31 January 2013

Book Review: "Nevermore" ("Maximum Ride," No. 8) by James Patterson

Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Originally Published: August 2012
Synopsis: Maximum Ride and her flock of mutant bird kids have been through a lot, but this (allegedly) final adventure brings some crazy twists. A love triangle starts when Max's significant other Dylan clashes with her old flame Fang. Worse yet, Ari, an old nemesis from the past, is on a rampage to kill Fang! However, the worst part is that some unfortunate individuals are on the warpath to annihilate all non-mutants, which amounts to ninety-nine percent of the population.  With her little sister Angel imprisoned, Max and crew are being attacked from all sides.  Can they rescue Angel and Fang, and stop humankind from becoming largely extinct?
(If the above doesn't make sense to you, you obviously aren't a fan of the series.)

Story: 4/5
For the most part, this has an engrossing, exciting, edge-of-your-seat story.  There are quite a few twists and turns, so you don't really know what will happen next.  Where it falters a bit is the ending, which seemed a bit too "pat" and unclear.

Writing: 4.5/5
What James Patterson has done well previously in his Maximum Ride novels, he continues to do excel at in this final volume.  Max's humorous narration, as well as the comic-book-esque action sequences, are just as good as they have been since The Angel Experiment.

Moral Content: 3.5/5
Patterson has kept it clean throughout this series, and this mostly stays true to that trend.  No sexual content, save for kissing and two teens sharing a bed in a non-sexual way.  Profanity is limited to about three or four--if that--misuses of God's name, and euphemisms such as "freakin'" and "mofo".  The violence is mostly non-graphic, though one scene features someone being impaled through the neck, which revolts the mutant bird kids so much that one of them becomes ill.  Though evolution is mentioned, there is also talk of meeting God after dying, which makes this a religious mishmash, though neither school of thought gets too much talk.

Conclusion: As Maximum Ride, which I have been following for over half a decade, draws to an end, I have to say that it feels slightly lackluster...but only slightly.  Though this isn't a grand finale like Percy Jackson and the Olympians had, it also isn't anywhere near the dreck that was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Fans of James' Patterson's mutant bird kid saga should definitely read this; Nevermore brings the saga to a mostly satisfying conclusion.

Score: 3.75/5

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