What in the hell did I just read.Some of my reviews of these books have been troll-magnets in the past. And you know how trolls are. They're all like, "WELL IF YOU DON'T LIKE THESE BOOKS THEN WHY ARE YOU READING THEM." Good question, trolls. I'm going to make it clear why I read this, and why it upset me so much. Here's the story:I used to love these books with a burning passion. When I was thirteen, I picked up the first book at the library one day, never suspecting what hell this series would put me through. (I also didn't know who James Patterson was ...) I devoured that first book. I thought it was really exciting, the characters were likable … It wasn't the most original thing ever, but at least I found it to be enjoyable.I thought Max was a pretty good role model and felt like a realistic character. She could kick ass when she needed to, but she didn't want to stoop to the level of the bad guys she was fighting by needlessly hurting/killing anyone. On top of that, she had to take care of five other kids––and it was obvious that all that pressure took a toll on her. So yeah, she was a badass, but she also had a caring side––and that's what made her feel like a compelling narrator. And yeah, she had her interest in Fang, but it wasn't overbearing, it didn't control her actions too much, and it wasn't her primary concern.So, things remained like this for pretty much the first three books. I mean, books two and three were weaker than the first, but I still found them to be mostly okay. At least Max still remained a pretty cool and consistent character, along with the rest of the Flock.And then …Then …There was book four. And that was when the shit really hit the fan.I felt disappointed pretty much as soon as I held the book in my hands. The first thing I noticed about it was that it was so … short. While the other books had been like 400-500 pages long, this one was suddenly less than 300. Also, I wasn't sure what to expect, since after the third book it seemed that the Flock had already done their job, the only compelling villain (Ari) had turned good and then died (again) … What else was there to do?… Apparently, save penguins from global warming. I shit you not.So, a brief summary of the series:First three books: Mutant bird kids run away from evil scientists and scary werewolf-things that are trying to kill them. Ooh, fun!Fourth and fifth books: Mutant bird kids do happy environmental/charitable things like save penguins, help starving children in Africa, and clean up pollution from the ocean floor.Sixth, seventh, and eighth books: Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy basically cease to exist, and only say about one thing per book. Max, Fang, and an additional prop character named Dylan are caught up in a pointless love triangle. Angel is still a pretty prominent character, who suffers major (undiagnosed) bipolarism––sometimes acting like a sweet little girl, and other times acting like a sociopath. (But even when she does creepy things like threaten to kill Max, and acts like she totally doesn't care that Fang is going to die, Max still forgives her and thinks she's a total sweetheart. WHAT.) Oh yeah, and there's some vague, unexplained plotline about how there's supposed to be some fiery apocalypse and all the mutant kids are going to be the only ones who survive. But how anyone knows this apocalypse is coming, beats me. Also, no one seems to be doing anything about it, and the bird kids don't seem to give a crap about it because they're apparently too caught up in their stupid teenage drama.…..…..…..I mean, this series started off pretty strong. Not the best thing ever, but it was entertaining. I believe it could have been great. So, why on earth did it go so wrong? I mean, it was like … like eating some soup that tastes really delicious, only to suddenly discover that you're eating a bowl of shit. But okay. Let's focus on this book. Book eight. The final book. (Supposedly.)Alrighty, here are my numerous issues with this book. MANY SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW. IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS THEN GO AWAY.So ...The Characters:First of all, the characters acted more idiotic in this book than ever. I used to find everyone in the Flock likable. By this book, I was about ready to throttle them all.To begin with, during this book … they did absolutely nothing. They went to school to act like "normal kids." Max whined about her stupid love life. There was probably like two action sequences in the whole freaking book. How can you manage to make a book about the apocalypse so fucking boring? It was just like the characters had no idea what was going on at all. I'd almost forgotten that they all thought Angel had exploded. Like, no one even brought it up for the first 3% of the book. They were too busy … going to high school, I guess. There hardly seemed to be any grieving of any sort going on. Also, like I said before, it's like Iggy and Nudge and Gazzy were hardly in the book at all. They were just there but they never really did anything. Sometimes I'd just be like, "Where the hell is Gazzy?" I swear, he was only mentioned like twice in the whole book and he was there the whole time! What on earth? Of the three of them, Nudge was the only one who ever really took the spotlight. And she only took it to be an annoying, whiney little brat. "Boohoo. I'm a perfectly beautiful girl with wings! Not to mention I have a house and clothes and food! But I'm weird because I have GORGEOUS, WONDERFUL WINGS AND I CAN FLY. MY LIFE IS SO HARD. Meh heh heh Max I'm going to rebel against you by getting a cardboard-cutout boyfriend!" … Just. No. I don't understand. Nudge used to be such a cute, caring kid. And all of a sudden, all she can do is whine and act like a bitch? WHY, WHY? Then of course, there was Max herself. As I said earlier, I think she used to be a pretty good role model. She really