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 after 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 hybrid kids escaped the evil organization. On the run ever since, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gassman and Angel all look to Max for leadership, protection and guidance on their very important mission --- to save the world.
In book six, Max and her flock are flying to Africa, where her mother’s environmental group, Coalition to Stop the Madness (CSM), is hosting a refugee camp to provide food and medical assistance to the needy. The flock is going to hang out and help where they can. They’ll be staying in a rustic tent and eating unappetizing things like millet balls. But they’ve survived much worse, and helping out at the refugee camp goes right in line with their mission. And even though the flock faces the unimaginable every day, in no way could they be prepared for the next two surprise bombshells.
First, one of the scientists at the refugee camp, Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen, seeks the flock out to introduce himself and his protégé, Dylan, who just happens to be a new avian hybrid. Dylan is technically only eight months old and doesn’t even know how to fly yet, but he’s taller than Fang, appears to be a teenager and is absolutely gorgeous. And according to the doctor, Dylan has been genetically engineered to be Max’s perfect other half. Of course, nobody asked Max her opinion on the matter; she is very protective of her flock and doesn’t let just anyone in the circle. And besides, she’s very much in love with Fang.
But then the other shocking announcement makes matters even more complicated. Out of the blue, Angel reveals that Fang is going to die soon. She refuses to explain her message and hardly displays any emotions with it either. Something is changing in her, and not for the better. She even voices her intent to take over the leadership of the flock. Max is hurt over Angel’s coldness and terrified about losing Fang. Max and Fang are soul mates, and nothing anybody says or does will change that. Will it?
James Patterson’s incredible imagination appears to be never-ending. His characters are brilliant, colorful and wild; Max is a particular favorite with her brave soul, deep and well-guarded emotions, and hilariously sarcastic attitude. The flock faces each new adventure with spirit and muscle, while holding tight to each other, the only family they’ve ever known. A couple of new characters are introduced, one of whom, Dylan, promises a lot of conflict and new direction. But these books aren’t just about adventure and excitement; Patterson cleverly weaves environmental issues into his action-filled plots and then crams each installment with energy and humor. FANG is another winner, and I can’t wait for the next Maximum Ride novel.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on March 15, 2010