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James Patterson's 'Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports': A Review

Updated on April 21, 2012

Pages: 407

Rating: *****

Patterson continues to impress me with the Maximum Ride series. While the first two novels kept your attention with non stop action and excitement, 'Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports' driving force is drama. A nice change of pace that proves the series is more than a one trick pony. The series continues to suck me in with each new novel and I can't wait to see what else Patterson has up his sleeve.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Fang receives a message revealing that one of the flock members is a traitor. Convinced that they're being tracked some how, he and Max hide the flock in a well concealed canyon and set out to find a way to remove the mysterious chip in Max's arm. Mean while, Angel, Nudge, Iggy, Gazzy and Total are attacked and abducted by a group of robotic Erasers dubbed Fly Boys. Upon their return, Max and Fang discover the flock missing and fly off on a daring rescue mission. Granted, the botched mission results in Max and Fang in the fly boys' capture as well. Taken back to the School, the flock await their executions while the white coats continue running their inhumane tests. As the traitor is reveled, an unlikely ally appears, helping the flock escape certain death at the hands of their tormentors. Finding refuge in an abandoned cabin, furies fly and emotions explode. Fang is furious that Max has allowed this new ally into their group. Feeling the betrayal, he and Max decide it's time to go their separate ways. Fang and the boys fly off to California following his own set of leads while Max and the rest head over seas infiltrating different science and research facilities to search for the root of the evil plaguing their lives. Max and her group are captured by the Itex Corporation and find themselves, once again, awaiting an uncertain future. Can the new ally create an escape? Or has the traitor struck again? Max and Nudge are able to get a message sent to Fang, but will he get it time?

While the usual formula of the flock battles enemies, flock gets caught, flock escapes is beginning to get a little old, the highlight of this novel comes from the dramatic scenes. The arguing between Max and Fang is nothing short of riveting. Patterson does a great job of setting the emotional tone of the story. Easily, I was swept into the feelings of betrayal when the traitor is revealed. Or the despair the flock feels as they are trapped in their cells waiting to die, is almost to the point of overwhelming. Normally, I would deduct a point for a recycled storyline, but the emotional intensity makes this an incredibly refreshing entry into the series. If nothing else, Max's sharp sarcastic wit is always fun to read. For showing a new side of Max and the gang, I'll reward five stars for the book.

What do you think of the series so far?

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