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Maximum Ride #4

The Final Warning

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In this breathtaking new story from the astonishing imagination of James Patterson, a girl has to save herself from an army assembled just to capture her-and maybe save the planet while she's at it.

Maximum Ride is a perfectly normal teenager who just happens to be able to fly, the result of an out-of-control government experiment. Max and the other members of the Flock-six kids who share her remarkable ability-have been asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the causes of global warming. The expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure, activism-and escaping government forces who watch the Flock like a hawk.

But even in Antarctica, trapped in the harshest weather on our planet, Maximum Ride is an irresistible target in constant danger. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world . . . Maximum Ride is James Patterson's greatest character, a heroine who manages to be human and fearless at once. THE FINAL WARNING is an unrelenting new adventure from the writer Time magazine has called "The Man Who Can't Miss."


In the spirit of the most enduring hit movies and books, James Patterson has written this story for readers from ten to a hundred and ten. Special care has been taken with the language and content of The Final Warning.

256 pages, Paperback

First published March 17, 2008

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About the author

James Patterson

1,276 books340k followers
Official US Site
Official UK Site
JIMMY Patterson Books

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. Among his creations are Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, and Maximum Ride. His #1 bestselling nonfiction includes Walk in My Combat Boots, Filthy Rich, and his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. He has collaborated on novels with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton and has won an Edgar Award, nine Emmy Awards, and the National Humanities Medal.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,714 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books479 followers
November 27, 2012
My problem with the story wasn't so much that James Patterson used it as a soapbox for global warming -- after all, it's his book, and he can do what he wants.

The problem, as I see it, is there was NO WAY he started writing this series with a plan to make Max's "saving the world mission" one that had anything to do with this topic.

If you go back and read the series from the beginning, starting with THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT, we all knew that Max and the gang had a special mission, a mission that would save the world. We knew it would be big, and no doubt unbelievable, as most of Mr. Patterson's plot lines are. But if this had been his plan all along, you have to think that there would have been SOME advance warning.

No, what really ticks me off is that it seems as if he decided, with the current state of affairs, to change the whole point of the books at the very last minute, as a way to promote his cause.

THAT'S what makes me angry.

(The only good thing about THE FINAL WARNING? Total's "I prefer canine-American" comment, which made me laugh until I cried.)
Profile Image for Kerry.
25 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2008
What the hell was that? I've been enjoying the humor and action and adventure of this series (even though they are "young adult" and I'm anything but) . . . but this? OK, yeah, it had the humor. And about two chapters of action and adventure. The rest was penguins and Antarctica and snow and OHNOESGLOBALWARMINGISTEHBAAAAAAADDDDD!!!1!!11!!!ELEVENTY-ONE!!!

Mr. Patterson, if I want a lecture on global warming shoved down my throat, I'll go talk to Al Gore. From you I want what you do best: action, adventure, mystery, drama . . . and a teensy bit of romance thrown in for good measure. You've done it before, you can do it again. Let's just pretend this little piece of crap you call a book doesn't exist, m'kay?
Profile Image for Sella Malin.
458 reviews142 followers
April 5, 2009
Eew. This book sucked SOOO BAD. James Patterson seems to have a talent for making every next book in this series worse than the one before. I declare the Maximum Ride series as now officially RUINED. This book was boring, full of lecturing global warming yapper (all of which I already KNOW) and lacking any adventure. There were no action-packed chase scenes, no thrilling fights that Maximum Ride used to always be full of. Instead, the MCs are stuck in Antarctica - of all places - trying to help stop the climate change. Wow. How exciting. NOT.

As for the conflicts of the story- there are basically none left. There are no true, great villains anymore. Now that Ari is dead, the "bad guys" are ceasing to be complex. Now, what Max and the flock are fighting against are lacking-depth, two-dimensional, robotic, "evil" freaks who go "Mwa ha ha I'm going to kill you and take over the world! GRR!!" Ugh.

It's not only the plot that has totally flumped in this book. The characters, I deeply regret to say, are dying. The flock used to be the reason I loved the M.R. series- their personalities were so complex and awesome, and they were so fun to watch. Especially Max. She used to be such a great narrator- her voice had been great and strong, and she used to be tough, funny, sarcastic, cynical, and kick-butting. Now there's no Max anymore, but a completely different person stuck in her body. She's turned into this weak, lovestruck, mopey, pathetic softie who falls for anything and does what anyone tells her to. I mean, come ON! Where has the totally cool Max gone? And who is this new freak?

