Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Too Horrible to Bear

My grandfather lent me James Patterson's Maxmium Ride: the Angel Experiment, because it's an SF YA by one of his favorite authors, and I like SF and YAs.


I can't say for sure whether James Patterson is patronizing because this is a YA. I've never read his other stuff. For all I know, James Patterson patronizes all his readers, not just the young ones.

But this book, this book, oh. So very bad. I quit about a third of the way in, and I'm not going back. There has just been a major plot twist, and I don't even care, because this book is so bad. So there's the patronizing tone, which is bad enough -- readers can never infer how someone is feeling, we have to be told -- and then there's the science. These kids have wings. Huge wings that they can actually fly on. That fold up tightly enough that they can pass for normal until they have their shirts off. Uh-huh. Right. Go read Laurel Winter, for heaven's sake. And also they have really light bones but are amazing good fighters, because having bones like a bird would not matter in hand-to-hand combat between preteen bird-boned people and adult men. Light bone density, as we all know, is only an advantage, never a drawback.

And there are all the Teenage Perspective, Dammit clichés, and then, oh, oh, oh. The Evil Scientists? Apparently they know even less science than James Patterson. Because here is their reaction when one of the bird-kids does something really cool: "Amazing. Cognitive ability. Interpretive skills. Creative problem solving. Dissect her brain. Preserve her organs. Extract her DNA." Um...riiiiight. Because 1) you have to kill things to extract their DNA and 2) preserving organs is of more scientific interest than watching them work and 3) you get a lot more data from a dissected brain than from a functional brain. Yes. The minute scientists see creative problem solving in something, they want to kill it! kill kill kill! because they are scientists, and scientists like killing stuff! Science is really all about killing stuff, and not about figuring stuff out at all!

Life is too damn short for you to read this book.

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