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Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: the Angel experiment.

PATTERSON, James. Maximum Ride: the Angel experiment. Little, Brown. 422p. c2005.0-316-15556-X. $16.99. JS *

In a note to the reader, best-selling suspense writer Patterson explains that a character named Max appears in his adult novels When the Wind Blows and The Lake House. In this, his first novel for YAs, Max (short for Maximum Ride) is featured as the brave 14-year-old heroine, leader of a small band of mutant kids: Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. They are runaways from a fearful School where they were experimental lab subjects, kept in cages--and where avian DNA was grafted into them, giving them huge retractable wings, the ability to fly, and various other superpowers they're only just discovering. When vicious half-wolf, half-human Erasers kidnap six-year-old Angel and bring her back to the School for further experiments, the rest of the "flock" goes after her. The action never flags in this X-Men-like adventure as Max and her friends battle the Erasers, hang out with hawks, rescue Angel, experience life on and under the streets of New York City, and at the end set out in search of their parents. But a Voice in Max's head keeps telling her she has a greater mission: to save the world. (The next book will appear in spring 2006.)

The nonstop action and suspense, along with Max's engaging, wisecracking narration, make this a compelling read for adventure fans. Max is cool, deadly, loyal, and funny--and sure to be popular. Paula Rohrlick, KLIATT

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescent and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Article Type:Young Adult Review
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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