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Maximum Ride
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Gr 7 Up-Six genetically altered bird-kids continue their mission to prevent the evil scientists who created them from making good on their diabolical plan to eradicate half of the world's population. Just as the flock lets down its guard, the wolflike Erasers resurface to capture the younger members, while Max takes Fang on a detour through Arizona to ask Dr. Martinez, a vet, to surgically remove the tracking chip in her arm. Former nemesis Ari returns, this time as a friend, but Fang's distrust splits the flock along gender lines as he, