Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

cover image for Maximum Ride: The Angel ExperimentPatterson, James. (2005) Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment.  New York, NY; Little, Brown Books.

Plot Summary:

Max isn’t quite human.  The results of a scientific experiment, she and the rest of her flock are are avian-human hybrids with wings.  Family by choice, they live together in as much harmony as you can expect from 6 people under the age of 17, and always keep an eye out for the scientists they escaped from.  When their home is invaded and the youngest, Angel, is abducted it’s up to Max to keep everyone together and get Angel back.

Critical Evaluation:

I suspect there was really a good story hiding in there somewhere, if only Patterson could be bothered to write a halfway decent book. As it was, I was intrigued enough to keep turning the pages, but constantly annoyed by, for example, chapters that were consistently two chapters long.  As if constantly creating a new chapter was a legitimate way to do transitions or build suspense.

Reader’s Annotation:

On the run and separated from her adopted family, most teens in Max position would give up. But Max has one thing going for her: she’s not quite human.

Author Information:


Action Series

Booktalking Ideas:

Despite the popularity of this title, I expect many kids don’t know what it’s about.  A simple but dramatic plot synopsis should intrigue listeners.

Reading Level/Target Age:

4th grade/12-17

Possible Controversy:

Adults are now shown in the most positive light in this series, and there is violence and then some.  Oddly, Patterson’s reputation as an adult writer seems to keep in insulated from most criticism.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

I’ve seen and heard about these books for years, and figured I ought to see for myself what they are about.


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