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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

What the critics say

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

What listeners say about Maximum Ride

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Incredible audio presentation

Incredible audio presentation of one of my favourite childhood books. Less a reading and more a voice acting of Maximum Ride brought to life!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • 2005-04-11

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • 2005-04-15

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kristi
  • 2005-05-29

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jesse
  • 2005-08-30

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn
  • 2005-04-28

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 2015-03-25

Soon to be a Marvel Comic, and why is it abridged?

Im not sure what makes up "young adult" literature. Is the sentence structure easier? Easier words and verbiage or is it the themes? Is it specifically about X age characters? If so would Carrie or Fire Starter be classified as YA? Wikipedia defines its as a "coming of age" novel. It was an easy book to listen too. I liked the characters and really liked a section where a human vet found out about the winged human and we got to see the angel child throu an adults eyes for a bit. Im not sure why but I was reminded of some after school specials I watched when I was young(er) :).

I will probably listen to the rest of the series. I had 2 minor annoyances and 1 major one
1) Apparently they seem to think adding electronic music at important parts of the story makes the action sequences more entertaining. I found that pretty annoying, just let the narrator read she did an excellent job.

2) The plot seemed to jump from one section to another. One moment there in peril getting beaten up. The fight seems to be over then all of a sudden there flying free. It happened a couple of time so I don't think it was a damaged file but that was jarring..

3) Major annoyance.. Why is book abridged?? Im pretty sure Id have been happy to hear the whole thing or maybe they think their audience "Young Adults" have too short of an attention span. Either way I marked it dow a bit because of that.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 2005-04-22

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • June
  • 2005-04-16

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jason Wu
  • 2005-05-15

Unsatisfying...

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sofi B.
  • 2020-07-07

Not the whole book

I didn’t realize this was the abridged version until I was almost finished, it doesn’t tell you anywhere. The narrator reads every character’s lines pretty much the same, it can be hard to tell who’s speaking.