Title: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: April 11th
Genre: Teen, Science Fiction, Adventure
Don’t put this book down. I’m dead serious.
Your life could depend on it. I’m risking everything by telling you−but you need to know.
Her full name is Maximum Ride. And the girl can fly.
- Protect the rest of her gang−Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel−from a pack of hal-wolf, half-humans with a taste for flying humans.
- Rescue Angel from a crew of wack-job kidnappers.
- Infiltrate a secret facility to track down her friends’ missing parents.
- Get revenge on the one person she thought she could trust.
- Discover the best chocolate chip cookie in New York City.
- Save the whole world, for crying out loud.
Not necessarily in that order, of course.
My First Thoughts:
I first read Maximum Ride when I was in sixth grade. The book was first loaned to me by my best friend who really thought I needed to grow up from reading Magic Treehouse books. It was the first ‘Teen’ book that I read and it has been my favorite book ever since.
Since the newest installment of the book was released last year, after what I thought was the last book, I decided to reread the entire series before I tackled the newest one. It’s also been a while since I’ve read it, and now that I’m older I wanted to see how my perspective changed.
Even after ten years I still absolutely love Maximum Ride! It was so much fun rereading the book that got me into other fiction than American Girl Journals and Magic Treehouse. I even remembered where I was when I read certain parts of the book and what my classrooms looked like back in sixth grade. Isn’t that odd though, how a passage in a book can allow you to bring up past details like what an old classroom looked like?
Anyways, this book was a lot of fun to say the least. The only issues that I had though were ones that I never thought of as a kid. Getting a major in science requires me to take a lot of science classes, so over time my knowledge of various sciences have grown. Because of this growth, I found some of the ‘science’ bits a little hard to swallow. For instance, the 2% bird DNA only giving them wings. Or how could that have worked exactly? And speaking of the wings, studies show that for a human to fly with wings they would need a wing span between 20-30 feet, Max’s wing span is 13-14ft max…
There were other little details in the book that I never really cared about (or grasped) as a child that bugged me a little when I reread it. Mostly they were just little things in the plot that most kids wouldn’t pick up on, but they weren’t as glaring as they could have been. As a whole though, this book still remains as one of my favorites. Going back through the story I was able to pick up on things that I never did before that helped explain later developments in the series.
Max is still one of my favorite first person narrators, just because her train of thought is so different so unique. It really read like she was talking to herself a lot, which I absolutely adored! James Patterson has a unique writing style when it comes to Max and her story, especially for an author that writes a lot of Adult fiction with male leads. He made his chapters short, which made it easy to find a constructive place to stop between bursts in life. The short chapters also made the story flow more smoothly and quickly as well, which for a child with a short attention span is great!
Each character was unique with their own personalities and abilities (quite literally super powers). I loved rereading all of the interactions between the flock members and seeing the first signs of my first ever ship Faxness (I swear, I got some weird looks when I had to contain my squeals in public)! There were times in which their actions didn’t strike me as quite normal for a group of kids, but then again, they’re a group of mutant kids so what can be normal?
The book was very dialogue heavy. This makes it easier for kids to read and a lot of adults like dialogue heavy books too. However, I found that some parts were lacking because of the pages and pages of dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, I love dialogue, but sometimes I want more description than dialogue! So The Angel Experiment didn’t have a lot of world building, which is fine for younger readers because they mention pretty common places that have stereotypical images. However, it was a little disappointing how sparse the descriptions were for the scenes and even the characters themselves at times. Other times the description was great, but they weren’t as often as I would have liked, in my opinion.
Read Maximum Ride when you were a kid and want to go down memory lane? Then pick this book back up and read it again! You’ll definitely experience a lot of nostogalia, and who know you might learn something new with your changed perspective!
Looking for a book for your child or pre-teen? Then this book is what you’re looking for! It’s fast paced, easy to read, and creative enough to keep any short attention span happy! It will also give excellent role models for both girls and boys, and has a wide diversity of characters.
Fan of James Patterson and not afraid to read younger books? Well this book may be able to satisfy your curiosity and figure out what his teen/young adult books are like. I can’t guarantee that you’ll like it, but who knows, it may just surprise you!
Yes, I have totally made up this word, but deal with it! Anyways, this book doesn’t get the full 5/5 because even after ten years of not reading it all the way through I remember all of the major plot twists, so they weren’t as shocking as before. I will say though, reading this has given me clarity as to why some things happen in the later books that I never fully grasped. It was also a lot of fun to reread again, the nostalgia was nice.
This was a little hard for me to rate because my opinion is colored by my childhood tastes. As a child, I absolutely adored this book and I still do. There are plot holes in some places, some description is seriously lacking in some areas, and the science may be a bit off in others. However, I still believe that this is a good solid story that is above average. Max has a unique voice that is refreshing to read, and her journey is exciting and fun to follow, definitely not one you find in other books. James Patterson offers a wonderful story to entice more children to read and gives them strong, positive role models of both genders.