Cathy Keaton's Reviews > Maximum Ride, Vol. 1

Maximum Ride, Vol. 1 by James Patterson
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Aug 27, 12

bookshelves: manga-comic-books, i-own, read-in-2012, reviewed
Read from June 20 to 22, 2012

Just to start, I've never read the original books this manga is based on. I really wasn't expecting to like it, but I did. The story starts out with 14-year-old Max Ride living with her younger friends as she protects them all from the School they escaped from four years earlier. They are all experiments in genetic engineering, humans who have been given a bit of bird DNA in order to make them flight-capable. One day, they get attacked by a pack of wolf-men called Erasers and they take the youngest in Max's care, 6-year-old Angel. They all vow to get her back and decide to head out to the School in California from their hideout.

I really liked these characters. Max is kind of impulsive and does get herself into what appears to be a silly mess when she saves a helpless girl from some bullies, but she meets the girl's mother who is a sweet lady and even gives her some cookies and cash. Fang might just be the next oldest character at age 13, he being a very intuitive thinker type, quite the opposite of Max. Then, Iggy is 13 and blind, but can somehow fly around with no trouble, then Nudge age 11 or 12 who is way too talkative, but cute, then gassy Gasman is 9, and doll-like Angel is his little sister at age 6. Silly names, but all of them are unique and have distinctive personalities. Also, they each either have individual goals to achieve, or disadvantages to overcome.

The story is straight-forward and simplistic, but it works. It's just like shonen (boys) manga with a female main character, which is rare. I happen to love shonen manga, so I have to say I enjoyed it. It kept me entertained with plenty of action and scenes that revealed the characters' personalities and relationships with each other. Also, we find out a little about how these kids are able to fly. Just having wings alone wouldn't really allow for human flight.

The writing is done through captions and talk bubbles, and it's an effective way to tell a story as it's happening. I will say that the actual dialogue seemed a little unrealistic—too 'Hollywood.' I would have preferred that they talk like normal American teenagers, but it didn't ruin the experience for me. As for the art, the characters all look way older than they ought to and are super, super pretty, but that's the manga art style in play. Everything is quite beautifully illustrated and I have no complaints about it.

I can't compare it to the novels, but it was quite enjoyable and never took itself too seriously. There are a lot of silly moments meant for comedic relief, which is typical of manga. There's even an intriguing plot twist towards the end and it ends on quite the cliffhanger, although it's really an overused trope. Still, it makes me wonder what's going to happen in the next volume. And, just so you know, this manga volume comprises the first half of Volume 1 of the Maximum Ride novel series.
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Reading Progress

06/20/2012 page 105
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