To be completely honest, I definitely had some misconceptions when I stumbled across this series. I was searching for a short romance or YA novel, not one of James Patterson's world renowned, somewhat graphic murder mysteries. I had just finished I, Alex Cross the previous week, and was still recooperating from that at the time. I ended up purchasing The Angel Experiment, only to let it sit on my bookshelf collecting dust for the next 6 months until I finally got around to reading it.
I have to admit, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the roller coaster of events that took place throughout the book. The chapters were extremely short, around two or three pages long, but action-packed, containing a new thrill at every turn. Patterson places extreme emphasis on the importance of family and friendship as the six main characters work together while battling for their lives.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed this book. I did, however, have three minor complaints. Firstly, the book was rather violent at times. Correction: nearly every chapter contained violence of some type. The fighting in certain scenes and the injuries the main characters sustained weren't exactly graphic or described in depth, but the fighting was a bit over the top. Perhaps some more substance in chapters besides a fight here, a fight there, and a nosebleed over there would have held my attention a bit more.
Secondly, I feel the urge to ask: WHERE WAS THE ROMANCE? I was feverishly turning pages and sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the moment when the tension would break, the two characters who were evidently meant to be together admitted their attraction to one another, and then I would have a smile plastered on my face for the rest of the day. That's almost laughable at this point. I feel like that perfectly logical idea for the plot of the book was stomped on and dragged through the dirt. Instead, I have to settle for one pathetic, flimsy kiss with a duration of a millisecond when one of the characters was on his deathbed.
And lastly: what happened to the ending? The book just abruptly cut off ... Stopped ... Ended ... It left me wondering if my copy of the book was faulty and missing the final pages of the novel. After performing a quick Internet search, I determined that my book, was, in fact, entirely intact. I realize that this book is only the first one in the series, and Patterson wanted to leave readers with a cliff hanger, forcing them to buy the next book, but I am a firm believer that every book, regardless of its author, genre, or audience, should have some form of an ending to tie up at least a few of the loose ends. And yes, I'm aware that was a run-on sentence. I'm also aware that Patterson's tactic worked and I have completed the series. Back to the point. Having not read many of Patterson's other works, I can't comment on the circumstance that this may be his usual writing style. I'm still not a fan of the missing ending concept. I could ramble on and on about my frustration, but I'll spare anyone who has taken the time to read this the agony.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 10 and 14. It was certainly worth my time and money, despite my initial reservations, and I've completed the series. The Angel Experiment has earned each one of the five stars I gave it.