James Patterson has taken the whole "special human" thing WAY too far. The flock members are getting WAY to many new powers. Wasn't it ENOUGH when Angel got to read minds, breathe underwater, CONTROL other people's minds, AND talk to fish? Now she has to change her appearance too? And noooo, Nudge can't just be able to tell what people have done when she touches things. She has to all of a sudden become magnetic. WALLAH- suddenly Iggy can feel color. (???) AND- heck- he can see sometimes, too! Gee. And of course, it's NOT gross enough that Gazzy farts all the time- NOW his farts have to have COLOR. Gross. Oh, and of course, who could forget Fang? Heavens no, he HAS to be able to turn invisible too. Who would have guessed? Ugh. I don't see how Patterson can still explain all these fantasy-cal powers with SCIENCE. It's not science anymore, okay? It's now officially magic. You killed science two books ago.

Not to mention the fact that Total now has wings. (WTF??) And, apparently, the Voice isn't Jeb anymore. Huh. In my opinion, Patterson changed his mind and decided he didn't want it to be Jeb anymore, and know he has no idea who the Voice is going to be, so he's just going to brush it off and pretend it can just be some mysterious thing that we don't know about. Jeez. Like everything else in the M.R. series, it's not thought-out at all.

Want to know another thing that's not thought out at all? The color of Max's hair. Okay, I am SO confused about this, it's not even funny. In the first book, she's described as having dark blonde hair. Then, somewhere in the second book, she's described as having LIGHT blonde hair. THEN, in this book, she's described with BROWN hair! O.M.G.!!! Make up your mind, Patterson. What the heck is her hair color?!?! It's really bugging me.

Anyways...*looong sigh* Maximum Ride has managed to give me yet ANOTHER huge headache. The books have never failed to make me feel like bashing me head against the wall and dumping the stupid pages in the toilet. Urgh. I wonder how James Patterson can possibly make the 5th book worse then this one. But I know it will surprise me and be even suckier than this one. Whoop de doo. Off to read the next one and get some more head-bashing aches. Yippee! >:[
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karin.
Author 15 books228 followers
April 5, 2008
The release of a sequel is an anticipated event, especially if the sequel is written by a wildly-popular, best-selling author like James Patterson. Approximately 4.8 million copies have been sold of the previous three books in the Maximum Ride series, so hopes were high that Final Warning, the new installment, would be just as entertaining. When a sequel fails to live up to the standards of the previous books in the series, readers feel let down.

There are three issues that affect the quality of Final Warning. First, there is a lack of adventure in this installment of the action-packed Maximum Ride adventure series. It seemed to be more of an extended brainstorming session instead of actual problem-solving. Second, the length of this book is an issue. For a novel that has a retail price of $20, 272 pages is pretty skimpy -– especially when you consider that The Angel Experiment, the first book in the series, had 432 pages. Finally, and most importantly, is the story itself. If the story had been interesting and new, the reader would be able to overlook the page length. Instead of adding anything new to the story, Patterson chose to focus on the issue of global warming and have The Flock, the six bird kids we’ve come to love, assist with scientific research in Antarctica. Final Warning appears to be more of a filler book than a necessary part of the series. In fact, if a reader were to skip Final Warning, there probably wouldn’t be a problem catching up when a fifth book is published.

Instead of a character-driven storyline, Patterson has given us an extended public service announcement on global warming, and while global warming is a serious issue we need to think about, a young adult adventure novel might not be the best place to hammer the issue home.

Profile Image for Leela.
55 reviews25 followers
April 17, 2008
Quite a disapointment, compared to the other three books. It's about a third of the size, and is not nearly as good as the others. Where is the HEART POUNDING ACTION? The WITTY SARCASTIC HUMOR? The SUSPENSE that makes you wanna CRY everytime you are forced to put the book down.
I've heard rumors that there are going to be 5 books of this series, and I can only hope the others are much much much better.
Profile Image for Ella Alaniz.
205 reviews52 followers
December 24, 2015
I dropped this series after this book. I found it too childish and cliche. It's a great premise and I had positive expectations but it ended up falling short for me. It's a shame, I had hoped to enjoy this series as so many others had.
Profile Image for Rachel.
239 reviews
August 29, 2008
What the hell?

