If you’ve ever read a previous Maximum Ride, Angel is much the same. To summarise what happens: bird kids are safe, bird kids get involved in dangerous stuff, bird kids try and figure out what is happening, bird kids save someone, a bird kid nearly dies, bird kids are safe again.
You’d think that James Patterson would have learned something from the obscene amounts of fan criticism his Maximum Ride series has garnered, not least because most denounce over half the series as being disappointing and, quite frankly, ruining a series that could have been so much more.
But he doesn’t- or at least he doesn’t seem to be listening, and instead we’re given book after book, year after year, in a spiral of regression in quality. If only Patterson spent time crafting his novels, rather than being the factory-like author he is, churning several books out every year.
And yet, he still sells. I doubt because of the stories or the plots; the more likely option is fans hoping for improvement, a hope that were Patterson any other author, would have been extinguished years and books ago.
The most disappointing thing about Maximum Ride is the fact that this could have been such a great series: it had a great concept at its core, streetwise characters that were funny and punchy action. Sadly, that was not to be: while fans claim that the first three novels are the best (they are), the series could have been a lot better than even the first three.
The problem lies with the lack of direction. Every review I write for Maximum Ride I mention this: there is no goal in the novel, there is no sense that Patterson knows what he is doing; he just seems to be writing wherever his mind takes him and it shows. Every book of the seven so far seems to involve the same basic plot devices- the hard facts are that this series is incredibly repetitive. And this is its downbringing.
I have not gone into specific detail in this installment because I do not need to. Maximum Ride: Angel is simply a rehash of every book in the series that has gone before it. I do not want to make the same mistake Patterson made: to repeat myself with every novel.
I used to be a fan of the series. I used to enjoy the action packed adventures of Max and Co. Now I just read them with pity, hoping that Patterson will finish a series that should have been finished about 4 books ago. The only good news that comes from this review is that the last few pages of Maximum Ride: Angel is that it advertises the fact that the last, in this flawed series, will come in a year’s time.