The Final Warning: Maximum Ride: The Protectors, Book 1
By Matt Berman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Uninspired sci-fi adventure won't leave kids wanting more.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
A woman is killed by a leopard seal, a robot breaks a little girl's arm.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A kiss and some tepid longing.
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Products & Purchases
Soda, electronics, department store, restaurant chain, candy brands mentioned.
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.
Where to Read
Based on 7 parent reviews
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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."
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Author: James Patterson
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Book type: Fiction
- Publication date: September 1, 2008
- Number of pages: 256
- Last updated: June 23, 2015
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