That was my general reaction to this book. Also, "Why?!". A dog - who already TALKS - growing WINGS? What the hell? Why?! This development is completely irrelevant to the plot, other then being "cool", and annoyingly convenient. Same with Angel (the 6-year-old flying who can read and control minds, to refresh your memory) suddenly being able to change her appearance at will.

When inexplicable things like this happened in the other books, I played along, because the books are fun to read and I thought they would probably serve some purpose in the next book. No such luck; the plot of Maximum Ride is increasingly inconsistant and frankly, slap-dash. The Final Warning is the worst yet.

What's more, I am doubting the ability of the author to kill off his main characters - or anyone who's not a bad guy, for that matter! It's a miracle that Angel, Total and Akila survived being trapped in an ice crevice in Antartica. I thought Akila at least, a non-sentient dog we had just met, would be killed off. But not only is she back to normal shortly, the flock adopts her even though it's incredibly inconvenient for them. Another addition to their happy little invincible flock. The flock also survives flying, unprotected, in a category 5 hurricance. For an enviornmentalist book, it's alarming unappreciative of the sheer power of nature. They should have been ripped apart.

Consolidate all this with a global warming theme that comes straight out of an annoying educational video and you have -- I'll go ahead and say it -- a bad book. It stands on such flimsy foundations that it's crossed the line from a fun dessert read to a book that's embarassing to be caught wasting your time on. Will I pick up the next book? Maybe once I've calmed down a bit. Will I enjoy it? Even less likely.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Patrick.
1,027 reviews24 followers
August 26, 2008
AAAAAAAhhhhhh!! This series is fun. The first three books are an action-packed fun adventure with decent characters. There are plot holes, but the point is believable teenage angst in the midst of constant danger. This 4th book has some good parts involving the characters dealing with adults' expectations of them. But it is also a full-on, boring, crappy, global warming propaganda pamphlet with some random bad guy thrown in out of nowhere and an extra bad hurricane--due to global warming of course--that fortuitously saves them.

They've been fighting killer, flying, mutant wolves, robots, and clones, and now they suddenly see that GLOBAL WARMING is the true threat?!?! STUPID!

It is utterly inconsistent with the plot and theme of the series to jump from shadow government organizations and amoral corporations bent on enslaving and killing the mutant bird kids in order to take over the world to playing with penguins and ratifying the Kyoto Treaty--yes this 14-yr-old heroine got that specific. The bad guys are global warming extremists and apparently unrelated to the overall bad guys from the other books. The next book is set up at the end as they fly off to meet at some distant coordinates and get back to fighting robots--this whole book appears to be a lame tangent you could skip completely.

