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|Genre||Thriller, Young-adult fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy|
Little, Brown and Company
|Published||April 11, 2005 – August 2, 2012|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|To meet Wikipedia's quality standards, this book-related article may require cleanup. (November 2011)|
|This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (May 2013)|
|Genre||Thriller, Young-adult fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy|
Little, Brown and Company
|Published||April 11, 2005 – August 2, 2012|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The Maximum Ride book series, by James Patterson, is centered around the adventures and hardships of six mutant kids, called 'The Flock' after their escape from a lab called "The School". Due to enhancements and alternations made to their DNA while being held captive, 'The Flock' are 98% human and 2% avian (bird), due to this the kids all have wings and most have some other powers that are revealed throughout the series. The main protagonist of the story and the leader of 'The Flock' is Maximum Ride (Max), she is also the first person narrator of the majority of the books. The books do sometimes switch perspectives when the kids are split up to further evolve the plot line but the books are mostly told from Max's point of view.
Max and the Flock have run away from the School; the lab complex where they spent the first part of their lives locked up in cages and experimented on. Jeb Batchelder rescued them from the school. Later, he abandoned them. After four years, their hiding place in the mountains gets discovered and Angel, the youngest member of the Flock, is captured. The others go back to the School, and on the way, Max stops to save a girl and gets hurt. To get Angel back, Max, Fang, and Nudge get captured by Erasers. While there, it is revealed that Jeb is alive. He tells Max that all of her life has been a test and that she is supposed to save the world. He asks her to trust him, to which she refuses. The flock escape from their cages while being transported to a building next to the School with help from Iggy, Gazzy, and the hawks they befriended. Together again, the flock decide to find the Institute in New York that Angel heard the white coats talking about while she was held captive in the School. She informs the group that the Institute has information about their parents and some of the history of the School. After saving Angel, Max frequently has a sort of migraine, during which she sees pictures and hears voices. At first, the pain is unbearable for Max (but the pain lessens over time) and restates how much she wants to die so that the pain would go away. Then she begins to hear a voice in her head that can somehow manipulate technology around her, as evident in the subway tunnel and in the New York streets. The Voice helps her find the Institute by giving her vague clues and not directly answering Max's questions and demands. Eventually, Max comes face to face with Jeb's son, Ari, in the tunnels in New York and accidentally kills him by breaking his neck.
The Flock is headed toward Washington, D.C., where they hope to find the answers to their origins. However, after Fang is gravely injured by a flying Eraser and taken to a hospital, the Flock is housed by an FBI agent named Anne on the agreement that she is allowed to examine them "at a distance." The Flock enjoys a rare period of peace, even attending a private school, which is later discovered to have been an insane asylum. Life is good to them for now, as Max sees it, but they happen to be seeing Erasers often and their relationships in the Flock with each other are starting emotions that sometimes spill over and cause fights. Suddenly, Iggy finds his long lost parents. Later, Iggy returns to the flock after his parents treat him like a circus freak. An ordeal at their school in which teachers pull out tasers and chase Max causes the Flock to leave. Angel then suggests that they go to Florida, and for lack of a better plan, Max agrees. Later on, the Flock learns that a multi-national corporation named Itex is plotting to destroy the world, based on what Angel overheard when she was kidnapped back at the School, and is also tracking the Flock's movements. Earlier, Anne had revealed herself as a member of the lab that created the Flock, and seeks to capture them again. Afterward, Max faces a clone of herself created by Itex, and she is destined to either destroy it or have it kill her. However, when she discovers that Itex created the clone to test how powerful Max is, she decides not to destroy the clone.
The Flock must save the world from the Itex Corporation (the company behind the School, also connected to the Institute for Higher Living) and its Director, plans to terminate and destroy all recombinant species and cut the Earth's population in half (otherwise known as the By-Half Plan). The Erasers have been replaced with flying, robotic Erasers called Flyboys. Meanwhile, Fang tries to persuade Max to find a permanent home where they can live in peace and forget about the world, only caring about themselves and the Flock. Fang kisses Max to try to convince her to come find a permanent home. Although, soon, the Flock is trapped again and Jeb and Anne says that the last five months were a dream. Ari broke them out. Max invites Ari (the last remaining Eraser and Max's half-brother) to join the group after escaping from the School once more, causing Iggy, Fang, and the Gasman to leave the Flock in protest.
