My love affair with Maximum Ride goes way back, a decade to be exact. My grandparents bought me the first book, The Angel Experiment when I was 12 and my gut reaction was to roll my eyes and fake a smile with a polite “thank-you” because I knew I was going to absolutely hate it.
Fortunately, I was wrong. I completely credit Maximum Ride for dragging me into a world outside of realistic fiction (I religiously read almost every single Babysitter’s Club book for the better part of two years).
It also peaked my interest to develop my own writing. I finished the first book in two days and I was so shocked that this author had gotten me to read something completely out of my comfort zone that I had to figure out how to do that too.
It’s been barely over a year since the Maximum Ride series officially ended (after a surprise book to end the series!) so I figured it was about time to pour my heart and soul out into this blog.
My appreciation for Maximum Ride has not died down, but it’s definitely changed. I graduated college with an English degree with a concentration in writing that required me to take extensive classes studying literature and how to create it. Rereading the series is sometimes frustrating for me now because I find all the places where a plot point was overlooked or where language could’ve been better or characters could’ve been better developed. All three of these things is definitely true in Maximum Ride Forever.
However, I will never forget the feeling of reading a book you didn’t expect to like and completely falling in love with it, and because of that feeling I have a different appreciation for the series. I already spent most of my spare time reading when I was handed Maximum Ride, so I can only image the type of people who also fell in love with reading after finishing the book.
I wrote a brief spoiler-free review on Instagram if you’d prefer to read that if you haven’t read the book yet. Most of this post will be spoiler free anyway.
I will say I was so satisfied after reading it. I felt like it was the ending the fandom deserved and the one I needed. I actually didn’t think Nevermore was entirely that bad, but I did feel that the ending was rushed and did a better job of sending us off with more questions rather than answering previous ones. Maximum Ride Forever successfully answers those questions and doesn’t give us too many new ones.
If you are an avid fan of Maximum Ride (or was in the past) I would highly recommend reading this new one. It’s different from the other eight books, so don’t go into it expecting the same type of events or action, but it still has a similar style to the others.
I starting reading this series when I was 12 and sometimes it felt like I was too old to be reading some of the last books in the series. With Maximum Ride Forever it felt like the writing targeted an older YA audience, which was nice because we’ve all aged since the last few Maximum Ride books were published.
One of the reasons Maximum Ride Forever felt like it was written for older teenagers was because Max was different from the Max we knew. I don’t think this is a bad difference, I think it’s a necessary difference. The Max in this book is hardened; she’s probably dealing with PTSD after seeing the entire world essentially go up in flames around her, and she spends the majority of the book blaming herself for the loss of civilizations.
It was nice to see Max take on a maturer persona and to see how she has aged physically and emotionally since the beginning of the series. (Max had a lot of character growth in this book and I absolutely loved that.)
I feel like James Patterson took a lot of risks in this book that he might have felt couldn’t have happened in the earlier books. I think shock was my most prevalent emotion while reading this book; I found myself repeating “that didn’t just happen, this can’t be happening, I can’t believe that just happened, no no no no no no” over and over throughout the entire novel. I think until I got to the last 40 pages or so I was in denial throughout the entire thing.
It felt like I was on a violent see-saw throughout the entire book. Sometimes my state of shock left me utterly emotionless and the denial overshadowed the need to laugh or cry, but other times I had drastically visceral reactions where I actually closed the book and needed a break before I could continue reading (I can recount those specific scenes below). After reading it, I think that’s okay and necessary.
This is a different world and different things needed to happen and those different reactions were completely legitimate.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading the final book in the series I invested almost my whole life in. If you haven’t read it yet, it might be good to pick it up back up again; it was a dangerously fast read.
In fact, I think I’m over do for a re-reading.
I know it’s not fresh in everyone’s minds anymore, but what did you think about the final book or the series as a whole?