The global warming debate is an interesting and important one in my opinion--but keep the preaching out of a series completely based on action, teen identity, and family/lack of family roles. This book feels like Patterson felt an urge to save the world and sold out like Michael Jordan selling underwear. If you want good novels with consistent environmental themes that make sense, try Hoot and Flush by Carl Hiaasen.
Profile Image for Cassie.
47 reviews24 followers
September 7, 2008
Maximum Ride was created to save the world. Now she just needs to figure out how the voice in her head thinks she's going to do this.
With the rest of her flock of Avian-Human hybrids, Max moves from taking down evil corporations to stopping global warming ('cause penguins are cute and hurricanes are bad!).
Now, if only Patterson could be bothered to finish one plot thread before moving on to six more.
If this hadn't been a Maximum Ride book, I would have never finished it, and most likely never even bought it. My general love for Max and the flock is the only thing that got me through all the pages of propaganda about global warming. There were lectures. Multiple page long lectures about global warming. Now, there has always been a definite undertone of eco-warrior, clean up pollution, corporations are bad, etc. in the books. But that took a sideline to the action and characters. In this book, I really felt that Patterson just wanted to talk about global warming and decided to use Max to get his point across.
-Supposedly, this is the last book, but if it isn't, I will be hard pressed to pick up a new title. Whatever your feelings on global warming are, I hate being lectured to in fiction and feeling like someone is dumping their propaganda down my throat. Barely anything even happened in the book, they were too busy talking about global warming. I'm all for empowering kids to make a difference in the world, but I also want them to think about multiple sides of an issue, I want them to question and read scientific studies for themselves, not listen to a pop culture icon tell them how "it is." I mean, how many of us lived through the "Just say no" drug campaigns of the 90s, not to mention the "This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs" scare tactics. At least now they have commercials that go "I got high. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. I just sat on my couch all day like an idiot. You know what? I don't want to get high anymore, so that something can actually happen in my life." Stuff like that tells it more how it is. Sure, Max questions slightly if it's "really bad if the world gets a few degrees warmer," but they stick to the scare tactics and over dramatization that has been popular in global warming ever since An Inconvenient Truth. Complete with ending the book with "worst hurricane ever recorded" (which huh, the bad guys seemed to know was coming, so maybe it wasn't all natural? Never explored this in the book of course).
This book offended me. I feel like Patterson thinks that I have no right to decide for myself what's really happening or not in global warming and that I'm so stupid that I need to be scared into doing what he has decided is the right thing. And what gets me even more is that nobody says a word about this book being such a propaganda tool, but if I wrote a book about a group of kids spreading a counter message, that maybe global warming is part of a natural cycle and that there are more issues involved than just human innovation and existence, then you can bet a million groups would be descending on me like I was trying to poison their children's minds by telling them Santa Claus isn't real.
The hundred pages or so that weren't devoted to saying "global warming=BAD" were enjoyable though. More Max and Fang romantic confusion and tension--I feel like Patterson has that relationship pretty well fleshed out, though I'd like to see some closure or at least some more forward movement. Their relationship really hasn't evolved much from the last book. And at the beginning of this book, they have the funeral for Ari, and I feel so sorry for that kid. Rereading the series before I read this book, my heart just broke for him. He's easily the most tragic character in the series. Still, I only felt like maybe a fourth of the book was about the characters, a fourth on action, and a half on, well, see above. There are so many interactions and relationships that still need to be fleshed out in the books. Max and Jeb especially have a complex relationship that I'd like to see keep evolving. I rather doubt this really is the last book. Patterson left too much open, we still know nothing about the voice, and there's a lot about Max and the flock that keeps getting hinted at, then abandoned. I cringe to think of another book though, as disappointing as this one was to me overall. Maybe he'll fast forward a bit, let Max grow up some. I'd really like to see Max be a little older, because I think her character interactions are at a standstill until she matures a bit more, then her relationships with Jeb and Fang, as well as the rest of the flock, will be able to expand. (Edit - Yep, there is a fifth book listed on amazon. Yay -_-. Maybe this one will have character development. Or maybe they've decided to cool off the world by beating their wings really fast.)
Okay, and seriously, if you call one more bad guy "the director" then, you know what, James Patterson? I'm gonna hit you over the head with a thesaurus. I'm beginning to feel like he doesn't actually read his own writing once he's finished. Not only are there three bad guys called the director (oh, sorry, one is the Uber-Director), but in one book one person was indicated to be "The Director," and the next book it's someone else. He repeats *a lot* of the same kinds of things, has inconsistent chronology (exactly how long does it take to fly somewhere? Huh? Seems to vary by book), never mentioned Nudge was black in the first book (at least not that I could find, I'm thinking he didn't decide that till book two…), and leaves me wondering how even a windbreaker can cover up their wings enough that they don't look like hunchbacks. And, yeah, the wings thing. I really want to see the movie/manga, because I cannot picture how it's supposed to work. Their wing tips should at least fall over their butt. Fourteen feet of actual bone, feather, and muscle only becomes so compact. And they mention cutting slits in jackets, but what about their shirts? And it doesn't seem like they would be able to just snap their wings out of those slits as easily as they always do. Especially while wearing backpacks and such. But okay, enough over-thinking these books. I think the more the author lectures to me about science and real world stuff, the more I question how unlikely his books are to be able to happen in the real world.
Something else I thought of a few days after finishing the book--okay, biggest hurricane in recorded history happens. That's really, really bad, right? Yet, that hurricane is the only reason Max and the flock get away from the Uber-Director. Huh. Global warming bad. But without it, Max and the flock were in big trouble. Bit of a problem with your message there, huh, Patterson? Once again, I don't think he's rereading what he writes.

More at Bookwyrm Chrysalis
8 reviews
March 20, 2008
Ok, the humor was still there. The book was funny. Thin. But funny.

I completely felt the ending was horrible. It was a disappointment. It was like Patterson was attempting to write the book, but wasn't done yet, and had forgotten to put in most of the excitement. I was also angry at the sorely lacking Max/Fang scenes. Sure we had a kiss and a mention every other chapter, but there was nothing sturdy. Even the ending, it ends with them going off on another mission. No closure. Mr. James Patterson, if this really is the ending of the series, I'm disappointed. If there's more...well, I'm still disappointed, but a lot less. Sure I laughed, but there wasn't really any action or adventure I was hoping for. It seemed more like a cry to save the earth, which the other books had some undertones of, but none of which were so strong as in here. I just...didn't like it. *shakes head* I mean, the writing was fine, but it was pretty anticlimatic.

