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|Genre||Thriller, Action, Science fiction, Fantasy|
Little, Brown and Company
|Published||April 11, 2005 – May 18, 2015|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
Maximum Ride is a series of young adult fantasy novels by the author James Patterson, with a manga adaptation published by Yen Press. The series is centered on the adventures of Maximum "Max" Ride and her friends, called the Flock, who are human-avian hybrids born with wings after being experimented on at a lab called The School. The series was inspired by but is not a reboot of Patterson's earlier novels When the Wind Blows and The Lake House.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters
- 3 Reception
- 4 Other works
- 5 Marvel Comic series
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The first book in the series by James Patterson gives an overview of the Flock: Maximum Ride (the leader), Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. These children, ages 6 through 14, are far from normal. They are only 98% human, while the other 2% is avian, giving them wings and special powers. This book covers some of the back story of the flock, explaining how they ended up on their own in their remote mountain home. It also covered the antagonistic half-wolf, half-human creatures known as Erasers. The youngest flock member, Angel, is abducted by the Erasers and taken back to "The School", the lab where they were genetically altered and raised in cages. Max and the remaining Flock leave their home in an attempt to rescue Angel, but are also captured and placed in dog crates similar to the ones they were raised in. While captured, Angel learns about "The Institute" from reading minds (one of her powers), a place in New York City that may hold some secrets to their past. The flock escapes "The School" and with a happy reconnection of the whole Flock together Max has a "Brain Explosion" and Max has massive headaches and a voice (other than her own) pops up in her head. With the Flock unsure of whether the voice is a friend or foe, Max decides to follow its cryptic instruction. The voice leads Max and the flock to The Institute, where they find a lab similar to The School and information on their unknown parents. The book ends with the flock beginning their journey to Washington D.C., in search of their parents.
The Flock is headed towards Washington, D.C. where they hope to find the answers to their origins. However, after Fang is gravely injured by a flying Eraser and taken to a hospital, the Flock is housed by an FBI agent named Anne Walker on the agreement that she is allowed to examine them "at a distance." The Flock enjoys a rare period of peace, even attending a private school, which is later discovered to have been a former insane asylum. Life is good to them for now, as Max sees it, but they happen to be seeing Erasers often, and the relationships between Max and Sam, and Fang and Lissa (whom Max refers to as "The Red Haired Wonder"), begin to cause tensions within the flock. Suddenly, Iggy finds his long lost parents. He later returns to the flock after he finds out his parents wanted to make money off of him. An ordeal at their school, during which Max is attacked by teachers with Tasers, results in the flock fleeing the school. Angel then suggests that they go to Florida, and for lack of a better plan, Max agrees. Later on, the Flock learns that a multi-national corporation named Itex is plotting to destroy the world, based on what Angel overheard when she was kidnapped back at the School, and is also tracking the Flock's movements. Earlier, Anne had revealed herself as Jeb's boss, therefore also a member of the lab that created the Flock, and seeks to capture them again. Max was captured in a hotel called Twilight Inn shortly after and is replaced by a clone of herself, Max II. Itex (the company that captured her) kept her in an isolation tank. After feeling she had lost her mind Jeb snuck into the tank to try and recover it. Soon after she escapes by playing dead. Afterward, Max faces Max II, and learns she is destined to either destroy Max II or have Max II kill her. However, she proves she is stronger by not killing the clone, saying to the scientists, "I'm stronger, because I'm not going to kill this girl for you. I won't sink to your pathetic level."
The Flock must save the world from the Itexicon Corporation (the company behind the School, also connected to the Institute for Higher Living) and its Director, who plans to terminate and destroy all recombinant species and cut the Earth's population by half (otherwise known as the By-Half Plan). The Erasers have been replaced with flying, robotic Erasers which the Flock dub "Flyboys". Meanwhile, Fang tries to persuade Max (with a very long kiss) to find a permanent home where they can live in peace and forget about the world, only caring about themselves and the Flock. Although, soon, the Flock is trapped again and Jeb and Anne says that the last five months were a dream. Ari frees the Flock and allows them to escape. Max invites Ari to join the group after escaping from the School once more, causing Fang to leave the Flock in protest, who is joined by Iggy and the Gasman. However, Ari dies at his expiration date.
The Flock flies out of a government meeting set up to decide what the government officials think is best for them. Later, they go to Antarctica at Jeb Batchelder and Dr. Valencia Martinez's request, where a team of scientists needs their assistance in studying ocean pollution levels. There they fight an international organization led by the Uber Director, who intends to auction off the Flock to corrupt leaders of foreign countries to be used as weapons and/or mercenaries. When Angel, Total, and Akila go after a baby penguin in the midst of a blizzard, they become trapped inside a chasm. After Max and Fang save them, the group is forced to take refuge inside a hole-cave to keep safe because of a monstrous blizzard. In the midst of this, the Uber Director's team finds them and captures them along with Nudge, Gazzy, and Iggy. En route to Miami, the Flock defeats the Uber Director in the midst of a hurricane and makes their escape. Meanwhile, Total grows wings of his own and falls in love with Akila, an Alaskan Malamute. Max and Fang kiss each other a few times, leading Max to acknowledge her feelings for him even more than before.
