Justin Tadlock

Maximum Ride: School's Out — Forever

It’s hard not to like James Patterson’s easy-to-read, fast-paced Maximum Ride series. He keeps the chapters short, and you find yourself turning the pages at a fast rate, keeping in line with the novel’s pace.

Since I’ve just come off a streak of reading nonfiction books about genetic engineering, Patterson’s pageturner was a relief.

Max, Fang, Iggy, Gasman, Nudge, and Angel are back for a second round of action, running from Erasers, outsmarting the whitecoats. The six genetically engineered bird kids and their talking dog, Total, pick up where the last round left off. They have information that might lead them to their parents. Max’s Voice is driving her crazy. And, they’re going to school (the real kind).

Ari, the genetically engineered Eraser (half-wolf, half-human), finally shows his human side. This was the one thing the first book, The Angel Experiment, was lacking. We see that he is not just a monster, but he has retained his human feelings after all of his alterations. But, we are also reminded that he is 7-year-old boy beneath that grown exterior.

Most of the story is told through the eyes of Max. She becomes jealous of the FBI agent who takes them in and plays the mother role to the kids for a while. She becomes jealous, or at least mad, at the girl who kisses Fang at school.

Patterson focuses on character development throughout most of the book. Nothing happens that actually moves the story along, and I was left wanting a little more. It felt like the major storyline left off in the same place that it began.

It’s hard not to like the action. Not to like the easy-flowing style. The characters that you come to love.

Overall, it’s not a bad addition to the series. I hope he answers some of the big questions in the next book though. Otherwise, the series will probably lose its appeal.

Not to end on a bad note, because I did enjoy reading School’s Out — Forever, I want to say that you should definitely read this series if you’re looking for something a little lighter and want to have fun.

Patterson will not disappoint.

I’ve also posted this review of School’s Out — Forever at Books In Bed, my new book community and review site.