Monday, August 27, 2007

MotherTalk Book Review: MAXIMUM RIDE 3

6 Flying hybrid kids.
1 Talking dog.
Saving the world.

I first became acquainted with the concept of flying bird-kids and genetic hybridization when reading two of James Patterson's "grown up" books: When The Wind Blows and its sequel, The Lake House.

I was pleased to get the opportunity from MotherTalk to read and review MAXIMUM RIDE 3: Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports.
It (along with its two prequels) was written as a young adult book, and my daughter (12) and I both have thoroughly enjoyed the series so far.

Max (14 years old) and her flock are genetic hybrids...bird-kids. Recombinant DNA experiments. Not only do they have impressive wing-spans and incredible strength, some of them have developed other 'talents' such as mimicry and the ability to read and/or control minds. They are constantly being chased by half-lupine "Erasers", who have tried to kill or capture the flock on more than one occasion. "Erasers" were created by the same Evil Scientists that engineered The Flock--and many other cross-species beings.
In volume three, live Erasers have been replaced with Robot Erasers; most likely because the live ones kept getting their collective butts kicked by Max and her flock. The Robot Erasers were a bit silly to me as an adult, but my daughter enjoyed them and found them delightfully shivery.
And did I mention the talking dog? Because he's fabulously snarky and I wish I had him for my own.

This book can stand alone, but some of the story threads will be easier to tug if you start at the beginning with MAXIMUM RIDE: The Angel Experiment and MAXIMUM RIDE 2: School's Out Forever.

My daughter has now found herself interested in blogging because the oldest boy in the flock, Fang, has a blog of his own.

Maximum Ride 3 is full of adventure, excitement...and just enough grossness to impress even the tween boys--and heaven knows how hard it is to get them to read something other than comic books at times!
James Patterson manages to bring environmental awareness subtly to the reader's attention, and of course the ever popular Good vs. Evil battle--the Evil Scientists have a plan to kill off half the population and it's up to Max (according to the Voice that lives in her head) to save the world.
The author has tapped in well to the minds of the younger set, with some of the current lingo and even the whole teenage angst thing. One chapter features Fang's 'blog comments' and I laughed out loud because I've seen many, many similarly written comments across the blogosphere. Mayb u have 2?

Max herself is attitude personified, but she's shown to be courageous and nurturing as well as displaying incredible leadership abilities without being a jerk. I can think of worse role models for my daughter. WAY worse. (Right, Lindsay & Paris?)

I would recommend this book (and the entire series) for pre-teens, tweens, and teenagers. These books are easy reads with a smooth flow, and a broad stroke of humor throughout. And for the grown ups? Try When The Wind Blows and The Lake House.
We're anxiously awaiting Maximum Ride 4...and we hear tell there's gonna be a Maximum Ride movie. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm just as excited as my girl is.

My daughter seems to think it would totally be worth a lot of the troubles in order to have those big gorgeous wings and the ability to fly.
I'm pretty sure I agree with that.
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