The Flock is attacked by a group of bionic robots (which Max nicknames M-Geeks) at environmental awareness shows in Los Angeles and Mexico City. Later, the government enlists their help in finding out what is destroying hundreds of ships and killing millions of fish off the coast of Hawaii. Max is also looking for her mother who mysteriously disappears from the safe house. A mysterious creature mutant appears near the sub so Angel unexpectedly dives out to have a chat with it. It ends up helping the gang. During this mission, Max, Fang, and the others discover many other abilities, like breathing under water.
The Flock travels to Africa where they meet Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen, a former Itex worker, and Dylan, another human-avian hybrid designed to be Max's "perfect other half". After a prophetic statement from Angel stating that Fang will be the first to die, Max is traumatized and starts spending more time with him. Dylan joins the Flock, and they return to their newly rebuilt home in the mountains. Max and Fang leave the Flock because they are driven out by Angel, who thinks that they are more focused on their personal relationship than the surrounding dangers. Angel becomes the new leader of the Flock and gets rid of the rules Max set up for them. Eventually the group reunites, but Fang is captured by Dr. Hans and, while being experimented on, his heart stops. Max admits she loves him in order to try to wake him up before stabbing his heart with an adrenaline shot and revives him. Dylan injects himself in a suicide attempt, but fails. In the epilogue, Total gets married and Fang writes Max and the flock a letter saying he has decided it would be better for them all if he left. He then leaves to go form a flock of his own after pouring out his heart to Max. He tells Max that if everything works out, he would meet her on the top of the cliffs where they first met the hawks in twenty years. Max and the others are devastated.
Max, unable to get over the fact that Fang has left her forever, goes to live with Dr. Martinez. During that time, they figure out that an organization known as the Doomsday Group is brainwashing people. Max is slowly starting to warm up to Dylan despite her mixed feelings in the sixth book. Meanwhile, Fang starts his own gang which includes Max's clone, now called Maya. The two teams join forces in Paris, although they don't exactly get along perfectly, to stop the Doomsday Group from killing themselves and the brainwashed people in order to save the planet. Max is hurt even more after Fang asks her to come and help them, causing great tension between them. Everything goes awry when Gazzy fails to disarm all the bombs under the gathering spot, and the bombs explode while Fang, Gazzy, and Angel are still in the blast radius. Fang and Gazzy make it out safely, but Angel is missing, leaving everyone heartbroken. Angel's epilogue reveals that she is still alive, though her whereabouts remain a mystery.
The story begins when Max and the remaining members of the flock have to go to an ordinary school. Though Max is unhappy about it, she just cannot say no to Dylan. Meanwhile, Fang's gang is caught up when they're attacked by two convoy trucks. Within those convoy trucks is something interesting: Max's half brother, Ari, who has yet again risen from the dead. But not only that; there are also more Erasers along with Ari. They have been found by them because Kate and Star have betrayed them. The fight ends when Maya (Max's Clone, aka Max II) dies in Fang's arms. He doesn't want to hurt anyone else in his gang so he tells them to go home and forget everything that had happened with him. He is then told by the Voice that he has to go back to Max. While he is traveling on foot (one of the bones in Fang's wing was broken in the fight with Ari), Fang meets some people who ask him if he needs a ride. He ends up getting thrown off a cliff. When Max and Dylan leave school, Dylan realizes he forgot his book in a teacher's room. While there, the science teacher tells Dylan that if he values Max's life, he will do the mission that Doctor Gunther-Hagen wants him to do. He is told that the doctor had found something in Fang's blood that many scientists would want, so he tells Dylan that he must kill Fang or they would kill Max. Later that night, Fang arrives on the Flock's doorstep. Max can't help but hug him. When Ari and Jeb arrive to kill Fang, they learn that Fang's DNA contains the secret to immortality. Dylan, after running off, returns and tries to kill Fang, but cannot go through with it when Max is pleading him not to. The whole Flock is picked up by Max's mother, and they go to an island paradise where they will survive the approaching apocalypse. As the world suddenly goes up in flames (although they first believed the apocalypse was in the form of a terrible virus), Angel is revealed to be Max's Voice and Dylan comes flying in to the rescue. Fang and Max think they die in each other's arms, as Max has finally decided who she truly loves, but they don't die. The world has adapted so that only mutants can live in it; half of it is water, which is why the Flock evolved to have gills. The other half has high cliffs, so the Flock can live there, having wings. In the end, they did not quite save the world, but they saved each other. Though billed as being the last book in the series, it was deemed penultimate after the May 18, 2015 release of Maximum Ride Forever.
A ninth book in the Maximum Ride series, titled Maximum Ride Forever, was announced for release on January 19, 2015, but later had its release date changed to May 4, 2015, later revised to May 18, 2015. Like the previous book, it was advertised as the final book in the series. In the story, Max and the Flock are once again living in an apocalyptic world. The flock survives the apocalypse and its aftershocks, although Dr. Martinez and Ella do not. They leave their island in the Pacific, after Dylan is believed to have died, to see that Australia is decimated. New beasts deemed 'Cryenas' track them and kill Akila, while injuring several other flock members. The flock decides to go their own ways, with Max, Nudge, Fang and Total going back to their island, Iggy and Gasman to Pennsylvania to find survivors they contacted online, and Angel going to Russia. Angel shows Fang her vision of his death, and after a night with Max, he leaves the flock to go to California. They all split up and Max and Nudge encounter a mutated species of Aquatics. Max decides that what she was looking for (Dylan, her mom, Ella, and answers to her questions) is not there and leaves. Nudge stays behind and is killed by Horseman, a mutant created by the Remedy, a power-hungry scientist bent on cleansing the world of its genetic imperfections. In Pennsylvania, Iggy and Gasman are captured by a group of female survivors, but are then killed by Horseman. Max flies to the east coast of the United States to see it completely destroyed, befriending a mutant that is more bird than human named Harry. Fang is almost killed by two teens brainwashed by Doomsday philosophy, but is saved by Star who then takes off. Angel is moving west across the Canada–US border recruiting for her army in Russia, near Remedy's underground settlement, Himmel. Fang finds Dylan fighting a group of Horsemen (who look to be Erasers, but are advanced and "updated" versions) and tries to help him but is knocked unconscious while Fang is killed. Angel and Dylan find Max and explain that Fang is truly dead, but the others' deaths were faked by Dylan, who acted as Horseman so that the Remedy would stop hunting them. Everyone meets up in Russia and war is waged against Remedy and his army. Max and Dylan find Remedy who has a nuke strapped to him set to go off if he is killed. Max drags Remedy into the sky, and he explains that his new Horsemen will further evolution and that Max's generation will die out. When Max reveals that she is pregnant with Fang's child, Remedy attempts to detonate the bomb, but Nudge, Gazzy, and Iggy have hacked it, leaving the bomb useless. Max drops Remedy to his death. Dylan reveals to Max that Fang has been kept on stasis and that he could revive him if Max wants him to. Max says that she wants him alive, and Dylan brings Fang back, sacrificing himself. For four years, the entire army lives in the underground settlement as they let the nuclear winter pass. Once it is safe for them to leave, the mutants travel to Peru where they settle on Incan ruins. The book ends with Phoenix, Max and Fang's four-year-old child, starting her first flying lesson.
Maximum Ride (simply known as Max) is the title character and the primary protagonist of the series. She grew in a lab. She is a 14-year-old (15 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore) avian-human hybrid and the leader of the Flock. Her hair color has differed throughout the books, being described as dark as sun-streaked brown (MAX) and as light as blond (School's Out Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports). She has peachy skin and brown eyes. Max is 5'8" and weighs 97 pounds, as described in The Final Warning. She has a 13-foot wingspan and is half Hispanic as described in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. Her wings are light tan, with brown spots, and cream and brown streaks. Max's powers are to fly up to 350 mph, she is the strongest of the flock, she has great leadership abilities, is a master fighter, has a voice inside her head that is sometimes Jeb and sometimes who knows what, and she develops gills at the end of MAX. In MAX, Max talks with Fang in the desert after talking to him about Nudge wanting to cut her wings off. Later, the Flock meets Dylan, who, according to Dr. Gunther-Hagen, is Max's "perfect other half". Max begins to feel an attraction for Dylan when Fang leaves. In Angel, she and Dylan, an 8 month old clone with 2% avian DNA, grow closer, confusing her feelings about Fang, who begins to grow closer to Maya, who is Max's clone. Max is one of the two members of the Flock who found her parents; Iggy is the other. However, she is the only one to like her parents, as Iggy leaving his after only a week or so (they wanted to put him in a freak sideshow). She is stunned when she learned that Jeb Batchelder (a "white coat" who helped them escape from the school and then raised them) was her father. Dr. Valencia Martinez is her biological mother. Max trusts Dr. Martinez completely, but remains wary of Jeb. She is also close to her half-sister, Dr. Martinez' daughter Ella, who Max first meets when trying to save her from some bullies in the first book. Max dislikes Ari (Her half-brother and Jeb's son) until she learns that they're related, with whom she is constantly fighting, but then he joins her "mini-flock" that was created in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports for a short time after rescuing them from the School where they were going to be killed.
