Reviews tagging 'Incest'

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

2 reviews

rbz39's review against another edition

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


Rereading this was a strange and surreal experience. I devoured this series as a young teen, and it had quite the influence on me as a writer and a reader. I was able to acknowledge the ways I’d been inspired by the story, but the majority of the book was disappointing. 

The second half of the book could be removed and the first half extended and maybe it could be a good story. The core idea of the bird kids on the run from scientists isn’t bad, it’s just terrible writing and narrative. I liked the flock’s characters more than I remembered, but they still feel underdeveloped. Knowing that many of the questions this series began with are never answered or given half-baked answers, I can’t recommend this because the overall series is a letdown.

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hi_im_tate's review against another edition

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


*I am reviewing this book using a 2022 lens. My views will be reflected in my review of this book*

Maximum Ride is an adventurous book that keeps the reader drawn in. While mainly aimed at middle schoolers, older readers can find joy in it as well. A group of 6 mutants traumatized by their old life, forced to live as recluses in a world out to get them. Max, our main character, gave me strong "not like other girls" energy throughout the whole book. Maybe that was JP's intention; I just really hate that trope. Max is a 14-year-old girl and hasn't met any other girls her age; she is surrounded by boys her age and girls that are younger than she. It is probably hard for her to relate to them, which is probably why she takes on the role of leader once Jeb, their father figure, disappears. She knows how to take care of her flock and protect them from the bad people.

After getting introduced to all of the characters, the youngest, Angel, gets kidnapped and the rest of the flock comes up with a plan to save her. This is one of the confusing parts. When Angel is at the School (that place where these children got experimented on), it is mentioned that she is the strongest/best of her kind, but not long after, Max is told that she is. I don't know if this was just a manipulation tactic used to gain Max's trust, but it is confusing. Maybe they mean by age group and not of the mutants like them (which also doesn't make sense since Max and the others were the only successes to come of this experimentation). While they are trying to save Angel, Max gets hurt and ends up staying with a human family for a spell. The human family helps and protects Max despite her being a mutant. Max expresses that the mom of this family felt like an actual mother to her, but we did not get to see much of their connection or how that truly impacted Max after the fact. Max is a very one-track mind kind of character, and I think that hurt her in a way. There could have been lots of development if Max talked to Fang or Iggy about her time with the human family.

Max and the flock make their way to New York City, where they try to figure out who their parents are. This section takes up most of the book and seemed to be done well. There were plenty of action scenes, as well as fear and sadness scenes to keep the readers on their toes. The book kind of wraps up with Max and the flock saving more mutants, where the other mutants leave. I wish we had gotten to know more about them, but maybe that will happen in future books. We learn that the flock is going to head to Washington D.C. to try to find everyone's parents.

There were several parts in the book that didn't always make sense or the characters almost seemed to dumb to figure out (which was very annoying). For example, at one point we learn that Max has some sort of chip in her, presumably from the School. The reader can infer that this chip is used to keep track of them and possibly even keep information on them, but every time the villains in the story show up, Max is always like "how did they find us?!?!?!?". Max is the oldest and the leader; one would think she would be able to figure out that they are using the chip in her (and possibly in the others) to track them down. There is more that happens that could be because of the chip, but I won't mention them directly to avoid spoilers. Then, we have 
Spoiler The Kiss between Fang and Max
This seemed completely inauthentic and forced to me. At the beginning of the book, they were considering each other family, and then this?  There was no true development between the two to get to this point. I do not know why it was included.

Overall, this book met my standards for it being a James Patterson middle school reader. It is nothing spectacular, but it is, also, not horrible. There are many twists and turns that I would expect from JP, as well as interesting, dynamic characters that I think can develop into something beautiful.

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