Reviews tagging 'Blood'

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

3 reviews

elruth's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


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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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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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