To the ReaderEdit
THE IDEA FOR the Maximum Ride series comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, which also feature a character named Max who escapes from a quite despicable School. Most of the similarities end there. Max and the other kids in the Maximum Ride books are not the same Max and kids featured in those two books. Nor do Frannie and Kit play any part in the series. I hope you enjoy the ride anyway.
When the Wind BlowsEdit
Frannie O'Neill is a young and talented veterinarian living in Colorado. Plagued by the mysterious murder of her husband, David, a local doctor, Frannie throws herself into her work. It is not long before another bizarre murder occurs and Kit Harrison, a troubled and unconventional FBI agent, arrives on her doorstep.
Late one night, near the woods of her animal hospital, Frannie stumbles upon a strange, astonishing phenomenon that will change the course of her life forever....
Her name is Max.
With breathtaking energy, eleven-year-old Max leads Frannie and Kit to uncover one of the most diabolical and inhuman plots of modern science. When the Wind Blows is as unique a story as has ever been told, filled with suspense and passion. This is by far James Patterson's best book to date.
The Lake HouseEdit
The memorable story begun in When the Wind Blows continues in this thrilling new novel, and it's one that really soars! Frannie O'Neil, a Colorado veterinarian, knows a terrible secret that will change the history of the world. Kit Harrison, an FBI agent under suspension has seen things that no one in his right mind would believe. A twelve-year-old girl named Max and five other incredible children have powers we can only dream of. These children can fly. And the only place they will be safe is the Lake House. Or so they believe...
- “Max,” or Maximum. Her subject name is Tinkerbell. She’s 11 years old, with long blond hair and green eyes, stands four feet nine inches tall, and has a nine-foot wingspan. Her hawklike wings are white, with silver and blue markings. She has an IQ of 149. She escaped from the School through an open door and went on the run until she was found by Frannie. She displays a liking for chocolate chip cookies and acts as a mom to the rest of the flock. In the sequel, while trying to adjust to life with her parents Art and Terry Marshall, she turns twelve years old. At school, while harassed herself, she constantly saves Matthew from bullies. When hitmen from the Hospital attack her new home, she bands together with the rest of the flock and searches for Kit and Frannie. She and Oz fall in love and at the end of the book, she becomes a mother to twins named Ozymandias Jr. and Frances Jane.
- Matthew: Max’s loving and protective nine-year-old brother, codenamed Peter Pan. His wings are off-white with silver and navy blue markings. In the sequel, he has problems with bullies, as he refuses to fight back. Max saves him, and he becomes more of a fighter.
- “Oz,” or Ozymandias: the next-oldest after Max. He has brown hair and brown or green eyes, dark brown wings, and a scar across his right eyebrow. Although in the first book he is said to look about seven, in the second book he is said to be not much younger than Max, and is revealed to have feelings for her. He regularly tattoos himself. He is killed by Hitmen working for the Hospital, and Max avenges him. His biological parents are Anthea and Mike Taranto; his father died of cancer before they could meet. Anthea is a little too fond of attention, and hires Oz a Hollywood agent and an entertainment lawyer.
- “Ic,” or Icarus: a blind member of the flock with long ash-blond hair. The rest of the flock helps him to fly by communicating via chirps and whistles. He can be goofy and sarcastic, and a brief mention is made of his flatulence. He has a talent for languages, singing, mimicking, and piano. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stern, have him appear on the show Touched by an Angel.
- Peter and Wendy: four-year-old twins of Chinese descent, with bowl haircuts, both geniuses. They seem to be very close. Wendy’s favorite toy is a Garfield the Cat doll. After they start living with their biological parents, Joe and Anne Chen, they begin appearing in advertisements for Wingdingers cereal, and they hate it.
- Frannie O’Neill: a veterinarian who helps rescue the children from the School and falls in love with Kit. Her husband, Dr. David Mekin, was associated with the School but found out too much and was murdered three years before the story begins. Her small animal hospital, the Inn-Patient, is located in the tiny town of Bear Bluff, Colorado. In the sequel, she enters a custody battle for the flock and eventually wins.
- Kit Harrison: an FBI agent who works with Frannie and becomes a father figure to the flock. His wife and children are deceased. He has a reputation for believing conspiracy theories.
- Adam: a blue-eyed, blond child, age four, who was also experimented on by the School; a genius with a life expectancy of 200 years. He was the same age as Peter and Wendy and was their best friend. The flock believed that he and his sister Eve were “put to sleep,” but in reality they were adopted by Frannie’s friends Carl and Gillian Puris – actually School scientists Dr. Anthony Peyser and Dr. Susan Parkhill. Frannie knew Adam by the name Michael. When the flock is being held captive in Gillian’s house, he helps Kit and Frannie escape to find them. He and his parents die in a car crash when they attempt to escape.
- Eve: Adam’s sister, who was also supposed to have been put to sleep. Although her parents and brother died, she survived and was taken to a top secret army base in North Carolina.
- Dr. Anthony Peyser: Creator of the School. In order to kidnap children to use as test subjects, he works at an in-vitro clinic where he tells mothers that their newborns are dead.
- Dr. Ethan Kane: affable villain of The Lake House, who runs an organization known as the Hospital.
- There is a group of six avian-human hybrid children, referred to as the Flock, created and experimented on at a facility referred to as "the School." The oldest and the leader is a girl named Max, short for Maximum, and they are aided by a kindly veterinarian.
- Max is the only character to have the same name and personality in both series, but other characters are similar. Like Fang, Oz falls in love with Max and eventually has children with her. Like Iggy, Icarus or "Ic" is blind due to experiments meant to give him night vision.
- In Maximum Ride, the kids range from 6 to 14, while in the original series they range from 4 to 12.
- The kids' wings are mostly white and blue, while in the Maximum Ride series they vary in color.
- In the Maximum Ride series, human-avian hybrids have air sacs in addition to lungs, as well as fast heartbeats, altered stomachs, bones, and nuclei in their blood. They have advanced senses and don't weigh much. However, aside from their wings, which are easily hidden, they look identical to humans. The Flock in the original novels have all of these characteristics but are more birdlike. They have broad shoulders anda deep ribcage to aid in flying, with pectoral muscles attaching to an oversized breastbone called the pectoral crest. They are very flexible, and have hollow bones and slightly webbed fingers and toes that act like rudders during flight. They also have feathers along the backs of their disproportionately long legs. Their wings are attached to their arms. They mature faster than humans and are oviparous, meaning that their children hatch from eggs.
- In the Maximum Ride series, the Flock members have various superpowers such as telepathy.
- In Maximum Ride, the avian-human hybrids are one of many successful experiments and hybrids. In When the Wind Blows, they are the only ones of their kind.