Reviews tagging 'Emotional abuse'

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

2 reviews

michellemaas's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


* Beware of minor spoilers

First Read:
5 - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Second Read:
5 - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Third Read:
5 - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fourth Read:
4 - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

First Installment in the Maximum Ride series. Young Adult Adventurous SciFi Novel that follows genetically enhanced teenagers who are on the run from the wicked lab that created them all while trying to find their biological parents, save the world, and stay alive. It features the "found family", "chosen one", and "trauma bonding" tropes.

I really liked this book. The humor was timeless, the characters were undoubtedly lovable, and we had some good action and suspense. The downfall was having the scenes be very formulaic in nature and having a bunch of the questions posed never answered.
“The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective.”

Maximum Ride and her "family" are not ordinary teenagers . . . They are 98% human and 2% bird. The Angel Experiment follows the flock as they try to rescue their youngest member, Angel from the wicked lab that used and abused them during their childhoods.

"Man, you weigh a freaking ton," he told me. "What've you been eating, rocks?" "Why, is your head missing some?" I croaked, irritated.

My biggest gripe was that a lot of the subplots don't go anywhere. We finish this book with a LOT of questions and having read up until book 9 (of 11) I can confirm that most of them don't get answered beyond a "part of life is not knowing, and you just have to trust me even though I've betrayed you but it will all make sense in the end" spiel, which really isn't an answer at all. The fact that this book set up quite a few things that were never explored further keeps it from being a 5-star read because that makes a huge chunk of this book feel useless overall. It's not even enjoyable to ponder on a bunch of concepts that are never elaborated on either.

“Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”

Beyond that, there wasn't much happening. This book was mostly following the flock as they scurry for food, get caught and beat up the Erasers, get away, and then have random adventures that don't amount to much other than setting up the exact same cycle of events.

“I feel like, like pudding," Iggy groaned. "Pudding with nerve endings. Pudding in great pain.”

The only reason this is 4 stars and not 3 is because of the characters. First and foremost: Max. Max is such an amazing character that I don't even have the words. She's loyal, funny, compassionate, and takes such good care of the flock while being aware of her own shortcomings and age. The rest of the flock is also cool. We have diversity (including disability and racial representation) and with them all being so different it's just interesting to spend time with them and see their interactions.

“In the dictionary, next to the word stress, there is a picture of a midsize mutant stuck inside a dog crate, wondering if her destiny is to be killed or to save the world. Okay, not really. But there should be.”

This series will always hold a special place in my heart but I have to acknowledge that there is quite a bit of wasted potential that goes along with it. I would still recommend it if you're looking for a fun, action-packed read, but if plotholes keep you up at night you might want to skip this one.

“Can you giggle while racing for your life and protecting a six-year-old? I can.” 

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saramackenzi's review

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I originally read this book back in the 5th grade and thought it was the epitome of A+ content. Now that it’s been 10+ years I decided to give it another read because I really couldn’t remember anything that happened. Unfortunately, this book didn’t age well for me.

I was really excited to pick this book back up because looking at the outside it checks a lot of the boxes that I look for in books. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me when it came to the characters, plot points, writing choices, and just the content in general.

Looking at the characters, they felt very one-dimensional. Even though the story is told from Max’s pov I still expected to learn more about the other characters but all I learned was one or two points that labeled the characters for the entirety of the book. Fang is the brooding teenager who will no doubt be a love interest because this was the early 2000’s and that was the thing. Nudge cares a lot for everyone? (I honestly don’t remember anything about her). Iggy is blind but has good hearing. Gasman passes a lot of gas and is Angel's brother. And Angel is the baby who Max adores but isn’t as helpless as everyone thinks. Now looking at our girl Max. . .she’s basically the mom of the group (which is repeated 50 times throughout) and takes care of everyone like she’s in her 20’s when she’s only 14 and because of her age, she has these attempts of being edgy and not like other girls. I honestly didn’t really care for her but I remember 9 year old me wanted to be her so.

There were several things regarding the plot that just didn’t make sense or I didn’t like.

For starters, where did they put their wings? There’s a point in the book where Max needs to show her wings to someone and they have to look underneath her shirt to see them, this doesn’t make sense at all considering it was already stated that her wings were 13 feet wide so how the heck did they fit under the 14-year-old’s shirt??

The entire time the Flock is being chased by Erasers and it honestly got old. When they did get into fights with them they were extremely short and felt anticlimactic. I just wish they would have been done better considering this was basically half the too-long book.

Another big point was about finding the Institute and for the life of me, I don’t think we ever figured out what this place actually was. For this being such a huge point I feel like we should’ve been given an explanation.

There were also several filler things put in that could have just been left out. The book didn’t need to be dragged out any longer.

At the end of the book, there was some extra content which included blog entries from Fang. I’m sorry what?? These characters are constantly on the run and are barely able to feed themselves but somehow Fang has access to technology enough that he can consistently update his blog.

Now his writing choices. Can someone please explain to me why Patterson feels the need to make his chapters 3 pages long?? It doesn’t make sense in the slightest that the chapter gets cut off where it does. I don’t know if it’s some strategy to make me feel like I’m reading more but at over 100 chapters the only thing I felt was annoyance that the story wasn’t done yet.

I listened to the audiobook for over half the book and then ended up picking up my physical copy of the book. The first thing I realized was that my audiobook was skipping as if there was a scratch in a disc. Not really sure why this was but beware of that if you plan to borrow from Libby. I also noticed the two copies were different from each other. I know occasionally a line or two are skipped but in this case, it was whole chapters. The main part I noticed was the restaurant scene. In the book, they go to a nice restaurant and the manager comes and talks to them but I never got this in the audiobook. The only scene I got in the audiobook that involved a restaurant was a fast-food place where Erasers run them out. I have no clue if this also happens in the book because I had no desire to search and couldn’t tell you what chapter to even look at because the audiobook never mentioned them.

I honestly wish I would have liked this more. I think the premise of it was super interesting but the execution of it just wasn’t for me. I think I would have been able to deal with the plot issues better if it hadn’t been for the lack of character depth. I’m really not sure if I would have wanted to finish the book if it hadn’t been for the audiobook. I think a beginner reader who isn’t above the age of 14 would have better luck with it.

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