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The Lake House Hardcover – June 9, 2003

423 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the When the Wind Blows Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the Wind Blows (1998), to which this is a sequel, has been Patterson's "most successful novel around the world," according to an author's note. That novel, about children genetically engineered to fly, also thrilled most critics. This one won't, despite some charms, and the reason manifests itself in the three paragraphs-paragraphs, mind-that begin chapter 41: "They were elated to be together again-the flock! The tribe! The family!" Patterson tends toward shorthand writing, and generally it works in his favor, but the problem here is that exclamation points do not engender deep emotions within readers! Nor do italics. And the novel is strewn with both, as well as with too much dumbed-down prose. The plot isn't much to boast about, either. In the original, Max the flying bird-girl and her "siblings" were menaced by the mad scientists who ran the vile laboratory known as "the School," but were helped in escaping by erstwhile narrator Frannie O'Neill, a veterinarian, and Kit Brennan, an FBI agent. Here, Max and her five siblings are menaced by the mad scientist who runs the vile laboratory known as "the Hospital" but are helped by erstwhile narrator Frannie and Kit. So what's new? Not much, other than a few neat touches (for instance, the villain, Dr. Ethan Kane, is addicted to M&Ms) and-in by far the best section of the novel, not coincidentally one in which Patterson slows down-a truly moving description of how Max and the oldest male bird-child mate. The rest is an extended hunt and chase, as Kane goes after Max and her siblings in a medical conspiracy so outrageously unbelievable that readers will blink in wonder. The pages move like the wind that lifts Max's wings, of course, but Patterson can, and has, done far better than this.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Patterson's latest picks up where one of his most popular novels, When the Wind Blows (1998), about a group of children who have been genetically engineered to fly, left off. Beautiful Max and handsome Ozymandias lead the group of six children who are fighting to stay with Kit and Frannie, the couple that saved them from the School, where they were being held by the scientists who created them. The court returns the children to their biological parents, but only Max knows how much danger they're in. Max is privy to information about Resurrection, another project that is even more daring and groundbreaking than the one that created the children. Dr. Ethan Kane, the scientist who heads up Resurrection, is determined to keep Max silent and plots to kidnap the children. Though Max won't share the secret with anyone, she and Oz gather up the other children and run to Frannie, but Kane is one step ahead of them and will do anything to stop Max from endangering his project--even if it means killing the children. An unexpected and sweet romance between Max and Oz alleviates the nail-biting suspense somewhat, but as usual, Patterson gets his readers in his grip from page one and doesn't let go until the last page is turned. This sequel is even better than the first book. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Patterson, James
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (June 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316603287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316603287
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is a very fast read, there is nothing new in this sequel to When the Wind Blows. Once again the kids are being stalked, and Frannie and Kit are trying to save them from the evil Dr. Kane. The ending is just plain silly. If you must read this, save your money and get this from the library or wait for the paperback. Bring back the Alex Cross books as these are Patterson at his best.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on February 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The only decent thing about this book is that I got it from my library. Had I actually purchased this book, I would be livid. All we want as readers is to read a book in which the author "tried." If I read Ollie North's book or Kyle Mills' book and I don't like the content, really I have only myself to blame. They're trying. I know what I'm getting into.
If I read Follett or Koontz or Patterson, when time after time in recent years they have shown me they just mail it in, I'm the fool.
Bird children. OK. I grew up in the '60's. I saw Mothra and Godzilla. So I'll take a crack at bird-kids.
Bird kids that have sex? No that's too much. Bird kids that kill? No, I'll pass.
Jumping from one ambush to another? How do they do it? So much wasted dialogue and so few (if any explanations). How do the hunters know where the prey are? How do they find them? They're genius birds, after all. The adults speak like children ("Hugs and Kisses. Hugs and kisses. Coo Coo Coo.") And the children speak like no child I ever heard. The plot is unbelievable. The interconnecting scenes without bridges. The conversations without any basis in reality, suspended or actual. The facts are MIA. In the second to the last scene the characters we have come to love (or rather just put up with) are facing certain death. In the next scene, they are free! This is not David Copperfield. How did he do that?
Huge enormous collossal waste of time.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Words can't begin to express the hatred I have for this book. From the large print, double spaced 2 page chapters that stretch this to 376 pages to the 970 gazillion exclamation marks (!!) to the stupid one word sentences. (oh. my. god. this. book. sucks.) I have liked Patterson before but will definitely read a review of his next book before I pick it up (obviously I didn't do that this time). If there were a way to give a book a negative star rating, I would have.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on March 2, 2007
Format: Audio Cassette
Note to James Patterson: Clearly label your sequels. I did not know this was a sequel until I read it here - after I'd already listened to it. I looked again - there is no mention that it is a sequel anywhere.