The Flock flies out of a government meeting set up to decide what the government officials think is best for them. Later, they go to Antarctica at Jeb Batchelder and Dr. Valencia Martinez's request, where a team of scientists needs their assistance in studying ocean pollution levels. There they fight an international organization led by the Uber Director, who intends to auction off the Flock to corrupt leaders of foreign countries to be used as weapons and/or mercenaries. When Angel, Total, and Akila go after a baby penguin in the midst of a blizzard, they become trapped inside a chasm. After Max and Fang save them, the group is forced to take refuge inside a hole-cave to keep safe because of a monstrous blizzard. In the midst of this, the Uber Director's team finds them and captures them along with Nudge, Gazzy, and Iggy. En route to Miami, the Flock defeats the Uber Director in the midst of a hurricane and makes their escape. Meanwhile, Total grows wings of his own and falls in love with Akila, an Alaskan Malamute. Max and Fang kiss each other a few times, actually a lot and Max starts to acknowledge her feelings for him even more than before.
The Flock is attacked by a group of bionic robots (which Max nicknames M-Geeks) at environmental awareness shows in Los Angeles and Mexico City. Later, the government enlists their help in finding out what is destroying hundreds of ships and killing millions of fish off the coast of Hawaii. Max is also looking for her mother who mysteriously disappears from the safe house. A mysterious creature mutant appears near the sub so Angel unexpectedly dives out to have a chat with it. It ends up helping the gang. During this mission, Max, Fang, and the others discover many other abilities, like breathing under water, for example. In addition, in the epilogue it is implied that Total makes love to Akila.
The Flock travels to Africa where they meet Dr. Hans, a former Itex worker, and Dylan, another human-avian hybrid designed to be Max's "perfect other half." After a prophetic statement from Angel stating that Fang will be the first to die, Max is traumatized and starts spending more time with him. Dylan joins the Flock, and they return to their newly rebuilt home in the mountains. However, Fang hates him, because he loves Max. Max and Fang leave the Flock because they are more focused on their personal relationship than the surrounding dangers and are driven out by Angel. Angel becomes the new leader of the Flock and gets rid of the rules Max set up for them. Eventually the group reunites, but Fang is captured by Dr. Hans and, while being experimented on, his heart stops. Max admits she loves him in order to try to wake him up before stabbing his heart with an adrenaline shot and revives him. Dylan injects himself in a suicide attempt, but fails. In the epilogue, Total and Akila are married, and Fang leaves Max a note saying that the Flock is in danger with him there, and that he will meet Max again in 20 years on the mountain where they learned to fly from the hawks. Fang then realizes that Max isn't for him and writes the flock a letter saying he has decided it would be better for them all if he left. He then leaves to go form a flock of his own after pouring out his heart to Max. Max and the others cry about him.
Max, unable to get over the fact that Fang has left her forever, goes to live with Dr. Martinez. During that time, they figure out that the doomsday group is brainwashing people.However, Max is slowly starting to warm up to Dylan despite her mixed feelings in the sixth book. Meanwhile, Fang starts his own gang which includes Max's clone, now called Maya. The two teams join forces in Paris, although they don't exactly get along perfectly, to stop an organization known as the Doomsday Group from killing themselves in order to save the planet. Max is hurt even more after Fang asks her to come and help them, causing great tension between them. Everything goes awry when Gazzy fails to disarm all the bombs under the gathering spot, and the bombs explode while Fang, Gazzy, and Angel are still in the blast radius. Fang and Gazzy make it out safely, but Angel is missing, leaving everyone heartbroken. In Angel's epilogue it said she was still alive, but her whereabouts were not specified.
