Sequel Review: The Final Warning

Book #4 in the series
Book #4 in the series

Title: The Final Warning
Series: Maximum Ride #4
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Vision (Hachette Book Group)
Original Publication in: 2008

This is a U.S. mass market paperback edition.

Date read: July 3rd 2013

The flock might have overpowered the evil corporation Itex, but there are still more people who want to use them or kill them. After a few could’ve-been-better meetings with the government in Washington D.C., the flock’s latest mission brings them to Antarctica, where they will stay with a group of scientists and study the consequences of global warming and how they can stop it…

The more I think about The Final Warning, the more ridiculous the plot sounds. Not the summary I wrote but the actual plot, I mean.

It’s been two years since I read Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, so I had to read through Wikipedia’s summary of StWaOES before reading TFW, which was fine. I still remember thinking where the hell is the author going with these plot twists? while reading Saving the World. I ask the same question here.

I mean, the book starts off well enough. The flock plus Jeb is at Ari’s burial and then they head to Washington to meet Dr. Martinez a.k.a. Max’s mom and talk to governmental groups. Then, some 70-odds pages later, Max follows the Voice’s instruction (by the way, due to the spoilers I read / heard about Nevermore, I know who the Voice is – and it doesn’t make any sense.) and the flock meets up with the scientist group and journey to Antarctica, learning about global warming on the way.

*Spoilers about The Final Warning on the way*

All the while we know a group of evil (of course) creatures is following the flock’s every move.
So Max and crew arrive in Antarctica, play with penguins, help the scientists with their experiments. Then they are kidnapped by the aforementioned group and are about to be auctioned off when a hurricane hits Florida (where the flock has been held captive) and somehow, six human-bird-kids plus two dogs manage to escape the hurricane unscathed while the villains die (of course.) Then Max holds a grand speech à la Max in front of the Congress about how America should be more aware of global warming and do everything it can do to save the world. At the end of the book, they take off to another part of the world via instructions from the Voice.

All this talk about global warming is more than fine, it’s important. And I appreciate James Patterson making it as a big topic in one of his books. But this weird kidnapping-then-battling-hurricane thing was so unnecessary. My take is that Patterson thought it would not be a Maximum Ride book without some real action with real “bad guys”. As the originally intended audience is children, I can overlook this over-simplification, but, to be quite frank, the plot baffles me.

*End of spoilers*

I still liked the book, however, and it is solely due to the characters. They are amazing – the kick-ass and strong leader Max, second-in-command, protective and somehow just swoon-worthy Fang, blind yet steady Iggy, cheerful Nudge, mischievous Gasman, and sometimes scary and sometimes cute-beyond-words Angel. These kids have somehow found a way to sneak into my heart and I would read more of these books with weak plot if the flock were in it, but I already know what happens, and I really don’t want to read about Dylan, so I’ll stop the series here, with much regret and anguish.

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