Anyways, yeah, this is exactly how I felt after reading Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer too. Too many writers are being rushed to finish the books so the readers won't have to keep waiting, and then we're disappointed. *shrugs*

I want more books! I want more Fang/Max! I want more action and adventure!
Profile Image for luhvBOOKS.
297 reviews
August 25, 2012
Title: The Final Warning

Author: James Patterson

Series: Maximum Ride #4

Rating: ★★

Summary: First she was watched. In this breathtaking new story from the astonishing imagination of James Patterson, a girl has to save herself from an army assembled just to capture her - and maybe save the planet while she's at it. Then she was threatened.

Review: Wow, this book sucked. I am being an angel by giving this book two stars. It is just so... Ugh! What a stupid plot! Global warming, are your kidding me? And the writing? The book was way smaller. This is one of those books in a series that's just there. And I hate that so freaking much!

Things I Loved: I don't know what I loved. Maybe that Fang is back? It's hard to say.

Things I Hated: It didn't seem like the James Patterson writing style that I know from previously. The humor was totally off, and the writing was too crammed, and the plot was just so out there. I read some other reviews and they are all saying that he didn't even write it. That's crap, James! How can you even put your name on this? I certainly wouldn't want to. It's so disgusting. I hate it! Hate it, hate it, hate it!
16 reviews
August 21, 2008
The flock attend Ari's funeral, just after a new breed of Flyboy attacks the cabin they were thought to be living in. The flock are led by Dr Martinez, who is now called Mom by Max, and Jeb to Washington where they are offered a comfortable life and an education in return for aid from the flock to the government. Fang tries to kiss Max again. Max barely recognizes her subconscious love for Fang before she flies off the near by dock away from Fang. Max refuses the government offer and facility and they leave Washington. The flock members have also begun to mutate on their own, or without the abilities programmed in. Angel develops a shape-changing skill, Nudge develops magnetism, Fang develops the ability to disappear, and Iggy finds he knows what colour things are by touching them. Meanwhile, it is revealed that the new breed of Flyboy, who are lumpy and misshapen, were created by a cybernetic man called the Uber-Director, or UD by Max. The head lieutenant is a powerful new Flyboy called Gozen. Dr Martinez takes the flock to meet a woman named Brigid Dwyer, who offers them a comfortable life for nothing. Max doesn't believe her and asks her to show her what the flock would have to do. They are offered a place on a research ship which is on its way to the Antarctic, the flock accept and are soon on the bottom of the world. When they get there, two new, very unexpected skills develop. Iggy begins to see, but soon realizes he can only see things if they are surrounded by white, and Total grows wings. During the trip, Max becomes paranoid when she finds Brigid and Fang getting closer. Fang confronts Max's emotional behavior telling her they will always have a "thing", that she knows that and nothing is going to change it. A member of the research ship is attacked by a Leopard Seal and killed. The flock discovers that she was a spy sending information from the vessel. Angel goes off with Total and the love of his life, Akila, a Malamute brought along on the Antarctic expedition. Angel falls down a crevasse but is soon rescued by Fang and Max, who are in turn captured by Gozen. The rest of the flock was also captured and they are taken to Miami, which has been evacuated because of a Category 4 hurricane that is about to hit. They meet the Uber-Director (or "UD"), who attempts to auction them off to worldwide bidders, but the building they are in is destroyed by a Category 5 hurricane. Gozen and the UD are both destroyed, but the rest of the Flock survive, along with Akila. The ending consists of Max standing before Congress in Washington, D.C. pleading for the planet to change its ways. The flock is given a comfy life and a School dedicated to them. Max complained that School was the wrong word to pick, but before the flock can even enjoy it, the voice inside Max's head speaks up and tells them that their mission is not over. The book ends with the Flock launching into the sky, with Max saying they can face any challenge that they come across.
Profile Image for Jay.
38 reviews10 followers
July 21, 2020
This book was so hilarious in some parts! Max is so humorous! She has somewhat of a dark humor. Like, "go to sleep or I'll kill you." She is like a mother. She is technically the mother of the flock. (even if she's like 14-15 years old) I really, really hope Max and Fang get together!!!!! They would be the PERFECT couple! I mean they squabble like a couple(but also siblings too).
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
2 reviews
June 12, 2013
This is bad. Very, very bad.

