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Maximum Ride #1

The Angel Experiment

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Max soars above the world . . . but in James Patterson's thrilling adventure, fantasy can come crashing down to reveal the nightmares of the Angel Experiment.

Maximum Ride and her "flock" -- Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel -- are just like ordinary kids, only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time.

Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of whack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives.

Along the way, Max discovers that her purpose is save the world. But can she?

422 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2005

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About the author

James Patterson

1,488 books340k followers
Official US Site
Official UK Site
JIMMY Patterson Books

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. Among his creations are Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, and Maximum Ride. His #1 bestselling nonfiction includes Walk in My Combat Boots, Filthy Rich, and his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. He has collaborated on novels with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton and has won an Edgar Award, nine Emmy Awards, and the National Humanities Medal.

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5 stars
96,852 (43%)
4 stars
65,521 (29%)
3 stars
39,623 (17%)
2 stars
12,314 (5%)
1 star
5,953 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,830 reviews
Profile Image for Joe.
96 reviews717 followers
January 13, 2014
Now this is a terrible book.

Written with all the wit and grace of a one-legged puppy, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment reveals its intentions within the first chapter alone. This is not a book of striking prose or even serviceable but entertaining MOR lit. It is merely a cash cow, another mindless series designed to appeal to reluctant readers. It is, in a word, soulless.

Maximum Ride follows the adventures of six children, each of whom is the product of a genetic experiment: they are 98% human, 2% bird. These characters (each bequeathed with atrocious names that are supposed to be hip - Maximum, Nudge, Iggy, the Gasman, Fang, and Angel) spend 422 pages being chased by "Erasers" while trying to discover the secret of the School, the institution responsible for their mutations. 422 pages for what could have been a novella, nay, an essay.

The stilted narration, provided by the "edgy" Maximum Ride, perhaps one of the most grating heroines in YA literature, is weakened by attempts to provide three-dimensionality to her character through her thoughtful analyses of those around her. Unfortunately, Patterson's creativity as a writer is strictly limited to half-baked and poorly described battle sequences, so Ride's introspection is relegated to heinous platitudes like, "It was like I had just lost my baby sister. And like I had lost my little girl" (p.25). (Guess what, Sister Girl... you did.)

Because Patterson has made a career out of writing awful books for adults, he has convinced himself that he knows how to write for teens, and, more horribly, like teens. In fact, his writing reads like an old man trying to sound young: "Angel stared and stared and stared at Jeb Batchelder" (p. 143) is writing worse than the output of most 2nd graders, and "Then, in a burst, she leaped up, sprang off the table, and practically crashed through the fire door. The Gasman was practically glued to her back." (p. 183) makes me practically tired of bad writing.

Worse than the one-dimensional characters and the freakishly awful writing are the countless pages devoted entirely to filler. Hundreds of trees could have been saved if Patterson had employed an editor. Here is a sample of go-nowhere events in the book:

• The gang sees a concert in Central Park.
• The gang enjoys Mrs. Fields' cookies.
• Two characters hang out with a bunch of hawks and learn cool flying tricks, all of which occurs while...
• ...Maximum spends about 8+ chapters with a family in a subplot that appears to tie into the primary story, but, in fact, does not.
• The majority of Chapter 103 is spent enumerating each character's orders in a fancy restaurant in great detail.
• Most of the book is devoted to "to-ing and fro-ing" - running from one location to another - with the express purpose of supplying a new setting for a battle.

The only upside to Maximum Ride is its appeal to reluctant readers... and I'm all for that. Avid readers, however, be warned. This book will take hours of your life that you will never get back.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,613 followers
November 13, 2017
Well that wasn't too bad!

You have six kids that are human and have some bird in them. Huh, and all this time I thought they were angels 😄 Goes to show you have to read to know.

I'm glad this was on one of my challenge lists because I have wanted to read it. I think I will keep checking them out on Overdrive to see what else happens. I mean they all escaped and have people/things after them.

Happy Reading!

Mel ❤️
Profile Image for Jasmine.
250 reviews330 followers
March 30, 2015
I want you, the reader, to take a moment and scroll down to the lists this novel has been shelved in. “Best Young Adult Books,” “Best Books Ever,” “What To Read After Harry Potter,” “Best Female Lead Characters,” and “Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books”. If you haven’t guessed by the titles, these are pretty big and popular lists. If you click into them and view the lists, you will see that this book is pretty high up the ranks. And if you looked behind the book, you’ll see raving review after raving review. If you looked inside, you will see MORE raving reviews telling you that Maximum is a soaring story that will sweep you off your feet, etcetera etcetera.

