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Maximum Ride: The Final Warning

In this breathtaking new story from the astonishing imagination of James Patterson, a girl has to save herself from an army assembled just to capture her–and maybe save the planet while she's at it.

Maximum Ride is a perfectly normal teenager who just happens to be able to fly, the result of an out-of-control government experiment. Max and the other members of the Flock–six kids who share her remarkable ability–have been asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the causes of global warming. Their ability to fly could help the scientists conquer this epic problem. The expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure, activism–and escaping government forces who watch the Flock like a hawk.

But even in Antarctica, trapped in the harshest weather on our planet, Maximum Ride is an irresistible target in constant danger. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world....

Maximum Ride is James Patterson's greatest character, a heroine who manages to be human and fearless at once. THE FINAL WARNING is an unrelenting new adventure from the writer Time magazine has called "The Man Who Can't Miss."

Prologue | CATCHING BIRD FREAKS: HAZARDOUS DUTY AT BEST

Chapter 2

"THE PREY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED, SIR," the team leader said in a monotone. Pride was not tolerated in this organization.

"Why do you say that?" the Uber- Director asked in a silky tone.

"The cabin has been secured."

"No. Not quite," said the Uber- Director, who was little more than a human head attached by means of an artificial spinal column to a series of Plexiglas boxes. The bioengine that controlled the airflow over his vocal cords allowed him to sigh, and he did. "The chimney. The skylight."

The team leader frowned. "The chimney would be impossible to climb," he said, accessing his internal encyclopedia. Photographs of the prey scrolled quickly across the team leader's screen. Suddenly an important detail caught his attention, and he froze.

In the corner of one of the photographs, a large feathered wing was visible. The team leader tracked it, zooming in on just that section of the image. The wing appeared to be attached to the prey.

The prey could fly.

He had left routes of escape open.

He had failed!

The Uber- Director closed his eyes, sending a thought signal to the nanoprocessors implanted in his brain. He opened his eyes in time to see the team leader and his troop vaporize with a crackling, sparking fizzle. All that was left of them was a nose- wrinkling odor of charred flesh and machine oil.

Copyright © 2008 by James Patterson

Read by Jill Apple

Jill Apple is a voice-over artist, having lent her voice to hundreds of television and radio commercials, animation projects, and audiobooks. She lives in New York City with her husband, Maury, and her Boston terrier, Otis.

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