Book Review – Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Book Review

Maximum Ride:  
The Angel Experiment
James Patterson
With 13 days remaining until Christmas, I’m getting a littlestressed out.  I’ve done all of myshopping with one exception:  Istill have to buy for the readers on my list.  And I can’t just buy any book and hope it’s good.  Nope…not me.  I can’t give a book unless I both know it’s a good book, ANDknow that the intended reader will identify with it in some way.  So I’ve been doing a lot of reading!
One of the recipients on my list is a 14-year-old girl whois a voracious reader.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read any YA novels, so I honestly didn’t know where tostart.  And then someone suggestedJames Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. I was familiar with Patterson and I’d read several of his novels, but –though I was aware the series existed – I wasn’t aware that the target audiencewas young adult readers.  With my 14-year old friend in mind, I picked up Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment.
Had a I realized in advance that this series was stronglybased in science fiction, I can assure you I would never have even consideredreading it, even as an advance screening for a gift.  After all, I’ve often proclaimed that I’ll read anythingexcept science fiction.  It’s justnot a genre I enjoy…or so I thought. It would seem that I should rethink my aversion to science fiction,because I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading theremainder of the series.
Maximum Ride is a 14-year-old girl who isn’t your normalteenager.  She and her friends havebeen experimentally mutated by “The School” and have an avian bone structureand wings like a bird.  At firstglance, they look like any other group of kids…except for the 13-foot wingspanthey keep carefully concealed under a windbreaker to avoid notice.
Four years before the opening of this book, Max and her friendswere secretly liberated from “The School” and have been hiding from the Erasers– creatures genetically mutated into wolf-like half-humans, created for the purposeof hunting them down and either killing them or returning them to “The School.”  Max and her friends have been locatedby the Erasers, and now they’re onthe run for their lives.  Whetherthey escape unscathed is something you’ll have to discover for yourself byreading the book.
As an adult, I must admit I was surprised at how much Ienjoyed this book.  While thetarget audience is young adults (probably grade 5 and above) I found that thetwists and turns made it completely enjoyable for adults to read as well.  The short chapters would be especiallyattractive for young readers or busy adults, as they allow the reader to pickthe book up for a quick read and then put it down without investing a full halfhour on a chapter.
Maximum Ride was a truly outstanding read and willdefinitely be in the “to open” pile for my young friend on Christmas morning.  I may even consider it for one or moreof my adult reading friends.
For more information about the Maximum Ride series of books,visit the author’s website dedicated to this series byfollowing this link.
~ Catherine H. Armstrong

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