"Save the world, Max!" "Yeah whoo! You can do it!" "Save the world from... Global warming?"

Terrible, just terrible. I mean they buried Ari (which I didn't like that Ari turned good anyway. He was a lot cooler as a bad guy who wanted Max all to himself) and then they gathered information on penguins. And then they get kidnapped. And then gives a speech to congress???? What? And what happened to them wanting to take the School down?

The kidnapping was the only part that was cool but where in the world did the uber-director come from? Anyone care to explain that? Was he connected to Itex or not? It was a whole lot better when the bad guys were Erasers who actually had a malicious desire to cause the flock pain. I mean cool, right? But no, now
they are robots who don't feel pain and only wish to do as they were told.

The global warming thing killed me. I don't want it shoved down my throat when I'm reading a fiction book.

Also it was very short. And there were random scenes. And yes James, we get that Max doesn't like it when Fang hangs with girls. Why don't we just skip to the part where Max decides whether or not she likes Fang instead of all this weird jealousy. Oh and speaking of relationships does the dog really need one? In the end it seemed to me like they took the other dog, Akilu or something like that, with them and I didn't like that.

Oh and I can't forget the most important scene, who the heck gave them the pizza bomb? It wasn't the uber-director because he needed them alive.

I'm not sure if I will be continuing the series. The only reason I would is because of Fax but if that goes bad, then I don't want to end up ripping the book up and burning the pieces.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,631 reviews56 followers
September 29, 2019
When you invest your time and interest into a series or franchise, there's a moment you pretty much know is going to come. It may happen early on or towards the end, but, with rare exceptions, it will happen: jumping the shark.

(For those who don't know: "Jumping the shark" is a term that comes from the classic television show Happy Days; when the infamous Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis, it has been long-held popular opinion that it was all downhill for that show afterwards. So, when a series or franchise "jumps the shark," that means that it's all downhill from there.)

This book is the shark-jumping moment for Maximum Ride. Sure, there was some action, intensity, and romance, but it all gets short shrift for an anti-global-warming message. I'm sure most readers didn't pick this up expecting a science lecture; if they wanted that, they'd go read a chemistry textbook or a book by Bill Nye or Al Gore.

Though I plan to continue through the rest of the series, this one messed things up quite a bit; it'll be hard for Mr. Patterson to recover from this mess.
Profile Image for Robyn.
282 reviews27 followers
August 3, 2012

In my review of the previous book, I said that if the next book was as bad as that one, I would quit reading. This isn't as bad as the previous book, but it's not quite bad enough to make me give up, just yet. It was at least interesting to see this story get completely screwed up in an entirely different way than the last one.

There are some things that this book has improved upon, making it better than the last one; there aren't a dozen meaningless plot twists, Max's voice doesn't feel as "trying way too hard" as in the previous installment, and overall the flow of the whole thing was much better.

However, this may be a case of the author setting his sights too low, in the name of achieving an easier goal. There wasn't as much to screw up in this book simply because there wasn't as much here. There weren't any disappointing plot twists, because there weren't ANY plot twists. This story did almost nothing to advance the overall narrative, and even took it back a few paces. It's starting to really feel like the author is horribly indecisive or we have too many chefs working on this stew.

The big revelation from the previous book is rescinded, we're adding another freaking dog to the cast, (at least this one doesn't talk...yet) and now everyone has MORE POWERS (yeah, that's why the last book sucked, there weren't enough super powers!). There isn't one overarching force driving this, there's no vision. This series is becoming as tightly plotted as a bad children's cartoon, with no sense of where it's trying to go at all.

My review of the last installment compared the villain to one of the baddies from Captain Planet. Little did I know how prophetic that was. Eco friendly messages are fine, but when they are completely shoe-horned into the story, they lose their impact. I don't know about kids who read this, but I was really starting to feel talked down to in the environmental bits, and they were too long and preachy. The worst thing is; I'm on their side, you know? Boo to global warming and pollution and species extinction! But shut up already, if you're going to talk about it in that patronizing tone. It kinda makes me want to chop down some trees, just to spite you.

