The Final Warning: Maximum Ride: The Protectors, Book 1 Book Poster Image

The Final Warning: Maximum Ride: The Protectors, Book 1

Uninspired sci-fi adventure won't leave kids wanting more.

What parents need to know


A woman is killed by a leopard seal, a robot breaks a little girl's arm.


A kiss and some tepid longing.

Not applicable

Soda, electronics, department store, restaurant chain, candy brands mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is a bit of violence here, but not nearly as much as in previous books in the series.

What's the story?

Max and the flock go to Antarctica to try to stop global warming in some unspecified way. While there robots sent by the evil Uber-Director capture them and take them to Miami to be auctioned to the highest bidder, right in the middle of a hurricane caused by -- you guessed it! Global warming.

Is it any good?


If this is the best Patterson can do, it's past time for this series to end. All books are written to make money, and there's nothing wrong with that -- authors and publishers have livings to make, just like anyone else -- but usually, absent true artistic inspiration, an effort is made at least to disguise that crass reality. Not here -- and it's painful to watch the author struggling to fill up the pages when he is out of ideas. Nine chapters of Angel wandering off to pet a penguin and getting stuck in a crevasse. Interspersed chapters of Fang responding to inane postings on his website (there's a reason nobody's rushing to publish books of blog comments). Most of the book is about traveling to Antarctica for no discernible reason. Periodically one of the flock randomly develops a new power which is then not used at all in the plot. Gazzy can now fart a noxious green cloud -- how's that for pandering? Reading this one might reasonably assume that the author doesn't have much respect for his audience's intelligence.

Patterson clearly has nothing left to say, at least about these characters, and is just cynically cranking out books because he knows fans of the series, which at least used to be fun, will buy them anyway. Making it worse is that he has a lot to say about global warming, all of it trite, didactic, and obvious (Evil Corporations! Pollution is bad! We'd better do something soon!). The scene in which Max testifies before a Congressional Committee about global warming, because she has, you know, been to Antarctica, so she's an expert, is so ludicrous that at least you might get a chuckle out of it, especially when she dramatically tosses aside her notes to speak from the heart and awes the crowd (now where have you seen that before?).

From the Book:
Okay, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that funerals suck. Even if you didn't know the person, it's still totally sad. When you did know the person, well, let's just say it's much worse than broken ribs. And when you just found out that the person was your biological half brother, right before he died, it adds a whole new level of pain.

Ari. My half brother. We shared the same "father," Jeb Batchelder, and you can believe those quotes around "father."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why an author might write a book like this. Was he just trying to make money? Had he run out of ideas? Is he so worked up about global warming that he might have thought he was doing some good?

Book details

Author:James Patterson
Genre:Science Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:September 1, 2008
Number of pages:256

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLordKarnage December 24, 2012


This is by far the most terrible Max Ride book. It is basically a pamphlet on global warming. I read this in one day during Hurricane Sandy. I still enjoyed it because of the characters, though. BUT WAIT! Don't stop reading the series because this book. The next book, MAX, is not as good either, but it is worth it to read the last 3 books, FANG, ANGEL, and NEVERMORE. These last books go back to the awesome action, humor and romance of the first 3 books. While NEVERMORE had a crappy ending, it was still good. So even though this book sucks, it's worth it to read the last 3 books, which are amazing.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old June 13, 2011

Rant on how awesome this book is!

Wait wait wait wait. That review is wrong! See, here I am, a kid, and I love love love the Maximum Ride series. Not wanting more? Ok, look. Don't listen to the adults who wrote the review. I mean, it's a CHILDREN'S BOOK. FOR CHILDREN. Not educational adults who think the plot is bland. And uninspired? PSH. I think, being a TOTAL eco freak, that's it is super inspired. While I must admit, it isn't the most awesome, spectacular book in the series, its WAAY up there in the sha-maaazing range. It's an exciting, heart pounding comedy that you won't want to put down. Trust me; 'cause even though I'm only eleven, I know my books.
Teen, 13 years old Written byEnderwiggin98 May 17, 2012

Team Fang!!

I don't care that this book wasn't very good, I still loved it! (if that makes any sense :P) yes it's a filler but it still features some of the best characters in young adult fiction. And I found it very educational, believe it or not! I love this series.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence