Maximum Ride Volume 1

Maximum Ride Volume 1
Maximum Ride Volume 1. © James Patterson, NaRae Lee

The Bottom Line

Maximum Ride is a pretty teen who must deal with bigger problems than prom dates and exams: She has wings and the scientists who created her are out to get her flock of flying friends.

Maximum Ride is not the first manga / Young Adult-lit crossover comic, but it succeeds in far exceeding the relatively low expectations set by prior ventures into this genre. The editorial matchmakers at Yen Press have put together a mix of action-packed, Western-style storytelling with some dynamic manhwa artwork.

The result is a true hybrid that will please Patterson's fans, and entertain teen manga readers looking for a new thrill.

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  • A faithful retelling of the Maximum Ride young adult novels, with lots of action and drama
  • Appealing, dynamic artwork that shows more polish and flair than most novel-manga adaptations
  • Clear and compelling storytelling that doesn't require prior reading of Patterson's novels
  • A teen-centric adventure that offers some compelling cliffhangers and high-stakes suspense


  • Introduces readers to a lot of characters at a fairly fast pace, which is a little tricky to digest
  • Some of the laboratory scenes are horrific enough to make this inappropriate for younger readers
  • The mechanics of how Max & crew's wings pop out and fold back into their clothes doesn't make sense
  • Really? The heroine's name is "Maximum Ride?" Uh, yeah. Whatever.


  • Creators:
    Author: James Patterson
    Artist: NaRae Lee
  • Book Description: 256 pages, black and white illustrations, 8 color pages

Guide Review - Maximum Ride Volume 1

American publishers have figured out that manga and young adult novels have one thing in common: teen readers. From this insight comes Maximum Ride, a collaboration between bestselling American author James Patterson and Korean manhwa newcomer NaRae Lee.

I've never read the Maximum Ride novels, but Patterson and Lee have set things up so new readers get plunged right into the action. From the first pages, Patterson and Lee establish the tone of the story to come: A girl runs from a group of muscle-bound wolf-men. She escapes by unfolding her wings and flying away from their reach. Readers then get introduced to this girl (with the wildly improbable name of 'Maximum Ride') and her surrogate family of winged kids, who are hiding out from the scientists who created them.

On the upside, Maximum Ride lives up to its name by delivering fast-paced action and adventure. On the downside, Patterson introduces a lot of characters and Lee draws them with relatively similar faces, so it takes a little extra effort to sort out who's who and what's what.

But that's not to say that Lee has done a bad job here -- far from it.

Her artwork and storytelling are clear, compelling and appealing. There's a nice mix of humor, dynamic action and good-looking characters that makes Maximum Ride a fun read for both male and female readers. It's so polished, it's hard to believe that Lee is just a college student and that this is her first published graphic novel.

Meanwhile, Patterson has drawn upon his vast experience as a suspense novel author, as he delivers some chewy plot twists topped off with a cliché-ridden 'teens save the world' theme. It's not wildly original nor is it highbrow lit, but Maximum Ride is a crowd-pleasing story that will satisfy readers of prose novels and graphic novels, and really, that's all it ever set out to do.

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Your Citation
Aoki, Deb. "Maximum Ride Volume 1." ThoughtCo, May. 31, 2016, Aoki, Deb. (2016, May 31). Maximum Ride Volume 1. Retrieved from Aoki, Deb. "Maximum Ride Volume 1." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 24, 2017).