Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1)
Author: James Patterson
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2007)

Description: 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 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?

My Thoughts: This was an exciting middle grade adventure. Max tells us the story of how she and her family - Fang, Nudge, Gazzy, Iggy and Angel - find themselves on the run from the School and being chased by the Erasers who are able to shift from man to wolf. They are trying to find a safe place and to find out who they are and why they were made.

Because this is the beginning book in a series a lot of time is spent setting up the story and introducing us to the characters. There are a lot of unanswered questions. One that occurred to me is to wonder how the kids had survived for two years after Jeb who had rescued them from the experiments at the school disappeared. Taxes, groceries, utilities? How did they get the information they had? How were they educated? The youngest is only six! Who is the voice that Max has started to hear in her head? What is this thing about it being a game or a test?

The one thing I didn't like about the book was that Max seemed more like a forty-year-old instead of a fourteen year old. I wondered how someone raised in hiding as she was became so familiar with pop culture and out-dated references. I also find asides to the audience more annoying than informative.  Because this was a quick read, I will likely read the rest of the series to find out the complete story. I don't think middle school readers will be slowed down by the things that bothered me. I think they will enjoy the adventure and be fascinated by the powers that each of the kids have.

Challenges: Bottoms Up Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, 2010 TBR Challenge


1 comment:

  1. I liked the book when I read it. Guess, I wasn't thinking too deeply about it ... until you brought it up. :-)


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