Book Review – Max Einstein: Rebels With a Cause by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

books, reviews

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I know my review of the first book in the Max Einstein series wasn’t exactly glowing but I enjoyed it enough to listen to the next one. Again, it’s a good way to get through all of those work hours when I’m doing repetitive and dull tasks. Anything to make them seem more exciting. So, when this was recommended on my library catalogue, I figured I’d carry on with the series.

The second book in the Max Einstein series doesn’t exactly pick up where we’ve left off but time hasn’t moved on too much. Max is now a guest lecturer at Colombia University campus and living with a bunch of students. I know it’s a kid’s book but a 12-year-old teaching college students? This is a universe that requires a massive suspension of disbelief.

Just like in the previous instalment, there’s a lot of science-based facts and plenty of Albert Einstein fanboy-ing. It’s as fast-paced and frenetic as the first book and lacks any real depth. The story moves along at such a pace that the work Max and her team are doing becomes overlooked. If these books are meant to be inspiring the next generation of scientists, they need to start putting more emphasis on science and not the action.

In this book, Max and her friends are still trying to outsmart the mysterious Corporation. They’re evil but it’s never been fully established why. This time they have a super-intelligent AI called Leonard. He’s a humanoid robot in the guise of a 12-year-old boy. A formidable foe. Well, not really. Luckily Maxy-Sue is so talented that she can beat the unbeatable robot. Without any effort. It’s kind of disappointing that nothing ever challenges her.

Again, I know we’re dealing with a book for younger readers but there’s no real innovation here. It’s all very by the book and unoriginal. As if they wanted to come up with the simplest plot possible and then just add some scientific theories and some Einstein quotes. The writing doesn’t do anything exciting and l the pacing is doing a lot of work to make up for the lack of narrative interest.

I’m sure younger readers will enjoy it but I also doubt that they’ll find a new favourite in Max Einstein. She’s not a particularly lovable character and doesn’t have a great deal of personality. Her personality is just liking Albert Einstein. It just wears thin very quickly. It’s a fine book but not a future classic.

11 thoughts on “Book Review – Max Einstein: Rebels With a Cause by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

      1. I never read Fox as a kid so when I came to it as an adult it didn’t have the same grip as most of the other Dahl I had read back then 😀

        Did you like any/some/most of the various movies put out?


      2. Yeah, I can see that. It’s more simplistic. There are definitely more exciting books out there.

        I think there are some good adaptations out there. Obviously Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a notable one. The 1990 version of The Witches is very good and Matilda was a staple of my childhood. I also think Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox does something great with the story. I also enjoyed James & the Giant Peach and Esio Trot.

        What about you?

        Liked by 1 person

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