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James Patterson has become one of my favourite authors partly because his writing style is light enough to make his books easy to read but not so light that you lose interest and also that he has become a master of the twists and the final sting in the tale in his novels.
This is the fourth James Patterson novel I have read and the third 'non-Alex cross' one. As with most of his novels this works well as a stand alone story and whilst the characters are not overly developed there is enough on all the major characters to form an impression of them - good or bad.
This has been written as a sequel to Where the wind blows. This I assume would have had more on the characterisation part. However, I did find this novel worked as a standalone novel so it wasn't a major issue.
Dr Ethan Kane is obsessive about two things, money and his own private research. Research which some people will pay a fortune to be part of. This research is, however, utterly unspeakable and only one 'outsider' knows the truth......
Frannie O'Neill a vet has saved six extraordinary children from a research facility where they had been 'engineered'. They are like other children in many ways but one; these six have wings and can fly and their inteligence is off the scale.
The oldest of these children, Max, knows the horrors of where she was born only to well but also the true horror of just what Dr Kane is up to.......
Can Frannie and her partner, Kit Brennan, keep these six children safe for long enough for Dr Kane's obsessional research to be discovered and shut down? Not if Dr Kane has anything to do with it.......
What I though of it.
Like his other books which I have read this is very well written and there is the occasional change of pace to keep you engrossed in the storyline. The two main plot lines, whilst at first appear to be totally separate do tie in with each other very well and they begin to cross over quite quickly. Tension and suspense is built up in several places within the novel and Patterson is able to invoke a real sense of danger especially for the children involved.
Perhaps the weaker part of the writing is in the characterisation of the main 'cast'. Whilst we are given enough to form an opinion of them and some of their back story is given feel that perhaps more could have been made of some of the characters. The main characterisation would have been covered in "Where the wind blows" so I'm not going to deduct any marks for that.
There are a few minor characters some are vital to the plot where as others may have been added in order to inform the reader of just what the research involves. The scene descriptions in some parts are good such as the hospital and research lab scenes others are more basic. These more basic ones tend to involve woods, small motels or a house at a lake and I'm sure most of us can imagine these fairly well so I suppose detailed descriptions here are not quite as necessary.
The climax to the novel is well written and the suspense is built up layer by layer to the crescendo of the final pages but as always with Patterson there is always room for that final twist of the plot with a sting in its tail.
The chapters are short, only a few pages each so there are many places to put it down but I did find this hard to do. I was doing quite a bit of travelling whilst reading this and I was rather irritated when the train got to my station stop as it meant I had to stop reading it for a while. The novel is also split into eight 'parts' (including the prologue and epilogue) so this also give some break in the writing but the actual flow is never really broken. The novel is written in such a way that you are almost immediately hooked into the story. The only really slow bit is the court case right at the start of the novel but as this is only a few pages I can forgive Patterson that.
Some of the main Characters:
Dr Ethan Kane depicted as a male chauvinist who sees a nurses and women as beneath him. Whilst highly intelligent it appears that when morality was being given out he was elsewhere. His 'research' would not be out of place in a hammer horror movie only that his research is much worse. Whilst charming on the outside his heart, if he even has one, is as cold as ice.
Frannie O'Neill - A vet who treated an injured Max and went on to help rescue the other five children. When the six winged children come into her life it is turned upside down. Becoming a surrogate mother to them she needs to protect them from not only in some cases the children's fame hungry natural parents but from a so called doctor as well.
Kit Brennan - an FBI agent who shall we say does not always go by the book. Tragedy stuck his life a few years before the novel is set when his wife and children were killed in a plane crash. He is now in a relationship with Frannie and takes to his roll as father of the six children well.
Max - Short for 'Maximum' the oldest of the six winged children. She escaped the research lab in which she was born and lived (if it could be called 'living') until she was 12 and has seen more horror than anyone her age should have. Very protective of the other five children and regards Frannie and Kit as her parents.
Catherine Fitzgibbons - whilst not a major character she is worth a mention. In the custody hearing right at the start of the novel over the six children she represents the children's natural parents. She is ruthless almost heartless and hates to lose and she could give Judge Judy (not that I watch it, honest) a run for her money.
For some reason in some editions Kit's surname is different (Written as Kit Harrison) I haven't as yet found a reason as to why.
I enjoyed reading this novel and I did read it quickly, well quickly for me anyway. The plot and sub plot worked as do the twists in the story line. Were it not for the fact I can remember novels story lines very well this would certainly be one I would certainly read again. Unfortunately as I already know what happens I may not do.
Whilst I enjoyed reading this I know that it won't be to everyone's taste as some of it does seem a little far fetched but some of it may be possible if the advancement of science continues as it is. For me most of it is about morality/immorality rather than the actual so called research.
This is a review of the book 'The Lake House' by James Patterson. It's really not my usual kind of book, in that it's weird and borders on science fiction so that may account for why I didn't really enjoy reading it.
**Warning - supposed to be scary**
The front cover warns 'Don't read it alone in your house' so I followed instructions and read it on the train instead whilst commuting to Leeds - something I do a couple of times a month as I'm studying for a masters alongside a full time job and being pregnant.... yes I might be mad.
