The Teen Reader

Your source for reviews and ratings on every type of YA fiction.

Maximum Ride

Posted by Danielle on April 29, 2009

Author: James Patterson

Genre: urban science fiction, action/adventure

Reading Level: Easy to Moderate

Rating: PG for violence

Back-of-the-Book Summary: “Your faithful companions: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways–except that they’re 98 percent human, 2 percent bird. They grew up in a lab, living like rats in cages, but now they’re free. Aside, of course, from the fact that they’re prime prey for Erasers–wicked, wolflike creatures with a taste for flying humans. The missions: Rescue Angel from malicious mutants. Infiltrate a secret facility to track down the flock’s missing parents. Scavenge for sustenance. Get revenge on an evil traitor. And save the world, if there’s time.”

Danielle’s Review:

The average person either fiercely loves the Maximum Ride books, or fiercely hates them. It’s the sort of thing you don’t pass by without strong feelings. Max is a strong and hilarious narrator, the kind that makes you laugh out loud; the book is full of fight scene after chase scene after rescue scene; mysteries abound, kids run wild, five-year-old girls can control your mind, and who hasn’t wished for wings before?

So you can see why these books would be easily lovable and strongly addictive. Despite the fact that they’re written by James Patterson, who is notoriously an adult author, they’re very appealing to a YA audience, and actually to all ages. I’ve know these books to be read by twelve-year-olds, as well as people who are turning eighteen. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to put these books down, not if you enjoy a good action-packed plot. Think The Bourne Identity for kids with wings.

The reason some people hate these books is because they’re so commercialized. It’s a little like the fuss that’s made over Santa Clause at Christmas. Sure he’s great, but do we really need him glittering in every single window of every over-priced shopping mall, all the time? Patterson runs (or has someone else run) a very successful blog through the viewpoint of one of the book’s characters, which has been very successful in promoting the book as well as promoting other products (like CD’s) which the “characters” love, so you should buy them too. He’s also using the books to help spread awareness about global warming…not that we aren’t already aware.

Seriously though, it’s not that big of a deal. The blog is kind of interesting, the characters are extremely cool, the plot is addictive, and if you can just sigh and ignore the web address in the second chapter, you’re going to love these books. Who knows? Maybe you’ll love the commercialism too.


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