From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10–This book picks up exactly where The Angel Experiment (Little, Brown, 2005) left off. The six genetically engineered bird children have escaped from the wolf-hybrid Erasers again, Max is still hearing The Voice in her head, and she is still reeling from the revelation that Ari, the most persistent of all the Erasers, is dead by her hand and that he might be her brother. From this point forward, there is action, but no distinctive plot. The closest the story line comes to compelling is when the kids are taken in and enrolled in school by a seemingly kind woman who just happens to be a high-ranking FBI agent. It will not shock readers when it is eventually revealed that she has betrayed them. This book is full of as many twists, turns, and conspiracies as an episode of daytime drama. And just like a soap opera, it relies heavily on melodrama until the very end, whereupon readers discover that very little has actually happened. The story is disappointingly anticlimactic and violent. Still, it does have some appeal–the children continually outmaneuver their attackers without permanent damage. Plus, the talking dog they pick up during their adventures is sure to entertain.–Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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Gr. 7-10. Max and her flock are back in this new volume in the Maximum Ride series, a follow-up to The Angel Experiment (2004). In a flying fight with Erasers, Fang is injured so seriously that the flock takes him to a hospital. It's obvious he's not a normal human (having wings and avian DNA), so it isn't long before the FBI shows up. Anne Walker, the lead agent, takes the flock home to her Virginia farm, where she tries to mother the kids and enrolls them in a nearby private school. Living a somewhat normal life for the first time, Max, 14, manages a date and a first kiss, and others in the flock begin the quest to find their birth parents. Then everything falls apart, and the six kids face betrayal and extreme danger. Patterson, an accomplished storyteller, once again demonstrates his ability to write page-turning action scenes, this time leavening the suspense with some surprising humor; at one point, Max declares that she's "Avian American." Fans of the first book will be delighted with this continuation of the story, even though the book leaves the fate of the flock wide open^B. For more about Patterson's jump into YA, see the adjacent Story behind the Story. Diana Herald
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