What does Max and her group have to do with the environment, anyways? The premise for this whole book made zero sense. There's really no compelling reason for them to be doing anything they do in this book. None.

I'm starting to become really seriously disappointed in this series; it had such a compelling premise, and it's being thrown down the toilet.

Here's how you fix this:
1) Move the story back to Max and her friends working on finding out about their origins, why they were created, and who's pulling the strings in this world. That's much more impressive than this "mad scientist of the month" BS. Failing that, we need a huge shakeup. Let the world end, and take the whole thing into a post-apocalyptic setting.

2) We don't need any more new cast members, the roster is too cluttered as it is. And no more new super powers!

3) Stop doing things and then taking them back. Make something final and irrevocable happen so the readers know you aren't screwing around to give this a sense of danger again.

4) Stop with Fang's blog. It was cute at first, but now it's just filler. Added to that, Fang writes too similarly to how Max speaks. If you really can't part with this little gimmick, then do it right, FFS. Make Fang sound like Fang.

Of course, the next installment has already been published, so my suggestions are too late. I'm not going to issue ultimatums this time, as I think I might continue on with this series out of a sort of stubborn masochism. But I'm going to let everyone know how much it sucks.
Profile Image for B.A. Wilson.
2,444 reviews305 followers
October 7, 2017
This book was frustrating, tedious, and sacrificed its plot, world building, and character development to an endless platform to speak about political issues and global warming.

The really exhausting part is that I do agree, overall, with its message, but I was so tired of being hit over the head with a constant lecture, right in the middle of every potentially interesting scene, that I just wanted to quit the book.

It's condescending, both to adults and tweens, in terms of its information delivery on political viewpoints, and many of the messages could have been made without all the exhausting preachy crap that was unnecessary to the story.

If the next book is like this, I'm quitting the series. This fails as both an enjoyable read and as an awareness piece for global warming, because by the end, I feel so aggravated that I will probably scream if anyone says the words global warming to me today. Since this was not the intention of this lecture, which is what I'll call it, since it's definitely not a decent sci-fi novel, I think this can be considered a fail.

Also, the delivery is absolutely terrible, which surprises me more than anything.

Pages: 273
Profile Image for Esther.
530 reviews107 followers
October 4, 2016
I really wish this series would have ended after book 2 or book 3.

This is just more of the same, with a message about climate in it.

Only thing that kept me curious was the relationship between Max and Fang.
Think that you can keep kids addicted to these books longer, but I will quit the series from now on. It was fun while it lasted, and I will add the first 3 books to my own bookshelf :)
Profile Image for Kate.
54 reviews
March 8, 2010
Profile Image for Eileen.
1,864 reviews72 followers
May 10, 2020
Although the third book sort of wraps up a lot of loose ends, these additional books continue the adventures of Max and her flock as their powers continue to grow and mutate, and both legitimate and illegal groups try to control who gets to "use" her. James Patterson throws in an environmental thread in this one, as he discusses Global Warming and man's responsibility towards minimizing or improving the situation. He is also pretty blunt about America's role in not joining European countries to do what they can. I know other people had problems with this since in some ways, the story seems to come out of nowhere, but then again, Fang seemed to be on board (he's the science type person anyway--Max is the action hero type), while she's a bit skeptical. It's only when she experiences some of the effects of global warming that she decides that perhaps it really is a thing. If Mr. Patterson wants to educate younger kids about it now, why not? Overall, I enjoyed the story and some of the side characters (like the malamut). Perhaps not the strongest book in this series, but I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Bex.
385 reviews58 followers
August 9, 2010
The Final Warning, by James Patterson, is the fourth book in the Maximum Ride series. As I recall, this series was supposed to be a trilogy, but after the last book, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, it was clear that Patterson could still add to the story line. While this book answers more of the lingering questions, there are still some that require more investigation, like "Who is the Voice?" and "Why are the kids mutating new powers?"

The book begins with The Flock under attack from the Uber-Director and his new army while a short chapter brings the new readers up to speed. Following those chapters, The Flock, under the direction of Maximum Ride, are invited to Washington where they are presented with an offer of safety and schooling (while the oldest in The Flock is about 14, none of them have had any structured schooling). A little issue with an assassination attempt forces The Flock to seek shelter elsewhere and they end up in Antarctica. This is where The Flock discovers how they are to "save the world." But while they are busy with the scientists in Antarctica, the Uber-Director is plotting their demise. It all comes to a head in Florida during a hurricane.

