Monday, October 22, 2012

Maximum Ride #8: Nevermore Review

I was really, really, tempted to be like every other review of this book I saw and turn it into a rant with tons of reaction gifs and keyboard hitting....I may or may not succeed.
Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure
IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS MAXIMUM RIDE . . . A GIRL. A FIGHTER. ... SEEKING HER DESTINY. AND NOW, THE END ISN'T NEAR . . . IT'S HERE. ..
One last chance...
for Max, Fang, and Dylan...
before it all ends.
Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.

 It's been a pretty disappointing literary year as far as much-anticipated books go. After a disappointing final chapter to what had the possibility of being the best book series ever(Artemis Fowl), and not being able to break into any really excellent new series(besides the rest of the Ender's Game books, which I technically started at the very end of last year), I really wanted this book to be a good ending. I did.

I had to decide whether to review it as a individual book, or as part of the Maximum Ride series. Because the Maximum Ride series, off to a spectacular start in the first three books, has been spiraling downhill, crashing and burning ever since that "original trilogy" ended.

It's been quite a peculiar series. Maximum Ride is full of twists, strangeness, hilarity, and turns...but they never seem to lead anywhere. The first three were just pure fun(In fact, many MR fans consider them to be the only "real" MR books). James Patterson, as you all well know, is an incredibly talented author, and this series had the potential to be really something, if the books had been following a plan from the beginning.

After the first plot arc came to a close, the series has been wandering its way around saving penguins in the arctic, cleaning up the ocean floor, and randomly thwarting some wacko terrorist groups. Nothing tied the books together, to each other or to the series, save a vague sense that they're all leading up to "MAX SAVES THE WORLD" someday.

In short, the books just asked a lot of questions and provided a lot of setup, and it was all too much to be resolved in one book. So no high expectations.

Plot
90% of the plot was basically a rerun of the other books, which MIGHT have worked(as sort of a deja vu thing) but didn't, and there wasn't much of it to begin with. The flock goes to school(again) go rescue Angel(again), romantic angst(again), etc. 

We hear about some random terrorist group called the 99%ers, but we never get to actually go face to face with them or see anything of them at all. 

There was very little fighting or action in this book compared to the other books.

Much of the book is devoted to the love triangle between Max, Dylan, and Fang. Which is fine by me(Max/Fang is one of my top pairings) but:

Romance

 I don't like too much romance in general, but I LOVE Max/Fang. I've been rooting for them for like ever since Max came out. But even I didn't like the way this book focused on them. Max seems very off guard and confused when it comes to them, and although I'm not mad about who she ended up with, I didn't think it was resolved very well(even compared to The Kane Chronicles triangle ending, which, by the way, wins the prize for THE WEIRDEST WAY TO RESOLVE A LOVE TRIANGLE EVER. LIKE, EVER).

And there was very little real emotional sharing going on like there was in the other books. There isn't really talk about why Fang left, why he came back, why anything,.

Characterization
This is where most people were disappointed, I think(since MR was basically losing all semblance of plot anyways, heh).

I mean, it's the last book. We want Iggy and Gazzy to blow up stuff. We want Nudge and Total talking and making wisecracks. We want Jeb and Angel being all creepy.

I really thought that Patterson would at least bring the characterization part to a satisfying close. There have been so many new characters introduced, and I thought it would be nice to feature all of them a bit and bring things to a nice tying close. But Jeb barely appears beyond like, one scene where he does nothing (very disappointing, considering he was a driving forceI loved his conflicted relationship with the flock in the rest of the series) and he gets no closure at all(we don't really get whether the Flock loved or hated him in the end, I think they just kinda forgot about him).

Angel started off very well in the beginning of the book, with some very humbling things happening that I thought would at least knock the kid of her prophesying pedestal, but almost everything that happened in Angel and the early parts of Nevermore are reversed and I guess she remains a infuriating, alternately-crying-and-backstabbing know-it-all psychic until the end, but then again, it's not really clarified.

One of the biggest disappointments was how little the others in the flock were showcased. Iggy and Gazzy barely appear, and Total said about two words in the entire book. I loved all three a lot, and it was sad to see them all demoted to "prop".  Nudge gets a little time, and it was nice to see how her dynamics in a side-story that involved dating and her frustration with being a beautiful winged bird kid, but her conflict in the story also stays unresolved.

