Book review

Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever by James Patterson (2006)

Part two of the Maximum Ride series

Max. Brilliant heroine. Born to lead.

And what a flock she's got...they all have extra talents, apart from the wings. Angel is 6 years old and can control minds. Gazzy can mimic anything. He's also plays nicely with Iggy, at explosives. Iggy is blind but can 'see' with other senses. Nudge communicates with computers. Fang, well, he's a snappy dresser. But he's also a fighter, cool, calculating and utterly unforgiving. And he's Max's main man.

They're all fighters, because they have to be. They are survivors from a terrible warped scientific experiment. But although the 2% avian DNA which was grafted onto them marks them out as different from the rest of mankind, the other 98% human DNA that they carry means they are also just kids, and more than anything else in the world they dream of finding their parents and living a normal family life in a normal home:

'This sucks!' Iggy shouted suddenly, his voice echoing off the glass storefronts. He punched a telephone pole in front of him, hitting it accurately. He winced, and I saw the scraped skin and bloody knuckles.
'I'm sorry, Ig-' I began.
'I don't care if you're sorry!' Iggy shouted at me. 'Everyone's sorry! That doesn't matter! What matters is that we find where we belong!' He walked angrily away from us, his boots kicking up stones in the parking lot. 'I mean, I just can't take this any more!' he yelled, waving his arms and heading back to us. 'I need some answers! We can't just keep on wandering from place to place, always on the run, always hunted...' His voice broke, and we all looked at him in shock. Iggy hardly ever cried.
I went over and tried to put my arms around him, but he pushed me away.
We all want answers, Iggy,' I said. 'We all feel lost sometimes...'

And until they can find themselves, they've got Max, who does it all. She tucks them up at night, provides for their next meal (even if she can't cook), keeps them safe from Erasers and mad scientists...

But there's something else Max has to deal with too. She has a voice in her head that won't go away. It wants her to save the world:

You've got a date with destiny. Don't be late.

So she's got a lot on her plate, Maximum Ride.

Brilliantly told story. Short, sharp, action-packed chapters keep the story racing along. Sardonic humour makes you snigger out loud, even when you're sitting up reading into the small, dark hours of tomorrow.

Highly recommended. You'll love it.

What can I read next?

It's a trilogy. It's one story. Read it in order:

If you enjoy sharp-witted heroines who are literally destined to save the world, you should have a look at the fabulously successful His Dark Materials trilogy from Philip Pullman:

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