I'll say it from the outset. I'm not afraid to read books that other people have hated or said wasn't worth their time. I've even loved some of them (perhaps I love Eragon more than I should because everyone hates it). And at the same time I've even stayed away from books that everyone loves (as in Harry Potter). I read what I want to read and that's how the story's always run. I should also point out that at this point I only read this to finish the series which unfortunately went in a small bell curve. It went from two stars to three stars then finally down to my one star rating for the last book. (In all honesty: how can a final book be worse than the first book? It defies explanation.)
Again I've read a few one star reviews recently on a few books I've liked. What struck me with some of them was something that reflects on my own opinions in the past. They talk about the author in their reviews using emotionally based adjectives. That is to say such things as that the author smugly
finished his series. I know many of the reviews were written for humour's sake but that, combined with this - http://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyId=8011587&wjb , made me think about how it's so easy for us as humans to be critical. It's very easy for us to judge another individual's motives. As readers, as amateur reviewers (or professional depending), it can be so easy for us to dismiss an author's writing based on motives we perceive in their writing. But do we really know why the writer wrote?
That's why even though at this point I felt that this was a weak story I'm not going to outright state that James Patterson was just writing for the money at this point. Maybe he was but I don't know that. Maybe he really thought he had a strong ending to his series in this book. I'm not going to state that this definitively is the worst book in the series. That's my opinion, not a statement. What I will write is my opinion.
In my opinion this book defined what went wrong with the series for me. It was never the best written book (and I think most people would agree with that) but it had an interesting idea about flying bird children. And then it was ruined by divergence from the main idea, instead of focusing on the flying children it went on a tangent about the earth, global warming, pollution and saving the animals. I perceive that one could even read into the ideas of merging human and animal DNA to spot some hidden message about animals and humans being not that different (which I disagree with). Anyway, not only did the book series move away from what I liked it became cluttered with more cliché. It added in a ridiculous love triangle. Or should I say a kind of love square. There was a Max clone and a Dylan clone and Fang and Max. Only Fang liked Max, but he liked her clone. And Max liked Fang but she liked this other Dylan clone too. And then Fang watched the Max clone die and he came back to Max and she liked him again even after she'd been having romantic evenings with Dylan... I don't even want to consider how messed up those complications were anymore I even think it was hinted that Fang and Max were consummating their relationship and then Dylan interrupted them so that was weird again. Messed up love triangles and YA fiction *sigh*...
In fact I only read this because I'm such a 'completionist' and cannot bear to leave series unfinished. And while it's a fast spring afternoon's read it still left me going 'what did I just read?' I won't be coming back to read this series again. It was a good idea, ruined by over-complication, poor use of cliché and what I thought was poor storytelling.