Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs.
Themes from Patterson's popular adult titles When the Wind Blows and The Lake House waft through this YA thriller, the author's first in the genre. Wood stars as Maximum Ride, 14-year-old leader of a band of kids who have escaped the lab where they were bred as 98% human and 2% bird (wings being a key component) and developed a variety of other-worldly talents. In Patterson's unusual universe, Max and her young cohorts are soon forced to rescue one of their own--a girl named Angel--from a pack of mutant wolf-humans called Erasers. Wood nails Patterson's often adult-beyond-their-years dialogue with a jaded tone. But the result of this pairing makes Max sound more off-putting than cool or intriguing. The listening experience is stalled in the starting gate, keeping the action-adventure earthbound rather than high-flying. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 09, 2005
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