Monday, September 3, 2007

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

Let me first start by saying this is my blog tour with MotherTalk. I am excited and a little nervous. This too is my first experience with James Patterson and Max and the gang.

Let me first say that I did enjoy the ride. Sci-Fi and fantasy are genres that I enjoy. I think the idea of getting lost in another world, or worlds away is what I enjoy most. It's always an escape for a brief moment. And this book definitely offered that.

Maximum Ride ... the third edition in the series... tells the latest adventures of Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy and Angel. A group of kids that have been created by a bunch of mad scientists. They are hybrids, part human and part bird. They all have some pretty special skills and talents. More bird than human really. Of course they can fly, but they also have super strength, hearing and even powers to read minds and change thoughts. Maximum Ride 3 chronicles the flocks escape from The School and their journey to save the world from the evil scientists and save themselves. Max is the leader of the group, Fang plays second in command but when the flock splits up both Max and Fang need to rise to the challenge and guide the others to safety and back to each other.

As I mentioned, I have not read the first two Maximum Ride books, but I liked the fact that I wasn't lost while reading this one. While I think I will go back to pick up the first two to find out how it all starts for Max, Fang and the rest of the flock, I don't think it is necessary in order to enjoy the book.

This book is geared to young adults, but I think most adults would also enjoy it. It was a quick read for me, and the story was fast paced. It is definitely a series worth picking up if you are into this genre.

There are a number of things I enjoyed. James Patterson used themes that many young kids are dealing with and familiar with. One of those is the need to be environmentally conscious and how important it is to work together, kids and adults, to save the planet. This topic is at the forefront for many people, especially since LIVE Earth rocked cities around the world. This book definitely empowers kids to do their part. It reminds the reader that kids have a voice, an important one, and that they do have the power to change the world.

James Patterson also uses technology in an interesting and familiar way for kids. The idea of telling part of the story through Fang's blog is great (check it out. It's a lot of fun and adds to the Maximum Ride experience). It really felt like the story was more than just a book, more like we were riding along with the characters. It gave me the sense of how Fang was reaching out to the kids of the world and how his honesty ( a way to rebel against the secrecy of the School and the scientists) had a real impact on other kids.

Of course, you could not ignore the whole mad science aspect in this book. It takes the idea of cloning and DNA to an extreme. I liked it. I think it could get kids really interested in science and what the future could hold. It also has the depth that a more mature reader could enjoy, especially when you start thinking about the ethics of mad science and where it could all go.

I also liked the subtle teen angst between Max and Fang. It really showed through. No doubt issues that most young kids have to deal with.

There was a lot of twists and turns in the book that kept me turning the page. I was intrigued by things that were revealed ...never sure if they were true or not. I felt like I was discovering things right along with the characters.

It look forward to going back to find out how it all started for the flock. And I look forward to the fourth book in this series to see the next chapter in the adventure for Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Angel and Total ...and the rest of the characters. The Maximum Ride website is worth checking out too.