After seven years and eight books in the making, along with rumors of a future movie, the best-selling “Maximum Ride” series by James Patterson has finally come to a close with “Nevermore.” However, this ending is not one that fans would ever expect.
The young adult Maximum series is inspired by Patterson’s own two-part adult series (“When the Wind Blows” published in 1999, and “The Lake House,” 2004), but the two are only similar on the surface. While the characters in both series can be roughly matched up with each other, with Max unmistakably the main character in both, the plots are entirely separate from one another with completely different conclusions.
“Nevermore” picks up where the series left off: with the disappearance of the Flock’s youngest member, little Angel. That’s right, the Flock. For those of you who have read the series in its entirety, you will know all about “Maximum Ride’s” Flock. And for those of you who have not, here’s a quick summation: After escaping the terrible School filled with white-coats and cruel experimentations, Maximum Ride (“Max” to those who know her) and her group of Avian-American children have been flying all around the world trying to flee their pasts and find their futures in the upcoming apocalypse. These precocious young flyers, with their 98 percent human and 2 percent avian DNA, have always escaped disaster by the skin of their necks – but now they’ve hit catastrophe square in the face. With tragedy on the horizon, readers will once and for all find out if Max and her Flock will save the world like they were always destined to.
As always, the “voice” of the books is extremely individualistic and successfully reflects the personality of the superhero of the series: Max. The entire series, especially “Nevermore,” reads like Max’s personal diary. The action and adventure may have started out stagnant in the beginning chapters of this book, but it soon heats up to the standard of Patterson’s books. As the story progresses and nears its end, some of the vital questions raised in the last few books are finally answered. And, however unexpected, we finally discover what happens to Maximum Ride. While the ending will not please many readers because of its mind-boggling twist and does not seem to be an appropriate ending to a beloved series, it seems to fit a theme common in many of Patterson’s books: not everything can end in a happily-ever-after.
While the ending may leave readers with a bitter taste in their mouths and possibly an opened-mouthed expression of shock stuck upon their faces, Patterson’s series is perfect for all sci-fi lovers. These books are for those ready to enjoy an exciting story and willing to meet characters that will capture their hearts.
Rachel Wieclaw is a junior at North Tonawanda High School.