Maximum Ride Reading Challenge :]
Title: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Author: James Patterson
Genre: YA - Science Fiction
How I Obtained Said Book: Bought
Series: Book 1 in the Maximum Ride series
The Blurb: (from Goodreads)
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?
Max, along with the other five members of her family, are quite special: they are only 98% human. The rest of them--the 2%--is made up of avian genes, which means they have most of the benefits of birds--wings, for example. Together, Max and her "flock" were raised in a hideous place called the School, where they were made into what they are and tested in extreme ways for scientific research. That is, until a man named Jeb (one of the white coats at the School) took pity on them, and rescued all six of them from the cursed place and into a protected and thoroughly hidden area in the mountains far away from Death Valley, California. There, Jeb raised them as a father would for his own children, teaching them how to work their wings, how to protect themselves--how to survive. And a few years later, he disappeared.
The story picks up months after Jeb's disappearance, when the older members of the flock (Max, Fang, and Iggy) are fourteen years old (they aren't really fourteen though--it's just an estimation, considering all of the members picked their own birthdays). They were convinced that their current home was protected and well hidden, but when Erasers--part human and part wolf hybrids--find their home and take their youngest member, Angel, back to the School, Max and the others realize that they must bring her back. The rest of the book is as predicted, really: a rescue mission for the first part, and then a journey full of action as the flock embark on a trip to New York City, trying to discover their purpose and heritage (because I mean, almost all of them thought they were test tube babies).
As confusing as both my summary and the summary from Goodreads might be, this book is actually quite easy to keep up with and understand. Despite that it really is pretty fast-paced and action-packed, it still slows down at some points for readers to catch up and recuperate. I will admit that there are some parts to the book that might seem seriously random and out of place, and then later on explained not as well as you would have wanted it to be explained, but honestly, the book itself is not meant to be pondered for hours and hours on its contemporary meanings and sensibility. Because first, it's not contemporary fiction, it's science fiction. And second, frankly, action/adventure fiction is just much easier to enjoy when you don't spend your time pondering over what had just happened in great detail. It's supposed to be fast-paced, it's supposed to not make sense for a little while. And then eventually, it's all supposed to connect together--which it does. Eventually.
So maybe it sounds like I'm making excuses for the book now, which I kind of am (I'll admit it), but don't worry: the benefits of this book are still there. It's extremely funny; Max is a very witty and clever kind of person, very strong and determined. Definitely not your average Bella Swan. The action scenes are very descriptive, not in the way that it's particularly gory (there really isn't much gore anyway), but in the way that you can almost picture every swing and blow the flock members issue out--or take--as they fight the Erasers. And the whole entire book obviously sets itself up for a sequel: the plot is never fully fleshed out, but the ending of the book leaves you into believing that it will be fleshed out later in the series.
The Angel Experiment was "fun". Not the enlightening, impacting read The Fault in Our Stars had on me, but an entertaining read all the same. Some parts could have been improved, certainly, but overall I'd say the book and author achieved their goals.
Rating: 8 - Hey there. I think I'll read you again another time.