Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 17, 2010
By , Hamburg, NY
A book about children with wings, written by one of the more popular novelists of our time, Maxiumum Ride: The Angel Experiment is the first in a wonderful series following the adventures of Maximum Ride, a 98% human, 2% avian hybrid girl, and her “flock” of friend-family that she looks after, all of similar genetic proportions.

Part of what makes this book stand out from, say, any other story about raggedy bird-children, is how very well defined each of the characters is. When you have finished with the book, it’s easy to think of them as friends, each of their mannerisms so unique but genuinely human that you feel you actually know them. Max, the fearless leader, is portrayed as a strong girl who attempts to keep her emotions under control for the sake of her flock’s peace of mind. Several instances throughout the story show that she is not the perfectly stoic butt-kicking machine she wants people to believe, touching scenes that help people to identify strongly with her.
Fang, Max’s second in command, gives his secrets reluctantly, appearing even more outwardly emotionless. He still comes across as human though, his silence and calm simply part of his intriguing character.
Iggy, third eldest of the flock, is immediately shown as blind. Rarely invoking pity, it is brought up masterfully throughout the story in minor thoughts and gestures. More emotionally expressive than Max or Fang, he has a habit of making bombs, of which there seem to always be a few on his person. Again, he’s never as serious as Max or Fang, and brims with delight each time one of his creations is successful.

Nudge, a loudmouth 11-ish-year-old, gives the impression of being the most emotional of the flock, as well as the most normal. While still, of course, possessing wings, she becomes excited at things any 11(ish) year old would get excited at, and loves fashion, gossip, and general “girl-things”. She’s also the most eager of the technically orphan bird-children to meet her parents.
The Gasman, more publicly called Gazzy, is one of the only two members of the flock actually related to one another. It’s never made clear whether he chose this name or earned it, but it’s proven during several of the lighter chapters that he deserves it. Partner-in-crime to Iggy, he helps him with booby traps and bombs thoughout the story, sometimes delighted 8-ish-year-old, sometimes bloodthirsty fighter.
And Angel, the last and youngest member of the flock at six-ish, would tie with Nudge for normality if it weren’t for her ability to read the minds of those around her. She picks strawberries, she plays with stuffed animals, cries, pouts, and is generally endearing. Max’s secret favorite, the title of our story is no coincidence, and it is this little girl who is the main plot device that kicks off the epic story of our Maximum Ride.
The story begins by introducing us, via Max’s thoughts and dreams, to The School, a secret scientific research lab that specializes in research on genetic recombinants. Half this, half that hybrids. Never linked to any specific organization or government, The School operates in Death Valley, and produced Max and the flock, along with their constant enemies, the werewolfy Erasers. Max and Co. escaped from The School prior to the beginning of the novel, several years ago, with a sentimental scientist working there. They have lived peacefully all this time, but are thrown back into turmoil when The School comes after them and kidnaps Angel, prompting the rest of them to go after and rescue her.
Unable to reveal any more in good conscience, I promise you this is a book that almost anyone will love, full of mystery and action, never over till it’s over, that you will not put down except to pick up the next installment in the series.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

writingrocks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 6:27 am

I loved this book sooooooo much...... great review!


Bob_ROFL said...
Sept. 29, 2010 at 9:53 am
I've already read this book and this review makes me want to read it over again. It tells most the main story without revialing the misteries of the story.
Still_Waters26 said...
Sept. 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm
I have to say, I really enjoyed the first Max Ride book, even though I felt it was a little far-fetched.  By the second book, it had gotten really out of hand (a TALKING DOG??!!) but I had high hopes for what it would all add up to.  But I was bitterly dissapointed after reading book 3.  I went on to read 4 and 5, but no luck.  By then the butt-kicking action and the kids' sarcastic humor was getting old and I was really bored with the series.  I won't even bother to rea... (more »)
anneliese S. said...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm
I want to read this book now. You're writing style is very persuasive, very effective, and very entertaining. Keep this up!!!
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