Friday, July 8, 2011

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Get ready for the maximum thrill ride from #1 New York Times bestselling author James Patterson. Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways--except that they're 98% human and 2% bird. Riding the wind, their wings are an amazing gift...and yet, their world can morph into a nightmare in a single instant. For when the bloodthirsty Erasers--half men, half-wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists--kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission that will change them forever. From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, 14-year-old Max leads her five feisty "family" members on a journey full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking--not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side.

My Thoughts: 
Typical of Patterson this book has his trademark short chapters, fast pace and interesting characters. This makes for a quick and enjoyable read. Even though he wrote two adult novels featuring a female birdlike girl named Max this is not part of that series. Patterson explains this at the beginning of the book which I am thankful for because I really thought it was a YA spinoff of that series. Glad to have been set straight right off the top. Yes Max is a girl with wings, yes she escaped from a place that created her and she has her friends with her but this is where the parallels end between The Fugitive series and the books When the Wind Blows and Lake House.

You see a bit a growth in the form of newly developed cool talents among some of the children throughout this book. Angel seems to be the most special of them all. She was the one that the dreaded Erasers snatched after all. It was interesting to realize this wasn't really the case (even though Angel really is super cool.)

I didn't have any trouble remembering these were only children as there were constant reminders in the way of Max thinking to herself "he's only 8" or "Angel's only a baby!" but I did have trouble remembering that they really were very young. Angel is only 6. Max is 14. Patterson did do an excellent job of explaining that they had been training together as a team in strategic moves and self defense for 4 years so the fact that the kids were so very young really was ok with me. It helped that they were really kick butt kids too. I liked that despite their special abilities they still had their kid sides too. A total plus for Patterson creating kid characters that weren't just small adults with a kid label.

I didn't care for all the dangly ends left at the end of the book. There are so many it is frustrating. This book was designed as a series. Meaning to get the full story you have to read all the books. I prefer series books that are their own entities. Ones that are full and complete stories all by themselves but when read together complete an even larger story. Yes this books main story of getting Angel back was finished but that really only occupied 1/3 of the book.

Overall 4 stars because I loved these kids, it was pretty exciting, there was very little to no swearing, only one awkward smooch given in gratefulness, makes this a good book for ages 13 and above. There is violence and even death in this book so I would not recommend this for someone younger.

Oh by the way, anyone know how these kids can have wings that span 12-14 feet but still be able to put a jacket on and look normal in a crowd? You'd think they would look hunch backed or something.


BA said...

I am a or should I say was a Patterson fan. I thoroughly enjoyed this book realizing later that it was a series geared to teens. Most all, if not all his work is "a series" You can only read so much Alex Cross. I guess I'm still a fan, but I'm not that quick to pick up one of his books of later. Your review was excellent. I also read the prior "winged" books. Looking forward to reading more reviews. Beth

Christina said...

Thank you Beth for your comment. I totally agree with you about being able to read only so much Alex Cross. I stopped reading after Mary Mary because they were all starting to become too much for me. All the villians were becoming "super villians" in my eyes. I still read Patterson but mostly because his writing style is just easy to read and the stories are ones that I don't have to think about. Brain Candy for sure.