Monday, April 12, 2010

Max by James Patterson **

Imagine Clancy, Crichton, and Flemming with characters by Judy Blume. What a strange chimeric novel would result! Max, a YA offering by James Patterson, is just that and so much less. Max, short for Maximum Ride, is a teenage girl with wings and other super powers, who together with her kid friends fights off incredible foes worthy of Bond or a super-hero comic book.

Thrown into this mix is a cute little girl who talks to animals, a dog who is a gourmet and intellectual, and a boy whose super-power is deadly farts. Regardless, they all have wings. You get the idea, or maybe you can't.

In between unbelievable battles, Max obsesses about her insecurities and emerging sexual feelings with an intensity comparable to any romance heroine. Of course, as a YA offering (special care has been taken with the language and content of Max), Max never gets beyond kissing, but still there is way too much sex for the elementary school crowd.

The fact that the author's adult offerings are excellent (A Book for Today: Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson) only makes this mash-up all the more disappointing. There must be some teenagers reading this stuff (this is #5 in the series), but I believe there are lots better YA offerings available.

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