Monday, June 7, 2010

REVIEW: School's Out- Forever by (Maximum Ride Series #2) by James Patterson


In this eagerly awaited follow-up, brave bird-kid Max and her flock are discovered by an FBI agent and forced to go to "school." There is no such thing as an ordinary day as Max deciphers how and when she's supposed to save the world, and she faces her greatest enemy--a clone of herself.

About the Author

Biography from Barnes and Noble

James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel -- an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another...maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco -- a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers -- including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan -- and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

My Thoughts

This flying flock of kids is still on the run in the second book in the series, and they never know who they can trust. In this book, they get a taste at normalcy as they go to live with an agent and are forced to...ugh...attend school for the first time!

The Maximum Ride series is always full of twists and turns, and you never know where it will take you. You would think that if I were reading a story about flying mutant kids, I wouldn't have a hard time "suspending disbelief". However it's the little things that I have a tough time with. For instance, this story has a scene where the kids are flying with a "flock" of hawks. As far as I know, hawks don't fly in flocks. They are solitary hunters and not social birds. So I had a really difficult time getting around this, and it remained a sticking point for me.

I enjoyed this book, and I hope to read the rest of the series. However I don't think that I'm enjoying it enough to want to buy the series. So at this point, I think that I will start using the library to read the rest of the series.

My Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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