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Maximum Ride - The Angel Experiment
By James Patterson
Read by Evan Rachel Wood

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Maximum Ride

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Maximum Ride
The Angel Experiment
By James Patterson
Read by Evan Rachel Wood
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2005)
An Abridged Recording on 4 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-048-7
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - April 25, 2005

Best known for his adult thrillers, James Patterson has taken a different track with his newest book, Maximum Ride - The Angel Experiment. This is a thriller written specifically for a teenage audience. The story follows the adventures of six kids: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel. Really more science experiment than children, these kids have been genetically modified so that they are 2 percent bird, and they have wings - that work. Raised in a laboratory setting, the kids have finally broken free of their cages and escaped. All is well until the one of their group, Angel, is captured by the Erasers, another group of genetically modified humans. The Erasers are part wolf, and they are 100 percent evil.

Without hesitation, the remaining members of the 'flock' set out to rescue Angel from the Erasers and the sinister scientist who created them. Led by the daring female lead, Max, which is short for Maximum Ride, this group of pseudo siblings must battle not only internal demons but also the numerous forces that are out to destroy them. Along the way they uncover the truth of their origins, and other tidbits of information that lay the groundwork for the book's sequel.

At only 14 years old, Max is strong, independent, and smart. She's a strong character and one that will attract both male and female readers. The story is told primarily from the viewpoint of Max, which makes this an ideal audio book. Read by Evan Rachel Wood, Max comes to life with ease and you can easily imagine that Wood is really Max. The only drawback to this otherwise excellent story is that it has an open-ended ending, and several loose threads are left hanging. The sequel to Maximum Ride is already in the works, and is scheduled for release sometime in 2006. I'm sure that these loose ends will be picked up and neatly tied off in the sequel.

All in all, Maximum Ride is a thrilling adventure story that will delight both young adult and 'grown up' readers.


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