Friday, November 7, 2008
Review of Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
In sharp contrast to the aforementioned Spellbinder, which took me days and days and days to slog through, this book took me a day and a half to read. Granted, it's young adult fiction, but I'm not agist--I'll read anything as long as it's good. And this one was.
It's about a group of mutant kids who are the victims of a scientific experiment--they were injected with avian DNA in utero. They were all born with wings, lighter (but stronger) bones, and stronger muscles, and some have other superhuman talents, like telepathy, or breathing under water. The narrator details that before the start of the story, they had escaped the lab with the help of one of the scientists there. He went missing (they assume he's dead), and they are left to fend for themselves until their hiding place is found and the youngest one, Angel, is kidnapped back to the lab.
It's up to Max, the oldest, to organize a rescue mission. This book chronicles the "flock's" journey to rescue Angel, their discovery that their guardian is not dead after all, but back working for the lab and apparently "one of them", and their travels after that to uncover their history. It feels a bit like young-adult Xmen! One of the interesting points of the book is that the kids each need upwards of 3000 calories per day, and it's hard for a group of runaway kids with no money to obtain that much food very easily. This kind of everyday detail is what makes the book so engaging, although it never approaches the all-encompassing (and IMO, overwhelming) Stephen-King level of detail.
It's true, 6-year-old Angel does speak like an adult, and the "Voice" that talks to Max later on in the novel is a bit annoying (and why is Max so trusting about it,after being so paranoid about everything else?), and maybe the writing isn't going to win the Pulitzer, but the book was engrossing and entertaining and I have already requested the sequel from the library.