Book review

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (2005)

Part one of the Maximum Ride series

Maximum Ride. She's a girl. Great name, don't you think? She chose it herself:

'Like Sally Ride, the astronaut. Maximum Ride.'

Did I say girl?..sort of. Let's ask Max:

Basically, we're pretty cool, nice, smart - but not 'average' in any way. The six of us - me, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel - were made on purpose, by the sickest, most horrible 'scientists' you could possibly imagine. They created us as an experiment. An experiment where we ended up only 98% human. That other 2% has had a big impact, let me tell you.

They're bird kids. They've got wings. They can fly. And other stuff too.

And they've got enemies. There was another experiment that made it past infancy:

Part human, part wolf - all predator: they're called Erasers. They're tough, smart, and hard to control. They look human, but when they want to, they are capable of morphing into wolf men, complete with fur, fangs, and claws.

And guess what:

Basically, they want to rip our throats out. And make sure the world never finds out about us.

So it's down to Max. She's the oldest. She's the leader. She protects the flock. And she's dynamite, especially when her 'baby' Angel is kidnapped by Erasers. Nothing is going to stop her, except possibly the rest of the flock when they sample her driving:

I was sweating and about to jump out of my skin with anxiety about driving, but I tried to look way confident and calm. 'I mean, it's not as good as flying, but it beats the heck out of walking!'
I smiled bravely over at Fang to see him giving me a steady look. 'What?'
'Could you take it easy on the hairpin turns?' he said.
'I'm getting better,' I said. 'I just had to practice.'
'I didn't know a van could go up on two wheels like that,' Nudge said. 'For so long.'

Super-fast action, six brilliant bird-kid heroes. They're a team. Max tells the story in her own words. She's funny, tense and quick witted. Superb, tight writing. I was enthralled by this book. Couldn't put it down. Put your life on hold while you read this book.

What can I read next?

Brilliant! I just didn't want this book to end. So it's good news that the story carries on. Three books in all. Read them in order. They don't stand alone:

What else might you like? It's a combination of unlikely magic, real people, real action adventure and real romance. So have a look at this superb trilogy by Garth Nix:

And this compelling series by Philip Reeve:

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