Maximum Ride 2: School's Out -- Forever Book Poster Image

Maximum Ride 2: School's Out -- Forever



Adventure continues with same lack of plot.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main characters lie and steal to survive.


Lots, some fairly grisly. Injuries, deaths.


A few kisses.

Not applicable

Brands of kitchen appliances, home electronics, video game consoles, snack foods, cars, and rides at Disney World.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is a lot of violence here; some of it quite brutal, including serious injuries. Also, the marketing for this book is pretty intense, including Blogspot and MySpace pages, and a count-the-clicks effort to get kids to vote for a Maximum Ride movie.

What's the story?

Avian-human hybrid Max and her similarly genetically enhanced Flock are on the run from the evil scientists and their nasty minions, the wolf-human hybrids called Erasers. Including Ari. Yes, he was killed in the last book, but now he's back, with no real explanation, and meaner than ever (daddy issues), now that he and the other Erasers have had wings grafted on their backs. You'd think this would make them more dangerous, but it actually seems to have made them more clumsy.

Max and the Flock engage in plenty of fighting, chases, and escape plans while Ari and the evil scientists do their scheming. Apparently there's a plot to kill off half the people in the world, method unspecified, reasons rather vague. (You know, that's what evil scientists do.)

Meanwhile the Flock get taken in by an apparently nice woman ... until it turns out that she's evil too. And they get to go to a normal school for a while ... until it turns out that the school is evil too. And Iggy finds his parents ... until (wait for it) it turns out they're evil too. Well, not evil -- just bad. And so on.

Is it any good?


If your kids liked the first Maximum Ride, then they'll like this one too. How can we be so sure? Because it's exactly the same. This series has been compared to a thrill ride, a roller coaster. As with a roller coaster, the reader gets lots of thrills, excitement, scares, tension, and fun -- but it's all artificial, meaningless, and you end up right back where you started, with nothing accomplished. It's an empty thrill.

By the end of the book, the main characters have been attacked, injured, healed, are captured, escape, captured, escape, etc. But they've gotten nowhere. This appears to be a trilogy with no actual narrative arc. Exciting stuff happens, for no discernible reason, and what little actual story there is makes no sense at all. It's a mere contrivance, the struts that hold up the ride -- you're not supposed to pay attention to them. You're just supposed to surrender to the ride. There's something horribly cynical about all this. It's harmless fun, one supposes, but it is possible to write a fun story and still respect the intelligence of your audience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this book's lack of plot. What makes this book fun to read, despite the fact that there's little plot? How does it compare with other exciting action/adventure books you've read?

Book details

Author:James Patterson
Genre:Science Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:May 1, 2006
Number of pages:409

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Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bylititzmom May 1, 2011
Okay, I have one main reason to like this book (and this series): My 3rd grader loves it! He's a great reader (advanced level) BUT a very picky reader. So he's devoured many series: Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson, Warriors, Paolini's trilogy, etc., BUT he's so annoyingly hard to please and it'll take lots of trial and error to get him into new books.series. He likes action, handles some violence okay, but doesn't want romance or anything "real" scary (i.e., ghosts, aliens, things that he might think true and will loose sleep over at night). For adolescent boys, this series seems to offer all that they want and none of what they don't. And it's made my son happy to loose himself in books again. I know he'll be exposed to great literature in the classroom; for at home reading, this series fills a huge void.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byKatherineDianeHord July 24, 2011


This was a great book. Definately up to my standards!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byAlienLifeform August 1, 2013

Still The Best

This book was just as good as the first, The Angel Experiment. I read the whole thing in two days. This instalment of the series shows the flock living with an FBI agent Anne in her house and going to the local school. The only thing different about this that I would think you may want to think about is a kissing scene between Fang and a red haired girl named Lissa at school because though it does not go into much detail they are only fourteen at the time. However it had no effect on me reading it at twelve nor my friend that read it at eleven. Again the narrator Max proves to be a positive role model as she sacrifices herself for her flock and makes decisions based on their wellbeing. I recommend this book to anyone twelve and older as long as you won't be too affected by a bit of violence.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence


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