I’m honestly not sure if I decided to forge straight ahead into this book because I was desperate to find out what happened after Book 1’s cliffhanger, or if it’s merely that I was pretty sure this would be a book I’d race through, then perhaps the next one, and then could clear all three Maximum Ride novels in my possession from my TBR in one fell swoop.
A little from Column A, a little from Column B, probably.
That cliffhanger wasn’t much of one, it turned out. Our heroine, Max, learned that the man she thought of as a father, and whom she had long thought was dead, was not only alive, but had been testing her and her flock of human-bird hybrids by leaving them to struggle on alone, and then kidnapping Angel, the youngest of their number. And the Eraser she had just killed — Erasers being wolf-human hybrids that acted as bounty hunters for the shadowy genetics organization that created all these hybrids — was probably her brother.
(Never mind, he’s alive again now.)
The flock get captured by the FBI and are sent to a private school, moving in with an agent, Anne, who takes on a motherly role with seeming pleasure. The kids make trouble, but stay put in the house because a) they need a home base from which to research their pasts, their lost families and the reasons for their existence and b) they’ve never been to school, and they’re desperate for a little normal. Our Max and her adoptive brother/crush Fang experiment with dating other people — neither likes to see the other with anyone else — while they try to figure out what is happening, and why. Max acquires an inner-voice who seems to know stuff about her and her intended purpose (she’s supposed to save the world, you know) and after school is indeed out, forever, the kids discover that there is a multinational conglomerate, Itex, involved in their conception/torture, and also that there is a Max clone.
The number of close escapes these kids have is nutty, and yes, they can fly, and flying is cool, but given the speed with which the Erasers constantly find them, and the massive scope of the organization that is hunting them, it can only be an ongoing test of their independence and effectiveness that they are always permitted to get away. Also, the evilness of this corporation — and, especially, the cruelty of former mentor Jeb, who has had his own 7-year-old son artificially aged and turned into an Eraser — is honestly very hard to believe. Not that corporations can’t be evil. But that so many people are on board with the systematic kidnap, imprisonment and torture of children…
Well, no. I guess that part is believable.
Onwards, for more suckage in Book #3!
TBR DAY 53: School’s Out — Forever (Maximum Ride #2) by James Patterson
GENRE: YA, YA Thriller, YA SF
TIME ON THE TBR: 4 years.
PURCHASED FROM: The Book Grocer.