Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (Maximum Ride: The Protectors Book 4)
Max and the flock are back for more adventure as they continue their fight against the evil Itex Corporation. After attending Ari’s funeral, our feathery friends are looking forward to some down time. Their facade of normalcy is shattered, however, when a pizza delivery threatens their lives. Dr. Martinez and Jeb– or Mom and Dad if you are Max– realize they cannot provide adequate safety for Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Angel, and Gazzy, so they encourage them to accept the government’s offer to build them a special school. As expected, the gang is not buying it. Dr. Martinez suggests an alternative, however, that is more to their liking– helping a team of scientists access the effects of global warming. The only drawback is the location, but what Antarctica lacks in sunny beaches, it makes up for in isolation and safety. While the bird kids learn more about pollution, greenhouse gases, and global warming, many of them also discover that they have developed new skills. Fang and Max struggle, however, as their relationship continues to be complicated. As Fang gets closer with one of the scientists, Max becomes more distant. Regardless, however, the mission is going well and there has been no sign of danger. When one of the scientists is attacked by a leopard seal, Fang and Max team up for a daring rescue only to discover that she is spy working for Itex. On guard, the flock goes about their research, but are thrown into turmoil when Angel disappears with Total and his new love, Akila. Fang and Max set out to find her as the weather begins to spiral out of control, but the terrain and storm work against them at every turn. Though they locate her and the dogs in the nick of time, they cannot return to the camp due to the weather so they dig in and create a make-shift shelter to wait it out. Back at camp, Itex has dispatched their latest creation, Gozen and his army of warriors. The entire flock is captured, and soon Gozen comes for Max, Fang,and Angel. They are all put on a cargo plan and shipped to Miami where the new Uber-Director is planning an auction. The entire city has been evacuated as a huge hurricane barrels toward the coast. Only the Uber-Director, Gozen, and the flock remain, high in a skyscraper with safety-glass windows. The auction commences, and Max and the flock are predictably uncooperative, particularly when they realize they are the items up for bid. As they watch the most sadistic leaders in the world size them up, the flock is certain that their luck has finally run out. The storm, however, has taken a turn for the worse, however, and even safety glass cannot hold back the howling winds. The flock uses the panic to escape into the storm where they are sure to be torn to bits. With great effort and skill, the flock finds itself in the relative safety of the eye of the storm. Gozen and the uber-director, however, are not so fortunate and are rips to shreds by the high winds when Max refuses to be lured in by their promises of power. The flock returns to Washington where Max speaks before congress about the threat of global warming. Fang’s blog, meanwhile, has been reaching millions of teens who are ready to start make a difference. As the flock attends the ribbon-cutting of their new school, they are happy to be called away for a new mission.
Patterson’s feathery guild of ecowarriors are in fine form once again. The story is full of action as always and the trademark humor of the series is apparent as the flock begins to discover newly developing skills. This time the message is a bit more heavy-handed, but teens should respond to the messengers and the message. The characters are notably dubious about the cause at first, and as they learn more and pass their knowledge on, the reader is drawn in without too much preaching. Again the use of Fang’s blogs add to the modernity of the novel. Fans of the series will be delighted to spend time with the flock again, and the action will not disappoint. The ending promises many more adventures to come.