book review

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment- James Patterson

This book was actually loaned to me from a friend. Even though she’s a good friend, it still has not swayed my opinion; no matter how good a book she thinks this is. That being said, I’m extremely excited to review my very first James Patterson book!

Yes- you read that correctly. I read my FIRST James Patterson book. I’m not quite sure why I never picked up one oh his books before, his name has been around for what feels like forever. As always, there are just too many choices for books, so I happily accept ANY and most recommendations; especially from very good friends.

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

Meet Max: a girl taking care of her family of 5, age ranges from 6 to 14. She has all the responsibilities. Making breakfast, waking everyone up, making sure they are dressed, and helping everyone in self defense. Did I mention Max is only 14 years old? This family of six is in hiding. Alone, and without parents, Max is the glue that holds everyone together.

Originally, all 6 kids were at “School”; a laboratory experimenting with gene splicing (a bit of Bioshock anyone?). This particular group of 6 all had their genes spliced with avian DNA- all to different degrees. Side effects included sharper eyesight, blindness, acute hearing, reading minds, and wings averaging in a 13 foot wingspan. Other groups had their genes spliced with wolf DNA- this group is known as the Erasers, or the security for the “School”. Luckily, a sympathetic scientist named Jeb rescued the group of 6 and took them to the mountains to hide, and learn self defense. Unfortunately Jeb went missing, and the group presumed he is dead.

On a normal morning, all routine turns to chaos when Erasers invade their home. Angel, the youngest of the group, is stolen, and presumably taken back to “School”. The rest of the flock tries there best at self defense, and attempting to get Angel back before she flies away in the helicopter. As most people could probably predict, the flock is unable to save Angel, and she is transported to the “School”. And thus their journey/quest begins to get Angel back.

Always the one in charge, Max decides Gazzy, and Iggy will stay behind; because Gazzy is the youngest, and Iggy is blind. Max, Nudge, and Fang will fly after Angel and save her. While on they way, Max decides to look down (while flying) and sees someone being picked on and in need of help. Against her other traveling companions wishes, Max flies down to the rescue and saves Ella. The boys bullying Ella however, have a gun, and while Max is fleeing the scene, she is clipped in the shoulder, preventing her from flying back to the others. Max wanders through the forest, and comes (ironically) to Ella’s house. A bit hesitant (and claustrophobic) to go inside, Max decides she has no other option since she lost so much blood. Ella’s mom just happens to be a vet, and although the situation is strange, Dr. Martinez gladly helps the girl who saved her daughter’s life.

All fixed up, and with some much needed rest, Max attempts to leave. Dr. Martinez explains that the bullet may have gone through bone, and she would like to take her to her work to get an x-ray. While at the vet’s office, Eraser’s show up, inquiring to see if Dr. Martinez has seen any animal that’s abnormal. Eloquently telling them to shove off, Dr. Martinez makes them leave the office, and explains to Max what the x-ray showed. Once fully healed, Max is able to leave and catch up with the others, only to find that Gazzy and Iggy are also there, thanks to Eraser’s blowing up their home in the mountains.

Eraser’s once again gang up on the flock, and capture Max, Nudge, and Fang. Once inside the “School” the 3 are thrown into dog crates, and left to the nightmare they thought they escaped years ago.

Will Angel be rescued? Why was Angel taken in the first place? How was the flock first introduced to the “School”? Where are these kids parent’s? All these questions and more are answered in James Patterson’s fast paced, action pack book, Maximum Ride.

I would absolutely recommend this book. The perfect cross between X-men and the Boxcar Children. It’s a great read from middle school on up. For the adult reader, it’s a fast paced weekend read that you can get lost in. And actually, I am really looking forward to finishing the series (thanks to my friend). Said friend also said to steer clear from the movie that is out. As much as I love a good book to movie adaptation, if I know someone has read the book first and is telling me NOT to see the movie, I gotta listen.

So will I read another James Patterson book? Yes. Definitely yes. I’m pretty sure that I will start with finishing this series, and then branch out.

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