The first book in the series by James Patterson gives an overview of the Flock: Maximum Ride (the leader), Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel. These children, ages 6 through 14, are far from normal. They are only 98% human, while the other 2% is avian, giving them wings and special power, with altered body characteristics. This book covers some of the back story of the Flock, explaining how they ended up on their own in their remote mountain home. It also covered the antagonistic half-wolf, half-human creatures known as Erasers. The youngest Flock member, Angel, is abducted by the Erasers and taken back to "The School", the lab where they were genetically altered and raised in cages. Max, Fang and Nudge leave their home in an attempt to rescue Angel, while Iggy and the Gasman were forced to stay behind. While Max, Fang and Nudge left their home, Iggy and the Gasman made bombs in order to protect themselves from the Erasers. Max then saves a girl later known as Ella. This resulted in Fang and Nudge heading towards Lake Mead, their planned stop. Max was then shot in the shoulder and sought help from Ella's mother, Dr. Valencia Martinez. When Dr. Martinez performed an X-ray scan on Max, they discovered that a microchip (described by Dr. Martinez as tracking chips used for important animals such as show dogs) was implanted in Max. Meanwhile, Iggy and the Gasman made traps for the Erasers and were successful in which they set a Hummer overturned, but the Erasers still survived. Both of them were then surrounded by Erasers in an abandoned cabin and used their bomb (known as Big Boy) and flew to Lake Mead. While looping back on their course to find Max, Nudge noticed that they were near to Tipisco, where Nudge's parents lived. Upon visiting the location, Fang and Nudge realized that they were in a trap which resulted in Fang being injured by Ari, a seven-year-old boy who was turned into an Eraser and had an appearance as a middle aged man, some time after they had escaped to the mountain home in the beginning. Soon, Fang healed and flew to Lake Mead. Max meets Fang and Nudge and later meets Iggy and the Gasman. The remaining Flock eventually were captured by the Erasers and were sent to The School. While captured, Angel learns about an Institute, later known as "The Institute of Higher Living", from reading minds (one of her powers), a place in New York City that may hold some secrets to their past. The Flock escapes The School and with a happy reconnection of the whole Flock together Max has a massive headache described as a brain explosion which later theorized as her brain making space for a Voice (other than her own) which pops up in her head. With the Flock unsure of whether the voice is a friend or foe, Max decides to follow its cryptic instruction. The voice leads Max and the Flock to The Institute, where they find a lab similar to The School and information on their unknown parents. At the Institute, the Flock also found several mutants and set them free. Angel then brings a pet dog named Total with her and escapes with the Flock. As they escape, Max has to fight with Ari and wins by snapping his neck bone by accident. The book ends with the Flock beginning their journey to Washington D. C. , in search of their parents.
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