The release of a sequel is an anticipated event, especially if the sequel is written by a wildly-popular, best-selling author like James Patterson. Approximately 4.8 million copies have been sold of the previous three books in the Maximum Ride series, so hopes were high that Final Warning, the new installment, would be just as entertaining. When a sequel fails to live up to the standards of the previous books in the series, readers feel let down.
There are three issues that affect the quality of Final Warning. First, there is a lack of adventure in this installment of the action-packed Maximum Ride adventure series. It seemed to be more of an extended brainstorming session instead of actual problem-solving. Second, the length of this book is an issue. For a novel that has a retail price of $20, 272 pages is pretty skimpy -– especially when you consider that The Angel Experiment, the first book in the series, had 432 pages. Finally, and most importantly, is the story itself. If the story had been interesting and new, the reader would be able to overlook the page length. Instead of adding anything new to the story, Patterson chose to focus on the issue of global warming and have The Flock, the six bird kids we've come to love, assist with scientific research in Antarctica. Final Warning appears to be more of a filler book than a necessary part of the series. In fact, if a reader were to skip Final Warning, there probably wouldn’t be a problem catching up when a fifth book is published.
Instead of a character-driven storyline, Patterson has given us an extended public service announcement on global warming, and while global warming is a serious issue we need to think about, a young adult adventure novel might not be the best place to hammer the issue home.