This book reminds me to the ad for Kellogg's Rice Krispies Squares. They would say the most fabulous things about the product, and then would turn around at the very end they say in a big, booming voice;

I was lead to believe I was about to read a soaring adventure novel filled with damaged characters who stick together out of both love for each other and fear of their enemies. I thought I was going to read about the horrors they went though, and the horrors they’d have to face. I thought this book would make me feel the magic of flying, to make me truly understand the meaning of freedom. This book lied to me – it lied right in my face. It told me it was a Christmas Dinner with juicy turkey and ham and lobster and chocolaty dessert but instead I got a plate of brussel sprouts.

What I got was a pathetic and one-dimensional cast of character (who seemed mentally sound even after their years of abuse), unclear and unemotional writing, poor action scenes, has no depth whatsoever and lacks simple life to it. While I was reading it I felt like I was reading the writing of a reluctant reader or the back of a cereal box. It lacks character to it.

One single paragraph written in simply for humour was what really ruined the book for me. It was the paragraph that made me almost cry at the lost of the money I spent on this book.

“Am I tough? Am I strong? Am I hard-core? Absolutely. Did I whimper with pathetic delight when I sank my teeth into my hot fried-chicken sandwich? You betcha.”

Your probably reading that quote and wondering what’s wrong with it, aren’t you? Let me paint you a picture first, and then I will ruin that quote with some of my logic. The main character, Max, is part human part bird. Before this quote was written they had spent several days hiding out on some cliffs with a couple of wild hawks. On and on they went, telling the reader how fascinating these creatures were and what they learned from them. They all even call themselves The Flock. Then, zoom on a hundred-or-so pages and Max is munching down on some fried chicken. So; she’s part bird, spent most of her time with birds, and calls her family the flock. Oh yes, now you can see where I’m going to go. Chickens are birds. So Max – a half bird girl – is eating a bird, and is completely cool with it. Relishes it, in fact.

Yeah. Solid thinking there from the author.

That quote also shows you how shallow the characters are, because Max continues to tell us how "spunky" and "feisty" she is. But does she actually show these characteristics? Nope. Unless you count the truly horrendously bad come-backs she made. In many way's she reminds me of Celeana from Throne of Glass. Talks the talk but never truly walks the walk.

The rest of The Flock merge together, most having no real purpose to the story. What does the sweet little Angel do? Nothing. What does the Gasman bring? Nothing but farts. Iggy? He made something explode. Nothing after that. And I can't tell you the rest of the characters, because I have forgotten their names. Just shows you how much these people stick in your mind.

The plot mainly featured weird twists, confusing battle scenes, constant running and flying away, and useless scenes. Another reviewer named Joe wrapped up the useless scenes perfectly. There's a concert scene, a family sub-plot that has no real reason of existing, and many chapters wasted by them spending days with hawks (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before).

I hope your happy, Mr Patterson. You tricked me into thinking that you would take the more emotionally powerful and moving route with a dash of action and adventure, and for your trickery I will award you with this; this shall be my first and last book of yours. Your welcome and good day.
Profile Image for Allison.
27 reviews16 followers
July 4, 2007
Take a bit of the child-like innocence vs. evil of Harry Potter, some of the artificially-created destiny from Ender's Game, throw in the flying fantasies from Eragon and mix them in with Patterson's trademark flippant characterization, and you've got Maximum Ride.

This is the book I'm going to recommend when everyone's recovering from the end of Harry Potter later this month. Really. It's that good. And the best part is there are two more books after this one. There's already a waiting list for my copy.

Premise: six kids bred with avian DNA in a lab (which explains their superstrength and their wings) escape in pursuit of a life as normal kids, as normal as you can get without parents.

Written for teens, so it's automatically a fun and fast read. Definitely worth the time, even if there's a few places where continuity and plausibility are challenged.
Profile Image for Clumsy Storyteller .
350 reviews727 followers
June 18, 2017
2.5 Stars!

“The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective.”

Well that was fun, i LOVED MAX she was great, annoying at times. but funny, and loving big sister. The writing was okay, The story had potential but was poorly executed.

Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.1k followers
November 22, 2021
hear me when i say this: nothing, ever, in my human life on this planet, will hit for me like this book about orphan kids with wings living together in a weird boxcar-children scenario in the aftermath of being experimented on, who are then kidnapped for more experimenting on, hit for me in the fifth grade.

i mean, me and my friends started a spontaneous book club. at the age of ten. just to accommodate how intensely we felt about this book.

that's once in a lifetime.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
Profile Image for Angelc.
422 reviews49 followers
December 5, 2013
This book was okay, but I just felt like it didn't have a lot of substance. I didn't really take anything away from it, almost like it didn't have a lot of deep meaning. And it wasn't terribly entertaining, either. I just would have liked the characters to be a little deeper, I guess. I doubt I will read the rest of the series.

Reviewed for: http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,179 followers
September 12, 2015
Do Not Finish at page 145.

I want to finish this book, but after a while I remember life is too short for reading one crappy book after another.

If I read The Angel Experiment when I was 12 years old, I guess I would have been oh-so impressed.

But readers who possess the mental maturity of a 13 years old or above are free to skip this book.

And James Patterson, I'm blacklisting you. I will not read any other of your books. Trick me one, shame on you; trick me twice, shame on me.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,637 reviews56 followers
February 10, 2023
All the way back in 2007, I discovered the Alex Rider series by listening to an audiobook version of the first book, Stormbreaker. I'd seen the celluloid adaptation advertised in Nintendo Power, but it flopped, and, as I now know after seeing it, for good reason. Though I was already a Facebook member, they didn't have all the apps and such like they do now, so, I posted a review of it on the only place I knew to do so: Amazon. Soon after, that humongous shopping website recommended the Maximum Ride series to me because of my Stormbreaker review.

So, I found The Angel Experiment at my local library...and soon devoured it. Later on, I had a blast with the next two books; I remember reading the third one just after starting a long car trip my parents, and it was such a rush, it made me really hyped up. The later books were good, but the series kind of fizzled out after a while; I remember one that felt more like a documentary on global warming than a novel.

Until today, it had been years since I had read any of the books, especially the early ones. When I saw my local thrift store had the first one for cheap, I bought it; I work at a library, so, I can easily get the later volumes. After finishing it a few minutes ago, I have to say it stacks up to what I thought it was back in the day. While I'd forgotten a lot of it, I still remembered the fun I had while reading it...and, today, I relived that fun.

I just wish they would make this series into a movie. I know, I know; there was one, but, I saw it, and it was too low-budget to do these books justice. If they can bring the travesty that was Twilight to the big screen, they can do the same with this. Are you listening, Tinseltown?

EDIT: After reading this for the third time in just as many years, I can honestly say it still holds up; my feelings are largely the same as described above.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,826 reviews2,187 followers
July 29, 2019
1.5 stars

I’m sorry, but this was awful. I listened to the audio of this book, the narrator is Evan Rachel Wood and she’s pretty excellent so if you wish to listen to this book I recommend it. That being said, this story was all over the place, it would be convoluted but more like giant chunks of backstory were missing, and all the teens did was fly around and constantly get attacked. Then something at the end happened that made my stomach curl and completely killed what little of the book I enjoyed. I only read this book because it was on the top 100 YA books on goodreads and many trusted book friends seemed to enjoy it.

Back in the day I read When the Wind Blows by Patterson and loved it. Not sure if this is a YA redo or a spinoff of that. But I can honestly say if you didn’t like this book like me, read that one.

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Profile Image for Denae Christine.
Author 4 books163 followers
February 12, 2017
Reader thoughts: Max is a sarcastic and tough teen with amazing wings. She's leader of her flock of bird kids, and they work hard to stay away from the troublesome adult scientists. Max struggles to keep her flock together, discover her destiny, and save the world while she's at it.

Finding their parents would be a nice bonus, too, if only the whitecoats would stop trying to kill them.

(Sadly, only the first 3 books of the series are good. But they are so good!)

Writer thoughts: It's amazing that JP can pull off such a fast-paced book with so many hilarious and sarcastic comments. The pacing and timing blend very well to push the reader to the end without thought for the outside world.