The story begins when Max and the remaining members of the flock have to go to an ordinary school. Though Max is unhappy about it, she just cannot say no to Dylan. Meanwhile, Fang's gang is caught up when they're attacked by two monster trucks. Within those monster trucks is something interesting: Max's half brother, Ari, who has yet again risen from the dead. But not only that; there are also more Erasers along with Ari. The fight ends when Maya (Max's Clone, aka Max II) dies in Fang's arms. He doesn't want to hurt anyone else in his gang so he tells them to go home and forget everything that had happened with him. He is then told by the Voice that he has to go back to Max. While he is traveling on foot (one of the bones in Fang's wing was broken in the fight with Ari), Fang meets some people who ask him if he needs a ride. He ends up getting thrown off a cliff. When Max and Dylan leave school, Dylan realizes he forgot his book in a teacher's room. While there, the science teacher tells Dylan that if he values Max's life, he will do the mission that Doctor Gunther-Hagen wants him to do. He is told that the doctor had found something in Fang's blood that many scientists would want, so he tells Dylan that he must kill Fang or they would kill Max. Later that night, Fang arrives on the Flock's doorstep. Max can't help but hug him. When Ari and Jeb arrive to kill Fang, they learn that Fang's DNA contains the secret to immortality. Dylan, after running off, returns and tries to kill Fang, but cannot go through with it. The whole Flock is picked up by Max's mother, and they go to an island paradise where they will survive the approaching apocalypse. As the world suddenly goes up in flames (although they first believed the apocalypse was in the form of a virus), Angel is revealed to be the Voice and Dylan comes flying in to the rescue. Fang and Max think they die in each other's arms, as Max has finally decided who she truly loves, but they don't die. The world has adapted so that only mutants can live in it; half of it is water, which is why the Flock evolved to have gills. The other half has high cliffs, so the Flock can live there, having wings. In the end, they did not quite save the world, but they saved each other.
Maximum "Max" Ride is a title character and the primary protagonist of the series. She is a 14 year-old (15 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore) avian-human hybrid and the leader of the Flock. She has brown hair that was originally brownish red but became sun bleached, peachy skin and brown eyes, but is described differently in the manga, where she has completely blonde hair. Some fans have hypothesized that the change in Max's hair color might be because Angel and Gazzy already have blonde hair, yet only Nudge has brown hair . However, it is mentioned throughout the series that her hair changes color according to season. Max is 5'8" and weighs 98 pounds, as described in The Final Warning. She has a 13 foot wingspan and is half Hispanic as described in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. Her wings are tan and white, with brown speckles. Max's powers are to fly up to 200 to 300 mph, she is the strongest of the flock, develop gills at the end of MAX. In MAX, Max has an affair with Fang in the desert after talking to him about Nudge wanting to cut her wings off. Later, the Flock meets Dylan, who, according to Dr. Gunther-Hagen, is Max's "perfect other half". Max begins to feel an attraction for Dylan. In Angel, she and Dylan, a clone of a dead boy, grow closer, confusing her feelings about Fang, who begins to grow closer to Maya, who is essentially Max's clone. Max is one of the two members of the Flock who found her parents; Iggy is the other. However, she is the only one to like her parents, Iggy leaving his after only a week or so (they wanted to put him in a freak sideshow). She is stunned when she learned that Jeb Batchelder (a "white coat" who helped them escape from the school and then raised them) was her father. Dr. Valencia Martinez is her biological mother. Max trusts Dr. Martinez completely, but remains wary of Jeb. She is also close to her half-sister, Dr. Martinez' daughter Ella, who Max first meets when trying to save her from some bullies. Max dislikes Ari (Her half-brother and Jeb's son), with whom she is constantly fighting, until he joins her "mini-flock" that was created in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports for a short time after rescuing them from the School. A short while after Ari is rescued from the School, he expires (a "white coat" term for death), which deeply upsets Max. After Ari's death, the two mini-flocks created by Max and Fang rejoin.
