Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Maximum Ride

Title: Maximum Ride (The Angel Experiment)
Author: James Patterson
Page count: 413
 Back cover:
Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways—except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. Riding the wind, their wings are an amazing gift...and yet, their world can morph into a nightmare in a single instant. For when the bloodthirsty Erasers—half men, half-wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists—kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission that will change them forever.

From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, 14-year-old Max leads her five feisty "family" members on a journey full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking—not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side!

   Um woah. Those are the first words that come to mind. While Patterson was a little slow in the romance department, the story was never lacking in action. Me being one of those people who lie awake dreaming of having wings and flitting over moonlit landscapes, Maximum Ride temporarily satisfied my taste for in the air action.
   So the book begins with the smallest of the six, little Angel (looking exactly as her name suggests) being snatched away to the evil facility where the children were first studied and given their wings. Getting her back unhinges Max and her crew's lives, makes their home vulnerable to Lupine hybrid hunters...and eventually gifted, kidnapped Angel begins to learn of new things-- of their origins, of their lives, of their beings. Even if they retrieve the young girl their lives are now in more danger, have more strings attached, and are swamped in far more questions and enemies than before... the book lives up to it's name. It's the Maximum thrill Ride.
   The way the characters' wings didn't just pop in and out of existence really boosted my opinion. Fantasy/sci fi books that have the main character(s) spontaneously growing wings and poofing them back into nevernever land when they’re done makes the characters seem less real. It make them more able to appear normal but really—is that just for convenience? On with the story? I don’t know… it just kind of bugs me. The fact that Max doesn't have that luxury makes the premise much more believable. So go Max!
   Still, the whole concept is kind of hard to wrap your head around, though fun to read.   Max and her crew are tighter knit than a sweater and they know each other like they know how to fly. Their nicknames reminiscent of their personalities, they act like a real family with their arguments and tenderness.

   I'm going to rank my books in paint splotches because stars are overrated, pun intended (har har, get it? rated?). So this book gets a 4/5 for its incredible flight action, its very non-cliche intro (you get thrown right into the plot) and the fantastic action, settings, and personalities of the characters, even the minor ones. It was a little confusing at times, and there was not very much of a character arc from Max, in fact barely any change in her at all, but overall a fantastic read.
   Now, without further ado... the 1000 words of a scene that spoke to me :)

Buy it, borrow it, or use it as scrap paper?
  Buy it.

- Winnie :)

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