We begin with the end. Our precognitive, mind-reading and generally terrifying seven year old bird girl has been captured by the baddies (again). This time all of the original Flock, plus Dylan and Fang's grouping, think she is dead. But Angel isn't dead. She is alive and being tortured in a lab. Tortured by others, and tortured by her terrifying visions of the oncoming apocalypse. The Flock is dead. The humans are dead. The world is burning. Angel is alone.
The first part of the book focuses on Max and Fang both beginning to try to move on. Max is getting closer to Dylan and Fang to Maya. This ends quickly when Maya is killed by Ari (the, what, 6th?), and Fang disbands his group following the betrayal that caused Maya's death, only to be told by the Voice that he must return to Max's side. And that's when things get really interesting.
There's a message that appears on Fang's blog that Angel is still alive, and so begins another Angel rescue mission. There's another group trying to destroy humanity, and a bunch of people trying to kill Fang because of his ultra-special DNA. Oh, and did I mention the end of the world?
All in all, the plot still had the frantic, disjointed feel of the last two books, which was not something I am personally fond of. Actually, it felt like there were a bunch of short, unrelated stories tossed in a blender. Max shows some signs of her old self, especially after Fang returns to the group, but I wish she stood a little tougher. I would still advise anyone who is in the earlier series to stop at book five, which seems to be the logical conclusion, and pretend the following three didn't happen.
There are some strange and random additions to the plot at various points, which I wasn't all that fond of, and I don't like the direction some of the characters went. I mean, if there is a group planning to rid the world of humans and make way for the mutants, shouldn't someone, you know, try to stop them. Overall, a lot of the characters lost some of their heroism (though Max does try to go back to the mainland and stop it, she is hindered by the whole asteroid episode).
The love triangle is (finally, thank goodness) resolved. (Spoiler) Max ends up with Fang. Which I think in the end works better for me than Dylan. I didn't really like Dylan from the beginning, but I think it is more my attachment to the original Flock. And the fact that there is something wrong with the fact that his age is measured in months, not years. I really hope Max and Fang can revert back to the way they were in the earlier books. I miss the tough survivors so much. And poor Maya. Her death was depressing, though it seemed too rushed and was... well it just felt off somehow.
And the asteroid thing. I'm really worried about Ratchet and Holden. We never find out if they made it out alive, or if the flu did destroy pretty much all of humanity. I would have liked some sort of epilogue, but seeing as how Max speaks in past tense to a human reader at the end, it is safe to assume some survived.
All in all, the constant apocalypses of the last few books failed to serve as fulfilling, though was left with an overall feeling that everything would be okay- for the Flock, at least. For some reason everything ending in all of that destruction didn't really ring true, and I'm kind of imaging the Flock living like they did in the earlier books. I'm not quite sure about what message James Patterson was sending, except with the "Max's Last Words" shpiel. I don't know, but I just picture the human world recovering, in spite of everything, maybe with mutants helping it along. Or something. It can't just be, the humans all died and we lived happily ever after, that just doesn't work. I still felt like we had lost the characters a little bit, but I think I am (sad as it is) used to that after three books of it.
Anyway. Eight books, some major downhill spiralage and a frantic attempt to create a crash-landing that lands all of the passengers relatively safe is what I would compare this series to. I'm still not sure how successful it was, so I'm giving it three stars, though I might come back and change it later. It could have been a lot worse, all things considered. Overall, it has been quite the ride.