Review - Maximum Ride - James Patterson

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)Title: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1) 
Author: James Patterson 
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Middle-grade
Publication: April 11 2005, Headline
Pages: 480
Source: Library book
WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE: Do not 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.

STRAP YOURSELF IN: for the thrill ride you'll want to take again and again! From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, you're about to take off on a heart-stopping adventure that will blow you away...

YOUR FAITHFUL COMPANIONS: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel. Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways - except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in a lab, living like rats in cages, but now they're free. Aside, of course, from the fact that they're prime prey for Erasers - wicked wolf-like creatures with a taste for flying humans.

THE MISSIONS: Rescue Angel from malicious mutants. Infiltrate a secret facility to track down the flock's missing parents. Scavenge for sustenance. Get revenge on an evil traitor. And save the world. If there's time.

It's got a pretty awesome sypnosis, right? It screams danger, mystery and adventure - and it was! I enjoyed Maximum Ride, not a favourite, but not a book I regret reading. It was an addictive read that I find I couldn't put down! 

Before I checked this book out of the library, I'd heard a lot about the series, but I'd never actually picked up one of the books to start reading. When I went to a huge library, one I don't normally go to and one that is about 25 minutes from where I stay, I saw all the Maximum Ride books sitting on a shelf. Now, here's a really weird fact about me, when I go to the library I have to take the maximum amount of books out, I don't know why, I'm just weird that way. But luckily the maximum (LOL! Just realised that's the character's first name! :p) amount allowed on one card is seven books, because if it was like, twenty, I'd have a problem. Anyway, I saw this sitting on the shelf, and then I guiltily remembered that one of my best friends, Georgia, had kept telling me to read the series because its awesome. So being  the good, bookish friend that I am. I took the book out, not really knowing what to expect and whether or not I'd enjoy it or not.  I'm glad I listened to her, though, because Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge and Angel took me on an adventure I have never experienced before.

I have never read a book like The Angel Experiment before. It was extremely unique and I enjoyed every moment reading it. I never knew what was waiting for them around the corner, and this created a suspenseful atmosphere. These kids were genetically made in a lab (we find out the real truth that was secretively hidden from them, later on), ninety-eight percent human, two percent bird. Meaning they looked human aside from one small little thing...they have wings. Meaning they can fly. They are also clever, resourceful, tall and super strong. As we go on the journey with them we realise just how special they really are.

As soon as we start reading we are given a short introduction to each of the characters and then the action starts. I felt a bit rushed as the action started immediately and would've like it if I could first settle into the whole idea of the story and the surroundings and get to know the characters first.  I enjoyed reading all of the flock's adventures and the fighting scenes had me on the edge of my seat. The plot was interesting, I loved how the story involves us. The author writes as if Max is talking right to us, and I love that in a  book! It literally felt like I was with them every step of the way. 

The plot was good. It wasn't the best I've read, but it still took me on an adventure that I'll never forget! I love how some of the scenes are taken place in New York, as one of my biggest dreams is to go there one day. I found the events that happened did seem repeated a few times and this made the story seem monotonous. Also them continuously being on the run could make the reading quite tiresome at times. However, I found this book quite addictive, and even when I was at a part which I wasn't enjoying that much, I still found the writing addictive and my eyes were glued to the page. I also like how there was some startling information revealed to the characters that completely knocked what I thought I knew way off course. Just a hint...keep your eyes peeled for a traitor that betrayed the flock like you wouldn't believe.

I enjoyed reading about the characters a tremendously. They all had their unique personalities that shone through the pages. 

The main characters consist of: Maximum (Max), the leader of the group, who is fourteen. Fang, the mysterious, dark one who, like Max, is fourteen. Then there is Iggy, the gangly eleven year old who loves fire and explosives,  he is also permanently blind as an experiment on him in the lab went wrong. Then there is Nudge, the sweet and talkative eleven year old girl. Then eight year old The Gasman (Gazzy) who has an unfortunate digestive system, and who can mimic any voice or sound he hears, he is eight years old. Last but not least, is sweet little cork-top curled Angel, six years old and who can read and manipulate minds. 

They are all incredibly unique and I loved getting to know all of them. They showed lots of emotion and you can feel how awful they feel about being born this way. They love that they can fly, and how they're not like normal kids who have chores and have to go to school, but they all desperately long for parents, and a safe home to live in.

Max was an amazing heroine. She's a badbutt (not going to say the 'a' word hehe ;) ), she can kick some Eraser booty, she's determined, strong and independent. She never has to cling onto anybody to get her out of a situation and I admired her for that. I also felt really sorry for her, as her only parental figure she had for two years "died" when she was twelve. Then she had to take on the other five kids and look after them, that's a lot of responsibility for a fourteen year old. I can barely make a nice piece of toast, but Max is already at such a young age, keeping kids safe, feeding them and loving them like a mother. I really like Max and I can't wait to read more about her in the other books!

My other favourite character in the book is Fang. A dark, brooding and mysterious fourteen year old boy. I loved seeing some of his sensitive side come out in The Angel Experiment, especially when he was with Angel. On the exterior he appears cold and distant, but in the inside he's almost as soft as a marshmallow. Not that soft, but close. :p

The writing was good, I was perhaps expecting something a bit better, as Patterson's writing in this book almost seemed a bit middle-grade at times. Not all of the book though, he did use some lovely descriptions and he can certainly write intriguing action scenes! Also in the beginning of this novel I did find Max's sarcasm get a bit much and she sometimes spoke like the stereotyped classification of an American teenage girl. Her voice in the story did seem to grow maturer as I continued reading which I am glad about.

The one thing I do hope to find in the next few books is some romance. There was virtually no romance in The Angel Experiment, except for one fleeting moment but I do hope something will commence in the next book. Because, I did maybe see a little spark between Max and Fang.

Overall, Maximum Ride was a thrilling adventure that has me craving more. A unique idea unlike that I have seen in a YA book. With a plot that keeps you gripped, characters that are incredibly brilliant, yet have their own downfalls, a chilling secret, an evil traitor and unexpected discoveries, Maximum Ride and the flock will sweep you off your feet and have  you feeling like you're  flying next to them, skimming the candy floss clouds and escaping Erasers, while experiencing a story like no other...

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!


  1. Great review! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I've read the whole series except for the last one (Nevermore) because I'm really not ready for it to end. All of the characters grew on me, especially Max and Fang. *sigh* But alas, I really should read the last book and stop procrastinating. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Oh what a fun review. I haven't read any books in this series yet, but it does sound like quite an action-packed series filled with tons of heart-stopping moments. The characters and their abilities sound super interesting as well. Great review Kyra!


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