The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride Series #1)

Overview

This new incarnation of the multi-million copy-selling Maximum Ride series is the perfect way to discover the blockbuster adventures of a heroic flock of winged kids!

This volume contains the complete story of the series' launch title, The Angel Experiment. Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"?Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel?are just like ordinary kids, only they have wings ...

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The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride Series #1)

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Overview

This new incarnation of the multi-million copy-selling Maximum Ride series is the perfect way to discover the blockbuster adventures of a heroic flock of winged kids!

This volume contains the complete story of the series' launch title, The Angel Experiment. Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"—Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel—are just like ordinary kids, only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time—like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of sinister scientists. It's the beginning of an epic tale that races, rocks and rolls toward an astounding apocalyptic event in the fourth volume, Nevermore!

After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Angel Experiment James Patterson. Warner, $6.99 ISBN 0-446-61779-2. Thriller writer Patterson takes characters that first appeared in his adult novels When the Wind Blows and its sequel, The Lake House, and places them in a story pitched at young adults. Ages 12-up. (May) n Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a purely fantastical tale told primarily from the perspective of one Maximum Ride, a fourteen year old girl who is the glue keeping her ragtag "family" of six children (ranging in age from 6 to 14) together. The kids (including Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel) spent their early years of life in a lab in California called "the School," and are 98% human, and 2 % bird, enabling them to fly. Through a series of truly unfortunate events, the youngest one of the brood has been kidnapped by the evil Erasers (other mutants from the School, who are part human, part bloodthirsty wolf). Max and the others set out on a mission to save her (and supposedly the world, but that part is never clearly delineated) and discover their true identities. Short chapters are like incredibly quick sound bites; while the book is over 400 pages long, chapters are mostly two to four pages in length. The few details readers can glean about Max from the book paint an admirable picture, but a thin one at best. The visual that is created by the image of flying children is intriguing. Creepy scenes of laboratories and mutant children in cages (with organs on the outside of their bodies!), the morphing of the Erasers and some fairly violent fights may disturb some readers. Maximum Ride is this author's first young adult series. He is a best selling author of adult novels; two of particular note, When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, that deal with winged characters. His inspiration for this book comes from these previous works. 2005, Little Brown, Ages 12 up.
—Cindy L. Carolan
From The Critics
James Patterson, who usually writes intense crime novels for adults, slips in his attempt to write an action-adventure series for kids. This first novel introduces readers to Max, who leads a group of young kids who have had two percent of their DNA altered by evil scientists. This alteration gives the group wings. It also gives them each their own unique special power. Max and her "family" are hunted by the evil scientists and another group of genetically-altered kids who are like werewolves. The premise sounds exciting, but the story itself is filled with every possible comic book/Saturday morning cartoon cliche. Patterson's own writing style seems uneasy. Max is typically our narrator, but Patterson occasionally slips out of the first-person voice to get the audience caught up on other events. When she speaks, Max sounds horribly fake and uses phrases like "son of a gun." Despite Patterson's attention to contemporary issues like animal testing and genetic engineering, his 133 chapters of action without substance will leave readers more sick than satisfied by this ride. 2005, Little Brown, 423 pp., Ages young adult.
—John Ritchie
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but is still a compelling read. Max, 14, and her adopted family-Fang and Iggy, both 13, Nudge, 11, Gazzy, 8, and Angel, 6-were all created as experiments in a lab called the School. Jeb, a sympathetic scientist, helped them escape and, since then, they've been living on their own. The Erasers have orders to kill them so the world will never find out they exist. Max's old childhood friend, Ari, now an Eraser leader, tracks them down, kidnaps Angel, and transports her back to the School to live like a lab rat again. The youngsters are forced to use their special talents to rescue her as they attempt to learn about their pasts and their destinies. The novel ends with the promise that this journey will continue in the sequel. As with Patterson's adult mystery thrillers, in-depth characterization is secondary to the fast-moving plot. The narrative alternates between Max's first-person point-of-view and that of the others in the third person, but readers don't get to know Max very well. The only major flaw is that the children sound like adults most of the time. This novel is reminiscent of David Lubar's Hidden Talents (Tor, 1999) and Ann Halam's Dr. Franklin's Island (Random, 2002).-Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455530687
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Series: Maximum Ride Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 138,321
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 4.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 240 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Biography

James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel—an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers—including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan—and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

Good To Know

Patterson's Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas was inspired by a diary his wife kept that tracked the development of their toddler son.

