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 a fun easy read that those young MG readers could appreciate as well as adults who just like a good adventure. In some ways the set up in this story reminded me of Dark Angel in where there are kids who "belong" to a lab and then fight their way to freedom and staying that way. After that, the resemblance ends. You then have a unique telling of mutants learning to navigate the world which they know won't accept them.
The adventure these kids have is quite intense and you can't wait to find out all of the answers to the questions that form as they fight to save one of their own. Fight to save Angel, the littlest from a fate worse than death. Along the way they learn more about the world than they ever thought possible and find some unlikely help along the way. However, even while on the hot trail of learning more about their past and what they were told was true or not, they find that they can't trust anything or anyone outside of the flock.
Although I liked all the main characters, my biggest complaint about this book is that it is hard to really connect on a deep level to the kids. It makes sense because their whole life is crises management and so little time is left for really knowing who they truly are. However, since this is only one book in a series, I feel that the connection will come and probably sooner than later. You can see things falling in place within this book for that to happen.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think it is a fast and fun book for the beginning to this series. I recommend it to those that enjoy UF and YA.