Maximum Ride by James Patterson is not lacking in excitment. Like most of Patteron's work, it's lacking in any real depth or characterazation, but it does keep you reading.
Max is the leader of a 'flock' of six genetically mutated kids, on the run from the institute that created them--The School. Along with Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel, Max must not only escape the clutches of The School, but maybe even save the world...
While Max is a fun, if rather repetitively sarcastic, character, I can't help but think James Patterson shouldn't really be writing about teenagers, especially teenage girls. Max doesn't come across as very real to me. She's tough, pretty, mean, and sassy, and it all makes a very perfect character with flaws that dont really count as flaws (like Twilight). The secondary characters are just as thin, trapped inside these three word descriptions Patterson uses to introduce them. They have very little depth, and all the interactions between them is very phony.
However, Maximum Ride is a page turner, keeping you glued to the page like only a Patterson novel can. While he does sacrifice literary integrity for book sales, you can at least say you read Maximum Ride in less then an hour.