Angel  - James Patterson Okay, I have officially been putting off this review for more than a week. This always seems to happen to me after I read a Maximum Ride book ... and that's because, writing reviews for them is so dang exhausting. There's so many things wrong with them, I just can't ... even ... GAH! As you can see, I am already speechless with horror. The fact that these books are popular/best-selling is ten times as mind-blowing as the fact that they were published in the first place––which just makes me sad. I try to avoid totally bashing books and all, but sometimes a book deserves a bashing. And Maximum Ride is one of those books that deserves A WHOOPING.Now, I'm guaranteed to get a few whining comments saying, "SO LYK IF U DON'T LIKE THEESE BOOKS Y DO U KEEP REEDING THEM?!" And the truth is, I DON'T KNOW. The next time someone sees me reading one of these books, please tear it out of my hands and hit me over the head with it and scream, "Bad Brigid!!! You will regret losing those brain cells someday!" Except, I don't know, it's just so much fun. It's like watching a train wreck. It's so terrible, yet I can't bear to look away. I find myself watching and watching and seeing just how much more horrible it can get.Also, I did genuinely like the first couple of books. In the original book, I was in love with the plot/characters. No, it was never the most unique story known to mankind. MUTANTS. EVIL SCIENTISTS. Okay, we've seen it all before. But at least The Flock made it very enjoyable. At one point, they were all likable characters. I feared for their lives, and I really cared what happened to them. But gradually ... that all vanished. They've all become quite annoying and unrealistic, and frankly I no longer care how their story ends. I suppose it's partly due to the fact that I was 13 when I started reading them and I'm 18 now; needless to say, I've matured since the series first appeared on the face of the earth. Then again, a good book is a good book, no matter how old you are. And from what I remember of the first book, it wasn't ground-breaking but at least it was gripping––while the last four books have been pretty dreadful. What was once my favorite series is now one of my all-time least favorites.(So now I've spent three paragraphs ranting and I've barely scraped the surface of this review. *long sigh* I knew this would happen! Why me? Why why why? I actually reserved my entire free block to write this ... I'm sitting in my school cafeteria with my laptop right now and I only have 15 minutes before I have to hop on the bus and go home. AAHHHH!!!! Well anyway, this is pretty much irrelevant. Moving on.)*Ah hem* So without further ado, I bring you my review of ANGEL, the seventh Maximum Ride book. As always, I will try to hide as many spoilers as possible, but I'm pretty careless about dropping them so ... if you haven't read it yet and you REALLY CARE that much, then I wouldn't recommend reading this until after you've finished the book. Okay? Okay!Aaaaahhhh. Where to begin, where to begin?Well, after finishing the last book I said to myself, "Lemme guess. The next book is going to be called ANGEL"––because, well, it made sense considering the last two books were called MAX and FANG and I doubted anyone would want to read a book called, you know, NUDGE or GASMAN. So, ANGEL seemed to make the most sense. (Of course, as I noted in my review for FANG, I wouldn't have been surprised if this book was called TOMATO based on the inconsistency of the titles.) Well, anyway, I WAS RIGHT. HAHA.You can pretty much tell just by looking at the cover of ANGEL, that it's a train wreck waiting to happen. It has strayed from the kickass/violent/sci-fi aspect and is now obviously trying to aim itself toward the paranormal-romance lovers––hence the sexy-looking girl on the cover (who I pray to God is supposed to be Max and not Angel) and the mysterious winged hottie lurking in the background (not sure if it's supposed to be Fang or Dylan ... but then again, I don't really care). And how convenient that one of the main characters is named Angel and angel-human romances have been a recent fad. So by calling the book ANGEL and making the cover ... uh, what it is ... you made the book look marketable to all the brainwashed teens out there. Hooraaayyyy!Moving beyond the cover ... The seventh Maximum Ride installment finds the Flock doing ... well, not really anything.Fang has supposedly ditched Max and sworn never to look at her again for the next two decades. For what reason? Because he's JEALOUS. Yeah, he's known Max his entire life, and has supposedly been in love with her for a good deal of that time ... then this other dopey hot guy shows up and in a flash Fang is gone. Like … really? REALLY?! Sure, Max shows some interest in Dylan, but not so much that I see him being any threat to Fang. Obviously Fax is going to happen, since it's been developing for the past seven books whereas Dylan has only just shown up in the sixth book ... and is the most pointless character ever. It wouldn't make any sense! And if Max and Dylan end up together, I know I'm not going to be the only one who is majorly pissed off. (Oops, that took me my entire free block ... and then I left this review alone for almost three weeks. That's how frustrated I am. Anyway. CONTINUING NOW.)So, you get the idea. Max and Fang have split up (so not repetitive of the third book at all). Max and the remainders of the Flock (plus Dylan) are supposedly going to go off and find/help other mutants. Fang goes off and collects a team of a few other mutants to form his own little mini-army.Then there's some evil organization trying to brainwash the world ... being like "Humans should be happy that they're going to die! And mutants will take over! Hooray! KILL ALL THE HUMANS!" ... Which, you know, is totally original and stuff. Well, that's the plot in a nutshell. I can't go into much more detail than that, since of course, it's all over the place as usual. Really, the only thing these books have going for them is that they're addicting––in the train wreck way, as I mentioned before. I only keep reading them because I'm curious to find out what happens, and to watch them get crazier. So if, in that case, you don't think this review is legitimate––then feel free to ignore it.So now, to rant. (Oh my God, I've barely even started yet. This