Fang is 14 years old (15 in the last three books). He is second-in-command of the Flock and Max's best friend (later her boyfriend). He is only four months younger than Max. Fang is able to virtually disappear by staying very still and quiet. He is somewhat stronger than the rest of the flock, often sustaining near-fatal wounds, as in books one and two. He also develops gills at the end of MAX. Fang almost always wears dark clothing and always seems to be sneaking up on Max. He has dark, blue/black hair and eyes with olive skin. He is believed to have DNA of a raven because of his black wings that have a purple/blue shimmer. He has a fourteen-foot wingspan. In The Angel Experiment, he found out that the School took him after he was born. When his mother had him the doctors told her that he had died. Fang decided that he didn't want to find his mother, she wasn't much older than his own age when she had him. He is somewhat reserved, but cares deeply about the Flock. He is usually very silent, and seems quite mysterious, always hiding his feelings. He runs a blog about the Flock's adventures that proves useful in several books, such as in School's Out—Forever. In The Angel Experiment, Max kisses Fang when he is injured. In School's Out—Forever, he is seen kissing the "Red-Haired Wonder," Lissa. He and Max fight about this, but afterwards they make up. In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, he kisses Max. In The Final Warning, Fang seems to like Dr. Brigid Dwyer, who worked with the Flock in their mission to Antarctica, and Max becomes jealous resulting in tension between the two. In Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports, when Ari joins the flock, Fang decides to lead half of the Flock and leaves Max with her half-brother. He later comes back, reuniting at the end of an epic battle made up of an army of his blog's followers, in which Ari "expires". Fang leaves the Flock again at the end of Fang because of Dylan, Max's "perfect other half", and because Angel has predicted that Fang would be the first to die; therefore, because he knows that by dying, he would put the others in danger, he leaves. Everyone is upset by this, especially Max, but she finds a letter later that he wrote to her saying that if in 20 years, the world hasn't come to an end, he'll meet her on the cliff where they learned to fly like the hawks.
In Angel, Fang becomes the leader of a new Flock (aka 'Fang's Gang') which includes Ratchet, Star, Kate, Holden, and Maya (Max's clone), who help him try to stop the Doomsday Group. When he realizes he cannot stop the Doomsday Group on his own, he enlists the help of Max's Flock. Max and Fang seem to grow apart and start to like different people. Also, Fang starts having feelings for Maya, trying to replace Max. However, he then realizes that Maya is different from Max, and begins to treat her differently, although in his heart, he still loves Max. After the planned D-day, Fang leaves with his flock, leaving Max and her flock in the rubble of Paris, searching for Angel (who is missing).
In "Nevermore", Fang hears the 'Voice' and comes back for Max, after breaking one of his wings. He and Max grow back together after he comes back and abandons his 'Gang'. It takes some time, but eventually they love each other again. Fang manages to kill several erasers and see Dylan kill Ari. It is after that, when Dylan attempts to kill Fang, Max really realizes that she wants to be with Fang for the rest of her life. When Doctor Martinez (Max's mother) takes them and the Flock to a paradise island, he and Max resume their previous relationship. When he and Max escape to a perfect perch, he tells her that he loves her for the first time, just before they are hit by a tsunami. When they are both rescued, Max tells Fang that she loves him as well.
Fang dies in "Maximum Ride Forever", but he is revived when Dylan sacrifices himself for him to live and Max to be happy. Fang and Max then have a baby girl named Phoenix.
Iggy is 14 years old, six months younger than Max (15 in the last three books), and third-in-command of the Flock. He is usually sarcastic, 6'0", has extremely pale skin, whitish-strawberry blonde hair, very light icy blue eyes, and a wingspan of 14 feet. Iggy is described as very handsome, especially because of his "unseeing, yet captivating, eyes". He is one of the only two flock members to have met his parents, the other being Max. His real name is revealed to be James Griffiths. When he found his parents, he learned that he was kidnapped by the School when he was about 4 months old. At first, Iggy decides to leave the Flock to live with his parents, but later leaves when he learns that his parents didn't want to have him back and only wanted to use him to make money off his story. Due to the whitecoats' experiments to enhance his night vision, Iggy is effectively blind, though he can see if his surroundings are white and can identify people by feeling their fingerprints and the feel of their wings. He can also feel colors. Despite his blindness, the Flock often leave things up to him that require precision or detail, such as cooking and doctoring. His senses are also the best of the flock due to his blindness, although he occasionally suffers resentment of his blindness and the resulting dependency of the Flock it creates. He and The Gasman are best friends and have a habit of building bombs out of almost anything and blowing things up, including alarm clocks. Iggy and Ella, Max's half sister, also showed signs of growing affection towards one another in Angel, which ultimately culminated in a shared kiss in Nevermore.
Nudge is 11 years old (12 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore), has brown skin, and has wild, curly, long, dark brown hair. Described as Max's best supporter and the peacemaker, she likes Max over Fang and can't live without her. Her wings are often said to be tawny-brown, almost cream. Her real name is revealed to be Monique, and she managed to track down who she believes to be her mother because of the resemblance in skin tone, but never meets her because she is attacked by Ari. She is a "motormouth" as said by Max several times in the books. The Flock calls her the Nudge Channel because when she's awake it's "all Nudge, all the time." She likes fashion, especially about hair, clothes, and make-up. Nudge can hack into computers with her ability to sense leftover emotions, also called psychometric, and she can draw metal towards her by will, like a magnet. Of the flock, Nudge is the one who most longs for the normality of the lives of other kids their age; in MAX, when Jeb offers the Flock to stay at a day and night school, Nudge wants to stay and get her wings cut off.
