RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, Book 4), by James Patterson (Read by Jill Apple)

Maximum Ride, the heroine who is part girl and part bird, not only has to save herself and her flock of 'birdkids," but now she's been assigned the responsibility of saving the world. Just when it looks like she'll have some normal vacation time with her newly discovered mother, room service dinner turns out to be an exploding pizza, and the flock is on the move again. The only safe location appears to be a remote area of Antarctica, in the midst of a science expedition. Working with the scientists, the birdkids learn about the effect global warming is having on the planet and how they can use their enhanced powers to help the scientists. Did I say this was a safe location? Wrong! As usual, ruthless individuals are plotting to capture Max and her flock and exploit them before destroying them. A spine-tingling encounter with a very angry mother nature puts Max to the test and brings the story to a breathtaking conclusion.

This is the fourth book in Patterson's Angel Experiment series. Although there are references to earlier events and characters, the book stands on its own. Explanations offered by the characters are sufficient to give the listener a complete appreciation and understanding of Max's current situation. An added bonus in this book is the information about the very real and immediate danger of allowing global warming to progress unchecked. Without being preachy, Patterson suggests steps that citizens of the world can take to preserve the planet for future generations.

Jill Apple, the narrator, creates voices for Max and the flock that are easily identifiable. She makes Max at times full of sarcasm, cynicism and bravado and at other times, tender and nurturing. This is a book that truly bridges the generation gap. Children will relate to 6 year old Angel, while their older siblings and parents will identify with Max and her handlers. The fact that this exciting book is appealing to listeners of all ages makes it a perfect road trip book, whether the trip is to soccer practice across town or a five-hour ride across the state.

Ruth Mormon

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