However, there is little to no resolution in any of these books, which catches up the readers in book 4. It's like in Series of Unfortunate Events; loose ends can only be interesting for so long. Random is fast and creates mystery, but it doesn't create satisfaction.
Profile Image for Jane.
17 reviews5 followers
December 5, 2013
One of my students recommended this book, and while I was intrigued by the premise, and the fact that the protagonist is a female action hero, I found the dialogue beyond basic (only an adult would imagine that kids really communicate like this) and the plot was a liitle repetitious. it's part of a trilogy - but I don't care enough about these characters to read more.
Profile Image for Mario.
Author 1 book190 followers
May 21, 2015
If you dare to read his story,
you become part of the Experiment.
I know that sounds a little mysterious-
but it’s all I can say right now.

I read a lot of Patterson adult thrillers, and after a while, I kind of got bored of him (I mean how many sequels can a book have?!). So, with that said, I had really low expectations for this one, but the book really took me by surprise. This book is just pure fun. 400 pages of action packed fun, that leaves you wanting more. I also found out that I like 'young adult' Patterson more than 'adult' Patterson, if that makes any sense.

Max was such a fun character. To me, she is literally female version of Percy Jackson. I loved hearing her sarcastic and snarky tone throughout the whole story.

I also love that chapters were short, and there was a cliffhanger at the end of each one. Because of that, it was very difficult to put the book down. I think I would've finish it in one sitting if life didn't get in the way.

If you like to read action packed, quick books, I suggest giving this a try, and hopefully, you'll like it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Sella Malin.
458 reviews142 followers
December 20, 2008
Whoa!!! This book is sooo good. It's really, really, REALLY fast-paced and action-packed. Even the very first chapter throws you headfirst into straight-on action. It's a very easy read, with short chapters that flow right into the other with cliffhangers. It's not something you can start/stop reading; once you start, there's no turning bag. You're dragged into the story from the very first page, willingly or not, and nothing can tear you from the book- only forceful things, like school, homework, parents, etc. While reading this book, I experienced rushes and throbbing through my head at all the excitement, thrill, and suspense. It felt like watching an intense action movie. And the end is a huge cliffhanger, making me sure that I'm going to attack the next book right away! This is good for anyone who wants to read a good, fast, exciting action book! :D
October 12, 2011
Alright, I thought the narration on this book was way cheesy initially. But, like the bookcrazy girl I am who is a sucker for a good story, I got sucked in.

This book is many things:

*Fun aimed at kids, but fun that an adult who isn't terribly cynical and superior could enjoy.
*Penetrating, insightful look at human nature and society (don't laugh--it is).
*Utterly disturbing view of the unscrupulous applications of modern science. I truly did feel my stomach lurch at some of the experimentation on children that the white coats were doing. What do we allow to happen in the name of the god of progress?
*Fast-paced adventure
*An exploration of a family that doesn't meet the typical, Leave it to Beaver definition.

The six members of the Flock soon found their way into my heart. I hurt for them when they suffered, and feared for their safety, and cheered them for their successes. I loved all of them: Max, Fang (he's pretty droolworthy for a fourteen year old--I think I would be crushing if I was that age), Iggie, Gasman, Nudge and Angel (adorable and kind of scary in some ways). They make quite a team. Max is a really awesome main character. I think she's a great role model for young girls. Her self-sacrifice and her determination to protect her family is admirable. She's a sharp, adaptable girl.

Oh yeah. The flying is pretty awesome. It made me almost wish I had wings...well, sort of.

*Violence involving the kids and their scary pursuers
*Some questionable actions (that these kids exhibit to survive) that most parents probably wouldn't want promoted or justified to their kids, such as stealing and destruction of property. I think the way it was handled is okay, as long as a concerned parent makes it clear that this isn't acceptable behavior outside of the circumstances of this book.
*As I mentioned above, the author isn't shy about mentioning human experimentation, and on children, no less. A younger reader might find that pretty disturbing. I know I did, and I'm not particularly young (late thirties).

...Yeah. So I admit I got won over. This book gets four stars from me. It's actually very good. The chapters are really short, but don't let that fool you into thinking that content in this book is neglible. There is a lot to this book. It's not even what I would consider easily digestible. The author uses a lot of sophisticated vocabulary, which is great. I'm all for kids (of all ages) looking up words. Best way to expand your vocabulary.

I would recommend this to readers who are younger or who enjoy books aimed at a younger audience. It has a lot of adventure and action, and very likable characters. My eyes are on the lookout for the rest of the books in this series.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
June 24, 2010
1.5 stars. On the "plus" side, this novel has a very interesting premise and the book was a very fast read. On the "negative" side, there is not a whole lot of substance to the story and the character development is weak. I was really hoping that the author would do something really great with the very cool concept of children genetically enhanced with avain DNA, but it just didn't happen. Bottom-line, the book, while not horrible, was one I really didn't like.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,172 reviews73 followers
August 30, 2021
3 Stars for The Angel Experiment: Maximum Ride Series Book 1 (audiobook) by James Patterson read by Evan Rachel Wood.

I think I was expecting more out of Patterson. This feel like light character development was little action. I think I’ll pass on the series.
Profile Image for Hope.
112 reviews56 followers
February 27, 2010
The only reason this book doesn't get five stars from me is because I'm so confused by some things. But I liked it A LOT. A lot a lot.

First, I didn't feel like it really went anywhere. It's like you can tell it's trying to go somewhere but it's not really doing it.
Basically, this book was just full of the flock running, getting caught, running, getting beat up, running, getting chased by the cops, running... Over and over. After a while it was kind of predictable (not to mention painful). It took me a while to realize the focal point of the book: finding out who their parents are. Once I finally got THAT, it was a little easier.

James Patterson proves to be an expert with making great characters. Max has a sarcastic sense of humor that I love. This book was definitely entertaining, and I love the characters...LOVE them.
That being said, Angel is a little annoying. I'm kind of mean, but if I see a little kid in Wal-Mart whining and demanding a toy it just grates on my nerves like nothing else. I try to cut her a break, since she's a six year old...but it's still aggravating. And the mind control thing is just creepy.

But I LOVED this book. I'm definitely reading the next one. I just can't quite let myself add it to my "favorites" shelf.
Profile Image for luhvBOOKS.
297 reviews
August 25, 2012
Title: The Angel Experiment

Author: James Patterson

Series: Maximum Ride #1

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father figure Jeb - now her betrayed and greatest enemy - that her purpose is save the world--but can she?

Review: At first, I sadly admit to abandoning this book. I think I was so hooked on saving Angel from the School that once they accomplished that, it should have ended. But then they were talking about the Institute and blah, blah, blah...I just was a teensy bit disappointed. But I loved it the second round. And the third. :)

Things I Loved: Max. She's such a strong leader, and a hilarious one. Her sarcasm and side thoughts crack me up on ever page. I'm fond of her thinking and her bravery to protect her family. I'm eager to see what she evolves into and how she deals with it.
Fang. My first impression of him is this too-cool-for-you type guy. But really he's just shy in a not-shy kind-of way. He's ready to fight whenever, which isn't shy at all. But feelings? As far as I know, he doesn't express them. You gotta work on that, Fang.
Iggy. Aww, I love Iggy. He's so, teenager-ish. I mean, there's really no other way to put it. He and his little sidekick the Gasman like to get into trouble. It's amazing what you can do when your blind, especially with Iggy. He's this mischievious whiz kid.
The Gasman. Even typing it makes me laugh. He's just as mischievious as Iggy, always getting into trouble, the two of them. They have this cute brother relationship and I love it. It's adorable to watch them.
Nudge. The hungry one. Haha, nah, Nudge is so sweet. I love how she's just this down-to-earth type kid. And she kicks butt. What's cuter?
And Angel. OHMYGOD Angel, I JUST WANT TO HUG YOU!! She's so adorable! I mean, GAH, she's SO DANG CUTE AND INNOCENT! It's funny how she hasn't picked up any curses with Max's potty mouth. :D

Things I Hated: I wish I had loved it the first time reading it... :(
Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews701 followers
December 12, 2016
This series is a mess. The author took it in such a weird direction and really should have stopped after 3 books. However, this series (especially this book) was actually the reason I got so heavily into reading. I was in grade 6 at school (age 11) when my friend in grade 7 told me they were reading this book in class. I begged mum to buy it for me because my friend really loved it. By the time I got to grade 7 and read it in class, I had already read the first 3 books in the series. I actually made my best friend read them too and she borrowed them from me and we used to fangirl over them. Prior to reading this, I only read really short novels - around 100-200 pages long. This was, what I would call, my first real novel. Also, it really opened my eyes to the fantasy world. I know a lot of people fell in love with reading through harry potter but I guess my reading journey was a little bit different! As much as this series is all over the place and crazy, I really owe my love for reading to it and it will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Profile Image for Mith.
284 reviews978 followers
November 26, 2011
A bizarre plot with a terrible beginning. Without any sort of background we are plunged into action. It works for Riordan but unfortunately not here. Could not bring myself to read past the first 20 pages.

