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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experimentby James Patterson
Synopses & Reviews
Featuring characters inspired by the smash hits When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, The Angel Experiment marks James Patterson's explosive debut in the young adult market that is guaranteed to create legions of new fans for this bestselling author.
Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: six kids who are 98% human and 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. When the bloodthirsty Erasers — half men, half wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists — kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking — not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side.
"Thriller writer Patterson takes characters that first appeared in his adult novels When the Wind Blows and its sequel, The Lake House, and places them in an overblown, nearly incomprehensible story pitched at young adults. Max (aka Maximum Ride), the 14-year-old girl from both of the aforementioned novels, leads a band of mutant orphans hiding from the sinister scientists at 'the School,' who grafted avian DNA onto their genes, giving them wings (plot points established in When the Wind Blows). When the School's henchmen — 'Erasers,' 'half-men, half-wolves' (one of whom is their rescuer Jeb's seven-year-old son) — kidnap six-year-old Angel, the youngest member of 'the flock,' Max and company will stop at nothing to rescue her. Well, nothing except to aid a stranger, bond with some real birds, eat lunch and take lengthy naps. The often violent hunt-and-chase plot resembles that of a Saturday morning superhero cartoon. The point of view shifts jerkily before settling into Max's first-person narration, which is self-deprecating but never sounds like a real teen's voice, and the novel is strewn with mutations of nouns-turned-adjectives ('tunnel-visiony,' 'antisepticky,' even 'Robin Hoodsy'). Loose ends abound but presumably the sequel, scheduled for 2006, will reveal the identity of the evil 'whitecoats' and their motives as well as who owns the Voice speaking inside Max's head. The Patterson name will attract readers; but his fans may be disappointed that this tale never takes flight. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[An] exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but is still a compelling read....As with Patterson's adult mystery thrillers, in-depth characterization is secondary to the fast-moving plot." School Library Journal
"Patterson occasionally forgets his audience here, as evidenced by his sardonic tone...but he's picked a comfortable formula...which he's cushioned with an abundance of slavering beasts, childhood heartaches, and unresolved issues." Booklist
"The short chapters appeal to the limited attention span of many of today's teens. The writing is visual and cinematic — things that kids expect from their video games, TV cartoon shows and action movies. And the ending leaves plenty of wiggle room for a sequel." USA Today
Sara Jane Rispoli is still searching for her missing family, but instead of fighting off a turncoat uncle and crooked cops, this time she finds herself on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and pale white skin chasing her through the streets in ice cream trucks; they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They're terrifying and hell bent on killing her, but they're also a link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them. While she battles these new pursuers, she's also discovering more about her own cold fury and more about the Chicago Outfit, how the past misdeeds--old murders and vendettas--might just be connected to her present and the disappearance of her family. But connecting the dots is tough and time-consuming and may finally be the undoing of her relationship with the handsome Max--who's now her boyfriend. But for his own safety, Sara Jane may have to end this relationship before it even really starts. Her pursuers who've shown her her mother's amputated finger and the head of the Chicago Outfit who's just whistled her in for a sit-down make a romance unthinkable. The only thing that matters is finding her family and keeping everyone she loves alive.
Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the flock--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the School where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf Erasers in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?
About the Author
T.M. Goeglein (www.tmgoeglein.com), the author of Cold Fury, lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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