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You may know by now that I do not usually write bad reviews. I can find something good about any story I read. Unfortunately, this book broke the mold. I really did not find anything worthwhile in this book.
“Tired of his controlling father treating him like a child, sixteen-year-old Anders Tomason yearns for grown-up adventure. Until the day when he opens a magic portal by accident, and a Kriek girl bursts into his locked room with a chemical warlock hot on her trail. Now Anders will discover just how much his parents had been protecting him from, and at what cost.” Goodreads excerpt.
Read on March 25, 2013
I like reading new YA fiction
because you usually find some lovely gems. However, gem this story was not. I kept hoping the story would take off but I felt
like I was treading water. I did not feel any real angst for Anders, the pimply-faced teen who just seems to flounder. While the story started off slowly it really did not give me enough information for me to bond with him as a main character. In fact, I could not bond with any of the characters. I felt no loss at the deaths, I felt no relief when Anders and his friends made their way to safety. Nothing. The story did not draw me in. The worst part of the story was the abrupt ending. Actually, it did not “end” at all. The story just stopped in a weird place. The inserted first chapter of book two felt more like the ending of book one.
It also felt as though the author really has no clue as to how modern teens speak or think. Jacobs tried too hard to be a sixteen year old boy. Too many references to pimples and the characters were too flat and unbelievable. I would not suggest reading this book until it has had a couple go-rounds with an editor and serious re-writing to flesh out the characters and storyline.
I am a big fan of James Patterson‘s adult books. My favorites are the Women’s Murder Club and the Alex Cross series’. This is the first young adult series by Patterson I have read and to be honest, I did not like it nearly as much. I don’t know if he had help with trying write like a kid or if he assumed all kids spoke similarly just by the fact of their age or what. I skipped a book and did not miss it. I normally read books in order, I feel that to understand the full depth of a character you need to read books chronologically by what is taking place in their lives. No, I do not like prequels very much.
I also felt that Patterson used the series to preach about the direness of the world due to global warming. He did not do it in a subtle manner at all, the characters PREACHED it.
The premise behind the series is that a group of unscrupulous people – scientists, doctors, politicians, etc – formed a group to create the perfect being able to survive the destruction of the world as we now know it. Global warming would destroy the world food supply and we may even cause unknown diseased, yada, yada, yada. Max and her band of merry children were created (some by test-tube without any real parents, others with) to withstand and adapt to whatever the environment throws at them. They are meant to be the surviving race when normal humans die off.
Good premise, but not so great execution. It kept me interested through three books and I forced myself to read a fourth but that is it for me. Perhaps I am too “mature” for the intended audience this book was geared toward. I’ll have to find some youth who have read it and ask their opinions.