Maximum (Max) Ride is the main protagonist and the narrator of the Maximum Ride series. She is one of the most ancient of the avian-human hybrids created by the School, and she is also the leader of the Flock. Her biological mother and father is Valencia Martinez and Jeb Batchelder and Ari is her half-brother. Her love interest is either Fang or Dylan, although it mainly appears to be Fang and it is unclear at this point of who she will be portrayed by in the upcoming film.
She is 5' 8' (5' 9' in Nevermore) and has a wingspan that starts at 13 feet but eventually become 15 feet across. She has brown eyes, and blond/brown hair with dark-red and sun-streaks. In MAX, Max'd said, "So there you have it, the extent of my charms: brown hair and eyes like unbarfed chocolate. I'm a lucky girl."
The color of her wings are a lighter brown than her hair, but not as tawny as Nudge's. Her primary are streaked with black and white. The secondaries are streaked white and brown. On the undersides of her wings, the covert feathers are a soft ivory color. Over the tops and down the backs of her wings, she has shiny, strong brown feathers fading perfectly into the primaries. Quoted from her in the Final Warning, "My wings kick butt."
Max is tough, sarcastic, and hates "girliness". In MAX, Max turns down many opportunities in a meeting (in which she wears clothes that "aren't blood splattered," -- "Which is the best you can get out of me") to become famous such as becoming models, actors, etc. Max acts as a motherly figure to the Flock, except she tends to get an awkward feeling about considering Fang as a sibling or son since he kissed her, nurturing them and looking out for them. In MAX, she says she is "starting to worrying with herself" when she describes Nudge's hair as "delicate caramel tendrils." Max is often annoyed by herself for things like worrying about her appearance, etc. She once recalls in MAX how "last year, I would chop off my hair with a knife when it got in my eyes." She is independent, strong, and fierce, but has never known a true mother or father figure, aside from Jeb Batchelder, who she later had mixed feelings about, and Dr. Martinez, who is her biological mother -- though she does not know it in straight away in the The Angel Experiment. Jeb is also her biological father, but she never refers to him in that way. She wants to be loved, even though she often denies it. Throughout the books, she falls in love with Fang. In FANG, she and Fang are often seen leaving the Flock to kiss and share romantic moments. Max also has a strong relationship with Angel, whom she says is like a daughter to her because she's practically been raising her since she was a baby. Max has a soft spot for all the kids in the flock. Max can also not resist with Angel because Max loves her or claiming she made 'Bambi eyes' at her.
Max is also a "word queen" and a "freaking princess" when it comes to other people's feelings. And one more thing about her is that she doesn't forgive people like Jeb that easily, and she never, ever forgets.
Max learned how to fight and defend from Jeb Batchelder. She fights in a mixed martial arts style (once calling it Max Kwon Do). It helps that she and the Flock are much stronger than regular humans, so she can easily defeat most (non-mutant) grown men. She meets her match in a fight against Omega, a boy created by the Director, the woman she once thought was her evil mother, but eventually defeats him too--with advice from Jeb. She tends to use roundhouse kicks (turning kicks) quite often, which can be seen as her signature fighting move. She considers the Flock very tough and once told people "Angel's six and she's been in more fights to death than any one of you."
Several times throughout the series, Max shows signs of attraction towards Fang, though she denies it. In The Angel Experiment, Max kisses Fang on a beach near New York City after Fang has been injured in a fight with Ari. She does this very suddenly and cannot come up with an explanation for her actions, saying it happened "just like that".
In School's Out Forever, Max shows intense jealousy when Fang kisses a red-haired girl named Lissa (whom Max refers to as "the Red-Haired Wonder"). Later, she goes out with a boy named Sam, making Fang jealous.
Later, in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Angel mentions before a football game starts that "...Fang still loves you...". Fang kisses Max in a cave again. Max says her mind "shorts out" while Fang is kissing her, but she then tells Fang she's "not sure" and flies off, confused. Also in the same book, Max is given Valium to prepare her for surgery, and while under its influence she tells Fang that she "loves him this much" and holds out her arms to demonstrate. Fang later teases her about this, causing her to get immensely angry.
