It’s 24 hours since Max Ride and her fellow bird-kids escaped the New York Institute, and they’re still on the run. But the six companions — 98% human, 2% bird — came away with some vital information. If they can decode the garbled words and numbers, perhaps they’ll find out where their parents are. There’s a lot of trouble ahead for Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel — not to mention Total, the talking dog.
Their enemies, the fearsome Erasers, have acquired a new skill — they too can now fly. After an air-battle, the badly hurt Fang ends up in hospital. There the FBI track down the flock, who have even ended up going to school! But that doesn’t quite fit in with searching for parents, or with what the insistent Voice in Max’s head keeps reminding her – that her mission is ‘to save the world’.
Part two, of Patterson’s young adult series, Maximum Ride, is just that, ‘part two’.� Just like the first book, it is part of a much longer story arc, (book 3 is already out and book 4 is out in the next few weeks) Max and the flock, start the story still on the run from ‘The School’ and the Erasers.
During a battle with the Erasers (who have acquired a new skill, the ability to fly!) Fang is badly hurt and the flock are forced to reveal themselves and their existence, to get him some lifesaving treatment.
Much of the story, it set in the weeks following this incident, taken in by Anne, who purports to be from the FBI, and looking to keep them from harm, they find themselves relatively settled and for the younger members of the flock, happy. Living the nearest to a normal life they have experienced in their lives, the even get to attend schools and meet kids of their own age, while all the way, trying to find out more about their parents and what the were created for.
Max, never quite settles down, and can’t bring herself to trust Anne fully, but puts it down to losing her status as flock ‘Mom’, and it is here I have my main gripe about this book, we never get any feelings about whether to trust Anne or not (and I won’t say here whether or not we should) and I know this is partly down to the story being from Max’s point of view if she doesn’t know, we don’t, but there are so few clues or red herrings, so we don’t really have the fun of trying to guess.
Yes, Max, is mistrustful, but so she should be, after all that has happened to them. Anne, however kindly she appears to be, is an outsider and has to earn or lose that trust. In the end I didn’t care either way as long as the flock were okay, and that’s a shame, it’d have been nice to either root for Anne or despise her. We may get to do one or the other in the future though, as one thing is certain at the end, Anne still has a big part to play in the flock’s future.
The motivations of Ari (chief Eraser) and Jeb their former trusted adult/parent figure continue to shift, change and reveal themselves. We no longer hate Ari, who is obviously as bigger victim of Jeb’s machinations as Max and the gang, but what exactly are those machinations? Where are they leading? Whose side is he really on?
We, don’t really get to find out, in this book, but it is clear, their is something much bigger going on, than he is letting either side know about.
In all it’s another great page-turning story, just don’t expect any resolution at the end. Stand alone books these are not!
On to book 3!