Fang is 14 years old (15 in the last three books). He is second-in-command of the Flock and Max's best friend (and later her boyfriend). He is only a few months younger than Max. Fang is able to virtually disappear by staying very still and quiet. He is somewhat stronger than the rest of the flock, often sustaining near-fatal wounds, as in books one and two. He also develops gills at the end of MAX. Fang almost always wears dark clothing and always seems to be sneaking up on Max. He has dark hair and eyes with olive skin. He is believed to have DNA of a raven because of his black wings that have a purple shimmer. In The Angel Experiment, he found out that the School took him after he was born. His mother had put him up for adoption and was later told that he had died. Fang was bitter about the fact that his mother left him, and decided that he didn't want to find his mother, because she wasn't much older than his own age when she had him, and he suspects she's a crack addict and that that was the reason why his mother put him up for adoption in the first place. He is somewhat reserved, but cares deeply about the Flock. He is usually very silent, and seems quite mysterious, always hiding his feelings. He can almost match Max in speed by flying at up to 250 mph.
He runs a blog about the Flock's adventures that proves useful in several books, such as in School's Out—Forever. In The Angel Experiment, Max kisses Fang when he is injured. In School's Out—Forever, he is seen kissing the "Red-Haired Wonder," Lissa. He and Max fight about this, but afterwards they make up. In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, he kisses Max. In The Final Warning, Fang seems to like Dr. Brigid Dwyer, who worked with the Flock in their mission to Antarctica, and Max becomes jealous. In Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports, when Ari joins the flock, Fang decides to lead half of the Flock and leaves Max. He later comes back, reuniting at the end of an epic battle made up of an army of his blog's followers, in which Ari "expires". Fang leaves the Flock again at the end of Fang because of Dylan, Max's "perfect other half", and because Angel has predicted that Fang would be the first to die; therefore, because he knows that by dying, he would put the others in danger, he leaves the Flock. (Mostly to protect Max.) Everyone is upset by this, especially Max, but she finds a letter later that he wrote to her saying that if in 20 years, the world hasn't come to an end, he'll meet her on the cliff where they learned to fly like the hawks.
In Angel, Fang becomes the leader of a new Flock (aka 'Fang's Gang') which includes Ratchet, Star, Kate, Holden, and Maya (Max's clone), who help him try to stop the Doomsday Group. When he realizes he cannot stop the Doomsday Group on his own, he enlists the help of Max's Flock. Max and Fang seem to grow apart and start to like different people. Also, Fang starts having feelings for Maya, trying to replace Max. However, he then realizes that Maya is different from Max, and begins to treat her differently, although in his heart, he still loves Max. After the planned D-day, Fang leaves with his flock, leaving Max and her flock in the rubble of Paris, searching for Angel (who is missing).
In "Nevermore", Fang hears the 'Voice' and comes back for Max, after breaking one of his wings. He and Max grow back together after he comes back and abandons his 'Gang'. It takes some time, but eventually they love each other again. Ari (Max's half-brother) is sent out to kill him, but Fang manages to kill several erasers and see Dylan kill Ari. It is after that, when Dylan attempts to kill Fang, that Max really realizes that she wants to be with Fang for the rest of her life. When Doctor Martinez (Max's mother) takes them and the Flock to a paradise island, he and Max resume their previous relationship. When he and Max escape to a perfect perch, he tells her that he loves her for the first time, just before they are hit by a tsunami. When they are both rescued, Max tells Fang that she loves him as well.
Iggy is 14 years old (15 in the last three books), and third-in-command of the Flock. He is usually sarcastic, 5'10", has extremely pale skin, whitish-strawberry blonde hair, very light icy blue eyes, a wingspan of over 14 feet, and is blind. Although, Iggy is described as very handsome, especially because of his "unseeing, yet captivating, eyes". He is one of the only two Flock members to have met his parents, the other being Max. His real name is revealed to be James Griffiths. When he found his parents, he learned that he was kidnapped by the School when he was about 4 months old. At first, Iggy decides to leave the Flock to live with his parents, but later leaves when he learns that his parents didn't want to have him back and only wanted to use him to make money off his story. Due to the whitecoats' experiments to enhance his night vision, Iggy is effectively blind, though he can see if his surroundings are white and can identify people by feeling their fingerprints and the feel of their wings, he can also feel colors. Despite his blindness, the Flock often leave things up to him that require precision or detail, such as cooking and doctoring. His sense of hearing is also the best of the flock because of his blindness, although he always wants "the easy way out" of situations and hates his blindness. He and The Gasman are best friends and have a habit of building bombs out of almost anything and blowing stuff up, including alarm clocks.
