Study Guide

Jeb Batchelder in Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

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Jeb Batchelder

Daddy Dearest

At first, the flock members think of Jeb Batchelder as their savior. He was the scientist who kidnapped them, took them away from the School, and raised them as his own kids, after all—well, before he disappeared mysteriously, that is. Despite his absence, Max continues to think back on him fondly as her only parental figure, and misses him terribly when she assumes that he's died:

Jeb had been the only parentlike person I'd ever had. He had kidnapped the six of us four years ago, stolen us away from this freak show and hidden us in the mountains of our house. He'd helped us learn how to fly—none of us had ever been allowed enough space to try before. He'd fed us, clothed us, and taught us survival sills, how to fight, how to read. (60.3)

Without Jeb around, Max has to take on the role of parent to the other flock members, even though she's only fourteen. She misses him throughout the first part of the book and just wants to see him again… before she realizes the truth.

The Great Betrayal

When Max gets her wish and does see Jeb again, unfortunately she realizes that things were not as they appeared. See, she meets Jeb again at the School when she rushes in to save Angel and ends up captured. Jeb isn't being held captive, though… he's now a scientist at the School:

Now my eyes were telling me that he was one of them. That maybe he'd been one of them all along. That everything I'd ever known or felt about him had been a rotten, stinking lie. (60.8)

This betrayal is too much for Max to bear, and she cannot trust Jeb again. For the remainder of the book, Jeb keeps trying to track her down to tell her that this was all a test, and that she's destined to save the world, but Max refuses to hear any of it. He's lied to her once, and she's unwilling to trust anything that he says to her. Given his association with the School, this is probably prudent on our main girl's part. That said, we're thinking we definitely haven't seen the last of this dude.

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