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'The Angel Experiment' by James Patterson

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cover imageLittle, Brown & Co

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

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I like James Patterson even though many of the books released with his name are plotted by him but not actually written by him anymore. I decided to go ahead and start the “Maximum Ride” series, which was written by Patterson, and see what it was about. I knew that this series was different than most of what Patterson has penned (or plotted) but I really was not sure what I was going to fine inside “The Angel Experiment” when I started reading it.

Max Ride is one of six exceptional children that have lived anything but an ordinary life. Genetically engineered with avian genes, the six children possess extra-human talents including the ability to fly. They have been raised in complex that they know as The School and are in constant danger from the Erasers. When one of their number is kidnapped, the kids know that they must take action in order to save their friend.

As the children journey to rescue their friend, they get a clue to their origin that sends them on a journey that they could never have imagined. The secret to their creation, and the parents that they never knew, is not before them for the finding. As they travel across the country to New York, more clues fall into place as they get closer to learning just who they are and how their actions may affect the world. Now that they are on the verge of discovering the secret of their origin, however, the children son learn that there is more at stake here than just their lives and their freedom.

“The Angel Experiment” is the first book in a series that is aimed at young readers and the book is written in an appropriate style for this. Even though the book is obviously written for young adults, however, it was still an enjoyable read. I like young adult novels and sometimes I think that the stories can even be better for the simpler style as it can cut out the overwriting that sometimes plagues a book. The prose is crisp and easy to read and the content is easily understood by an adult for a quick and easy story for an adult to read.

“The Angel Experiment” is by no means a great book but it does have some interesting points. I thought that the book got significantly more interesting about halfway through as my attention wandered during the first part of the book. My biggest concern about the book is that there is very little backstory on the characters and what has happened to them to make them the way they were. I think that Patterson chose this approach since the characters themselves do not know their history (and finding their origins becomes the driving theme of the book) but I thought this made the story somewhat disheveled and kept me from relating to the main characters. Since this is the first book in a series, I give it somewhat of a pass as the characters can be further fleshed out and the issues explored as the story progresses. “The Angel Experiment” is a relatively average young adult novel but it does set the stage for what could be an interesting series. I will get to the other books shortly and see if Patterson can take the interesting ideas he has come up with and turn them into an interesting series.