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Maximum Ride: School's Out-Forever

If you've already devoured James Patterson's #1 bestselling blockbuster MAXIMUM RIDE: THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT, stop right here—just turn the page, and hold on tight!

As for the rest of you-well, where have you been? Meet Max, Fang, Iggy, Gasman, Nudge, and Angel, six absolutely unforgettable kids. With some major problems. THEY'RE BEING HUNTED BY KILLERS. BUT WHO?

It's even worse than that. Max is sure that a microchip has been inserted under her skin-leading freakish forces of evil to ambush them at any moment...AND WORSE!

She and the others are supposed to save the world. BUT FROM WHAT? WHEN? AND HOW?

Max will stop at nothing to find answers. One thing she does know: it's got something to do with an astonishing ability they have that no others can claim. THEY CAN FLY.

Max's heart-stopping quest to protect her "family" and investigate the mind-blowing mystery of her ultimate destiny continues in the scariest, strangest, and funniest James Patterson thriller yet.

THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT WAS JUST A TEST DRIVE. NOW, BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE MAXIMUM RIDE!

Chapter 3

It had gotten dark hours ago. He should have heard by now. The fearsome Eraser paced around the small clearing, and then suddenly the static in his ear made him wince. He pressed the earpiece of his receiver and listened.

What he heard made him smile, despite feeling like crap, despite having a rage so fierce it felt as if it were going to burn him up from the inside out.

One of his men saw the expression on his face and motioned the others to be quiet. He nodded, said “Got it” into his mouthpiece, and tapped off his transmitter.

He looked over at his troop. “We got our coordinates,” he said. He tried to resist rubbing his hands together in glee but couldn’t. “They’re headed south-southwest and passed Philadelphia thirty minutes ago. The Director was right—they’re going to Washington DC.”

“How solid is this info?” one of his Erasers asked.

“From the horse’s mouth,” he said, starting to check his equipment. He rolled his shoulders, grimacing, then popped a pain pill.

“Which horse?” asked another Eraser, standing up and fastening a night-vision monocle over one eye.

“Let’s just say it’s insider information,” the leader of the Erasers said, hearing the joy in his own voice. He felt his heart speed up with anticipation, his fingers itching to close around a skinny bird-kid neck. Then he started to morph, watching his hands.

The frail human skin was soon covered with tough fur; ragged claws erupted from his fingertips. Morphing had hurt at first—his lupine DNA wasn’t seamlessly grafted into his stem cells, like the other Erasers’. So there were some kinks to be worked out, a rough, painful transition period he’d had to go through.

But he wasn’t complaining. It would all be worth it the moment he got his claws on Max and choked the life right out of her. He imagined the look of surprise on her face, how she would struggle. Then he’d watch the light slowly fade out of her beautiful brown eyes. She wouldn’t think she was so hot then. Wouldn’t look down on him or, worse, ignore him. Just because he wasn’t a mutant freak like them, he’d been nothing to her. All she cared about was the flock this and the flock that. That was all his father, Jeb, cared about too.

Once Max was dead, that would all change.

And he, Ari, would be the number-one son. He’d come back from the dead for it.

Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson

Read by Valentina de Angelis

Valentina is cast for James Patterson's Maximum Ride - School's Out-Forever. She co-stars with Joan Allen and Sam Elliot in "Off The Map", directed by Campbell Scott. She has appeared in Law and Order SVU and in the new CBS hit series Love Monkey. She has also appeared in over 50 commercials, narrated voice-overs, and did a guest stint on Saturday Night Live. Click here to see photos of her in the recording studio!

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