Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Maximum Ride1.jpg
The first edition United States cover for The Angel Experiment
AuthorJames Patterson
Cover artistKamil Vojnar & Roger Wood
CountryUnited States
GenreYoung adult fiction, science fiction
PublisherUnited States Little, Brown
United Kingdom Headline
Publication date
United States April 11, 2005
United Kingdom July 4, 2005
Pages432 pp (hardback)
413 (paperback)[1]
Followed byMaximum Ride: School's Out Forever 

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment is the first book in the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. The book was released in the US on April 11, 2005 and in the UK on July 4, 2005.[2][3] The book is set in the near future and centers on the flock, a group of human-avian hybrids (98% human, 2% bird) on the run from the scientists who created them. It focuses on Maximum Ride (Max), the leader of the flock, and the first-person narrator and protagonist of the story.


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, Fang and Nudge leave their home in an attempt to rescue Angel, while Iggy and the Gasman were forced to stay behind. While Max, Fang and Nudge left their home, Iggy and the Gasman made bombs in order to protect themselves from the Erasers. Max then saves a girl later known as Ella. This resulted in Fang and Nudge heading towards Lake Mead, their planned stop.

Max was then shot in the shoulder and sought help from Ella's mother, Dr. Valencia Martinez. When Dr. Martinez performed an X-ray scan on Max, they discovered that a microchip (described by Dr. Martinez as tracking chips used for important animals such as show dogs) was implanted in Max. Meanwhile, Iggy and the Gasman made traps for the Erasers and were successful in which they set a Hummer overturned, but the Erasers still survived. Both of them were then surrounded by Erasers in an abandoned cabin and used their bomb (known as Big Boy) and flew to Lake Mead.

While looping back on their course to find Max, Nudge noticed that they were near to Tipisco, where Nudge's parents lived. Upon visiting the location, Fang and Nudge realized that they were in a trap which resulted in Fang being injured by Ari, a seven-year-old boy who was turned into an Eraser and had an appearance as a middle aged man, some time after they had escaped to the mountain home in the beginning. Soon, Max healed and flew to Lake Mead. Max meets Fang and Nudge and later meets Iggy and the Gasman.

The remaining Flock eventually were captured by the Erasers and were sent to The School. While captured, Angel learns about an Institute, later known as "The Institute of Higher Living", 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 re connection of the whole Flock together Max has a massive headache described as a brain explosion which later theorized as her brain making space for a Voice (other than her own) which 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. At the Institute, the Flock also found several mutants and set them free. Angel then brings a pet dog named Total with her and escapes with the Flock. As they escape, Max has to fight with Ari and wins by snapping his neck bone by accident. The book ends with the Flock beginning their journey to Washington D.C., in search of their parents.

List of characters[edit]

Maximum Ride, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, The Gasman (Gazzy), Angel, Total, Erasers, The Voice, Ella, Dr. Valencia Martinez, Jeb Batchelder, and Ari Batchelder


Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment has received generally positive reviews. Cleveland Plain Dealer described it as "like the best sort of video game or action movie, in book form" and commented that it "shows the promise of becoming a favorite" as well as comparing it to the Boxcar Children series: "Think of this group of six, from 14-year-old Max to 6-year-old Angel, like the 'Boxcar Children' of a new millennium."[4] The School Library Journal delivered a more lukewarm review, calling the book an "exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but still a compelling read".[5] Booklist described it as "an action-packed cross between Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children and Marvel Comics' X-Men", also noting how "Patterson occasionally forgets his audience here, as evidenced by his sardonic tone and such glib adult asides". However, Booklist also praised Patterson for stepping out of his normally adult-genre books as it said, "He's picked a comfortable formula (orphans protecting one another and making a home together)".[6]

Film adaptation[edit]

In January 2007, it was announced that a film would be created based on the Maximum Ride series. James Patterson was to be the executive producer.[7] Avi Arad, one of the producers of Spider-Man, X-Men and other Marvel movies, was also chosen to produce alongside Steven Paul.[7][8] In an interview with Patterson, however, it was revealed that Arad has already planned out the first two movies.[9]

On August 7, 2008, it was announced that Columbia Pictures had bought the screen rights to the franchise. The film was slated for an early to mid-2010 release.[10] Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) was selected to direct the first movie, with Don Payne (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) writing the script.[7]

In January 2010 it was announced that the film was to go into pre-production. Hardwicke had asked for a script rewrite as she wanted more action in the film. This further delayed the film's release until 2014. She later quit, leaving the future director unknown, as well as the future cast. However, series creator Patterson continued to say that he was hopeful.

In August 2016 a film adaptation was released under the title of Maximum Ride, adapting the first half of The Angel Experiment. The director was Jay Martin.


External links[edit]