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Maximum Ride


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About 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 300 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. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Gr 7 Up-Non-stop thrills keep listeners on the edge of their seats as they enter the world of 14-year-old Maximum Ride and her "sibling" clan of genetically-enhanced children. In best-selling adult author James Patterson's fantasy (Little, 2005), the six children were experiments created in a lab called the School, but they've been living on their own since a scientist helped them escape. Now they're being tracked down by wolf-human predators who have been programmed to destroy the kids at all costs. The danger never lets up for a second as the kids are kidnapped, hunted, and must flee across the continent to escape. Fortunately for them, they have the power to fly with the help of wings that were grafted onto their bodies. Some scenes take a long time to develop and others seem like offshoots of the main plot, but narrators Nancy Ku and Ed Sala create a myriad of voices for the cast of characters. Short, fast-paced chapters keep this lengthy novel from becoming tiresome for listeners. Readers and listeners will eagerly await the sequel. A good choice for school and public libraries; Patterson's adult fans will probably want to borrow it as well.-Casey Rondini, Hartford Public Library, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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 an overblown, nearly incomprehensible story pitched at young adults. Max (aka Maximum Ride), the 14-year-old girl from both of the aforementioned novels, leads a band of mutant orphans hiding from the sinister scientists at "the School," who grafted avian DNA onto their genes, giving them wings (plot points established in When the Wind Blows). When the School's henchmen-"Erasers," "half-men, half-wolves" (one of whom is their rescuer Jeb's seven-year-old son)-kidnap six-year-old Angel, the youngest member of "the flock," Max and company will stop at nothing to rescue her. Well, nothing except to aid a stranger, bond with some real birds, eat lunch and take lengthy naps. The often violent hunt-and-chase plot resembles that of a Saturday morning superhero cartoon. The point of view shifts jerkily before settling into Max's first-person narration, which is self-deprecating but never sounds like a real teen's voice, and the novel is strewn with mutations of nouns-turned-adjectives ("tunnel-visiony," "antisepticky," even "Robin Hoodsy"). Loose ends abound but presumably the sequel, scheduled for 2006, will reveal the identity of the evil "whitecoats" and their motives as well as who owns the Voice speaking inside Max's head. The Patterson name will attract readers; but his fans may be disappointed that this tale never takes flight. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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