Maximum Ride: The Final Warning by James Patterson

20 Jun

Maximum Ride is a very special girl.

For one thing, she can fly. Her and five other children (Fang, Angel, Nudge, Iggy and Gazzy) have been genetically altered so that two percent of their DNA is avian. What does this mean? It means that they are able to fly.

In their newest adventure, the flock face their most harrowing nemesis yet. The evil Uber Director, part man and part machine, wants to capture the flock and sell them to the highest bidder.

Unaware of the Uber Directors plans, the flock have problems of their own. The U.S. Government has stepped in and wants to protect them but study them at the same time. The flock wants no part in this; they want freedom and the chance to be like any other kid in the world.

Max’s mother, Dr. Martinez, has a plan. She sends them to work with a group of doctors and scientists in Antarctica. They are studying the effects of Global Warming and feel that the flock could be a great asset to their fight for the planet.

There are also other problems to deal with, however. Max is struggling with her growing feelings for Fang. She loves him but won’t admit it to herself. She also doesn’t know if Fang feels the same way. Added to that, each member of the flock has developed a new ability. The flock seems to be mutating on its own. They are unsure how this is happening or what it means for the flock.

Tragedy strikes when one of the researchers is revealed to be a spy. Max realizes that they are no longer safe and that they will have to prepare to fight for their lives….

The Final Warning is the fourth in the best selling young adult Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. It follows the first three books: The Angel Experiment, Schools Out-Forever and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. I love these books and have read them countless times.

Though written for young adults, the Maximum Ride series are for kids of all ages. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the fourth, and I assumed, final chapter in the Maximum Ride saga. I figure that with a title like The Final Warning, the book would be an incredible cap off to an amazing series.

I was wrong. Though the book is amazing and runs along at a break neck pace, it seems there is no end in sight for Maximum Ride and her flock. I was expecting a concrete ending and what I got was a lose ending that leaves everything open for another book. That’s not a bad thing, though. Personally I can’t wait for another Maximum Ride adventure.

I have only two minor complaints about the book. First, it’s far too short. The three previous books clock in at well over four hundred pages. The Final Warning only clocks in at a little over two hundred pages and all the books are the same price. I figure if I’m getting half the book, it should be half the price.

The second major complaint has to do with the Global Warming sub plot. While I applaud Patterson for putting a very sound environmental message in the book, the message doesn’t go anywhere. The flock don’t do anything to help stop Global Warming and instead are reduced to mouthpieces, sprouting off enough info on Global Warming to fill an environmental dissertation.

I would love to have seen the plot go beyond what has already been established: We meet the Villain, we meet the Hero/Heroine, the Villain and Hero/Heroine meet, and the Hero/Heroine wins. There was so much potential for a mind-blowing book that I don’t think was achieved here.
That’s not to say that The Final Warning is a bad book; far from it. It’s a fantastic read and you’ll be able to finish it off in a day or two of fast paced reading. It’s great candy for the mind and will leave you wanting more. It’s a great book for a rainy weekend where all you want to do is fly off and have an adventure of your own.

Not Patterson’s best effort, but still great nonetheless. I know that I’ll be waiting for the next Maximum Ride novel to come out. In the meantime, I’ll just have to read the first three all over again.



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