Fang kisses Max another time in The Final Warning, and this time Max says she "loves it... loves him." When she finally clears her head, however, she flies away again. However, later in the book, Max shows more jealousy when Fang gets close to a young scientist, Dr. Brigid Dwyer (Dr. Amazing, Dr. Stupendous, etc).
In MAX, Max admits to loving Fang, and knows that he is her "soulmate." Angel tells Max things like "Fang loves you," "Maybe you should give him more than a break...Fang could totally be your boyfriend. You guys could get married." Fang and Max had a "make-out session" in the desert and asks her out. She says she loves kissing him and could spend all of her time doing it, plus she "highly recommends it".
At the end of FANG, Fang leaves her, saying that it's not good for the Flock for them to be together and if they're both still alive in 20 years he will meet her where they flew with the hawks, leaving Max heartbroken and upset. She goes into a kind of depression and stays in her bed and refuses to eat so the rest of the Flock is forced to call Dr. Valencia Martinez and fly Max and the rest of the Flock over to Arizona.
In ANGEL, Max meets up with Fang again to help him and his gang destroy the "Doomsday Group". Fang finds out that Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen and Jeb wants Max and Dylan to breed. Fang gets upset as he thinks that Dylan is his "replacement." Angel replies by telling him that he could stay with the Flock and have a say or leave and have none. Max gets also upset when she sees Max II (Maya) (Max's clone) is back and with Fang. Max gets jealous and she and Fang argue about it. Max argues again with Fang, asking him,"How could you ever stop loving me?" When a bomb blew up and she thought Angel was dead, Fang let Max cry on his shoulder. Fang then leaves again to stop the "Doomsday Group," leaving Max confused and upset.
By the end of Nevermore, both Max and Fang have expressed their full feelings of mutual romantic love to each other.
In FANG, another boy is introduced into the Flock, Dylan. She finds herself staring at him, her heart beat quickening when he comes in, etc. When she first meets him, she thinks that he could be in a magazine with the most hot guys under 25 years old (and Fang would totally also qualify to be in it). However, she completely denies any affections for him and continues to love Fang.
In ANGEL, Dylan gets closer to Max (mostly because Fang is gone) and she gets confused about her feelings for him. At the beginning, he teases her and makes her angry, but then kisses her. Max and Dylan fly off to find out more about the Gen77 enhanced kids, and they slept in a cave alone where Dylan puts his arm around her. While fighting with Fang, she begins to have feelings for Dylan when he kisses her again after singing and handing her a rose. Angel then tells her that she could be with "one of them, or the other, or neither." Dylan kisses Max again in Paris when Max flew off to think about her feelings for Fang and Dylan. Max found Dylan's kisses "comfortable." Later, Max slightly forgives Fang and ends up crying on his shoulder making her very confused about her relationship with Dylan.
Sam shows up in School's Out Forever, meeting Max at school in the computer lab. She finds him "cute" and agrees to go on a date with him, even going as far as kissing him on the first (and only) date; Fang later shows his jealousy at this, which may have possibly been the main reason she agreed to date Sam. When Sam offers the Flock a way out, Max ignores him, saying she "can't trust anyone." There is speculation on whether Sam was aligned with the white coats, however, it is highly unlikely. She also wondered if he was an eraser when he offered go help the flock.
Like the rest of the Flock, Max has unique abilities other than flying. She has the Voice (Later in Nevermore, the Voice is revealed to be Angel) in her head that tries to guide her, though she often does not listen to it. At one point Max believes the Voice to be that of Jeb Batchelder, a white coat at the School, but in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, he denies this, telling her that although he can imitate the Voice, he is not it. (It should be noted that both Angel and Ari have mentioned a Voice as well.)
