Thursday, 4 February 2010

Fang by James Patterson

Maximum Ride is used to living desperately on the run from evil forces sabotaging her quest to save the world—but nothing has ever come as close to destroying her as this horrifying prophetic message. Fang is Max's best friend, her soul mate, her partner in the leadership of her flock of winged children. A life without Fang is a life unimaginable.

When a newly created winged boy, the magnificent Dylan, is introduced into the flock, their world is upended yet again. Raised in a lab like the others, Dylan exists for only one reason: he was designed to be Max's perfect other half.

Thus unfolds a battle of perfection versus passion that terrifies, twists, and turns...and meanwhile, the apocalypse is coming"

This is the sixth book in the Maximum Ride series. The first three books were a really great trilogy, the 4th was basically a lecture about global warming with a real sense that it had been written without an idea, but simply because the first three were popular. The 5th one was a slight improvement, but not by much. I wasn't expecting much from this book, based on the previous books and most of JP's recent books, but I loved the first three books, and I love Max and Fang so I wanted to see if there was any chance the series could improve.

Based on the blurb for the book I assumed it would be more romance that previous books, with some crazy life and death stuff thrown in on top. In reality, I wasn't far off the mark. Max and Fang are officially a couple now, and very happy about it. They and the rest of the flock start out in Africa on a mission for the CSM (coalition to stop the madness) giving out food to refugees. But they're quickly inturrputed by Dr. Gunther-Hagen and a new bird kid, Dylan. Max gets a bad feeling about this Dr and his claims to want to help them and quickly takes the flock away from him, and Dylan. They're soon back in the US by themselves not really caring about much of anything, but then Jeb reappears and has Dylan with him. It doesn't take long for things to go downhill and the flock find themselves in big trouble again. This time, it looks like one of them really won't make it out alive.

Plus points: There was more of a story here than the past two books. The characters don't develop any strange, convinent super powers in time to save the day. There was a little more than a hint of the first three books with a crazy Dr. wanting to experiment on the flock again, adding to their DNA. And as a nice change, Max isn't running from Fang whenever he kisses her.

On the downside: The kids are still sheltered, spoiled, bratty versions of themselves instead of the sassy, tough kids from the first three books. Max seems to have let leadership go to her head and lost some common sense. Angel is creepier than ever and not in a good way. Fang was a little 'off' at times, and the others didn't get too much page time. There is a completely unexplained reappearence of a few erasers, who were then promptly forgotten. Pretty much all over the drama is over done to the point of annoyance and plenty of characters had big blowups when they really weren't warrented. The plot jumped around a little too much, it was one thing then suddenly another, then another, with little explination along the way. And when Max was talking about the evil doc, she used a different nickname just about everytime, which got tired and a little confusing at times.

Overall, this is an improvement on books 4 and 5. It's not a particularly coheasive story, and it's certainly got it's flaws, but it did get better as it went on and the ending was actually pretty good in many ways. Can't say I'm 100% happy with it, like many things it was a little over dramatic, but I still liked it. 5/10

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