James Patterson publishes books more frequently than most people change their sheets, which means that of course, because the world turns, we have been given another Maximum Ride novel. This book, Hawk, is set about 15 years after the end of the last Maximum Ride book and follows, you guessed it, Fang and Max’s daughter–Hawk–as she battles the unique evils of the City of the Dead.
This book quickly goes uh…off the rails though. And I felt like I was forcing myself to finish it, and it definitely did NOT need to be written, but here we are…
Alright, let’s chat. Did this book need to be as gritty and pessimistic as it was? Absolutely not. Hawk is a teenager (the age is..kind of unclear? It might be 15? It might be 17) and she was abandoned by her parents on a street corner at the age of 5 and has basically had to raise herself and her “lab rats”–other kids who have “weird” things about them–like being blue, or looking like acid washed rain on their skin, or having antenna. But none of them have wings like Hawk.
When her “lab rats” are taken from the children’s home to the labs to be tortured, Hawk breaks into the prison to get them out, but on her way through the prison she passes a new inmate–a kid killer according to the rumors–who sees her and shouts out to her. He’s her father!
Yup, you guessed it Fang and Max are back, because Patterson wants that coin, and essentially Hawk ends up with her own flock and joining the old flock and there are SOOO many forced parallels and also gang violence in the city and talk of a nuclear holocaust and an evil leader who no one has ever met? Oh, and some kissing with friends! Because of course!
This book is BAD yes, but it’s also so…frenetic. It can’t stop wanting to do something different than what it was the page before. There’s prison narratives and people who keep getting captured two seconds after escaping something else. There’s a weird amount of cursing but also a conscious use of fake curse words? And Hawk is…clearly a knock-off Max but worse, somehow? And the new “flock” is…mostly unimportant? And the world is unclearly delineated and yet you feel like Hawk was growing up in Guadalejara?
Also, in checking something about the OG series I learned the OG Maximum Ride series is ITSELF a REBOOT of another James Patterson. Dear GOD man let it die!