A review by michellemaas
The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson

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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