I preordered this one! It’s book 8, the final book in the Maximum Ride series. It’s been a really long time since a book in this series has come out, or at least a really long time for James Patterson…I give the guy some credit though because he’s working on about a million books at once. But still…I started this series as a teenager, and I even remember picking up book 1 for the first time.
I had actually been to my bookstore several times, picked up the first book, read the side flap, and put it back on the shelf at least four times before I finally decided to purchase it. The cover obviously kept appealing to me, but the summary sounded so cheesy. Right at the top of the inside flap, it says, “Do not put this book down. I’m dead serious –your life could depend on it.” And while I could see this statement maybe appealing to a much younger crowd, I thought it was trying way too hard. (And as an arrogant teen, I would giggle, and just say, “No thanks.”) Yet, I still bought it or maybe talked my dad into buying for me, and I’m glad I did because the story, while yes, maybe a little bit cheesy at times, has remained one of the most action-packed, engaging stories I’ve ever read. And I kept with this series for the past seven years because of this awesome story.
As all last books in series go, it was a little bit hard and sad to read. It’s not ever easy for me to say goodbye to characters. And I’m sorry if this is kind of turning into a review of the series as a whole as compared to just the last book, but I haven’t reviewed any of the other books on this blog yet and I feel like I can really judge a final book best by comparing it with all the books before it.
It takes place at the end of the world. Angel, the youngest child in Max’s (short for Maximum) gang has been captured again. Max (female!) and her flock/family are all kids who have been experimented on, tortured, poked, and trained in a science facility for most of their young lives. They also all have wings, and they can all fly. A big theme throughout the series is normalcy and how much these kids wish for normal childhoods. They’re always on the run, always fighting, and always trying to help save the world. There’s epic sky battles, kidnappings, children dying, mad scientists, human (or human hybrid) rights, family mysteries, special powers (on top of flying!), and an ever present upcoming apocalypse.
This final book begins with apocalypse, and you know I loved every second of that! There’s politics, crazy weather going out of crazy proportions, an island of genetically different children, seriously awesome love triangle scenes, lots of fighting, clones, torture, and so many questions answered! Patterson was not afraid to pretty much end the world, and I was really impressed by this.
The book was missing a lot of the action and suspense that the others in this series brought to the table. This one was more about ending things and about deciding things, and about characters becoming who they’re meant to be. I do still have some questions about the end of it all, and I kind of wish more was explained better at the very end. Also, a whole gang of characters (Fang’s gang to be exact) kind of got abandoned and then never mentioned again. Why couldn’t they have been on the island?
Also, I was never really sure why so many people just accepted that they weren’t meant to survive. And this was way before the serious weather damage. Why were they so willing to die for a select few to live? Some of that just didn’t make sense to me. Though, I did pick up on a lot of political parody with all the 1 percent lives stuff, and that was awesome.
I also kind of think Max took Fang back in way too quickly. I was definitely team Fang, but I felt like that reunion was a little rushed. And Max doesn’t normally forgive and forget that quickly. But, that’s okay. I still get why that needed to happen, so I’ll take it.
I did want a little more action. But overall, I really enjoyed this one. I liked seeing all the missions the kids went on throughout the series come together. All that global warming stuff (that I felt was kind of preached at me in the one book I didn’t like that much) made a lot more sense now. Max never ceased to amaze me. She is one strong bird kid! Really, I would not mind having her as a leader. I give this a 9/10. (But if I were rating the whole series, it would definitely be a 10/10 from me). I’m just so sad that it’s all over.