Published: April 11, 2005 – May 18, 2015
When one discovers an amazing book series, it’s magical. He will explore new worlds, characters, and much more in the palms of his hands, from page to page. That is what happened with me when I found the young adult novel series Maximum Ride by James Patterson. I have never read any series like this one before. It has the variety I had been looking for in a book series for years, characters I can relate to, sentimental scenes that make me tear up, and simple, beautiful writing teens of all ages will understand. While I praise the series for being so amazing, there were a couple of problems I have with the last few books, which I will list in a bit.
In Maximum Ride, the readers follow a group of orphaned kids named Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy, who happened to be ninety-eight percent human, two percent bird. Their mutated genes allow them to have wings and they have abnormal strength compared to an ordinary human. After their father left them, they are left alone in California and are forced to fight off enemies in their way, the Erasers. While battling mutated monsters and the humans who made them who they are today, the flock goes on a journey through loss, acceptance, love, learning their insecurities, and much more.
Starting off with the first book, I fell in love with it instantly and continued reading it until I had to stop and wait for the ninth book to be published. The story is beautifully told and it keeps the readers locked inside the imaginary world of this novel…but the problem with that lies within the fifth through ninth books. In the middle of the series, the flock has to save the world from tragic events happening on Earth, which is great for them, but that is all that’s spoken of. I was agitated about the fact no other development was there—except for the romance.
Who is my favorite character? Some of you might be wondering. Well, I can’t decide! All of them have their good qualities and insecurities, but they are all so unique from one another. Their character developments help them grow into what seems like actual people. The readers can feel what the flock goes through and be a part of their adventures, which is what I admire about this series! I don’t think I have seen wonderful development for the characters before reading Maximum Ride! James Patterson excels in giving the audience the chance to join the flock on their journeys of saving the world and fighting off the evil antagonists.
Speaking of romance I mentioned earlier, Maximum Ride has quite a bit of it. Readers who are not usually satisfied with all the love and mushy scenes will be able to bear with the romance in the series. The novel series has a lot of variety, so there is a bit of romance here, action scenes there—but it’s all pretty much perfect. The only problem I had with the romance scenes in the story was the love triangle in the sixth novel. A character enters and gets in the way of the already developing romance between Max and Fang, making the development for the two complicated and hair-pulling.
When swiftly analyzing the text, I noticed a lot of simple diction in the beginning, but the syntax and structure becomes more challenging to read. This is to show the narrator’s, Max’s, growth in the story and how she describes the details of the events happening in each novel. In addition, Max gets older in each book, which means her vocabulary expands and brings almost a whole new perspective of the books.
Now, I realize there was a movie filmed based on the first book of Maximum Ride, but I will not watch it at all! I have seen the trailers for them countless times, and they were not put together that well. The actors and actresses looked nothing like their character descriptions, the setting did not have the same visuals as the fans imagined, and so much more I can’t talk about without ranting for a whole page about it!
Overall, Maximum Ride is a delightful book series anyone, especially sci-fi and romance fans, should read. For my score, I am giving it a four and a half out of five stars. Readers, I was really close to giving this a perfect score, but I was disappointed with the story after the love triangle popped up in sixth book. This series has a lot of its perks and wonderful characters that have stuck with me since the beginning.
Warnings: Some Violence Not Suited for Younger Audiences, Sexual Content, and Small Bits of Profanity.