Nevermore

Edgar Allen Poe, anyone? No, that’s not actually what I’m talking about (although it is rather ironic that I’m the one to write this post, being Raven and all.) Nor am I talking about the Nevermore Tree in the village of V.F.D.

Of course it couldn’t be something like that. So what is this post about? Let’s see, we’ve had two strikes, which means there’s only one left.

Maximum Ride. (It’s a home run!)

So you’ve probably heard about the latest and last book in the Maximum Ride series. I wasn’t aware that it was out, so I decided to pick it up when my sister brought it home, since I really had nothing to lose except valuable time that I could have spent watching Naruto or doing my homework.

It’s called Nevermore. Nevermore what? Never more shall there be any plot? Never more shall another Max Ride book be published? The first thing I have to say about this book was that the title was as inspired as the last three (Max, Fang, and Angel). Okay, there does seem to be a relation between the main character’s name in the title and popularity: Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone, Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25, and many others. But notice that they all go further than just afirst name. Max, Fang, and Angel really aren’t compelling titles at all. The first three books had great titles: The Angel Experiment, School’s Out–Forever, and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. They were funny and interesting, just like their contents. People say not to judge a book by it’s cover. But the title is on the cover, and in this case, the titles truly reflect the quality of the contents.

The characters changed, too. Rather, they had been changing since the fourth book when things started to plummet downward. I was never much into Fang to start with, but his whole little running away thing seemed really pointless. Nothing ever came of it and he just walzed back as if nothing had happened at all. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get this image out of my head:

Of course, if Sasuke were to come crawling back to the Leaf now, I really can’t see them taking him back. Likewise, Max should be angry at Fang. Instead, things go back to normal. There does seem to be a connection between Fang and Sasuke. Fang’s Gang and the Taka? Note that Fang’s name has to do with snakes, which Sasuke uses. Okay, I’m reading too much into that. They are rather similar, though, aren’t they? I highly doubt it was anything more than a coincidence.

The thing that bugged me most about this book was the plot line. Of course, James Patterson is notorious for plot holes and inconsistencies. However, this goes beyond that. After finishing this book, I felt as if I’d wasted all the time I’d spent reading the series, even the first three. Why? It didn’t have any sort of a logical plot arch that tied up neatly at the end. Instead, it was like real life, strands of plot lines poking out here and there and ending abruptly, never to be seen again. Aha! That’s where the title came from. Never more shall old plot arches be finished. That’s definitely it. The School? Global Warming? V.F.D.? The Doomsday Group? The Akatsuki? The Ninety-Nine Percenters? Who cares about them? Let’s have a natural disaster and forget about everything, especially the rest of the world!

Also upsetting me was the surprisingly minor parts of the rest of the flock (Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge). Why are they even there if they don’t do anything? They can’t just be comic relief when there isn’t any comedy. Besides, who doesn’t want to see more of Iggy and Gazzy’s explosives? On that note, I was rather pleased with one aspect of the ending: Iggy with Ella. I feel like Iggy is overlooked, and he’s my favorite character. I was hoping that maybe something would happen with that whole vision-returning-when-surrounded-in-white thing, but that ended up being one of those loose strands that just trailed off into nothing.

Overall, this book was better than the few preceding it, while still far below the level of the first three books. I can’t honestly say I enjoyed it. There wasn’t a single time that it made me even smirk. Maybe I’ve just outgrown Maximum Ride, since I started reading it when I was about thirteen, and I’m eighteen now. It’s time to move on to more mature, sophisticated novels, like Lemony Snicket’s Unauthorized Autobiography, or Alcatraz Smedry Versus the Evil Librarians.

~Raven

P.S. Yes, V.F.D. is everywhere

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