Two of Patterson's Alex Cross mysteries (Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls) have been turned into films starring Morgan Freeman; in 2007, a weekly television series premiered, based on the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels.

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    1. Hometown:
      Palm Beach, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newburgh, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Angel Experiment


By James Patterson

Thorndike Press

Copyright © 2006 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780786282920

Chapter One

The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective. Take right now, for instance.

Run! Come on, run! You know you can do it.

I gulped deep lungfuls of air. My brain was on hyperdrive; I was racing for my life. My one goal was to escape. Nothing else mattered.

My arms being scratched to ribbons by a briar I'd run through? No biggie.

My bare feet hitting every sharp rock, rough root, pointed stick? Not a problem.

My lungs aching for air? I could deal.

As long as I could put as much distance as possible between me and the Erasers.

Yeah, Erasers. Mutants: half-men, half-wolves, usually armed, always bloodthirsty. Right now they were after me.

See? That snaps everything into perspective.

Run. You're faster than they are. You can outrun anyone.

I'd never been this far from the School before. I was totally lost. Still, my arms pumped by my sides, my feet crashed through the underbrush, my eyes scanned ahead anxiously through the half-light. I could outrun them. I could find a clearing with enough space for me to-

Oh, no. Oh, no. The unearthly baying of bloodhounds on the scent wailed through the trees, and I felt sick. I could outrun men-all of us could, evenAngel, and she's only six. But none of us could outrun a big dog.

Dogs, dogs, go away, let me live another day.

They were getting closer. Dim light filtered in through the woods in front of me-a clearing? Please, please ... a clearing could save me. I burst through the trees, chest heaving, a thin sheen of cold sweat on my skin.

Yes!

No-oh no!

I skidded to a halt, my arms waving, my feet backpedaling in the rocky dirt.

It wasn't a clearing. In front of me was a cliff, a sheer face of rock that dropped to an unseeable floor hundreds of feet below.

In back of me were woods filled with drooling bloodhounds and psycho Erasers with guns.

Both options stank.

The dogs were yelping excitedly-they'd found their prey: moi.

I looked over the deadly drop.

There was no choice, really. If you were me, you'd have done the same thing.

I closed my eyes, held out my arms ... and let myself fall over the edge of the cliff.

The Erasers screamed angrily, the dogs barked hysterically, and then all I could hear was the sound of air rushing past me.

It was so dang peaceful, for a second. I smiled.

Then, taking a deep breath, I unfurled my wings as hard and fast as I could.

Thirteen feet across, pale tan with white streaks and some freckly looking brown spots, they caught the air, and I was suddenly yanked upward, hard, as if a parachute had just opened. Yow!

Note to self: No sudden unfurling.

Wincing, I pushed downward with all my strength, then pulled my wings up, then pushed downward again.

Oh, my god, I was flying-just like I'd always dreamed.

The cliff floor, draped in shadow, receded beneath me. I laughed and surged upward, feeling the pull of my muscles, the air whistling through my secondary feathers, the breeze drying the sweat on my face.

I soared up past the cliff edge, past the startled hounds and the furious Erasers.

One of them, hairy-faced, fangs dripping, raised his gun. A red dot of light appeared on my torn nightgown. Not today, you jerk, I thought, veering sharply west so the sun would be in his hate-crazed eyes.

I'm not going to die today.



Continues...


Excerpted from The Angel Experiment by James Patterson Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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