From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–Hiding out in the wilderness of Colorado, Max Ride, 14, and her ragtag family of mutant kids think they&'re safe from the clutches of &The School,& a secret government lab that has erased their memories and turned them into human/bird creations. When Angel, the youngest of them, is kidnapped by the &Erasers&–cruel half-man/half-wolf enforcers for &The School&–Max and several of the kids set off in search of her. Despite outwitting them in several instances, the Erasers are able to intercept them. But all is not as it seems when Max is released from her confinement only to be told the secret of her origin–that she was created to save the world. The story is based on Patterson&'s popular &Maximum Ride& series (Little, Brown), and Lee does a superb job of translating his text into attractive manga-style illustrations. Although the narrative is a bit slow at first, the action quickly picks up and is bound to keep readers turning the pages. Bridging the gap between contemporary YA fiction and manga/manhwa, Maximum Ride
is a fine first choice for sci-fi/thriller-heavy collections.–Dave Inabnitt, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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Patterson’s fantasy-thriller series is readily adapted here into a manga format. This opening volume introduces a handful of avian DNA–enhanced youths whose communal freedom is threatened when one of them is kidnapped and held captive in an evil lab. Teenaged Max and her charges, who include slightly younger Fang, blind Iggy, and the little kids Gasman and Angel, leave behind a nearly idyllic retreat and go into a world where they are threatened by paramilitary beasts. They learn soaring techniques from birds of prey, find temporary comfort with a small family of “regular people,” and are imprisoned by the man whom they thought was their foster father. All this plotting is presented with boisterous and nicely stylized images that purposively exploit manga features, postures, and symbolism. Young manga fans will find this a fast read, and suspense readers may be engaged by the combination of visual and textual elements. The volume ends on a cliffhanger that will entice readers to seek the next in the series. Grades 7-10. --Francisca Goldsmith