This sequel to Patterson’s bestselling, and best, novel (When the Wind Blows, 1998) soars, like its appealing cast, only intermittently.
Having been rescued from the genetics lab, the six young clones, half-bird, half-person, are ready for an even rougher battle with a justice system that pits their rescuers—FBI cowboy Thomas Brennan, a.k.a. Kit Harrison, and his lover, veterinary Frannie O’Neill—against the heartbroken natural parents who’d been told they were dead. Since Frannie and Kit have no legal standing in re the children and have known each other only a short time, they’re returned to their four families in Colorado suburbs. While Max, the flock’s leader, stands up to the bullies who taunt her brother Matthew and then gives a ride to a hunky fellow teenager who wants to cop a feel, villainous Dr. Ethan Kane, who hates pets, keeps a Stepford wife at his beck and call, and murders scores of innocent “donors” in pursuit of a visionary nightmare called the Resurrection Project, is closing in on these sitting ducks. Exactly how his prey—Max and Matthew, older teenagers Ozymandias and Icarus, and four-year-old twins Peter and Wendy—fit into Kane’s nefarious, grandiose schemes is no more clear than why anybody hasn’t made inquiries about the hundreds of earlier victims he’s lured into his den at the Hauer Institute. But there’s no doubt that sooner or later the evil Kane will have his quarry caged, now in the company of the beloved protectors on whom they’ve imprinted for life, and will be crowing over them as he contemplates his plans for what amounts to world domination.
Patterson’s sensibility dovetails perfectly with that of his prodigies, whose tender feelings and pitch-perfect teenage dialogue are the best things here. It’s only when human grownups have to talk and act that this overblown saga sags.