P.S - Mr. Patterson? Kids do NOT speak like that. You just sound like an adult trying too hard to talk in a way he thinks kids these days might talk.
Bad sentence formation just now, you say? Yeah, that about sums up your book.
Profile Image for Jennifer Carafa.
14 reviews5 followers
March 20, 2008
The book is about a group of 6 kids who are pretty normal except they are 98% human and 2% bird! They have wings, can fly, and also posses super-human talents. They were created at a place called the “School”. They lived there as experiments until Jeb, a human scientist set them free. Each member of this group has been created with super-human abilities like great speed, strength, physic powers, and flight.
Angel, the youngest who is telepathic and can breathe underwater, is kidnapped by Erasers. Erasers are part human and part wolf and were also created at the School. The head of the Erasers is a kid name Ari. Max sets off to save Angel and on the way she see a girl getting bullied so she goes to help her and ends up getting shot in her wing. The girl, Ella, convinces Max to come home with her and she does. Ella’s mom, Dr. Martinez helps Max and takes her to hospital to get help. There they discover that Max has a tracer in her arm that cannot be removed.
When Max meets up with the rest of the flock they start to travel to the school again and end up getting attacked by the Erasers. The erasers kidnap all of them except but Iggy and Gazzy. Max is brought back to the school and finds Jeb there where he discovers he was created to save the world. Finally Iggy and Gazzy show up with a flock of hawks and escape from the school. They discover another place called the Institute that knows about the flock and that they might have parents. Max begins to get very sick and has head pains. She can’t move, talk nor walk.
Again the Erasers show up and Jeb is there. He tells Max that she needs to save the world and demands all the Erasers to leave. Max goes into the Institute and discovers that everyone of the Flock has a real name, parents. He prints out the list and realizes everyone lived near Washington, D.C.. They decide to head to D.C. but Ari tries to stop them. Max and Ari fight and then they hear a crack. Ari has broken his neck and dies. Jeb yells to Max, “you killed your own brother!”
The Flock finally heads to D.C. and takes a dog from the institute, Total, with them.

Strengths (including reviews and awards):
James Patterson is an amazing author who was recently named “The Mand Who Can’t Miss” by Times Magazine.
He was the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past 5 years
Maximum Ride series spent 20 weeks on the New York Timess best sellers lists and 14 of them were at #1.

The main character is a girl who is powerful & strong, and it’s a horror & science fiction book which can help get girls involved!

Drawbacks or other cautions:
It seemed a little too impossible the way the characters super-human talents showed up right when they needed them. There was a lot going on throughout the book and then the ending ended very abruptly. I didn’t like the ending at all… but I’ll have to read the next series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,049 followers
December 7, 2014
I usually really enjoy YA books but this one was more young than it was adult and occasionally irritating because of that. Initially I thought I had picked up the series on the second book because of constant references to what has happened before. I ended up wondering why the author had not started his story at the beginning. His characters were also very poorly drawn which made it difficult to be concerned about any of them. The story did become reasonably exciting and I read through to the end. I will not however be reading any more of the series. I like James Patterson ' s adult books but will steer clear of his YA ones.y
Profile Image for Kahleia Corpuz.
58 reviews5 followers
January 25, 2016
It would've been enjoyable if I didn't read the manga and got all the spoilers from that. Also, the chapters weren't very effective when it came to the cliffhangers at the end of it because there were 3 pages in every chapter or less. Personally, I enjoyed this a little less than the manga because it was perfect in that form. It's a very action packed book that deserves the pictures in that manga.
Profile Image for marian.
26 reviews8 followers
January 26, 2009
11 reviews6 followers
December 7, 2007
This is my first James Patterson, so I'm not entirely sure about his writing style, but I guess the way he's written this book was as if it was the protagonist. Patterson writes in the voice of the girl hero Maximum Ride, and ends mostly with small cliffhangers, which compels the readers to continue reading. (I couldn't really put it down; I kept wanting to find out what happened to the characters.)
Patterson didn't only place small cliffhangers at the end of the chapters, he added a huge one for the next (few?) books; that Max was destined to save the world. So far, there is nothing on that.