**Children with wings**
Anyway, back to the book. The Lake House is one of James Patterson's best selling novels and begins with a court case for custody of a group of 'special' children. Why are they special? They have been genetically created to be a mixture of birds and people, combining all the best bits and yes, they can fly too.
**Safety in numbers**
The kids are not accepted by society and don't really fit in with their biological mums who were cruelly tricked with a scientific project. The group are best kept together so they can look after each other but it seems their future is still interwoven with their evil creator Dr Ethan Kane.
I think this reads more like a children's book, it alludes to sex but then doesn't go into it and then the language is very simple too. But then the description of the operations from the scientist are really graphic and quite gory, so really not appropriate content for children. I think it's got a weird target audience, can't talk about sex but can describe how to take the innards out of a body... eh?
Other reviews have alluded to the strange nature of this book, but you really have to suspend your disbelief with this one. It is just unbelievable really and borders on the ridiculous. I know JP is a really popular author so would have to assume his other books are much better to read!
**ending - don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!**
The ending is quite weak and just didn't end things satisfactorily for me. I found the book along the lines of 'the demon headmaster' a children's book and TV programme it was so silly.
**Best bit* / worst bit*
I thought the panic around being chased around the book's name sake 'the lake house' quite tense reading and still can't work out why Frannie (the vet) sets fire to her own home, why that would save their lives in the long run I just can't tell you.
I really can't see how you would recommend this book to anyone unless you find the thought of a hybrid child / bird appealing. It was just plain weird and I will pass it on to someone I don't like just to have my revenge (insert evil laugh).
The Lake House is written as a sequel to James Patterson's sci-fi chiller When The Wind Blows. Patterson's normal style is to write about crime thrillers dealing with serious and dangerous, yet common, crimes. Every now and then he breaks off and writes a novel which is different to the rest. When The Wind Blows dealt with scientific experiments on a group of children, and this book continues that story in fervent fashion.
The secret that FBI agent Kit Harrison and vet Frannie O'Neill hold between them lies with the six troubled children who were the victims of a controversial experiment: they can fly! However, this is a secret which must be kept safe, and the six must all stick together. The only place they are safe is in the Lake House, or so they thought......
This book started off well, and I was pleased to see Patterson exploring a previous story that was out of his relative comfort zone of Alex Cross. The author has a fervent writing style in all of his work, and it shows through here as well, creating angst and danger around every corner and keeping the reader on their toes.
I liked the fact that he returned to this story, but to be honest I was expecting something rather better. The writing style is once again impressive, and the book is hard to put down, but the plot doesn't live up to the writing. It is perhaps a tale that should have been left where it was, or taken a different path than it did, as for some reason, it just doesn't have the usual cleverness and direction that Patterson's books do. There have only been a couple of his books that have been weak, and while this is good to read in places, the plot severely lets it down.
The characterisation is weak in comparison to When The Wind Blows, but Patterson's style is to gloss over particulars and just give us the action in short, sharp chapters, and thus it is probably a good idea to have read When The Wind Blows before reading this one so as to get a good handle on some of the main characters.
Overall, not the best attempt from Patterson. It still has its moments, but overall, not really recommended. The Lake House is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98. I'm on the fence.
James Patterson is most famous for his detective crime thrillers starring Alex Cross but this book is something a bit different. It's still a detective crime thriller really but it's been well mixed with a dose of science fiction too. The result in my mind is an excellent original storyline that was only let down by the writing standard.
The Lake House is all about six kids who start the story off at the centre of a unique custody battle. These kids aren't really brothers and sisters but they've raised as such because until now - they were a group of scientific experiments that their biological parents thought were dead. Their strange 'gifts' mean they need to be with one another, and with the people who rescued them, but of course their biological parents are fighting to have their offspring home with them.
The gifts the kids have are convincing to a point though I'm not so sure about the scientific theory behind each of them. The way these kids grow up to know so much having never before seen the light of day is a bit weird and inconsistent too. It's one of those "great in theory, not so great in practice" kind of concepts I think.
So the story starts out really promisingly with a fantastic unique storyline that I can't say I can really liken to anything else I've read. But then with the custody case resolved, there's not much else that happens in the book. It's all about one single storyline with no twists or turns and nothing to really keep the reader's interest.
I think the idea is we're supposed to be left guessing whether or not everyone will 'get out alive' but frankly, I didn't care. There was so little going on in the remainder of the book that I have to admit to skim reading a lot of the second half. I don't usually do that but I found this so boring I felt I had no other choice.
As a James Patterson fan, especially of the Alex Cross books, I found this really a bit disappointing. I think I do recommend it for something to read if you come across it cheap at a car boot sale or something because the story starts out so originally. But because of the way it drags in the second half I'm only giving it three stars out of five.
Available online or in stores for around £5.99
Headline Book Publishing
This is a fantastic read. I couldn't put it down. The story is read in short chapters that keep you on the edge of yoru seat throughout.
Story is based around Max. A young girl who escapes with her brother from "The School".
Follow Max as she meets a young vet named Franny. Slowly but surely Max begins to trust Fran and slowly begins to unfold the story and the horror of what really happens at the school.
Nightmare experiments on babies taken from their mothers, DNA experiments and much worse.
Max is special.... and yes she really can fly.
Frannie O'Neill's life turned upside down when six incredible children blew in on the wind. Rescuing them from the school that created them took all her courage and cunning, but the children captured her heart.