Nudge is 11 years old (12 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore), has brown skin, and has wild, long, dark brown hair. She likes Max over Fang and can't live without her. Her wings are often said to be tawny-brown, almost cream. Her real name is revealed to be Monique and she managed to track down who she believes to be her mother because of the resemblance in skin tone, but never meets her because she is attacked by Ari. She is a "motormouth" as said by Max several times in the book. The Flock calls her the Nudge Channel because when she's awake it's "all Nudge, all the time." She likes fashion, especially about hair, clothes, and make-up. Nudge can hack into computers with her ability to sense leftover emotions, also called psychometry, and can also draw metal to her by will. In MAX, when Jeb offers the Flock to stay at a day and night school, Nudge wants to stay and get her wings cut off. Though she pushes through all of her problems, deep down she is just a young girl who was deprived of the attention that a normal child would receive. Nudge is described as Max's best supporter and the peacemaker.
The Gasman (or Gazzy) is 8 years old (9 in Fang, Angel, and Nevermore) with blonde hair, blue eyes, tan/light brown wings with a 10 foot wingspan. He is Angel's biological older brother, and they are the only "true" siblings of the Flock. He has a mischievous nature and makes fun of Max sometimes. He has digestive problems, leading to his nickname. He is an expert at constructing and setting off bombs and explosives, along with Iggy, his closest friend in the Flock. It is revealed that his parents sold both him and Angel to the School when they were very young. The Gasman's main ability is to perfectly mimic any voice. Max and Fang find a picture of baby Gazzy when they go check out what they think was Gazzy and Angel's old residence; the Flock sees the picture many times accidentally and sometimes purposefully throughout the series.
Angel is 6 years old (7 in Max, Fang, Angel, and Nevermore), with blue eyes and curly blonde hair. Angel is also the biological sister of The Gasman (Gazzy). Her wings are pure white and are 8 ft (9 ft in Fang) across. She obtains seemingly random powers at random times, such as the ability to breathe underwater and to talk to fish, but her main power, lasting throughout the series, is to read and control minds. In The Angel Experiment, she uses her powers to convince a woman to buy her an expensive teddy bear that she names Celeste. She acquires the ability to hold her breath underwater and swim in deep water at pressures that would crush a normal human, change her appearance into a 'bird of paradise' form and change her skin and eye color, although after the initial introduction to this power it is never mentioned again, except when she gets trapped under a snow pile in The Final Warning and tries to change form to escape; however, the attempt was unsuccessful. She is usually mistaken to be powerless and innocent, but she is truly extremely intelligent and dangerous. Her ability to control people's minds gives her extreme power. In Fang, Angel believes that she is the strongest of the Flock, and holds a vote, temporarily kicking Max out of the group. She also has a 'Voice' in her head, like Max, but this is not revealed to the reader until Fang, and the Flock doesn't know this. Angel is portrayed as calculating, ruthless, and unstable in Fang, and has pointed a gun at Max to make enemies back off. In Angel, she seems to have calmed some of the extreme changes of her personality that occurred in Fang, and helps Max to balance her feelings for Fang and Dylan. She appears to be content with her role and no longer bids for power, but advises Max, who is still suspicious of her. In the end, she volunteers to go undercover in a new evil organization (The Doomsday Group). She goes missing after she and Gazzy fail to defuse a bomb, and the others think she is dead. In fact, she is being held captive in an unknown location, and is continually told she is "most superior". In Nevermore, Angel is captured by the school again. After many tests, they show Angel a video. Angel starts to cry as she realizes the video is of Iggy. She watches people prod and cut open Iggy's eyes until a Whitecoat walks to her and tells her they will be performing the same operation on her. Angel loses her sight temporarily and nearly dies in a fire until Max and the Flock come to save her. When they escape to a 'tropical paradise', the world is being destroyed and she admits to Max she is the Voice, and she has been for years.
