Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: Maximum Ride Forever - James Patterson

Maximum Ride Forever 
James Patterson 
Series: Maximum Ride #9
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
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I'm going to preface this by saying I didn't read this book hoping that it would be terrible, but actually because I have followed this series for the better part of my life (literally, I started this series in 2005 when it first came out and it is now 2015, Maximum Ride has been apart of my life for a decade now, and it is ridiculous how much it pains me to give this book such a low rating).

That being said, here goes: Maximum Ride Forever was the surprise final book of the series that was supposed to end at the 8th book in the series, Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure. As implied by the title, all of us Max Ride fans were super taken aback by the releasing of the 9th book.

The 8th book of this series was incredibly disappointing - I'd give it a 1 star rating, especially in comparison to the 4 or 5 stars I would give books 1-5. While books 6 and 7 were a let down, they were nowhere near as bad as the last two of this series. I'm going to give you a really brief summary of what this series is about, because I realize I'm reviewing a book really far into the series for the first time.

Maximum Ride (our protagonist, leader of her group, 14-15 year old girl who starts out really badass and awesome) and her flock - Fang (one of our love interests, as old as Max but silent and brooding and apparently very attractive for a 14-15 year old). Iggy (one of the best characters in this series, funny, blind, pyromaniac, and a little younger than Max and Fang), Nudge (like Max's little sister, fashionista, around the age of 11), Gasman (age 9, pyromaniac, is a clue to the fact that all of these kids named themselves, and partner in crime to Iggy), and Angel (age 5-6, starts out as a cute little girl who can read minds, ends up being a crazy lunatic). There is one addition to the flock later on to the series named Dylan, who is Max's age and was created to be a perfect romantic partner for Max. These kids are all 2% bird and 98% human, meaning they were genetically engineered in a lab and held captive for a good portion of their lives until they broke out together and lived on their own. They can all fly and have special powers (i.e. Angel can read minds, Max can fly super fast, etc). The goal of this flock is to save the world from the apocalypse, which they do by fighting the bad guys who held them captive, and occasionally fighting monsters and dealing with family drama and romantic ordeals and what have you.

Besides the obvious plot issues that were set up by the 8th book and even more plot failures in this book, this 9th book which I am reviewing today was written incredibly poorly. I cannot stress this enough: the writing was just really bad. Example: "I'll bet when you cracked open my first book, you didn't know you'd signed up for New World History 101, huh? Or, Her-story, if we're getting technical" -- literally wow, I understand this book is targeted at a younger audience than me but I promise you this sentence would've made me cringe in 2005 all the same. This is just one example, many more quotes from this book which contain spoilers are a lot worse. I'd like to continue this poor writing rant by saying that the worst part of it all was that the voice of Max was completely different. While I understand that after 8 books, teen themes must change to young adult in order to reflect the interests of the readers, it is unfathomable that Max is still 15 and her voice is entirely different. Almost every character seemed completely OoC (out of character), and the whole thing was just very reminiscent of bad fanfiction. While I was ultimately disappointed with how the 8th book ended, I can at least argue that it was written from the PoV that I enjoyed from the start.

Honestly, I have nothing more that I can say about this book and ultimately, this series, other that I am incredibly disappointed with the direction in which it was taken. It is very disheartening that a series that I have followed for over half my life took such a sad turn in terms of writing, plot, and the characters. I expected a lot more from this book than what I got, so with that, I leave you, the reader, with this advice: if you are only satisfied with a book series with a solid ending, this series is not for you; if you can sit through books 1-5 without knowing what happens at the end, I suggest you read them, because they were phenomenal (just avoid all the books after that).
The apocalypse happens, and after 7 books of building up to the flock saving the world, they hide in a cave while mass chaos occurs and most people die. It was a ridiculous way to end the series so that is why I looked forward to the next one, in which all of that was a bad dream and they actually woke up and saved the world. Unfortunately so, that was not the case. Also, romantic drama with Fang made me want to die, they were such a cute couple and were even the reason that I got into fanfiction, it's incredibly disappointing that books 6-9 were so obnoxious about FAX.
- Amrutha

What series do you think should've ended books before they did?
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