The Gasman (Gazzy) is 8 years old (9 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore) with blond hair, blue eyes, tan/light brown wings with a 10-foot wingspan. He is Angel's biological older brother, and they are the only blood related siblings of the Flock. He has a mischievous nature and makes fun of Max sometimes. He and Iggy are experts at constructing and setting off bombs and explosives, as Max states, "You could lock the Gasman in a padded cell with some dental floss and a bowl of Jell-O, and he'd find a way to make something explode." It is revealed that his parents sold both him and Angel to the School when they were very young. The Gasman's most useful ability is to perfectly mimic any voice. Max and Fang find a picture of baby Gazzy when they go check out what they think was Gazzy and Angel's old residence; the Flock sees the picture many times accidentally and sometimes purposefully throughout the series. He is called The Gasman because he passes gas a great deal, owing to a problem with his digestive system. Additionally, he later develops a "skill": he can produce large "mushroom-shaped" clouds of gas.
Angel is 6 years old (7 in Max, Fang, Angel, and Nevermore), with blue eyes and curly blonde hair. Angel is also the biological sister of The Gasman (Gazzy). Her wings are pure white and are 8 ft (9 ft in Fang) across. She obtains seemingly random powers at random times, but her most eminent power, lasting throughout the series, is the ability to read and control minds.
In The Angel Experiment, she uses her powers to convince a woman to buy her an expensive teddy bear that she names Celeste. She acquires the ability to hold her breathe underwater and swim in deep water at pressures that would crush a normal human as well as change her appearance into a 'bird of paradise' form and change her skin and eye color; however, after the initial introduction, this power is never mentioned again, except when she gets trapped under a snow pile in The Final Warning, but the attempt was unsuccessful. She is usually mistaken to be powerless and innocent, but she is truly extremely intelligent and dangerous. Her ability to control people's minds gives her extreme power.
In Fang, Angel believes that she is the strongest of the Flock, and holds a vote, temporarily kicking Max out of the group. She also has a 'Voice' in her head, like Max, but the Flock is unaware of this. Angel is portrayed as calculating, ruthless, and unstable in Fang, and has pointed a gun at Max to make enemies back off.
In Angel, she seems to have calmed some of the extreme changes of her personality that occurred in Fang, and helps Max to balance her feelings for Fang and Dylan. She appears to be content with her role and no longer bids for power, but advises Max, who is still suspicious of her. In the end, she volunteers to go undercover in a new evil organization (The Doomsday Group). She goes missing after she and Gazzy fail to defuse a bomb, and the others think she is dead. In fact, she is being held captive in an unknown location, and is continually told she is "most superior".
In Nevermore, Angel is captured by the school again. After many tests, they show Angel a video. Angel starts to cry as she realizes the video is of Iggy's operation that has left him permanently blind. She watches the scientists prod and cut open Iggy's eyes until a whitecoat tells her they will be performing the same operation on her. After the operation, Angel loses her sight temporarily and nearly dies in a fire until Max and the Flock come to save her. When they escape to a 'tropical paradise', the world is being destroyed and she admits to Max she is the Voice, and she has been for years.
In Maximum Ride Forever, Angel, at first distrusted by Max but eventually called her "little prophet", leads an army of survivors and mutants against the Remedy after being shown visions on the apocalypse the Remedy caused.
Dylan is an avian-human hybrid who joins the Flock in Fang. He is said to be Max's "perfect other half", causing Max to refer to him as "Mr. Perfect", although Max and Fang are quite in love when they meet. He is six foot two inches tall with a 15-foot wingspan and chocolate colored wings, and is usually described as handsome, with dark-blond hair and turquoise eyes, and is said to have a beautiful singing voice. He is in love with Max, but he was programmed by the scientists to feel that way. Because of this, he and Fang do not see eye-to-eye until the end of Nevermore. He was also made in a lab, created from a clone of a boy who had died in a car accident in the country of Canada. He is 8 months old in Fang. He learns how to fly when Max teaches him by pushing him off a roof. His relationship with Max is complicated, but she does eventually start to like him. In Fang he is portrayed as somewhat meek, but appears to grow a backbone, even arguing with Max in Angel. The most notable argument in Angel starts at the beginning of the book with Dylan and Max arguing about how miserable Max has been since Fang left her. Dylan can heal himself almost instantly by placing his own saliva on his wounds and putting pressure on it. In addition, he has extremely good vision and clairvoyance.
In Angel, Max finds a new appreciation for Dylan, and a romance is sparked, though Max is usually confused and therefore harsh. The first time Max allows Dylan to comfort her is in the desert where they embrace. Although she is confused, she allows him to get closer and closer to her.
