MG series don’t always work. Let’s face it, you read the first book, the second, and then by the third you hear yourself complaining that the author is simply repeating herself. For example, the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. Okay, perhaps not the best literature out there, but it was a fun read, at least for the first book or two.
The setup is actually quite intriquing, as far as science fiction goes. A bunch of kids are genetically altered to be part bird, wings and all. They bind together to fight the folks, evil of course, who created them. And yes, the government is in on the action as well.
Each volume focussses on one member of this group of pre-teens and teens, and that’s a good thing. But, buy the third installment, I was wondering where the series was going. I could not see the major arc that was tieing the books together.
In comparission, let’s look at the Harry Potter series. The major arc that pulls all the books together is Harry’s growth over seven years at Hogwart’s Academy, as well as his struggle with the antagonist, Voldemort. (Oops! I said his name!)
Each book in the Potter series can stand on its own, but also fits nicely into the series, which is what you’d want from the volumes. Mark of a good series? You could start with any book in the series, feel satsfied, and want to read the remaining books in the lot.
BTW, this problem with a series losing steam is not reserved for MG books. I’ve started adult science fiction series where, somewhere around the third or fourth book, I decide to go no further. Part of me would love to see where the series ends up, but the rest of me realizes there are other potentially great reads that need my attention.