Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson, is the first instalment of the Maximum Ride series (8 books total) and revolves around Max and her “flock” (also known as the flock”). The flock is her family and she is the leader of said family being the oldest or tied for the oldest (the other being Fang). The flock consist of Max, Fang, Iggy, Angel, Nudge, Gazzy (a.k.a. the gasman) and is evenly split between boys and girls (Max, Angel, and Nudge being the girls and Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy being the boys). None of them are biologically related except for Angel and Gazzy (the two youngest members) and all of them are genetic experiments that have 2% bird DNA with the remaining 98% being human; in addition to this they all have special abilities that differ from member to member, such as telepathy (as with Angel), and they all poses above average strength for any full grown adult male as well as wings (yes they can actually fly), a healing factor (not like Wolverine, but still pretty good since they can mend broken bones in the span of about 3 days!), impecable since of direction, and strong night vision as well as above average vision (except of Iggy as he is blind). Now all of this sounds great except that they have to intake around 2000+ callories a day, eat like bottomless pits, are constantly hungry because they are on the run from the organization that created them, hunted by wolf and human hybrids called Erasers (genetic experiments created by the same organization that made Max and her family), and on top of all that Max’s to do list includes having to rescue Angel after she is captured and find a way to save the world. This book (and all the books in this series from what I can tell) are fast paced and full of action as Max and her flock go from one crisis to the next on a daily (every few pages) basis. The overall plot for this particular book is that Angel gets captured by the scientists that made them and Max and the rest of the flock have to go save her. Along the way they are hunted by Erasers, the scientist’s lackys, and have to scavenge for food most of the time (not that they are very picky eaters).
Patterson, James (2005). “Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment.” New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
My overall impression of this book is that it is an exciting joy-ride full of mystery, excitment, and action. There is plenty of comedy as well. The plot is well thought out and it is written rather well. It is definetly worth reading and I am compeled to read the rest of the series. Its a great start to a series that leaves the reader begging for more.
“The key to MAXIMUM RIDE’s succes may be that it incorporates concepts familiar to young people…What makes these characters so appealing is that they have wings and can fly…Another plus: the book has the feel of a video game…The writing is visual and cinematic – things that kids expect from their video games, TV cartoon shows and action movies. And the ending leave plenty of wiggle room for a sequel.” – Carrol Memot,USA Today (2005, May 18). Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. [a review of Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment].
This novel is very fast paced and has a cinematic feel. I would use this book in a library to help get people (especially teens and middle schoolers) into reading. The chapters are short for the most part, there is tons of action, and it is very easy to follow along. It helps that the book is exciting and full of action because that helps to get the reader’s attention and hold it and the slower parts of the story don’t last for more than a few pages so the reader wont lose interest.