Maximum Ride is an unforgettable 14-year-old girl with a way-out-of-control, hilariously sarcastic attitude. But who can blame her with everything she has on her shoulders, including a pair of 13-foot wings?
Max spent the first part of her life locked in a cage, undergoing cruel tests and horrid experiments as evil scientists fused bird DNA onto her human genes. The results produced a super-human hybrid that can soar high into the clouds. Then, with the help of a sympathetic scientist named Jeb, Max and the other bird kids escaped the evil organization. Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel all look to Max for leadership, protection, guidance and even a bit of affection; all of them miss not having real parents to love.
Things, however, are changing for their newest adventure. Max’s dream of finding her birth parents has come true, and she trusts Dr. Martinez, her newfound mother, with her whole heart. The same cannot be said for her biological father, Jeb; he has messed up the Flock’s lives too much to rely on him. But when Dr. Martinez suggests a location and a mission for the group to withdraw to for rest and safety, Max believes that her mom has their best interests at heart. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Flock won’t be on alert for anything and everything to go wrong. They have to stay vigilant. Their lives depend on it.
So Max and her Flock find themselves cruising south on a research vessel with a handful of scientists on their way to the bottom of the world --- Antarctica! They will use their special talents to assist the scientist gathering data on global warming. As Max learns a bit about their mission, she doesn’t see what the big deal is concerning this issue. In fact, she longingly dreams of warmer weather as she explores the frozen Antarctic continent. But the more she learns, the more she realizes how devastating global warming is and how desperately in danger our planet is.
And speaking of special talents, everybody in the Flock seems to be continually mutating new and beyond wild abilities. Just as Max developed super speed and Angel began to read minds in previous Maximum Ride books, now Iggy, Fang, Gazzy and even Total, the talking dog, develop incredible new skills. But will they be any help when the new evil scientist catches up with them, intent on exploiting the Flock family for money and power?
James Patterson never disappoints in this series, in which fast-paced, non-stop action combines with extraordinary characters to form an amazing adventure. Add in a hilariously sharp wit, an unending imagination and a massive, very real global threat, and readers are rewarded with a winner each and every time. Once again, Patterson delivers the ultra-important message that young people can make a difference in the world, and he conveys it in such a way that will hopefully inspire and motivate children to actually get out there and repair some of the world’s hurts. Long live Maximum Ride!
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on March 17, 2008