Nursing an infant means I have more time for reading, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review Maximum Ride 3 by James Patterson. My husband has read some of his other novels, but not this series.
As I started the novel, I immediately thought of my younger brother. This is the type of book I know he would read, and when my younger sister saw the book on the table, she told me that she had recently read (and enjoyed) it as well. Our father loves science fiction, and passed that interest along to his kids.
I admit I haven't read much science fiction in the last decade or so, and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book. It grabbed me in the first few chapters, and it was a very fun read. The story was extremely well written. Even though I hadn't read the first 2 books in this series, I was able to catch up and understand the story.
The action is fast and furious, and definitely caught my interest. It was an easy read, something that felt perfect for a summer book. The story is about saving the world - and you believe these characters can do it! Patterson has a wonderful respect for the strength and tenacity of young people that was wonderful to read.
Even though the concept is odd (the main characters have giant wings and can fly, since evil scientists combined their DNA with birds), I was drawn into their story and wanted to know what happened to them - both in the past and in future chapters. In fact, I liked the characters so much that I ordered the 2 previous books in the series.
The main characters were well developed and likable. I especially liked the fact that the leader of the group was a female, but it didn't feel contrived. She would appeal to both male and female readers. The characters are well-written and you believe they are young children and teenagers, but they are also heroes based on their actions. There is sufficient teenage angst, but not too much.
It is marketed as a young adult novel, but the writing is not dumbed down as is sometimes found in young adult novels. The chapters are very short, which I think would be great for a reluctant reader. When a chapter ended, I was definitely drawn to reading "just one more," until suddenly the book was over.
My boys are a bit too young for the story (being only 5 and 6), but I would be happy with them reading it in their pre-teen years. I plan to pass the book along to a teenage friend of the family, as I think he would enjoy it.