Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review: The Final Warning

The Final Warning book cover
Image from Hachette Book Group

Title: The Final Warning (Maximum Ride #4)

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Science Fiction

WARNING: This book is fourth in a series, so this review might contain spoilers of the previous books. Read at your own risk.

Back Cover:

In one of the world’s most extreme environment – the freezing South Pole – Max and the flock are in serious trouble. The grotesque Uber-Director has put a price on their heads, and a worldwide auction for the genetically modified kids is about to begin. His mutant army is heading down south to track down the winged gang, and with no function for mercy, the soldiers aren’t about to take pity on anyone. Oblivious to the Uber-Director’s evil plans, the flock is on a special government mission to save the Earth. But in a brutal environment like the South Pole, being able to fly isn’t always an option for escaping your worst nightmares.

Review:

I was going through my books a long time ago and realized I owned the first five Maximum Ride books but hadn’t read them in a while. So I started rereading them to see if I still wanted to keep them.

I had intended to read The Final Warning in pretty quick succession after Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports…but yeah, that didn’t happen. It got shoved between a backlog of books that need read and books that need to get back to the library suddenly. But one Saturday with nothing happening, it made its way to the top of my pile.

I still loved Max, but she seemed a little more serious in this book. Her sarcasm and cynical wit made me love her in the first three books, but it didn’t seem to show up as much. She still had her moments, but her whole mood seemed darker.

All the other characters disappointed me a bit. I remembered them as much more vibrant than they seemed this time. (I even had a minor crush on Iggy at one point.) But this time around, they all just kind of felt flat.

I got to a point where it’s pointed out that the oldest three Flock members are 14, and I went, “That’s it?” I feel like this far along in the series, they should be older. I don’t recall this bothering me when I read it for the first time at 14, but at 17, they felt far too young.

I did enjoy the plot. I remembered almost all of it, so there weren’t really any surprises (except a few things that I didn’t realize happened in this book). But I enjoyed the confused almost-romance thing between Max and Fang, and Angel’s love of penguins, and Total’s complete obsession with Akila the dog. And there’s still some butt-kicking, even if it isn’t as much as the previous books.

The one thing that actually annoyed me (and I didn’t notice it at all as a 14-year-old) was the whole global warming thing. It got preachy. That especially annoyed me because Max was all championing this cause, and then it never comes up in the rest of the series again. I do think not harming the planet is a good thing, but please, let’s not use a preachy plotline to get your message out.

It’s not that I didn’t like The Final Warning – it just doesn’t hold the same magic as it did when I first fell in love with it. I don’t think I’ll be keeping this one. But, since I own Max and I seem to remember some hilarious scenes on an army base, I may reread that one before donating it.

The Maximum Ride series:

  1. The Angel Experiment
  2. School’s Out–Forever
  3. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  4. The Final Warning
  5. Max
  6. Fang
  7. Angel
  8. Nevermore
  9. Maximum Ride Forever
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