The thing is, Max, you’re even more special than I always told you. You see, you were created for a reason. Kept alive for a purpose, a special purpose. Max, that reason, that purpose is:
You are supposed to save the world.
— James Patterson, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
If I were to describe this book in one word, I would choose clichè (you can already tell at how much just by reading that quote I provided).
The plot is unique enough. It went ways I didn’t expect it to go to. But the characters felt like I’ve read them all from other books before. Only with different names.
Have I read this when I was younger, I probably would’ve liked it better. But being me now, I just didn’t love it.
I first heard about this book from BookTuber Piera (Piera Forde). She made an entire video talking about WHY this is her favorite book of all time until a certain point. And I’ve always listened to her book recommendations. Thanks to her, I’ve read and loved Red Rising trilogy, Half Bad trilogy, Six of Crows duology, The Kingkiller Chronicles, and Nevernight.
Besides being a familiar name to me because I see his books everywhere, this is the first book I have read by James Patterson. I know that he wrote the Women’s Murder Club series and although I haven’t read any of those, I’ve played the computer games of it and I absolutely love those! So I figured why not read atleast this one book?
I searched for it everywhere and it was not available in any of the bookstores I go to! I got frustrated and tried to look for an eBook copy but didn’t get any. A year later, I accidentally stumbled upon this battered copy (as seen in photo) at a BOOKSALE branch while I was searching for Robin Hobb books.
I got excited, bought it, and read it.
- Mutants. I love X-Men, so I’m always going to be in search of novels that have anything remotely close to humans being experimented on to become a different kind of species.
- Fast read. I have a lot on my TBR pile and to finish a book in a short amount of time is a blessing for me. Plus it has really short chapters so I felt like I was making great progress with every chapter’s end.
- Decision Making (lack thereof). Max is 14 years old and she’s taking care of the flock, right? Throughout the book we’re being chased by wolf creatures called Erasers. Sometimes 2-3 of the Erasers are enough to hurt the entire flock. But Max decides twice that it’s a good idea to take her group of 3-5 kids into the heart of the organization that is trying to kidnap them????? In what world, Max, do you think you will be successful? Ugh.
- Clichè. I’m not necessarily against anything clichè but this book was at the wrong kind for me. I can’t point out why exactly but it reads like a soap opera that I’ve seen and wasn’t interested in but it was still there blasting its volume and clichè characters and plots.
- Age. Can we talk about how the characters are ages 6-14 years old?! They live alone and go from West to East coast and nobody bats an eye? Also, the way they acted and talked did not sound like they were their age. Especially Angel who is 6 years old. I have a little 6-year-old brother and trust me, he does not act like that. And everytime they get in trouble, that little girl is the most calm and logical of all. It is absurd.
- Humor. Nothing wrong with humor but in this one, it was so forced and obvious at how the author wants his characters to be sassy and sarcastic, it just sounded pathetic. I just rolled my eyes instead of laugh or giggle.
- Conversations. Ok, hear me out. The adults in this book were rare. And when they were present, they absolutely were useless. At one point, there was an adult who kept telling Max that he had a lot to say but not right now. When Max was escaping, he still shouted he needed to explain a lot, so please listen to him. But he never explained anything! It was always “i need to tell you.” But never said anything. If you want to say something, spill it out!
Also, I think Max is absolutely dumb. More times I can count, Angel made a lot more sense than she ever did. And she’s the leader? Want an example?
They have been looking for the Institute for a while now and Max has discovered that she can have random visions in her head. In more than one occasion, said visions have helped them figure out what steps to make in order to survive just another day. But then she had a vision of a building, an address, and a blueprint. Her initial thoughts? “Man, oh man, what did it all mean?”! Well, duh! You dumb bird.
I can’t say this book gave me anything to want to continue on with the series. It also failed to make me care about the characters. So I’m pretty sure this’ll be the last time you’ll hear from me regarding Maximum Ride (unless I compare it to some other book I read in the future).
Would not necessarily recommend it but if you’re curious about it like I was, go on ahead and read it.
Maybe you’ll have a better time reading it than I did.
Personally, I’m just glad I didn’t pay full price for this book.