Later, in the book Nevermore, Dylan is told by a 'Voice' that he must capture Max's heart with all his might, so he takes her to a treehouse he made himself and kisses her then. Later, Fang re-appears after his own clan had been destroyed and Max realizes her mistake, choosing to be with Fang instead of a clone with programmed feelings. Dylan goes on a rampage, destroying part of a town and even attempting to kill Fang. Dylan is nowhere to be seen, so Dr. Martinez seizes her chance and whisks the original flock to a tropical paradise. Dylan appears and states that he will be there for Max when the world ends so they would die together. Max is irked but doesn't respond to him. Since a meteor is coming to demolish the planet, Dylan goes to herd mutant hybrid kids into elaborate underground caves. In the end, Dylan helps pull Max from the water after the apocalypse.
In Maximum Ride Forever, Dylan is seemingly killed but in reality is kidnapped by the Remedy and turned into a Horseman. However, he becomes aware that the transformation was not successful as he still has free will; when tasked to kill the flock, instead of doing so, he fakes their deaths so that no other Horseman will be sent to truly kill them. Eventually, Dylan despairingly but solemnly accepts that Max will always love Fang and he cannot be with her. He decides to sacrifice himself to bring Fang back to life in order to make Max happy.
Phoenix is the daughter of Fang and Max, conceived and born in the ninth book, Maximum Ride Forever. Phoenix has Fang's black hair and wings and Max's brown eyes, though her wings are more blue-ish and her eyes are light. The series ends with Phoenix receiving her first flying lesson.
Total is a black Scottie whom Angel saves from the Institute at the end of The Angel Experiment. He is described to have the characteristics of a Scottish terrier. When Total is rescued from the Institute, he is described as looking similar to Toto from The Wizard of Oz, which would make him a Cairn terrier. Total's character is not fully developed until School's Out Forever, when it is discovered that he has the ability to talk. He is often humorous and dramatic, exemplified when he gets shot in the tail and isn't hurt largely, but still exaggerates the injury. Despite his dramatic nature, he can be mature when he wants to be and will not tolerate getting treated like a normal dog- even going as far as eating at the table with the rest of the flock. In the end of Fang, Total marries Akila, an Alaskan Malamute whom he met in Antarctica in Maximum Ride: The Final Warning. It is discovered Total thinks Tricia Helfer is hot in Angel when they are going to go to the ComicCon in San Diego. He is known to be a fan of culture, including theater and cuisine. He has the ability to jump to great heights, and eventually grows his own tiny wings.
Akila is an 80-pound Alaskan Malamute with no special powers who meets Total in Antarctica in The Final Warning and becomes Total's wife in the end of Fang. She belongs to Dr. Papa, one of the scientists on the boat that the flock took to Antarctica. Akila is killed by Cryenas in the final book in the series, "Maximum Ride Forever".
Dr. Jeb Batchelder
Jeb Batchelder is a brilliant scientist. He is 73. He used to work at the School where the Flock was experimented on, but felt compassion for them and later broke them out of the School. He lived with the Flock deep in the mountains for two years, where he taught them basic survival skills and how to fight so they can defend themselves. Max refers to Jeb as the closest thing she had ever had to a father, although later her feelings for him are not so kind. Jeb then disappeared, leaving the Flock alone to fend for themselves. The Flock thought Jeb was dead, but he reappeared later in the first book. In The Angel Experiment, the flock discovers Jeb back at the School when they are recaptured. This initially leads the Flock to believe that he is a traitor, but he later comes back to the Flock and helps them on numerous occasions. Jeb is Ari's and Max's biological father. Max does not trust him after discovering his identity. Jeb is shot in the sixth book, but he is shown to be making a steady recovery. Though Jeb and Dr. Martinez are Max's biological parents, there is only a professional relationship between them. Max trusts Dr. Martinez, but is usually wary of Jeb. Jeb donated his chromosomes, which were matched with those of Dr. Martinez to create Max. In Angel, Jeb tells Max she needs to breed with Dylan after the world ends, and later goes missing with Max's mother. Once Max thought Jeb was the Voice in her head, but in The Final Warning, he reveals he "can do the voice, but isn't the voice", confusing Max. Jeb keeps telling her things are tests. Throughout the entire series, Max's feelings towards Jeb are conflicted, ranging from a familial love to ultimate hatred. These feelings are ultimately challenged in Maximum Ride Forever when Max encounters Jeb helping the Remedy in Himmel. Upon realizing his part in destroying the world, Max begins strangling him but cannot bring herself to kill him; after letting him down, Jeb tazes her and threatens to inject her with the "upgrading" serum, but he is killed by Fang's gang who came to rescue her.
The Erasers, created by the School in Death Valley, are half-human, half-wolf hybrids that were bred by the School to be guards, but their larger mission later involves hunting down and even killing the members of the Flock. Their powers are superhuman strength, but they also eventually gain wings that are crudely grafted onto their shoulder blades. They have a life span of about 4 years to reach maturity and approximately a year or two to hunt the Flock. Jeb's son, Ari, who was turned into an Eraser at a very young age, is one of the last to die when Itex 'retires' all of the Erasers and replaces them with the Flyboys, robotic Erasers with synthetic skin attached to their robotic structure. The Erasers are originally killed off because they 'expire' very quickly, but they make a surprise appearance in Fang when they attack all of the flock but Max and Fang, who are not at the house with the others. It is believed that when Itex was disbanded, some scientists took Eraser DNA with them, creating these new Erasers, though they are never mentioned after the events of the surprise battle. They are always armed, but rarely use their weapons after The Angel Experiment and later novels in the series.