Well, this book stinks on many more levels than just poor packaging and labeling.

108 chapters - that must make the printed version of this book quite beefy with all of the extra paper. For me, it meant a new chapter every 4 minutes.

Not only is the book poorly paced (nearly an hour of the 7 1/2 hour book is all about two of the characters' first sexual experiences), but it left out information and had fits and starts. For example, the children all "run" away to live in the woods and eat grubs. Next thing you know, they're back without any sort of explanation. I listen to a lot of books on tape and many of them are abridged so I am used to odd fits and starts by poor editing. I checked the packaging several times while listening to this book to see if it was abridged - The herky-jerky nature of the book cannot be blamed on poor editing during the process of abridgement.

Technical things made the book just seem silly like:

-the smoke detector that goes off only after the house is up in flames struck me as stupid. Just this morning 2 fire alarms went off in my house because a toaster waffle got a bit burned.

-How about the Subaru that holds 8 people, including 6 of them with wings?

-Why does the bad guy want the kids so badly. He keeps mentioning them as a source of money, but how much money does this guy need? He just performed 30 surgeries at the rate of $100 million each. That's $3 billion!

-If you were going to fight a winged person with a 10 foot wingspan and superhuman strength would you bring a gun?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe I wasted money on this tripe. I was recovering from surgery and desperate for reading material, so I picked this book from the best seller list. What a disaster...horrible writing, non-existent plotting, inane dialogue, unreal characters. I laughed all the way through it though the author didn't intend it to be funny. The characters seemed to magically get out of situations with no explanation...for example, Max, the bird girl, is shot, and two scenes later she turns up fine, completely healed from her wounds after somehow (again not explained) crawling into an air duct in front of the bad guys' eyes. What!?!?! I kept checking the level of my pain pills, thinking I'd somehow overdosed. I only kept on reading because I was fascinated by its a train wreck I couldn't keep my eyes off it.
I've never read this author and never will again. If I had to chose between re-reading it and more abdominal surgery, I'd have to think about it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Nesius on June 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read When the Wind Blows and thought it was okay. A quick, interesting read, if not an especially smart book. I couldn't stand dim-wit Frannie, but the mystery of the School and what was being done to children there kept me turning the pages. The ending, however, left me wondering if the bird-children would find happiness with their families after everything they'd been through.

The Lake House opens at a custody trial that would NEVER happen in real life... dim-wit Frannie and her lover Kit are attempting to take the children from their biological parents, despite the fact that there is NO relation between the unmarried couple and the children AND that they're only known the kids a matter of months! There's absolutely no legal arguement for them to be granted custody, and sadly, this inplasibility sets the tone for the rest of the novel... a novel that, although it's called the Lake House, spend about ten minutes in the titular location.

The custody trial that would never happen is taking place because the bird-kids have collectively decided that their biological parents don't deserve the priviledge of raising their special little selves... and brace yourself, because you're in for several hundred pages of being told over and over and over how smart, witty, adorable, perfect, and delightfuI these children are. Meanwhile, what we SEE of the children shows us a handful of snotty little creeps supremely convinced that they're better than the rest of humanity. NOTHING that they do, say, write, or think would lead one to suspect their "genius" IQ levels or genetic superiority. I cringed through all the dialog and was embarrassed for the sixty-something male writer trying to capture the voice of a 12-year-old girl. (He fails miserably.
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