cared about the other kids and was always looking after them. She cared about the state of the world and what she could do to help it. Yada yada. Then we have Book Eight Max. The Max who made pro-con lists for each of her potential boyfriends. THAT'S RIGHT. The freaking APOCALYPSE is about to happen, and Maximum Freaking Ride is losing sleep over the fact that she doesn't know what boyfriend to choose. I wasn't kidding about the pro-con list, either. She actually makes one. A physical pro-con list on a piece of paper. God, I just wanted to shake her and be like:Then we have the two boyfriends themselves.Fang was … meh, in this one. He didn't do anything to really infuriate me, but he just hasn't been an interesting character for the past few books. I liked him better when he just kind of sat around and didn't say much. And then he suddenly became a whiney, jealous bitch. Like, he was in love with Max forever, and then Dylan comes along and suddenly he feels super threatened. And since Dylan is pretty much the most boring, vanilla character there is, I never understood why Fang felt so threatened by him. The only thing was that he was genetically designed to be Max's soul mate or some crap like that, but that didn't mean Max had to like him … Well, I dunno. He was just bland.And then there was Dylan. Oh God, Dylan. He and Angel should both go to some Bipolars Anonymous meeting or something. I mean, sheesh. Dylan is supposed to be the "nice guy." He acts all innocent and sweet, bringing Max flowers and breaking out into showtunes or whatever. Aww. Then suddenly … Fang comes back. So of course, Dylan's reasonable reaction to this is to go on a FUCKING RAMPAGE. Yeah, I'm not kidding. He goes off on an insane, jealous rampage––destroying buildings and throwing cars and shit. Just because he's jealous of Fang! What the ever-loving hell? And then Max's reaction is to be like, "Aww, poor Dylan. He must feel so hurt." Well, until he ALSO beats the living shit out of Fang. And then she gets pretty mad at him. But in the end, she still freaking forgives him. WHAT?!?!I'm sorry. (Well no, I'm not sorry.) But, freaking NO. This should not be portrayed as acceptable behavior. It wouldn't be forgivable even if Max had like, killed Dylan's family or something (if he had one). It would have been bad enough if Dylan had punched Max in the face or something. But it's even worse that he takes out his anger on innocent civilians who are not associated with this stupid love triangle in the first place.Up until that point, I'd thought Dylan was just a boring coat rack or something. And that was bad enough. But no, he was worse than that. He is a maniac. Literally. He needs serious, serious help. If the way he reacts to some minor romance envy is to tear apart a whole town, he is obviously unstable and just … insane. If I were Max, I would stay the hell away from him for the rest of my existence. Because that is NOT COOL. It should not be portrayed as understandable or forgivable.Not to mention, it was pointed out some point in the book that Dylan was only created two years ago––and therefore, he has the mind of a two-year-old. Uhhhh. Well I mean, I guess that would explain for his totally immature (and dangerous) temper tantrum. But doesn't that also make it super creepy that he wants to get in Max's pants in the first place? Just sayin'!Well, that's about it for the most major characters. There were a lot of other side characters who I couldn't have cared less about––like the members of "Fang's Gang" (including Maya, who obviously just died so that the author could get her out of the way), and Jeb … just Jeb. I never figured him out. After several books, he was just always there, derping around, telling Max things that didn't make any freaking sense at all. So yeah. Who cares about him. Same with Dr. Martinez … who for some reason was like, pretending to be evil in this book and then was like, "LOL JK." Yeah, I don't know. It made no sense at all.Oh yeah, there was also some guy in it named Mark that I couldn't even remember at all from the other books. But he didn't matter that much I guess, because all he did was say something weird, jump out a window, and get impaled on … something. And they were all like, "Oh well, there goes Mark."Yeah okay.The Plot:…. Where was it?As I pointed out before, for a lot of this book, Max and the Flock were too concerned with acting "normal" and dealing with their idiotic love problems to give a single shit that the world was about to end. And what little plot there was, it was mostly recycled from older books:- Angel gets kidnapped and experimented on AGAIN.- The Flock splits up because Fang is being a moron AGAIN.- Ari comes back from the dead (sort of) AGAIN. - Fang is "supposed to die" AGAIN.I mean, really. When Ari came back for the THIRD FREAKING TIME, all I could do was groan and try not to smash my head through my Kindle. I mean, come on. This plot twist has been SO OVERUSED it's just ridiculous. When he came back in the second book, it was like … okay. Then there was a fake Ari in one of the other books … I really don't remember which one. But, it happened. And now, a fake Ari came back AGAIN. Why oh why.Well okay … this could have possibly been pulled off. There was always something interesting about how Max was Jeb's biggest success and Ari was kind of his huge failure. Not to mention that he experimented on his own children … It's like, really creepy. And I almost liked this idea of him trying to create Ari and over and over again, trying to make him better. But, I don't know … The whole thing just got old, I guess. And I don't think the author really ever delved into the interesting psychology behind it. I thought the original Ari was a good character, and it's unfortunate that he just kind of became this silly puppet that kept popping up (but not really, because the real him was still dead). But you know, instead of it