by James Patterson
Of all the MAXIMUM RIDE series books, I found MAX to be the most enjoyable. This is a book that is a fast paced adventure as well as having a good story within. When we last saw Max and “the Flock”, they were in freezing Antarctica. The avian gang includes Fang, Nudge, the Gasman, and Iggy, all who are genetically changed so that they are 98 percent human and only 2 percent bird as well as Angel who is the six-year-old telepathic member, and of course their talking dog Total, who adds a bit of comedy with his sarcasm. Now they are in the warm sun of southern California.
The story opens with the flock putting on an aerial show that Max’s mom, Dr. Valencia Martinez, has put together to help get out the important information of a group of scientists known as the Coalition to Stop the Madness. They want people aware of pollution, greenhouse gases and all type of harmful activities for earth. Unfortunately, as the show is going on, the flock is attacked by a sniper who just barely misses Max. This is followed soon after by a kidnapping, and by this time the story has picked up steam and you can’t put it down. The latest in villains to the flock is Mr. Chu and his cyborg helpers. All of this leads our young heroes into the deepest parts of the Pacific. Here they discover that the Chu Corporation is involved as they have been dumping dangerous toxic wastes directly into the ocean-thus the fish kill. With the help of some sea monsters, Max rescues her mom but her Voice warns her about someone close to them. This leaves readers anxious and they will not be satisfied now until there is another novel to follow up after this one.
While there is still the background of global warming, it isn’t the main focus of this entry as it was in the last book. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and the flock in the water. That is, when they learn of fish dying by the thousands off the Hawaiian Islands, they go to investigate. What they find is that someone or some thing is destroying hundred of ships and thus there is the threat of a huge ecologically traumatic event about to occur. In order to solve this, they have to go into the deep water to solve the problem. Unbeknownst to them, is a villain who is watching and waiting to kill them at a moment’s notice.
And so while Max and her partners are in the deep ocean, they are being followed and tracked. The villain has his own plans and they include using the flock. The question of if the flock can save themselves or fall under the evil spell of the villain and his vast army, is what makes this book tick. The salvation of earth lies in their hands. Patterson’s development of each character helps quite a bit in this story as it make you know each of them better and in a more “human” way, if that is possible.
The short chapter style that Patterson uses makes for always exciting cliff hangers and thus the reason you sit down and literally can finish the book in one sitting…that is if you have no other basic needs or a job to attend to. If you don’t, then I strongly recommend you read this book and find out just who is the monster, the villain, in this story which will prove to be the hook that keeps you reading.
MAX is a sweet ride and one that young and old will adore for all the right reasons. Of course, as with all the books in this series, it will leave us wanting for just one more! Comment below and name two of the avian gang members mentioned in this review. First five people to comment and do this correctly will get an extra entry into the Super April Audio Giveaway to win one of 4 audio books from this post.