Maximum Ride by James Patterson
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
In James Patterson’s blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it’s like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the “flock”–Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel–are just like ordinary kids–only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time…like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the “School” where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare–this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf “Erasers” in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb–now her betrayed and greatest enemy–that her purpose is save the world–but can she?
This is the first James Patterson book I have read, and I really enjoyed it. I listened to it – and did not want to turn it off or for it to finish. The story follows Max, a girl who has the ability to fly. They have to lie-low as they are being chased by the Erasers – a group of people who want to see the end of the flying children. However, Max and her gang get caught hiding in a tree, and Angel, the youngest is taken. Now Max has to keep calm and rescue her. But what she uncovers on the way is shocking.
This book is full of imagination, adventure and excitement. I found the chases and the flying the best bit. I liked how Patterson used the time in the sky for the characters to sort their minds out – and sometimes the views were great to read about. Along with the ability to fly, they can also run exceptionally fast. One scene that stays with me is where Max takes on a couple of men who are attacking a girl. Because she can move much quicker than anyone else, she leads the men away from the girl – saving her. Max gets wounded but the girl and her mother are more than happy to look after her because of what she did, and a friendship is formed.
Max is like that through a lot of the book – caring, reckless and a great friend. I think that is why I liked her so much. She looks after Angel, who is only six, and when she is taken she does everything she can to rescue her. She is sensible and clever, and works so well in her gang. She lets everyone use their abilities the best they can and she was a delight to read.
This is a young adult book, although I really enjoyed it. This is the first in the series, and I hope to read them all. The story is exciting and fast-paced and I thoroughly recommend it.