mutant sea creatures, Max rescues her mother. Patterson weaves humor into the dramatic action. In addition, Max's romantic relationship with Fang ripens to a more serious level than in the previous books. Hints of an approaching apocalypse, repeated references to Max's "mission in saving the world," and a few lingering questions such as her precarious relationship with her father all leave open the possibility of a sequel."James K. Irwin, Sandy Library, UT"
Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
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