Ari is Jeb's son who was turned into an Eraser when Jeb was helping the Flock escape from the school. In The Angel Experiment, he was once killed by Max in the sewers of New York but gets revived in the second book. He thought his father Jeb Batchelder didn't care about him, which is part of the reason that he hated Max out of jealousy and chased and terrorized the Flock. However, it is later confirmed that Jeb does care about Ari, because in The Angel Experiment, after Max has fought with and killed Ari, Jeb cries for Ari and calls after Max, telling her that she has killed her own brother. He is Max's younger half-brother since they have the same father, Jeb. When Ari was only seven, the whitecoats used him as an experiment to see if Erasers would be stronger if they were mutated after birth. The wolf DNA turned Ari into a "super-eraser," although he is always partially morphed. Ari came back to life and was grafted with wings according to Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports. According to Angel, Ari loved and hated Max at the same time. In Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports , Max and Fang get into a fight because after Ari broke them out of the School, Max was convinced that he was no longer evil. The Flock splits up: Max, Nudge, Angel, Total, and Ari go to Europe, while Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy go to Hollywood. Max and the gang go to the Itex headquarters in Germany, where there is a super-mutant named Omega. Ari tries to help Max fight him, but then his expiration date kicks in and he suddenly dies in Max's arms, only living until the age of seven. As his father creates yet another clone of him, Ari returns in Nevermore, showing up with other Erasers with the intent to take out Fang's Gang. Several times he tries to kill Fang, but in the end he is killed for good.
Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen
Gunther-Hagen is a scientist the Flock meets in Fang, where he introduces Dylan to the rest of the Flock. He is the main antagonist in both Fang, Angel, and later Maximum Ride Forever, constantly telling Max that she needs to join forces with him to save the world . He creates a lot of tension in the Flock. Max constantly makes fun of his name, calling him things like Dr. G-H, Dr. Haagen-Dazs, Dr. God, Dr. Disaster, etc. He created Dylan, wrote a book, and makes the shocking suggestion that Max and Dylan should come to live with him to Germany in order to "breed" (have children) or create the start of Max's "dynasty". He also has some special abilities such as instantly healing from illnesses and regenerating small extremities, such as fingers.
He was Dylan's caretaker until Dylan joined the Flock.
In Maximum Ride Forever, he becomes known as the Remedy and builds a large underground shelter in Russia known as Himmel. He develops a serum known as "upgrading" which turns his subjects into "Horsemen", genetically improving them, making them stronger and increasing their senses but removing their free will. He allowed the meteor to strike the earth in Nevermore and kill millions of people in an attempt to eradicate the genetically "imperfect" in order to populate the earth with his genetically "perfect" creations. He uses his Horsemen to kill the imperfect mutants still living on earth, including the flock. He desperately tries to kill Max and her developing baby to keep her imperfect genes from spreading, but is then killed by Max when she drops him over the ocean.
Dr. Valencia Martinez
Dr. Valencia Martinez is a Hispanic veterinarian that lives in Arizona and helps Max when she (Max) is hurt in The Angel Experiment after helping Dr. Valencia's daughter, Ella, escape from bullies. When Dr. Martinez gives Max an x-ray, Max finds that there is a microchip embedded in her arm, which leads her to believe that the School is tracing the Flock with her microchip. In Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports, Max goes to Dr. Martinez to have the microchip removed, where she is put under the influence of Valium for the first time and admits her feelings for Fang. Max then loses use of her arm. Dr. Martinez is a strong-willed woman who goes to great lengths to help Max. It is later revealed that it was she who donated the egg that created Max, making her Max's mother. She also has a pet dog named Magnolia. In The Final Warning, the Flock is give the opportunity to go to Antarctica to help a group of scientists that are trying to save the world as well. In the following book, Max, Dr. Martinez is held hostage on a submarine, leading to a rescue mission by the Flock and some of the good scientists they met in Antarctica. Max trusts Dr. Martinez and trusts her judgment, which allows her to understand some things she is blind to. Dr. Valencia Martinez died when the large tsunami hit.
Ella is Dr. Martinez's other child, making her Max's half-sister. Max met her in The Angel Experiment when she saved her from bullies. Ella got away but Max was shot and had to go to Ella's house to get help. Ella is proven trustworthy. By the end of Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure, she had become a lover to Iggy. They had started flirting in ANGEL, right before DoomsDay brainwashed Ella, and even got Iggy for a week or so. Like her mother, Ella drowned when the tsunami hit.
"The Director" or Marian Janssen was the leader of the ITEX industries. In her appearance in the third book, she posed as Max's mom, in order to get under her skin and learn her greatest secrets, to eventually eliminate all not "advanced" humans. Max originally dropped her from a great height, but she had sympathy for her and saved her.
