With their wings the children are able to fly to great heights, swooping and diving together in formation. They're also able to communicate like birds with shrieks and squarks that only they can hear. Now obviously, these children weren't born "naturally", they were the outcome of an experiment to begin a race of superhumans, but when ethics and human rights campaigners got involved, the scientists thought it might be best to get rid of these children before they get out into the world, but the children escaped and were rescued by Dr. Frannie O'Neil and her partner FBI Agent Kit Brennan, who became the parents these children never had. In The Lake House story, the children are separated and forced to go and live back with their individual biological parents whilst a court case rages on as to whether to keep the children with Frannie and Kit or hand them over to their biological parents who so far, have only used their remarkable children to sell to the media.
You didn't really think I'd come back with a book review and it not be about James Patterson?! This one was a big surprise for me and I'm still not sure how I feel about it because the storyline and writing style is so different from what Patterson normally does, but it was an interesting storyline nonetheless. The Lake House was originally published in 2003 and centers around 6 incredible children named Max, Ozymandias, Matthew, Icarus, Wendy, and Peter who all share a beautiful but dangerous gift. It's no spoiler for me to say what the gift is...these children each have a full-size pair of wings!
Whilst the children deal with that turmoil, there is even more waiting in the shadows. An evil scientist called Ethan Kane is planning to trap the children in his "Hospital" to perform tests and find out their strengths and weaknesses, he's also kidnapping innocent victims, harvesting their organs, and selling them to the world's rich and famous in the hopes of creating a "resurrection" of superhumans who will go on to live forever through very expensive organ transplants. But Dr. Kane needs to capture these children to find out what makes them so biologically strong.
Obviously, I won't say too much more at the risk of spoiling it but basically, these children are on the run from a very evil captor and the possibility of losing Frannie and Kit altogether. As this book is aimed at teens there is also a very cute love story and lots of coming-of-age dilemmas that are only exacerbated by their unusual situation.
This is actually quite a tame book for James Patterson. Because it's aimed at the younger reader it's not quite as disturbing as some of his other books, but this one still contains mentions of sexual harassment between children as well as graphic depictions of murder by a doctor and descriptions/use of weapons.
I was actually a little confused by this book because it's so different from the normal Patterson storyline. Although thinking back on it, I did enjoy it I just don't think it had the depth that other books of his have, the relationships are very tame and at points, I felt the storyline kind of plodded on and took a while to get to the "big moment" as opposed to the usual fast-paced stories. But I won't be too negative about it, everybody is entitled to change their style when they want and this was just an unexpected change for me. The story itself was interesting but I especially enjoyed it when Ethan Kane arrived and you got to see the horrible things he was getting up to, I also really liked the relationship the children had with each other and how each one had either a mental, physical or emotional strength that helped keep the group together.
I found the book on a charity bookstall and paid 20p for it but I have seen it in a used condition online for £3.30 but have a look in charity shops and book donation shelves in supermarkets, there are usually plenty of James Pattersons tucked away!
Doing a bit of research on this book I found out it's actually a sequel to another Patterson called When The Wind Blows. I had never heard of this book but I definitely want to read it, it's basically the precursor to everything that happens now and gives you a lot of back story on both Frannie and Kit as well as where the children came from and what happened to them the night they ran away from the lab. You can get that book used online for just under £4, but I'm definitely keeping an eye out for it!
If you've read The Lake House, next up is 3rd Degree, co-written by Andrew Gross and another installment in the Women's Murder Club series (I've written a review on one part of that series, you can see that here) where Detective Linsday Boxer has to help solve the case of a brutal gang of murderers called the August Spies who have promised to murder every 3 days until they're found, the entire Women's Murder Club jumps in to try and help Lindsay find these murderers, but things take a drastic turn for the worst when one of their own is murdered.
Ooohh...that one sounds really good too! There are just too many James Patterson books, it's hard to know what to look for next.
But, if you enjoy a little bit of darkness and a whole lot of sci-fi, I think you'll get on with The Lake House.
In my next post, I'll be updating my hot cross bun recipe just in time for Easter Sunday!