Teen Page Turner Mar 4, 2008
There is much to like and a few things that grate about Mr. Patterson’s foray into Young Adult literature.
On one hand, the author’s extra-short chapters and punchy style seems remarkably well-suited to the genre. Younger readers will undoubtedly appreciate the page turning action and quick cut scenes. Likewise, the characters are bold and convincing even if, sometimes, a little over dramatic. Toss in a good, tight plot in whence good hearted, mistreated and misunderstood teenage “freaks” are forced to combat scheming mad scientists and mutant, sadistic enforcers and you have a heck of a tale that plays heavily into the alienated psychology of early teens..
My gripes, as self-confessed desert rat, are the scenes set in Arizona and Death Valley. For a location that figures so prominently in the plot, it was painfully obvious that the author had no understanding of those locales. In one scene the teens stop at a strip mall just a few miles from Bad Water Basin in Death Valley National Park. To anyone who’s ever even drove a car through the desolate wilderness that is Death Valley, the very idea is laughable.
Still, despite the flaws in geography, the pacing and story make it a worthwhile read.