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment received generally positive reviews. The School Library Journal called the book an "exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but still a compelling read". Booklist described it as "an action-packed cross between Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children and Marvel Comics' X-Men. John Ritchie of the ALAN Review wrote a negative review, saying that Patterson "slips in his attempt to write an action-adventure series for kids". He called the book "filled with every possible comic book/Saturday morning cartoon cliche" and described Patterson's writing style as "uneasy" and Max's dialogue as "horribly fake". In January 2010, the webcomic Penny Arcade poked fun at James Patterson based on the description found on the back of the first book.
The second book, Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever" was criticized for being "disappointingly anticlimactic and violent," although Total's character was praised for being "sure to entertain." Booklist delivered a positive review, praising Patterson's "ability to write page-turning action scenes" and noting that he "leaven[ed] the suspense with some surprising humor." It also mentioned that fans of the first book would be "delighted" with the sequel. Erin Collazo Miller from About.com praised the "fast-paced" novel, "fun characters," and "interesting premise," but criticized the characters and plot lines for "lack of depth and development." The review said that "[a]fter 400+ pages, readers may wish they were a little farther into the plot and that more of their questions had been answered."
Illustrated by Narae Lee and released by Yen Press, the first chapter of the original English-language manga adaptation came out in July 2008 in the magazine Yen Plus. A free 22-page preview was released on Free Comic Book Day (May 3, 2008). The first volume of the series was released on January 27, 2009, the second volume was released on October 27, 2009, the third volume was released on August 17, 2010, the fourth volume was released on April 26, 2011, the fifth volume was released on December 13, 2011, the sixth volume was released on December 11, 2012, the seventh volume was released on October 29, 2013, the eighth volume was released on July 29, 2014 and the ninth volume to be released on November 17, 2015, with one more volume afterwards expected to be published. It was on the "Top 25 Manga Properties" list in 2012.
In September 2007, it was announced that a film would be created based on the Maximum Ride series. James Patterson would be the executive producer. Avi Arad, who had already worked on films such as Spider-Man and X-Men, would also produce alongside Steven Paul. In an interview with James Patterson, it was revealed that Arad has already planned out the first two movies. On August 7, 2008, it was announced that Columbia Pictures bought the screen rights to the franchise. The film was slated for a 2010 release. Catherine Hardwicke was said to direct and Don Payne would be handling the script. In January 2010 it was announced that the film would go into pre-production. Hardwicke asked for a script rewrite to include more action in the film and hired Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby for the job, which subsequently delayed its estimated release to 2013. In February 2011, the Maximum Ride Facebook page posted that "The Maximum Ride Movie is Coming – In 3D!" and asked its Facebook fans who they would like to play Max in the movie.
In a recent interview with USAToday, Patterson revealed that he was hopeful for a film adaptation. Patterson took note of fan-made audition videos from User Based Casting, a fan-driven casting initiative for the upcoming Maximum Ride film adaptation, among others in his USAToday interview, commenting that "there's something like 9,000 Maximum Ride videos on YouTube, and some of them are stunning. I also think we're closer to the movie than we've been. I never know for sure in Hollywood, but it's definitely warm now."
The film ran into trouble in early 2012, when Catherine Hardwicke quit as the film director. When asked about the odds of a movie still being made, Patterson claimed he was "...very hopeful as opposed to mildly depressed". Trouble continued with the death of screenplay writer Don Payne on March 26, 2013.
With the film stalled by mid-2014, the series was submitted for adaptation into a web series by Collective Digital Studio. Sites attached to Patterson and Hachette claimed that the series would begin in the second half of 2015.
A digital film was released August 30th, 2016, starring Allie Marie Evans as Maximum Ride. It was rated very poorly by fans and critics alike.
Marvel Comic series
The Marvel Comics adaption, Max Ride: First Flight debuted April 8, 2015. It featured the talents of Marguerite Bennett and Alex Sanchez.
- Amazon.com: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment: James Patterson: Books: Editorial Reviews
- Barnes and Noble.com: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment: James Patterson: Books
- "A Comprehensive Education". Penny Arcade. January 13, 2010.
- "A Comprehensive Education (comic)". Penny Arcade. January 13, 2010.
- Miller, Erin Collazo. "Maximum Ride: School's Out - Forever - Book Review". About.com.
- A 7-page preview was also released in the first paperback edition of The Final Warning. Aoki, Deb (April 10, 2008). "First Look: James Patterson's Maximum Ride Manga". About.com.
- "MAXIMUM RIDE story by James Patterson, art by Na Rae Lee". Yen Press.
- "Catherine Hardwicke Takes Maximum Ride". ComingSoon.net. March 17, 2009.
- Maximum Ride - The Film
- "Books: Maximum Ride". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
- Fleming, Michael (August 7, 2008). "Columbia takes 'Maximum Ride'". Variety.
- "The Maximum Ride Movie is Coming!". facebook.com.
- "James Patterson's 'Nevermore': Cover reveal, plus Q and A". USA Today.
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