being compelling it just felt like, "OH MY GOSH LOOK. IT'S ARIIII … Oh jk I fooled you. He's still dead, suckers." Guhh.And then the thing about how Fang was "supposed to die" (AGAIN) … it just made no sense to me whatsoever. I don't remember why he was supposed to die in the sixth book … probably some stupid reason. But in this book, it was because his DNA apparently held the key to immortality in it. How the scientist guys knew this, it was never explained. It was also stressed numerous times that Fang himself was not immortal … it was just that his DNA had something in it that could be studied to create immortality, or some shit like that. And apparently, because his DNA had something that caused immortality in it, the scientists thought they therefore had to keep him in a vegetative state forever.No … just. WHAT?! Come on. Anyone with a tenth of a brain would realize that this is completely illogical. Why on earth would you need to keep someone in a vegetative state so that you could experiment on their DNA? You could just be like, "Yo Fang, can I have some of your hair or blood or something? Thanks!" And you'd be set. I mean, they'd have to maybe bug Fang once in a while to get more samples of his hair or whatever … but if you just need to study someone's DNA, you don't need their whole freaking body to do it. But this book really, REALLY reached its point of utter bullshit when the author finally revealed to us who the Voice is. That's right! That stupid freaking Voice that has been in Max's head for the first couple of books … which was then supposedly Jeb, and then we were told "Jeb can do the Voice but he's not the Voice" (whut) … and then the Voice just kind of lingered around, occasionally saying something pointless. And we were all like, "OMGEE WHO IS THE MYSTERIOUS VOICE IN MAX'S HEAD?!"*Drumroll please!*The …Voice …was …Angel.The voice was Angel all along.………….………..I mean, because that's a reasonable explanation. Right? No. NO NO NO. The Voice just can't be freakin' Angel. That makes no sense at all. I mean, Angel has always just been able to talk in Max's head … in her normal voice. Why would she additionally need to talk to Max in "the Voice"? Not to mention, the Voice just … never sounded like a 7-year-old. It always just seemed to talk like an adult, to tell Max facts that Angel probably wouldn't know. Not to mention it was often in Max's head when she wasn't around Angel. So … no. You can't tell me the Voice is Angel. I refuse to believe it.It was obviously just a plot twist that the author pulled out of his butt and then didn't know how to resolve it. So he was just like, "Oh shit, I still have to explain that Voice thing … Uh well. Angel can talk in people's heads so … I'LL JUST SAY SHE'S ALSO THE VOICE."No. Not acceptable.And then there was the ending. God, the ending.First of all, there was one of those haha-I-fooled-you things where the author made you think a certain part was the end, and then there was a blank page and there was the REAL ending. Uggh.So it was like, Max was standing there and a giant tsunami was about to knock her over and kill her. And she's just like, "Well, this is it. I'm going to die now. I guess I failed at saving the world. But if you're reading this, you still have to change the world!"And I was like, "Oh my God, is that really the end? Wow. Kind of dumb that they all died, but … huh. That's pretty ballsy, actually …"But no. Then it was like, "HAHA JUST KIDDING. I'm still alive. The world just ended, and us mutant kids are the only ones left. THE END."….….Well, okay. Whatever.Part of me was hoping that the ending would nicely tie up the series and give it a nice feeling of closure. So I could be like, "Ahh, it's finally over. Well, at least everything was resolved, even if it was stupid!"But, the ending just felt really abrupt and half-assed. Just, suddenly the world ended and everyone was dead except the mutants … and that was all. That was really it. Maximum Ride never saved the world or anything. She just waited around for the world to end, and then when it did end, she could just be like, "HAHA NYAH NYAH SUCKERS, I GOT TO LIVE WHILE EVERYONE ELSE DIES. JUST BECAUSE I HAVE SUPERPOWERS." So … what on earth was the point?I guess the message is that the privileged get to survive just because. And the unprivileged just die because … too bad for them. (It doesn't help that there was a group of people in the book who were in support of the mutants being the only survivors … and they referred to themselves as the 99 Percenters … Uh.)So, great message James Patterson. Good job. *Thumbs up*Not to mention, there are still a ton of plot twists that went completely forgotten and were hardly ever discussed/resolved ever again. Mostly a lot of superpowers that the kids had randomly acquired. Such as:- Max being able to fly really fast- Fang being able to turn invisible- Angel being able to shapeshift her head- Nudge being magnetic, and also able to touch an object and know everything about anyone who had ever touched it- Gazzy having mega-super farts or whatever- Iggy being able to see white and to tell what color things were by touching them… You get the idea. The ending didn't even really wrap things up. The book just ended. And there were still a lot of questions that were never answered. I'd like to come to terms with this series, to pat it on the back and wish it a safe and happy journey out of my life. But all I can do is kick it in the butt and tell it to get the hell away from me.*Cries* This series betrayed me, okay? It tricked me into thinking it was fun and exciting, then became preachy and boring, and then just became plain boring and pointless.So, GOODBYE MAXIMUM RIDE. DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT.Ahhhh. And now that's over, it's time to CELEBRATE!WOOOOO IT'S OVERRRRR!!!!!!----------- Read more of my reviews on Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews.