From School Library Journal
Gr 6-10–On a goodwill mission in Africa, Max and the flock meet Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen, a scientific researcher and billionaire purporting to be a philanthropist in this episode (Little Brown, 2010) in James Patterson's series. He introduces Max to Dylan, a hunky heartthrob bird-kid secretly created to woo 15-year-old Max as a future mate. Skeptical of Dylan's motives and Dr. Hackjob-Wackjob's humanitarian efforts to use adaptive genetics to improve survival among the less fortunate, Max learns toxic chemicals have been used on orphans in Chad. Angel upsets the flock with a prediction of Fang's death and, seemingly brainwashed by Dr. Hans, challenges Max as flock leader. Action passages are fewer than in previous installments as Angel goes off to help Dr. Hans, Dylan moves into the safe house, and Fang follows Max to Las Vegas to contemplate their future. In a fast-paced ending, Fang is captured and rendered lifeless and Angel telepathically calls the flock to help. Jill Apple adeptly captures Max's softer side as she anguishes about Fang and the new flock dynamic, while retaining familiar acerbic tones unleashed on Dr. Hunka-Munka. Almost all of the voices are spot-on, and it is only a minor irritation that Fang seems persistently hoarse. Subtle music and sound effects punctuate the action. Fans of the series will eagerly await the next installment.Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia Jr./Sr. High School, NY
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The Maximum Ride series' flock of winged children is off to Africa for a photo op while providing humanitarian aid. Then Max's rival, Angel, prophesies that best-friend Fang will be the first to die and it will happen soon. When Dr. Gunther-Hagen introduces Max to Dylan, a gorgeous new bird kid who has been designed to be Max's perfect mate, Max's voices tell her Dylan is perfect for her. But how does this affect her commitment to Fang? This will excite the legions of fans waiting for this installment in the flock's story. Grades 7-9. --Diana Tixier Herald
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