Dylan is an avian-human hybrid who joins the Flock in Fang. He is said to be Max's "perfect other half", causing Max to refer to him as "Mr. Perfect", although Max and Fang are quite in love when they meet. He is six foot two inches tall with a 15-foot wingspan (the color is never specified; however, Dylan's wings are often referred to as a dark brown), and is usually described as handsome, with dark-blond hair and turquoise eyes, and is said to have a beautiful singing voice. He is in love with Max, but he was programmed by the scientists to feel that way. Because of this, he and Fang almost never see eye-to-eye. He was also made in a lab, created from a clone of a boy who had died in a car accident in the country of Canada. He is 8 months old in Fang. He learns how to fly when Max teaches him by pushing him off a roof. His relationship with Max is complicated, but she does actually start to like him. In Fang he is portrayed as somewhat meek, but appears to grow a backbone, even arguing with Max in Angel. The most notable argument in Angel starts at the beginning of the book with Dylan and Max arguing about how miserable Max has been since Fang left her. Dylan can heal himself almost instantly by placing his own saliva on his wounds and putting pressure on it. In addition, he has extremely good vision and clairvoyance.
In Angel, Max finds a new appreciation for Dylan, and a romance is sparked, though Max is usually confused and therefore harsh. The first time Max allows Dylan to comfort her is in the desert where they embrace. Although she is confused, she allows him to get closer and closer to her.
Later, in the book Nevermore, Dylan is told by a 'Voice' that he must capture Max's heart with all his might, so he takes her to a treehouse he made himself and kisses her then. Later, Fang re-appears after his own clan had been destroyed and Max realizes her mistake, choosing to be with Fang instead of a clone with programmed feelings. Dylan goes on a rampage, destroying part of a town and even attempting to kill Fang. Dylan is nowhere to be seen, so Dr. Martinez seizes her chance and whisks the original flock to a tropical paradise. Dylan appears and states that he will be there for Max when the world ends so they would die together. Max is irked but doesn't respond to him. Since a meteor is coming to demolish some of the planet, Dylan goes to herd mutant hybrid kids into elaborate underground caves. In the end, Dylan helps pull Max from the water after the apocalypse.
Total is a black Scottie whom Angel saves from the Institute at the end of The Angel Experiment. He is described to have the characteristics of a Scottish terrier. When Total is rescued from the Institute, he is described as looking similar to Toto from The Wizard of Oz, which would make him a Cairn terrier. Total's character is not fully developed until School's Out Forever, when it is discovered that he has the ability to talk. He is often humorous and dramatic, exemplified when he gets shot in the tail and isn't hurt largely, but still exaggerates the injury. Despite his dramatic nature, he can be mature when he wants to be and will not tolerate getting treated like a normal dog. In the end of Fang, Total marries Akila, an Alaskan Malamute whom he met in Antarctica in Maximum Ride: The Final Warning. It is discovered Total thinks Tricia Helfer is hot in Angel when they are going to go to the ComicCon in San Diego. He is known to be a fan of culture, including theater and cuisine. He has the ability to jump to great heights, and eventually grows his own tiny wings. At first, he has trouble flying but soon gets the hang of it.
Akila is an 80-pound Alaskan Malamute with no special powers who meets Total in Antarctica in The Final Warning and becomes Total's wife in the end of Fang. She belongs to Dr. Papa, one of the scientists on the boat that the flock took to Antarctica.
