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Patterson, James. The final warning.

PATTERSON, James. The final warning. (Maximum Ride.) Read by Justine Eyre. 5 cds. 5.30 hrs. Books on Tape. 2008. 978-1-4159-5417-1. $80.00. Vinyl; plot notes. JS

PATTERSON, James. The final warning. (Maximum Ride.) Read by Jill Apple. 4 cds. 5 hrs. Abridged. Hachette Audio. 2008. 978-1-60024-155-0. $22.98. Cardboard; plot, author, reader notes. JS

Patterson has hopped on the "Green" bandwagon in this YA novel, fourth in the Maximum Ride series, because the mission for Max and her mutant flock is nothing less than saving the planet from global warming. Fang, Iggy, and Max are now fourteen, Nudge is eleven, Gazzy is eight, and Angel is six. An uneasy and awkward romance develops between Max and Fang. Even Total the talking dog gets a girlfriend, an 80-pound Malamute named Akila. The genetically altered kids are developing new and unexpected skills. Iggy, who is blind, can now "feel" colors. Nudge has become magnetic. Fang can disappear, sort of. Angel can change her shape and appearance. Gazzy has developed a nuclear fart, and Total is growing wings. They are menaced by a unique villain whose body parts are in a stack of clear boxes. This Uber-Director of ITEX has created a new set of robot warriors, led by the hulking Gozen who tracks the flock from Antarctica to the Poconos to Florida during a category five hurricane (caused by global warming). In the end Max gets to address Congress. In her speech she urges the passage of the Kyoto Treaty, the use of wind, solar and other forms of power and the use of fluorescent light bulbs.

The abridged version omits nothing critical. Both narrators, Eyre who reads the full-length version and Apple who reads the abridgment, have similar voices. Both do a full-voiced narration. The abridgment adds sound effects, creepy metallic voices and a rift of music now and then. Apple is not as effective at using pauses; she reads too quickly. Eyre does a better job individualizing characters, adding accents where needed. She also gets the emotions better. A novel for YAs with action, romance, and a message. Janet Julian, English Teacher (retired), Grafton, MA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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