Thursday, January 03, 2019

Clash of Beasts (Going Wild #3)

McMann, Lisa. Clash of Beasts (Going Wild #3)
October 2nd 2018 by HarperCollins
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Charlie, Mac, and Maria are back, having defeated Dr. Gray's army in Predator Vs. Prey. Kelly and Miko, however, remain in Gray's clutches, not wanting to give up their powers and believing the scientist is trying to save the world. Using their powers and suits, the group is trying to get more animal DNA from zoos to further improve the animal qualities of the army, but when they go to Mexico to visit a zoo there, they run into trouble and the Wildes find out where they are. Maria's grandmother in Puerto Rico asks her and her friends to come to help clean up after the hurricane, and the group's animal powers come in handy there. Eventually, Kelly and Miko realize that Gray is actually completely demented and wants to turn everyone in the world into an animal hybrid, so they look into ways to escape. It's not an easy task, so they are glad when Charlie et al. show up to help them. An epic battle ensues, and Gray has two major plans; a mist machine filled with the chimera formula that he hopes will turn everyone into chimerae, and a final, last ditch attempt to turn into one himself. Will this be enough for him to win the battle, or will the good guys prevail?

The Going Wild series is jam-paced with two things; scenes of fighting and action, and lots of details about the capabilities of animals. The children are part howler monkey, alligator, cuttlefish, etc. and have all kinds of amazing powers, including the power to hypnotize groups of people. These powers, especially the water and strength ones, are best put to use in Puerto Rico, but the children seem to enjoy playing with changing shapes. Of course, it's a good thing that the bracelets that control the changes stay in the control of the Wildes and not Dr. Gray, so that the children can eventually be turned back.

Even though the reason for visiting zoos is evil (snatching bits of the animals to get their DNA; you'd think scientists would have a more elaborate method!), it's fun to go to a variety of venues and read descriptions of the animals' environments and the qualities that Dr. Gray hopes their DNA will bring to the characters. I'm just glad I'm not Miko, with her fuzzy face that she has to hide under a hoodie!

McMann's The Unwanteds is a hugely popular series in my library, so this final Going Wild volume will be appreciated by fans of those books as well as those who enjoyed stories like Patterson's The Angel Experiment (2005) and Applegate's enormously long Animorphs series (1996).

Have to say that this series has not circulated very well. It's a bit on the didactic side, and the information about animals ventures into infodump territory from time to time, slowing down the action. I never quite connected with any of the characters, although I did enjoy the parents most of the time. (Had trouble believing they would have sent the children to Puerto Rico alone, though.) A good choice where fantasy books are popular, but a bit of a hard sell with my students.

No comments:

Post a Comment