Max  was....Max. They didn't ruin her. I think we were able to see how she has grown up over the course of the series.

Finale

ALLLLLLLLLL throughout the series we have been hearing about Max's mission, Max's ultimate purpose, Max's this, Max's that....and the finale of this book, while certainly weird and explosive, was very.....passive for Max.

Like, she literally does nothing. No fighting. We never even see the 99 percenter people. 

Closure

The ending of the book was just as strange as the ending of the Artemis Fowl: TLG book.  It's pretty darn unexplainable..And they're right--NO ONE could have seen it coming.

 All things considered, the best thing I can say about Nevermore is that it was far from being the worst I was expecting. It was pretty decent, fast paced, and kept moving. I think it just ended too suddenly. Max was all gearing up to go fight the 99 percenter people or the big thing in the sky(whatever that was), and all of a sudden it just...ended. It felt like we were all set for the final ultimate showdown and the movie screen just turn off suddenly.

With that fixed, and some scenes that provided closure for the rest of the Flock, Nevermore would have been a pretty good book.

In general, Maximum Ride was a good, even great series that just dragged on too long.  I feel disappointed because this book is very representative of the whole series. The series was just juggling too much, branching out into small details and side stories instead of advancing the main plot. Extending roots to the side instead of moving the entirety of the story forward.

With more direction and purpose, Maximum Ride could have become really legendary. It deserved to be. 




PS. Here are some excerpts from reviews on Goodreads that I really enjoyed and thought were pretty good summaries:

One chapter its all Max going gooey eyed over Dylan, but oh, isn't she supposed to love Fang? But oh, Dylan smells so good and his eyes are blue like the sea and blah blah blah.

And the next its all Fang going gooey eyed over Maya, but oh, she's not Max even though she looks like her. But oh, being with her is so magical and blah blah blah.

Now, I'm going to post those ten questions we were promised would be answered in Nevermore. I won't give away those answers, but I will post my own reactions alongside.

1.Who will Max finally choose--her beloved Fang or steadfast Dylan?
No comment.

2.Who is The Voice Max hears in her head?
I admit, I was surprised. And completely unconvinced. (
Comment by Amaranthine: DUDE. I was not surprised. It was my first guess.)
3.Which Member of Fang's Gang will betray him?
Ah, Fang's Gang. How I hated you all. All I'll say here is: memberS

4.Whose side is Angel really on?
Will we EVER know who's side she's on? Okay, maybe I'm being a little unfair here, because Angel goes through hell in this book.

5.Is Jeb trying to protect Max and the Flock? OR is he working for the bad guys?
As with Angel, I don't think we'll ever really know.

6.Will Iggy ever regain his sight?
What a strange question.

7.Why did the Flock evolve to be able to breathe underwater?
Clever. Quite clever. It makes sense now.

8.Will Iggy and Ella ever be together?
Like I'm gonna spoil the fun for all you Eggy lovers out there :)

9.Is the apocalypse the result of human folly and hatred, a disease, a natural disaster, or an invasion from outer space?
I have NO idea. Like I said, the ending was a bit of a haze. Personally, I think it was aliens. Just 'cause.

10.Can Max really save the world?
Could YOU save the whole world?

11.And the most important question of all: who will die? (You didn't think it would end with out someone dying, did you?)
Oh happy days, oh happy DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYS

  Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy basically cease to exist, and only say about one thing per book. Max, Fang, and an additional prop character named Dylan are caught up in a pointless love triangle. Angel is still a pretty prominent character, who suffers major (undiagnosed) bipolarism––sometimes acting like a sweet little girl, and other times acting like a sociopath. (But even when she does creepy things like threaten to kill Max, and acts like she totally doesn't care that Fang is going to die, Max still forgives her and thinks she's a total sweetheart. WHAT.) Oh yeah, and there's some vague, unexplained plotline about how there's supposed to be some fiery apocalypse and all the mutant kids are going to be the only ones who survive. But how anyone knows this apocalypse is coming, beats me. Also, no one seems to be doing anything about it, and the bird kids don't seem to give a crap about it because they're apparently too caught up in their stupid teenage drama.


and start frantically flipping the pages, thinking, no, there must be more, there must be a major cliffhanger, a plot twist, something. At least explain yourself! We don't know what happened to half the characters!-Avani

No comments:

Post a Comment

Amaranthine <3's you. Thanks for the comment!