The Literary Phoenix

Funny, the damage a silly little book can do. Especially in the hands of a silly little girl.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

In MAXIMUM RIDE: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the time has arrived for Max and her winged “Flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution”, a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them–but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?


At last! A Maximum Ride I couldn’t put down.

That is, half of it. At long last, Patterson answers some questions and cuts the flock in half, so that the reader can switch between one half and the next rather than reading about all the travel time. I felt like the flow was better in this one, there were unexpected twists and turns, and Saving the World – and Other Extreme Sports renewed my faith in the hype about the Maximum Ride series… enough that I will be picking up the next book when I run out of things to read.

However, for me, this book wasn’t perfect. Understanding that it is intended for younger readers, some of the goings-on, especially under Fang’s plotline with his blog, just didn’t do it for me as a reader. I do, however, think that younger readers will enjoy that plotline – it is the idea of kids (not just the flock, but all kids) making a stand, and I like the premise behind it, even if she my point of view it felt a little cheesy. I genuinely believe that if I were five, six years younger, I would’ve loved that angle. Really.

And, lo, do I sense a little state-of-the-world disgruntlement, James Patterson? I do like the ideas behind the series – genetic biology, environmentalism – even when I find the characters a little much.

Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble.
Available on Kindle and Nook.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Saving the World – and Other Extreme Sports

  1. emotedllama says:

    I try not to leave critical comments randomly, because it’s rude, but I think this one qualifies more as a question… so never mind about that.
    Anyway, my question: Are you reviewing for quality, or for entertainment value? Because the whole “if I were younger I wouldn’t have found fault with this so it’s fine” makes me a little… uneasy, because it implies that it’s okay to have subpar writing for a kids’ book. Which, I must say, it’s not: the Maximum Ride books are marketed as “YA” novels, which I take to usually be 14-18 or 18-22 or so.

    1. For me it’s entertainment value and my ability to relate to the characters and sympathize with them… as far as this book is concerned. I will be more clear in the future about the distinction between the two.

      The only thing I actually had to say about Patterson’s writing style on the book was that the flow and pacing was more enjoyable than his previous ones, to me. Quality-wise, for it’s intended audience (which I take to be the 14-18 range), I believe it’s a very well written book. The entertainment value of Fang’s storyline was the one which I found less appealing – the antics and message, while nice, felt as though they were reaching to a younger audience, which is actually good! Since it’s not intended for the older audience.

      Overall, I found the Maximum Ride series a little bit less accessible to adults than some YA with which I am familiar. For me, it was Fang’s storyline in StW&OES that outlined that separation between audiences, but I am sure there are plenty of adults out there who find themselves inspired by the cause and included into that storyline, just as there are 14-18 year-olds out there who develop a love for Dante or Tolstoy.

      I think my rambling here has probably shown that I try, but find it difficult to distinguish in my reviews that “while this wasn’t the right book for me, it definitely will be for others, and it is NOT a bad book”.

      Seriously, though – thank you for commenting and expressing your concern. I don’t find you rude at all.

      1. emotedllama says:

        I’m glad you didn’t find me rude–I often have a problem with not being very delicate with my wording. 😄

        Thanks for the reply, too: I’m glad that you’re trying to see books as a medium of entertainment (I often get a bit stuck-up in the “OMG this book doesn’t do X quite right!”), and, well, I often do the same thing as you when reviewing books for the 8-10 range.

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