Patterson is the latest adult author to try his hand at the YA genre. While his book is a good read, he doesn't trust his audience enough and overstates the obvious.

Patterson has created a clan of six kids who are 98 percent human and 2 percent bird, the result of a weird science experiment that they managed to escape. One of them is captured, and the rest must rescue her. While they're in captivity, secrets are revealed that might help piece together their lives and explain how they came into existence. The motley pack travels coast to coast to find answers and fight evil, and Max, the leader, fights to do the right thing—and to not fall in love.

Patterson is a beloved author, and this is an exciting first effort of a new series. If he tones down his stodgy language (who calls people yo-yos and bozos anymore?) and tinkers with the cheap joke character Gasman (so named because of his digestive problems), this series about a strong girl who wants to kick butt will be a welcome edition to the genre. (Apr., 422 pp., $16.99)
Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris