James Patterson’s Maximum Ride Series is made up of ten young adult/science fiction/fantasy novels. The Angel Experiment, School’s Out Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, The Final Warning, Max, Fang, Angel, Nevermore, and Maximum Ride Forever and Hawk.
Patterson’s inspiration came from two previous books When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, which also feature a character named Max. However, there is no connection to the Maximum Ride Series. The Maximum Ride series is another action-packed and fast-paced series that is excellent for reluctant readers.
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In a science lab called ‘The School’, Maximum Ride (Max) and her family, or “flock” of five others were genetically altered and created by mad scientists during an experiment. The children had wings and were living like rats in cages. They are human-avian hybrids, ninety-eight percent human, and two percent avian with some really special powers.
The Erasers were created from another horrible experiment, they are part human and part wolf. They are incredibly strong and smart predators who look human but turn into wolfmen with fangs and claws when they need to. They guard The School and the flock is their prey. The world can never find out about The School and their experiments.
Maximum Ride, the protector and mother hen of the flock is a tall, thin fourteen-year-old with brownish blonde hair and brown eyes. She has a wingspan of 13 feet. Her wings are tan with brown spots and light-colored streaks. She is the strongest of the flock, has a fast healing time, and can fly over three hundred and fifty miles per hour.
Max’s best friend and second in command, is also a tall fourteen-year-old with black hair and dark eyes. He has a wingspan of 14 feet. His wings are raven-like, black with a blueish tint. Fang is quiet, strong and mysterious with disappearing powers.
Iggy is smart, sarcastic, and blind. He is a thin fourteen-year-old with strawberry blonde hair, pale skin, and light blue eyes. He has a wingspan of over 14 feet. His wings are light gray. He builds bombs and has incredible senses.
The chatterbox, an eleven-year-old with brown, curly hair, mocha-colored skin, and dark brown eyes. She has a wingspan of 12 feet. Her wings are light brown to orange-brown. She has a sort of sixth sense and can draw metal to her hand like a magnet.
The Gasman or Gazzy is eight years old and can ‘break wind’ on cue to form a massive cloud of green gas. He can also make a bomb out of just about anything. Gazzy has blonde hair and blue eyes. His wings are cream and brown with a wingspan of 10 feet.
Gazzy’s six-year-old, biological sister as well as the youngest in the flock. She has blue eyes and blonde curly hair. Her wings are angelic white with a wingspan of 8 feet. Angel can control minds, change her appearance along with many other random powers.
1. The Angel Experiment (2005)
The flock escaped from ‘The School’ and are living on their own. They don’t know where they came from or why they are so different from everyone else.
While picking strawberries on a somewhat, normal morning, they are suddenly attacked. One of them is captured and taken back to that awful lab. The remaining flock goes on a rescue mission and they are now being hunted by the Erasers.
They fly all over the country trying to stay alive and find out why they are being hunted, who their parents are, and what their purpose might be. The flock begins to realize that they have different but very special powers and Max learns that she must save the world.
2. School’s Out – Forever (2006)
While still on the run, Fang is injured and the flock is discovered by the FBI. One of the agents (Anne) promises to protect them if they allow her to examine them. They try to live a somewhat normal life. They go to school and make friends while continuing to search for their parents.
Ultimately, Max is trying to figure out when and how she is supposed to save the world. She faces a surprising enemy and all goes awry when they continue to spot Eraser’s and their interesting new features. They also learn about a company that has plans to take over the world.
3. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (2007)
Max and her flock are trying to save the world by stopping the ITEX company from a disturbing plan to turn the population into an organized superior race. The company plans to cut the population in half and has already terminated many genetically altered beings. With the flock being hunted by a new type of robotic Eraser’s (Flyboys) and splitting up because of disagreement this may be very difficult to accomplish.
4. The Final Warning (2008)
Finding safe places to hide is becoming very difficult for Max and her flock. While eluding their evil creator who plans to capture and sell them to the highest bidder, the flock is in Antarctica with environmentalists fighting the world’s biggest threat, global warming.
5. Max (2009)
Max is searching for her kidnapped mother and the flock battles a new enemy that is part human and part machine. They find themselves right in the middle of a top secret Navy investigation. A catastrophe strikes off of the coast of Hawaii, millions of fish are dying and boats are being destroyed. Newly discovered powers and freaky underwater mutants are revealed.
6. Fang (2010)
Everything changes and heartbreak strikes when the flock travels to Africa. A new human-avian hybrid joins the group and they are concerned about his intentions. Members of the flock are kicked out, Fang is rescued from capture and then leaves his family to build his own flock.
7. Angel (2011)
Naturally, Max was devastated when she found out that Fang had left the flock. The Doomsday cult wants to genetically modify all children and begin a new world order. The two flocks join forces in Paris in order to stop the Doomsday cult from exterminating the human race and one member of the flock goes missing.
8. Nevermore (2012)
After a brutal attack on his gang, Fang returned to his original flock. Now they all must face the greatest threat the world has ever known, an unbelievable plot to destroy life entirely. But this time the enemy is unstoppable.
9. Maximum Ride Forever (2015)
The flock has split up and are searching for survivors in the catastrophic aftermath of the human genocide. Most of their loved ones are dead or missing, yet a new threat arrives, Remedy and his horsemen are killing the remaining mutants on earth and the flock must save whoever is left.
10. Hawk (2020)
A story for a new generation of Maximum Ride fans! Max’s 17-year-old daughter Hawk is growing up hard and fast in gritty, post-apocalyptic New York City. She stays under the radar to survive…until a destiny that’s perilously close to her mother’s forces her to take flight.
Look for Maximum Ride’s other adaptations such as the movie Maximum Ride, the Maximum Ride Manga Series: Volumes 1-18. The Marvel Series: Max Ride, First Flight, Max Ride, Ultimate Flight, and Max Ride, Final Flight.
You may hear and read many different reviews on this series. I suppose you either love it or hate it, either way I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments or reviews below, I look forward to hearing from you. Happy Reading!