may be my longest review ever. ASDFGHJKL.) I don't know how else to go about doing this in a logical manner, so ... MY ISSUES WITH THIS BOOK: - I'm still lost as to what the conflict is, exactly. Since the 4th or 5th book (don't remember which one) they've been claiming there's going to be some apocalypse, but there's no explanation as to why it's going to happen. All we keep hearing is "All the humans are going to die, and the mutants will be the only ones to survive, and they'll have to take over. Etc." Okay, so this totally contradicts the first few books. It used to be "SAVE THE WORLD, MAX!" And now it's "EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE EXCEPT FOR YOU, MAX!" So, did the whole "save the world" thing only apply to stopping Itex? But they kept telling Max she was made to save the world ... And if that's the case, why are they now telling her that she CAN'T save the world? And how do they know this apocalypse is happening? And HOW is it going to happen? There's no explanation at all!- The whole love triangle ... square ... whatever geometrical shape it is ... Anyway. It's totally unnecessary. It's totally just being used as a marketing tool, rather than something to contribute to the plot. Because I tell ya, it does nothing for the plot at all except make it even more messy. Obviously, the writer (whoever the heck writes these books) just wanted "in" on the whole paranormal-romance love-triangle fad, which is terribly exhausted nowadays. And the worst part is, it isn't even a necessary or interesting love triangle. As I said before, it's pretty obvious that Fax will prevail, or else a bunch of screaming fangirls will go kill James Patterson or something. Not only that, but Dylan is pretty much the most pointless character of all time. He has no history, no backstory––just out of the blue, "Oh, here's the guy we designed to be your soul mate!" And he has no personality whatsoever. He's nice, and he can sing. Yup. That's about it. Other than that, he's not a character at all. He's just a prop. Also, it's totally creepy that the scientist people are telling Max and Dylan to go off and have kids with each other, because ... um ... THEY'RE FIFTEEN. EEW. Although, that's supposed to be bad. I'm pretty sure.Then the whole thing with Fang and "Maya" (aka Max II, aka Max's clone) is just ... Oh, jeez. Why. WHY?! I hate Fang more than ever before, now. He seems so dang shallow––like, "Oh, i can't be with Max so I guess I'll go for her clone. She looks just like Max so GOOD ENOUGH!" And then he has to go be all like, "Psh, that's not the reason I like her. She's her own individual person!" Pardon my French, but ... BULLSHIT. Like Dylan, she is just a prop. She doesn't have a personality, she is made of cardboard, she doesn't give any kind of background information about herself ... Basically, she has no depth at all. I don't get what the point is.And now ... THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN TOTALLY FORGOTTEN AND/OR NEGLECTED IN THIS BOOK:- Max seems to have forgotten all the creepy stuff Angel did in the last book ... like, how she had no emotional reaction when she predicted Fang's death, and how she threatened to shoot Max, etc. Max is still like, "Angel is my innocent little darling!" And throughout the book, Angel acts all cute and innocent as if nothing happened at all. Like, really? Could we see a LITTLE more tension between these two? Not to mention Angel is 7 and acts like she's at least 12 ... Trust me. I have five younger siblings of a wide variety of ages.- Well ... pretty much the personalities of all the characters have been completely forgotten. There was plenty of focus on Max, Fang, Dylan, Angel, etc. in this book, but Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge have kind of faded to the background. What happened to Gazzy and his super-farts and stuff? What happened to Nudge being annoying and talkative? What happened to Iggy being ... Oh wait, he never really had a personality anyway. Never mind.- The Voice has STILL not been explained in the least. And it barely even shows up anymore. It shows up maybe every 200 pages or so, now, only to say things that aren't very important. You can tell the writer is like, "Oh yeah, the Voice ... forgot about that. It'll just say something random here. Ladida. Moving on ..." Max doesn't even seem to question it or worry about it anymore, which is odd.- Ari was barely mentioned at ALL in this book, which I found a bit infuriating. There was potential for a really interesting relationship between Ari and Max (okay okay not THAT KIND of relationship. I know they're siblings. Stop puking.) But it's totally been ruined, because Max seems to have forgotten all about him. Shouldn't she have much more of an emotional reaction? I mean, he died right in front of her ... just when she was starting to forgive him and whatnot. There was potential for something SO INTERESTING there, but the author dropped it like a hot potato and left it to rot. *sigh*- There are tons of super-abilities the writer has given to the characters and completely forgotten about ever since, such as: Nudge being magnetic, Nudge being a magical computer hack, Nudge able to sense who touched certain objects, Angel being able to morph her head, all of the Flock being able to breathe underwater, Fang being invisible-ish, Iggy being able to see white, Iggy being able to tell what color things are by touching them, Gazzy's super-farts ... You get the idea.- Didn't the Erasers come back in the last book? And they were not in this book at all, as far as I remember. Also in the last book, Max referred back to the whole turning-into-an-Eraser thing from the second book, but then it was forgotten about AGAIN.Okay, I just don't even know what to say about this book anymore. I feel like I had a lot more to complain about, but I'm drained now and it's not really worth it. Long story short, this series has gone completely downhill, the plot is all over the place, nothing is ever resolved and no questions are ever answered, more and more pointless characters keep getting added, and the main characters never have emotional reactions to anything anymore. I'm sad.But supposedly, the next book is the last one. So, YAY! I'll be relieved when they're over ... and I'm curious as to whether any of the problems will actually be resolved. We'll seeeee.