Jeb Batchelder is a brilliant scientist. He used to work at the School where the Flock was experimented on, but felt compassion for them and later breaks them out of the School. He lives with the Flock deep in the mountains for two years, where he teaches them basic survival skills and how to fight so they can defend themselves. Jeb then disappears, leaving the Flock alone to fend for themselves. The Flock thinks Jeb is dead, but he reappears later in the first book. In The Angel Experiment, the flock discovers Jeb back at the School when they are recaptured. This initially leads the Flock to believe that he is a traitor, but he later comes back to the Flock and helps them on numerous occasions. Jeb is Ari's and Max's biological father. Max does not trust him after discovering his identity. Jeb is shot in the sixth book, but he is shown to be making a steady recovery. Though Jeb and Dr. Martinez are Max's biological parents, there is only a professional relationship between them. Max trusts Dr. Martinez, but is usually wary of Jeb. Jeb donated his chromosomes, which were matched with those of Dr. Martinez to create Max. In Angel, Jeb tells Max she needs to breed with Dylan after the world ends, and later goes missing with Max's mother. Once Max thought Jeb was the Voice in her head, but in The Final Warning, he reveals he "can do the voice, but isn't the voice", confusing Max. Jeb keeps telling her things are tests.
The Erasers, created by the School in Death Valley, are half-human, half-wolf hybrids that were bred by the School to be guards, but their larger mission later involves hunting down and even killing the members of the Flock. Their powers are superhuman strength, but they also eventually gain wings that are crudely grafted onto their shoulder blades. They have a life span of about 4 years to reach maturity and approximately a year or two to hunt the Flock. Jeb's son, Ari, who was turned into an Eraser at a very young age, is one of the last to die when Itex 'retires' all of the Erasers and replaces them with the Flyboys, robotic Erasers with synthetic skin attached to their robotic structure. The Erasers are originally killed off because they 'expire' very quickly, but they make a surprise appearance in Fang when they attack all of the flock but Max and Fang, who are not at the house with the others. It is believed that when Itex was disbanded, some scientists took Eraser DNA with them, creating these new Erasers, though they are never mentioned after the events of the surprise battle. They are always armed, but rarely use their weapons after The Angel Experiment and later novels in the series.
Ari is Jeb's son who was turned into an Eraser when Jeb was helping the Flock escape from the school. In The Angel Experiment, he was once killed by Max in the sewers of New York but gets revived in the second book. He thought his father Jeb Batchelder didn't care about him, which is part of the reason that he hated Max out of jealousy and chased and terrorized the Flock. However, it is later confirmed that Jeb does care about Ari, because in The Angel Experiment, after Max has fought with and killed Ari, Jeb cries for Ari and calls after Max, telling her that she has killed her own brother. He is Max's younger half-brother since they have the same father, Jeb. When Ari was only seven, the whitecoats used him as an experiment to see if Erasers would be stronger if they were mutated after birth. The wolf DNA turned Ari into a "super-eraser," although he is always partially morphed. Ari came back to life and was grafted with wings according to the book Saving The World And Other Extreme Sports In addition, Ari apparently loved and hated Max at the same time, according to Angel. In Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Max and Fang get into a fight because after Ari broke them out of the School, Max was convinced that he was no longer evil. The Flock splits up: Max, Nudge, Angel, Total, and Ari go to Europe, while Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy go to Hollywood. Max and the gang go to Itex, where there is a super-mutant named Omega. Ari tries to help Max fight him, but then his expiration date kicks in and he suddenly dies in Max's arms, only living till the age of seven. He returns in Nevermore as his father creates yet another clone of him. Several times he tries to kill Fang, but in the end he is killed.
Gunther-Hagen is one of the other scientists the Flock meets. Max is constantly making fun of his name, calling him things like Dr. G-H, Dr. Haagen-Dazs, Dr. God, etc. He created Dylan, wrote a book, and makes the shocking suggestion that Max and Dylan should come to live with him to Germany in order to "breed" (have children) or create the start of Max's "dynasty". He also has some special abilities such as instantly healing from illnesses and regenerating small extremities, such as fingers.
He was Dylan's caretaker until Dylan joined the Flock.
