Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson, tells the story of a group of genetically altered kids on a mission to save the world. This concept probably sounds similar to things you’ve read before.

But what makes this book (and the series) different is that Max and her ‘family’s’ DNA was spliced with bird DNA, giving them bird bones, a fast metabolism, and wings. In addition, extra ‘talents’ show up every so often, just to keep things interesting and add a bit of aid to the Bird Kids when things get tough.

I’m not going to lie. It took me a while to get into this book. I started reading it about this time last year but kept putting it down. Once I got past the first couple of chapters, I found myself wanting to know what was going on behind the scenes, how the mystery would play out. And I wasn’t all-together disappointed.

Where I was disappointed was in the main character, Max. She seemed to fit too neatly into the hardcore heroine mold that, in my opinion anyway, has been a bit overdone. Whereas Katniss in The Hunger Games managed to merge her hard edge with a realistic vulnerability, Max’s vulnerabilities felt a bit forced; she lacked the honesty found in some of the more memorable characters I’ve encountered in my reading life.

Another problem I had with the book was that sometimes the action became a bit confusing and, at times, forced. I don’t want to go into specifics and give away important scenes, but, like with Max’s character, the writing was not as honest as I would have liked.

All that being said, I read the second and third books in the series and, while I did not find that my general issues with the writing and character development improved with the series, I still found the books to be an entertaining read. If you are in need of airplane or beach reading, give this book (and the series) a try. If you want to recapture the feeling you got reading The Hunger Games, you may want to try something else.