Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1) by James Patterson


The Angel Experiment by James Patterson                                                                                                                  Publisher: Grand Central Publishing                                                                                                                                        Paperbound, 464 pages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Publisher's Blurb                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In James Patterson's blockbuster series, 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 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 wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?

My Thoughts                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not going to lie, the rumour that James Patterson uses ghost writers has tainted my view of this book. However, it does offer an explanation for the substandard writing. A mishmash of an unnamed writer's words and some other guy's farmed-out ideas will do that for you. Details are reiterated throughout the story unnecessarily and not in the 'I'm just reminding the reader of something that happened earlier on in the book' fashion but rather 'I'm reminding the reader of what happened, oh, four pages ago" way. 

  The dialogue often felt artificial. I found that the way the kids communicated with each other in the novel, did not accurately represent conversation among today's fourteen year olds (Even among the mutant preteens).

  So, with all these apparent weaknesses what kept me from chucking the book out of a window and awarding it a measly one leaf? Well for one, I don't chuck books. Even the not so good ones. I'd feel sorry for it and I think it's unhealthy to have sympathy for an inanimate object. But more importantly, I felt that there were enough redeemable qualities that made the overall experience still enjoyable.

  Although the previously noted issues with the writing are disruptive, the action within the plot never ceased gaining momentum. The novel advertises itself as a page-turner and that claim is warranted.  The characters, although at times stale due to the issues with the dialogue, still had their unique quirky habits which made them amiable.

  I would only recommend this book for a reader who is in a particularly tolerant mood and in the need of an entertaining fast-paced story or for the reluctant reader who enjoys adventures of the science fiction like.

Overall Rating:




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