Dr. Valencia Martinez is a Hispanic veterinarian who helps Max when she (Max) is hurt in The Angel Experiment after helping Dr. Valencia's daughter, Ella, escape from bullies. Dr. Martinez is described as strong-willed woman who goes to great lengths to help Max. It is later revealed that it was she who donated the egg that created Max, making her Max's mother. She also has a pet dog named Magnolia.
Ella is Dr. Martinez's other child, making her Max's half-sister. Max met her in The Angel Experiment when she saved her from bullies. Ella got away but Max was shot and had to go to Ella's house to get help. Ella is proven trustworthy. By the end of Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure, she had become a lover to Iggy. They had started flirting in ANGEL, right before DoomsDay brainwashed Ella, and even got Iggy for a week or so.
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment received generally positive reviews. The School Library Journal called the book an "exciting SF thriller that's not wholly original but still a compelling read". Booklist described it as an "an action-packed cross between Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children and Marvel Comics' X-Men. John Ritchie of the ALAN Review wrote a negative review, saying that Patterson "slips in his attempt to write an action-adventure series for kids". He called the book "filled with every possible comic book/Saturday morning cartoon cliche" and described Patterson's writing style as "uneasy" and Max's dialogue as "horribly fake". In January 2010, the webcomic Penny Arcade poked fun at James Patterson based on the description found on the back of the first book.
The second book, Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever" was criticized for being "disappointingly anticlimactic and violent," although Total's character was praised for being "sure to entertain." Booklist delivered a positive review, praising Patterson's "ability to write page-turning action scenes" and noting that he "leaven[ed] the suspense with some surprising humor." It also mentioned that fans of the first book would be "delighted" with the sequel. Erin Collazo Miller from About.com praised the "fast-paced" novel, "fun characters," and "interesting premise," but criticized the characters and plot lines for "lack of depth and development." The review said that "[a]fter 400+ pages, readers may wish they were a little farther into the plot and that more of their questions had been answered."
Illustrated by NaRae Lee and released by Yen Press, the first chapter of the original English-language manga adaptation came out in July 2008 in the magazine Yen Plus. A free 22-page preview was released on Free Comic Book Day (May 3, 2008). The first volume of the series was released on January 27, 2009, the second volume was released on October 27, 2009, the third volume was released on August 17, 2010, the fourth volume was released in April 2011, the fifth volume was released in December 2011, the sixth volume was released in December 11, 2012, and the seventh volume was released on October 29th, 2013, with three more volumes expected to be published.
In September 2007, it was announced that a film would be created based on the Maximum Ride series. James Patterson will be the executive producer. Avi Arad, who has worked on films such as Spider-Man and X-Men, will also produce alongside Steven Paul. In an interview with James Patterson, it was revealed that Arad has already planned out the first two movies. On August 7, 2008, it was announced that Columbia Pictures bought the screen rights to the franchise. The film was slated for a 2010 release. Catherine Hardwicke was said to direct, but dropped out. Don Payne is writing the script. In January 2010 it was announced that the film would go into pre-production. Hardwicke asked for a script rewrite to include more action in the film and hired Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby for the job, which subsequently delayed its estimated release to 2013. In February 2011, the Maximum Ride Facebook page posted that "The Maximum Ride Movie is Coming – In 3D!" and asked its Facebook fans who they would like to play Max in the movie.
In a recent interview with USAToday, Patterson revealed he is hopeful for a film adaptation. Patterson took note of fan-made audition videos from User Based Casting, a fan-driven casting initiative for the upcoming Maximum Ride film adaptation, among others in his USAToday interview, commenting that "there's something like 9,000 Maximum Ride videos on YouTube, and some of them are stunning. I also think we're closer to the movie than we've been. I never know for sure in Hollywood, but it's definitely warm now."
The film ran into trouble in early 2012, when Catherine Hardwicke quit as the film director. When asked about the odds of a movie still being made, Patterson claimed he was "...very hopeful as opposed to mildly depressed". Trouble continued with the death of screenplay writer Don Payne on March 27, 2013.
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