"Angel( Maximum Ride Novel)" by James Patterson

I don't even know how to begin reviewing Angel. I've both started and stopped writing this entry more times than I can say. How do you review something so reliant on other books in a series without spoiling the tale for new readers? You can't. Angel very much picks up where the last book left off and sets up the big showdown for the final book in the series. Because of this, there's no resolution, only more questions. This book is very much a bridge to the end of the series, a build-up to the volume that will hopefully rock our worlds.

I really want to read the final book and see how everything comes together. The cliffhanger doesn't make me crazy the way the one in Fang did, which is good for my sanity. It ends with just enough bite to make you want to read more, though. There are answers I need to know. There are situations that will ruin the whole series for me if they occur in the final book, and others that will make me love it forever. I have so many suspicions that go in a web of different directions. Angel didn't alleviate one of them.

For those of you coming to the series for the first time, Maximum Ride follows a teenage girl named Maximum Ride (Max for short) and her flock of bird-kids. They were all experimented on by scientists. As embryos, they were injected with bird DNA. They're 98% human and 2% bird. They have bird bones, wings, etc. I think the series was originally meant to be a trilogy, since the first three books fit so tightly together. The fourth one doesn't really meld with any of the other books, but the fifth title picks up speed again. Maximum Ride must come to terms with her destiny: Somehow, she's supposed to save the world.

It took me a long time to pick up the series and start reading it. I didn't start until right around when book five, Max, launched in 2009. Once I began reading, I couldn't stop. I was able to get the first four books from the library, but Max was still too new to check out. But I had to read it right away! At first, it was hard getting into the series. I had never read anything by James Patterson before and didn't like the way most chapters ranged from one to three pages and had a lot of abrupt sentences. I had also vowed not to read his books at one point due to his ghostwriting tendencies. This series, however, only sports Patterson's name on the cover--no one else's. This is his series. For that alone, it deserves to be read. While I still dislike the framework of the novel, I can see how the writing methods will appeal to reluctant readers and get them reading in addition to us bookworms. Plus, once I find myself caught up in the story, the particulars just don't matter as much and are easy to overlook.

I sort of wish the publisher had gone with its original cover design for this book:

It has Max AND Angel on the cover. Angel looks adorable, especially with all those curls, and Max looks like a superhero, a girl who will do anything to protect her flock. The new cover is dark and emo. Plus, who is that guy in the bottom right-hand corner? It's up to us to decide if it's Fang or Dylan...and let's not get me started on the trainwreck that is Patterson's decision to create a love triangle SIX BOOKS into the series and then focus on it in this one. *deep breath* But enough, I promised no spoilers. I have high hopes you'll do the right thing in Book Eight, Mr. Patterson!

Is it February 2012 yet? I really need to know how this series ends!