This installment does not have as much adventure as the previous Maximum Ride novels. Most of the novel deals with Antarctica and the work that The Flock engages in on the ice. There are some exciting scenes, but they are much less than in the earlier novels. I have to believe that most teens that will read this book are aware of global warming. Patterson, through The Flock, in general, and Maximum Ride in particular, really beats that theme over the readers' head. At first, I thought that it was nice that Patterson added this to the novel, but after driving the point home time after time, it got to be very annoying. The final scenes, with the Uber-Director, seemed too easily wrapped up, especially for a character that was presented as extremely intelligent. I felt that Patterson did a disservice to the reader and the characters.

We still have unanswered questions, and Im hoping the the next novel will will answer some of these questions and contain more action. As it is, i still enjoyed this book but not as much as the first three.
Profile Image for Ethan Broom.
1 review1 follower
May 16, 2012
When I picked up The Final Warning after reading the previous Maximum Ride books, my hopes were very high. It was a series about flying children and evil scientists, that was immensely interesting and enjoyable. The plot was compelling, the characters interesting and easy to sympathise with. In fact it was probably my favourite series. Until now.

In this installment of the series, the gang head to Antarctica to promote environmental salvation.The main plot point of the entire novel is global warming. BORING. I'm all for saving the whales, but the middle of a book about flying children is NOT the place to do it! This book was lacking the adventure and sarcastic humour that I had come to expect from the previous novels. The global warming theme completely killed the plot line.

The mere fact that the main villain in this novel is called "The Uber Director" and is literally a brain inside a box, tells you that Patterson is running out of ideas. However,the most vomit inducing part of this book is the last line.

"My heart was so full of freedom that it felt like it might burst."


This book disappointed me in so many ways. It had nothing that I had come to expect from the previous three books. It has put a permanent taint on an otherwise great series. 1/10

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Becky.
379 reviews13 followers
March 26, 2008
Well, actually I'd give it a 3 1/2, but there's no option here. I again enjoyed this book and the exciting twists, I really liked the other ones more. This one needs a little more wrapping up, that is if he's not planning on writing any more. The preaching of the "theory" of global warming was getting a bit repetitive. It didn't have the same feel as the rest of the book. It's like the author decided to shift gears, and jump onto the Gore bandwagon. I wonder how many free "$400.00" haircuts he would get from Bill C. or John Edward's stylist. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but he just missed out on the updated term for the warming/cooling trends. It's now called "climate change" as they aren't so sure about the warming thing anymore. Sorry, I just get sick of the hypocracy...I'm done with this subject for the night, can't sleep when I get to riled up over certain subjects.
Yes, I did enjoy the book,so go ahead and read it. He had better write one more in order to wrap up a couple of birds relationship, ugh.
Profile Image for Denae Christine.
Author 4 books163 followers
February 14, 2017
For fans of the fist three, this book is a big let down. Not only is it a lot smaller, but JP seems to only have skill in drawing up characters and the same confrontations, over and over. Max is still funny, the flock get weird new powers, and the scientists are still crazy-strange. But, by the end of the book, nothing is resolved between Max and Fang, and I felt cheated. The book just seemed to be one big promotional tool to get people informed about global warming. Some of that was interesting, but totally un-MaximumRide style. Plus, the flock didn't do much fighting. Just a bit of running, flying, talking, mocking, and fleeing. The bad guys were killed by a hurricane.

There was still some witty banter, but it was overshadowed by terrible plotting fails.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Patty_pat.
338 reviews47 followers
June 28, 2018
E... niente! Anche questa puntata della saga di Maximum Ride non mi ha convinto. Questa fissazione di cambiare il mondo non regge alla lunga. Interessante la parte che si svolge in Antartide, ma niente di più. Ci siamo trasformati in documentario sulle cattiverie umane nei confronti della terra? Mi sa proprio di sì! Peccato, le premesse di questa saga erano diverse. Due sole stelline...
Profile Image for Chloe Springer.
23 reviews
June 17, 2022
Okay, I love this series but this one was seriously bad. There was almost no adventure compared to the rest. It was basically just the flock hanging out in Antarctica talking about global warming. I will finish the series and I still recommend.
Profile Image for Maria.
1,394 reviews60 followers
January 31, 2018
Ugh, this series is going seriously downhill.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,083 reviews30 followers
December 3, 2022
3.5 rounded up
I like that some of the Flock are developing new talents.
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