The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Admittedly, I am a bit behind in getting into these books as the first one, The Angel Experiment, came out in 04. However, I just finished the audio book version and although it took me a good two discs to really get into it, I am now officially hooked. And it's not so much on the story, although I'm dying to find out exactly WHY the scientists at "The School" did all these experiments on kids and animals, I'm really most drawn to the characters themselves.

The story is about a group of mutant kids who have been rescued from a lab where their DNA was grafted with the DNA of birds, creating winged children. Oh, and they each have unique superpowers. The scientist who rescued them, and who has been a father figure ever since, has disappeared and soon, the Erasers -- the evil werewolf-meet-young-Nazis trackers -- will find their hide out. When the youngest of the group, six-year-old Angel, is kidnapped by the Erasers, the leader of the "Flock", Max, knows they have to get her back. Even if that means going back to the source of all their nightmares, The School.

Max is a strong, female character with a special purpose which will be revealed, but without clarity. She is in charge of the flock, who have all been trained in martial arts and can fight off even the strongest of adults. Rounding out the flock are pre-teeny bopper wanna be Nudge, the eldest boy Fang, Angel's brother Gazzy and the blind Iggy. This group makes up an odd family, but they show a love and loyalty that inspires. 

The story gets fairly violent at times, but I would say it would be appropriate for kids 10 and up. Patterson lists it for 8 and up on his website ReadKiddoRead as he does Daniel X, but to me, I think 8 is a bit young.

I am a fan of Patterson (read my review of The Dark Days of Daniel X) so I had high expectations. As I said, I was surprised not to be sucked in more quickly, but stuck with it and was not disappointed and look forward to the rest of the series. For this particular book: 3 1/2 bookmarks and a good recommendation. 

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