While reading this book, another book came to mind: The Bar Code Tattoo. In both, the experiment of combining avian and human genes were present, as were there being six "members". For both, one of the members were blind, and there were superpowers for them. As for the rest, it's better if you read it.

I want to continue this series for various reasons: 1. I want to see how she saves the world; 2. there's the whole "mutant" thing, and 3. it's part of a series (I'm sort of a sucker for series).
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews404 followers
July 20, 2017
James Patterson's contribution to young adult fantasy. It's actually pretty good. I guess if you are a good writer you can write anything.
Profile Image for Lauren.
49 reviews30 followers
September 15, 2022
This book is juat plain terrible.

There was just so much wrong in the 138 pages I read.

From page one, where the reader is implored to not put the book down, literally ("keep reading, it could save your life"), it's obvious that this book is just a passionless cash cow. This author doesn't write for the love of writing, or even just to get a story across, but merely for a quick buck, which in of itself sucks the fun right out of a book, but whatever. Moving on.

The writing is atrocious. I'm talking every-few-words-I-stare-at-the-wall-because-omg-this-is-awful.

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It's repetitive, elementary, choppy, and just bland.

For example:

It was like I had just lost my little sister. And like I had just lost my little girl.

Why the simile? You did just let your sister get taken by genetically engineered wolf-people. Yeah. Kay.

It is also stated twice that blood sings- as in, "the anger made my blood sing". Weird phrasing much?

The MC's voice is grating as all-get-out, especially since she uses phrases like "all-get-out." She tries to be clever, but I just want to duct tape her mouth shut. Shut. As in closed. <<<<< That's about how repetitive she is, btw.

There's also a lot of odd non-swearing, as in "h-e-double hockey sticks", "stupid butt", etc, etc. If Patterson is trying to sound like a teen here, he fails drastically. Teenagers swear like a motherfucker.

The characters have ridiculous names. Iggy, who contributes nothing but blindness. The Gasman, so named for his farts. That's pretty much all he does. Iggy and The Gasman blow up a few Erasers, which are the mutant wolf-human hybrids who try to catch the Flock/bird-human members and take them back to the School. I guess. JFC.

Nudge, who eats and talks a lot.

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Angel, who gets kidnapped. Fang, who is the Dark-and-Mysterious type. And Max, short for Maximum Ride, who is the most grating MC ever. Stupid, cocky, stupid, motherfucking irrationally stupid.

The characters really have no traits or depth.

The plot is thin. 138 pages in and still nothing has happened, but a few of the characters are on a far-fetched rescue mission and taking forever to get there. Bleh.

I hope people aren't shelving this book as sci-fi, because there is nothing 'sci' about it. The genetic engineering premise is just a flimsy way to be able to give the kids wings. They could have been angels/kids wearing cardboard wings strapped to their backs and it wouldn't have made a difference.

There's also a line I found randomly flipping towards the back of the book that described the new Erasers as half-wolf, half-human, and half-avian. Let's count together; what do three halves make?

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The only reason this book became a best seller is likely the reluctant reader appeal. It's saddening that kids will read this trash and think it's good, but turn their nose up at legitimately good books. Well, as long as they're reading, I guess?

I'm really, really let down. The reviews (on GR and off) are raving. KLIATT and Booklist compares this to the X-Men. The Rocky Mountain News compares this to Harry Potter. No. Stahp. No. I implore you, in the name of Kitty Pryde and Luna Lovegood, STOP COMPARING PIECES OF SHIT TO BETTER THINGS, THANKS.

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If there's one thing I learned from this book, it's that I definitely have had enough of J.P. novels. Remember how much I hated his other book, Confessions of a Murder Suspect? Because I didn't care for that one, either.

I believe in second chances, but third chances? No. Patterson, the door is that way, and take your choppy writing with you.
Profile Image for George Jankovic.
140 reviews86 followers
November 6, 2017
What an action-packed book!

Max (Maximum Ride) is one of six kids who were genetically engineered to be able to fly. The kids are all different but care for each other deeply as a family since they've never had another family. They don't even know if they were test tube babies or if they had parents. How did they end up in the institution that experimented on them? That is just one of the mysteries that exist in the book.

While I loved the pace and the cat-and-mouse game they play with their hunters, it is these mysteries that made me turn pages. For example, why do the hunters catch them then let them go? More than once.

We get some of the answers in this book, but not all. Great!

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