Max also has the ability to fly extremely fast, her top velocity at roughly 240-250mph (verified by the Director through a microchip in her arm), or over 300mph in a fast dive. In addition, she is able to temporary shut down her organs, thus effectively playing dead, although this may have been possible only because she was detained in an isolation tank at the time. Once she escapes from the isolation tank, she also believes that she can smell the Flock but these powers aren't mentioned in other books. In book 5, MAX, as hinted by Angel many times throughout the book, she develops gills when she is about to die in the water after she has her oxygen tank ripped off by a giant squid. It is revealed in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports that her bones are light have have tiny pores in them that allow her and the Flock to float in water.
In The Angel Experiment, Max discovers she has what appears to be a tracer microchip embedded in her arm when Dr. Martinez, a woman who helps Max and is later revealed to be her mother, gives Max an x-ray for the purpose of discovering the extent of her injury, having been shot in the shoulder/wing. Max believes the chip gives off a signal that tells the scientists at the School where she is, though this is not proven.
In School's Out--Forever, Max, in a fit of anger, grabs a broken seashell and tries to cut the chip out of her arm, though she does not succeed. Later, in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Max goes back to Dr. Martinez and asks her to remove the chip. Although Dr. Martinez is successful in taking the chip out, Max temporarily loses the use of her left hand due to nerve damage done during the surgery. The use of her hand is later restored, thanks to the School. She also believes that the chip might have been the cause of the Voice, but that notion was proved wrong when it started talking again after Max's surgery.
Another ability that Max and the rest of the Flock have is that like birds, they have a built-in sense of direction and raptor vision.
Visit the MAX ROCKS page.
- Max is the only member of the Flock who has found her parents (besides Iggy, found his parents but left them). She is stunned when she learns that Jeb Batchelder is her father in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. Although Max first thinks her mom is the Director but later learns that she was lying and threatens to drop the Director from a high height forcing the information out of her of the real truth of Max's mom. It is also at this time that Max discovers that Dr. Martinez is her mother. Max trusts Dr. Martinez completely but is still wary of Jeb, usually not listening to him unless Dr. Martinez agrees with him. Max is also close with her half-sister and Dr. Martinez's daughter, Ella Martinez.
- Max claims the name, "seven-five-nine-nine-three-nine-ex-dash-one junior", in an attempt to confuse Asian (Chinese) scientists, the Clean Team.
- She doesn't like being confused and miserable.
- Max is known to be suspicious of compliments.
- Max is known to the Flock as a terrible cook.
- She thinks milk is gross.
- She doesn't like cold weather. Quoted from her in the Final Warning: "I really, really hate cold weather. I hate bundling up. I'm more of a beach-and-sun kind of girl."
- Max is the only one in a relationship (besides Total), although in ANGEL, there were hints of romance between Iggy and Ella.
- In the Final Warning, Max'd admitted to the reader that sometimes the leader stuff was a huge pain in the butt.
- Though she is known as being a terrible cook, in MAX she cooks with her mom and the food is good.
- She loves chocolate chip cookies, which are her favorite food, causing her to go "crazy with desire" every time she sees them.
- Max and the rest of the Flock are noted to be claustrophobic, a fear that came from being shut up in dog crates while at the School. Another fear of the entire Flock is the inability to escape if Erasers, Flyboys, or anything of that nature were to arrive.
- Max also has a fear of snakes. As she stated when she realized the were surrounding her in the second book. The were most likely holograms of her worst fear created by the scientists.
- When Fang was injured in School's Out--Forever, and the Flock was questioned by the FBI, Max was the only one who used her actual name (although she didn't ever use her full name, Maximum).
- Max tells people in the 2nd book at the hospital and that her and the Flock's "parents" are missionaries and are out preaching the news of the Lord. When being questioned told by Anne Walker, "We both know your parents aren't missionaries," Max keeps her cool and replies saying, "Well gosh, don't tell them because they would be crushed."
- There are rumors that Australian actress, Piéra Forde, will play Max in the upcoming film.
- She is feautured on the cover of the first and seventh volume of the Maximum Ride graphic novel by NaRae Lee.
- She hates talking about her feelings
- Max's hair color is rumored to change every season
- She is the only member of the original flock not to have a "G" in her name.