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When The Wind Blows, by James Patterson Book Review | SFReader.com
When The Wind Blows, by James Patterson Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Warner Books Published: 1999 Review Posted: 8/29/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
When The Wind Blows, by James Patterson
Book Review by James Michael White
Have you read this book?
James Patterson's thriller When the Wind Blows is science fiction in the
same way that, say, Spiderman might be considered science fiction, only here
the superpowers are not conferred upon kids by radioactive spider bites, but
shady scientists working in the kind of unrestricted science-über-alles
manner of the classic mad scientists of yore's pulpiest fiction.
Not that this is pulp fiction at all, but rather a modern day thriller gone
SciFi in which an obsessed FBI agent with a troubled past finds himself
using his vacation time to pursue the very case with which he's been
obsessed of late: why are all these top-notch genetic scientists getting
killed, and what sorts of shady experiments were they really up to?
It helps, of course, that the FBI agent is a handsome, cocky devil who
thinks outside the box (clichés abound in this story), and that he so very
coincidentally ends up renting a cabin from a beautiful woman with a
connection to the case that's so bedeviled him. In fact, the latter is such
a coincidence that you'll hear it coming like a steam-powered locomotive
rattling down these literary tracks, horn tooting and all. Kind of like all
the other plot surprises: none of them are a bit surprising in this
paint-by-numbers bit of SF-thriller poofery that has all the substance and
flavor of cotton candy. From the glossing over of science to the lamebrained
moves by a supposedly smart FBI agent (I'll give you three guesses as to why
he was pulled off the case to begin with. Go on, guess. I dare you!), to the
equally inane moves by a crackerjack tracks-covering conspirators, you'll
either swallow this claptrap whole with a big sugared-up smile or you'll get
a little Allan Bloom-like woozy in your lamentations about how far popular
literature has sunk.
A little nibble of such fare is fun once in a while, but if you want depth
and profundity and character development and tricky plots and deeply moving
emotional narrative, you'd better look elsewhere fast.
Otherwise, these 416 pages and 127 chapters will keep you breathlessly
turning pages to see what in the world happens next, even though you'll most
likely already know.
Like so many Hollywood movies that are best described as "check brain at
door," so, too, might When the Wind Blows best be described. Not at all
challenging or demanding, but boy does that thing zip right along.
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