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Publisher's Summary

James Patterson's explosive debut in the young adult market is guaranteed to create legions of new fans for this beloved, multimillion-selling author.

Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways, except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. Riding the wind, their wings are an amazing gift...and yet, their world can morph into a nightmare in a single instant. For when the bloodthirsty Erasers, half men, half-wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists, kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission that will change them forever.

From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, 14-year-old Max leads her five feisty "family" members on a journey full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking, not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side!

©2005 SueJack, Inc. (P)2005 Time Warner Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"An action-packed cross between Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children and Marvel Comics' X-Men." (Booklist)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Dan
  • Columbia, MD United States
  • 04-11-05

Very Entertaining

This is probably one of the most entertaining audiobooks I've heard since the Harry Potter series. Read amazingly well by the young lady. Maybe more for the teens/young adults. Wonderful!!! Highly suggest.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A book for pre-teens

Maximum Ride is the typical story of an older girl that takes care of the younger "siblings". (A lot like "The Boxcar Children") I downloaded this book because I saw a lot of positive reviews, and I was sorely disappointed. It is very possible that I would have enjoyed an unabridged version, because the story seemed a little choppy. The jokes about bodily functions will keep the kids entertained, but from an adult perspective, they get old fast. (My husband only got through 20 minutes) The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. It seemed as if the author had a deadline to meet and released the book before he was finished.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • Prineville, OR, USA
  • 04-15-05

A New Direction from a good author

This story is a excellent departure from the normal James Patterson work. Still it has all his trademarks with the tension, intrigue and humor that are his trademarks. You will like the story line and characters and wonder what is next only to be left at the end with a desire to know more about Maximum Ride and her friends... The reader does a great and convincing job as a young and strong woman of today.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kristi
  • Winder, GA, United States
  • 05-29-05

Promising, but incomplete.

I've never read any other James Patterson books. This is apparently an advantage-- people who read "When the Wind Blows" and "The Lake House" seem to feel cheated, because this is a re-worked version of the story in those books but does not match up with them. Without the hindrance of these preconceived notions, I quite enjoyed the story. It is marketed for teens, but I found it well-suited for a wide age range, including adults. Were it not for the huge flaw of the incomplete ending, I would happily give it 5 stars.

From a parent's perspective, I would feel comfortable giving it to my 8-year-old, and it wouldn't bother me if my 5-year-old listened as well (though I don't think it would hold his interest). There IS violence-- the bird-children protagonists are hunted by mutant dog-people and have several bloody fights. Mostly fist-fight kind of stuff, but there is some gunplay as well. However, I did not find it gratuitous or unduly gory. There is death too, but it happens to bad guys and is also not "gratuitous"-- it is treated somberly and with appropriate angst. Probably the most disturbing element is the inhumane treatment of the children at the hands of the scientists who have genetically engineered them and raised them as experimental animals rather than as people. Most of this though happens off camera and is alluded to indirectly.

The big problem with the book is the fact that it ends, but doesn't FINISH. I am a long-time sci-fi fan well-accustomed to double-digit series, but this is unfinished even by that standard. There is no satisfactory closure and no real answers to the dozens of mysteries raised in the story. I sincerely hope that the sequel resolves some of these mysteries and lives up to the wonderful promise of this part of this story-- I will certainly be buying the sequel as soon as it is available! However, for those of you not yet involved, I think I would recommend that you not start this one until there IS a sequel!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jason Wu
  • Roseville, CA United States
  • 05-15-05


The story starts off strong creating a strong platform for a great story. Unfortunately, the rest of the book does not follow through. The characters, although interesting, are not that well developed and the story leaves you asking too many questions. The book's ending is very weak. I did not feel as if there was a strong conclusion to what the author tried to develop for 4 hours.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

bait and switch

I enjoyed When The Wind Blows and The Lake House and was eager to see the story of Max,her babies, and her flock unfurl further.I was terribly disappointed when most of the characters and the story line changed radically.This story was dull and predictable in setting up sequels but I don't think anyone will care.I know I don't.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


What happens to Max and the others? Is this the same Max and friends from the other two books? No! The story itself was interesting and I only picked it up because I thought it would be a continuation of his previuos works. There was no ending, you were left hanging with many unanswered questions and the characters are all changed... I don't like to read a book and have it left off in a cliffhanger or with no reslove.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unfinished... will there be another installment?

Great potential but it had no ending. Never would have invested the time had I known most of the story line would be left unresolved!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Maximum Ride

This was a great read. James Patterson did it again with another great book. Once I sat down to read it I couldn't put it down. Definatly a must read. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

So Disappointed

I LOVE James Patterson! I have read everything he's written. I very much enjoyed THE LAKE HOUSE along with the other book about the bird children. However, this one falls far short. Patterson should have kept the same characters with their same background. How can he think we can read this after the other two books when he has changed the characters and their backgrounds so drastically! This story is so disappointing that I will not continue listening to this audible book. The girl doing the reading is a disappointment as well.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful