Maximum Ride is a fourteen year old girl with wings, who grew up in a dog crate with the rest of her 'flock'. Their wings are the result of genetic engineering by a group of not very nice scientists at a place called 'the School'. At the start of the book they have already escaped the School and are trying to live life in secret - and that's where everything starts to go wrong.
This book is a great start to James Patterson's first(?) children series. While I wish I read it earlier (say at age 13 or so) Patterson's ability to create a page-turning thriller out of any storyline continues on in Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment.
This book deals with child abuse, neglect, mutation and death. It questions the moral and ethical rights of doing what needs to be done to survive. It shows how smart children are when they need to be, when they are without parents, or an adult in general. It's not ridiculous though, no one is perfect and all of the characters in this book make mistakes, some that are one hundred percent regretted, others that would be done a thousand times over if needed.
I really liked this book. It is the first James Patterson novel I have read but it makes me keen to check out his books targeted at the older generation. As I said before, I wish I had read it at an earlier age, when i could have related more to the characters (who sometimes have pretty childish moments) but I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series to find out how the story ends.
Overall: I'm giving Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment 3 and a 1/2 stars out of five. I recommend it to fantasy lovers aged 11 to 14 and fans of James Patterson who are interested in books aimed at younger readers.