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The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) Hardcover – April 11, 2005

1,062 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in the Maximum Ride Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Themes from Patterson's popular adult titles When the Wind Blows and The Lake House waft through this YA thriller, the author's first in the genre. Wood stars as Maximum Ride, 14-year-old leader of a band of kids who have escaped the lab where they were bred as 98% human and 2% bird (wings being a key component) and developed a variety of other-worldly talents. In Patterson's unusual universe, Max and her young cohorts are soon forced to rescue one of their own—a girl named Angel—from a pack of mutant wolf-humans called Erasers. Wood nails Patterson's often adult-beyond-their-years dialogue with a jaded tone. But the result of this pairing makes Max sound more off-putting than cool or intriguing. The listening experience is stalled in the starting gate, keeping the action-adventure earthbound rather than high-flying. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but is still a compelling read. Max, 14, and her adopted family–Fang and Iggy, both 13, Nudge, 11, Gazzy, 8, and Angel, 6–were all created as experiments in a lab called the School. Jeb, a sympathetic scientist, helped them escape and, since then, they've been living on their own. The Erasers have orders to kill them so the world will never find out they exist. Max's old childhood friend, Ari, now an Eraser leader, tracks them down, kidnaps Angel, and transports her back to the School to live like a lab rat again. The youngsters are forced to use their special talents to rescue her as they attempt to learn about their pasts and their destinies. The novel ends with the promise that this journey will continue in the sequel. As with Patterson's adult mystery thrillers, in-depth characterization is secondary to the fast-moving plot. The narrative alternates between Max's first-person point-of-view and that of the others in the third person, but readers don't get to know Max very well. The only major flaw is that the children sound like adults most of the time. This novel is reminiscent of David Lubar's Hidden Talents (Tor, 1999) and Ann Halam's Dr. Franklin's Island (Random, 2002).–Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (April 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031615556X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316155564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 90 people found the following review helpful By P. Hardy on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If anything, I had seriously misconceptions when it came to Maximum Ride. For once it was written by James Patterson, world renowned author of murder mysteries that were turned into movies usually starring Morgan Freeman to name a couple. When I saw this down at the library in the young adults section, the immediate thought that came flying from my head was, "Somebody misplaced this book in the wrong section!" I thought this because I knew James Patterson for writing books for ADULT audiences only, so was irked that someone would leave the book in the wrong section of the library. Of course, it irked me so much that I took a chance and snatched it off the book shelf to read it myself (odd no?). After several weeks I finally got around to reading it. Without a doubt these pages DO FLY as the side panel of the book warned. The storyline surrounding the characters could be more well thought out; Its sort of hard for me to describe, but a short summary would be this: [Max and her band of brothers and sisters (the flock) find themselves hunted by a organization from a place called The School after being ambushed in their hideaway home.

From there they find themselves constantly running for their lives while trying unravel secrets hidden from them]. The concept of children with the ability to fly (with the inclusion of Hollow Bones) with WINGS is a nice touch to the story; The flying scenes were written very convincingly. The description of the action unfolding the extremely short chapters were well detailed, the words unfolded in my mind smoothly, the pharagraphs constructed in way that you don't find yourself scratching your head trying figure out how'd that character end up in such a position and so forth.
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159 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Feathin on May 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
First of all, I've never read any other James Patterson books. I understand from the reviews that this is an advantage-- people who read "When the Wind Blows" and "The Lake House" seem to feel particularly cheated, because this book is a re-worked version of the story in those books but does not match up them. Without the hindrance of these preconceived notions, I quite enjoyed the story. Were it not for the huge flaw of the incomplete ending, I would happily give it 5 stars.

I listened to it in audio format, narrated by Evan Rachel Wood. I thought her narration was excellent and well-matched to the story. The story is marketed as a book for teens. I am an adult-- I chose it partially for my own benefit, as a science fiction fan, and partially to preview it for the possibility of handing it down to my own children.

As a parent, I found the content well-suited for a wide age range. Were it not for the problem of the ending, I would feel comfortable giving it to my 8-year-old daughter to listen to, and it wouldn't bother me if my 5-year-old son listened as well (though I don't think it would hold his interest). I particularly like the strong female protagonist. There IS violence-- the mutant bird-children protagonists are hunted by mutant dog-people and have several bloody fights. Most of it is fist-fight kind of stuff, but there is some gunplay as well. However, I did not find it gratuitous or unduly gory. There is death as well, but the death comes to "bad guys" and it too is not "gratuitous"-- it is treated somberly and with appropriate angst. Probably the most disturbing elements are those of the inhumane treatment of the children at the hands of the scientists who have genetically engineered them and raised them as experimental animals rather than as people.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By jlostar on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"If you dare read this story you become part of the Experiment. I know it sounds a little mysterious- but it's all I can say for now," - Max.

This eye grabbing, thrill riding, rollercoaster of a story catches the interest and imagination for all readers. Even if you hate reading, like me, you won't be able to set this book down! It's a thrill/ adventure based book written by James Patterson, author also of best selling When the Wind Blows. Patterson created a fantasy clashing reality book that is telling about six young experiments and there life.

Have you ever wished you could fly? Well the main characters in this book are six kid mutants from ages five to fourteen, Angel, Nudge, Gassman, Iggy, Fang and Max. The oldest Max, is the leader of the folk. These kids are a mixture of bird DNA and human genetics. All they remember is living in a lab, a lab of evil and hatred. This is the place where white coated people come and perform tests on them, hurt them, push them to a limit, and you are nothing but and experiment here even if you are half human. Through living in a lab they gained having powers that come to them as they grow older, such as far sight like a hawk, or being able to breathe under water (caused by tests). The whole reason why we know about these experiments is because they have been the only ones to escape.

With these six escapees they are trying to live with out being killed by the government and there helpers know as the Erasers. All they want is to live, live and know what this is all about, and who they are and what they came from. However, this is or should I say, they are not to be exposed, this is the government's little secret. But, not for long... because once your start reading this you are a part of their nightmare.
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