Robyn's Reviews > The Final Warning

The Final Warning by James Patterson
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed, talking-animals


In my review of the previous book, I said that if the next book was as bad as that one, I would quit reading. This isn't as bad as the previous book, but it's not quite bad enough to make me give up, just yet. It was at least interesting to see this story get completely screwed up in an entirely different way than the last one.

There are some things that this book has improved upon, making it better than the last one; there aren't a dozen meaningless plot twists, Max's voice doesn't feel as "trying way too hard" as in the previous installment, and overall the flow of the whole thing was much better.

However, this may be a case of the author setting his sights too low, in the name of achieving an easier goal. There wasn't as much to screw up in this book simply because there wasn't as much here. There weren't any disappointing plot twists, because there weren't ANY plot twists. This story did almost nothing to advance the overall narrative, and even took it back a few paces. It's starting to really feel like the author is horribly indecisive or we have too many chefs working on this stew.

The big revelation from the previous book is rescinded, we're adding another freaking dog to the cast, (at least this one doesn't talk...yet) and now everyone has MORE POWERS (yeah, that's why the last book sucked, there weren't enough super powers!). There isn't one overarching force driving this, there's no vision. This series is becoming as tightly plotted as a bad children's cartoon, with no sense of where it's trying to go at all.

My review of the last installment compared the villain to one of the baddies from Captain Planet. Little did I know how prophetic that was. Eco friendly messages are fine, but when they are completely shoe-horned into the story, they lose their impact. I don't know about kids who read this, but I was really starting to feel talked down to in the environmental bits, and they were too long and preachy. The worst thing is; I'm on their side, you know? Boo to global warming and pollution and species extinction! But shut up already, if you're going to talk about it in that patronizing tone. It kinda makes me want to chop down some trees, just to spite you.

What does Max and her group have to do with the environment, anyways? The premise for this whole book made zero sense. There's really no compelling reason for them to be doing anything they do in this book. None.

I'm starting to become really seriously disappointed in this series; it had such a compelling premise, and it's being thrown down the toilet.

Here's how you fix this:
1) Move the story back to Max and her friends working on finding out about their origins, why they were created, and who's pulling the strings in this world. That's much more impressive than this "mad scientist of the month" BS. Failing that, we need a huge shakeup. Let the world end, and take the whole thing into a post-apocalyptic setting.

2) We don't need any more new cast members, the roster is too cluttered as it is. And no more new super powers!

3) Stop doing things and then taking them back. Make something final and irrevocable happen so the readers know you aren't screwing around to give this a sense of danger again.

4) Stop with Fang's blog. It was cute at first, but now it's just filler. Added to that, Fang writes too similarly to how Max speaks. If you really can't part with this little gimmick, then do it right, FFS. Make Fang sound like Fang.

Of course, the next installment has already been published, so my suggestions are too late. I'm not going to issue ultimatums this time, as I think I might continue on with this series out of a sort of stubborn masochism. But I'm going to let everyone know how much it sucks.
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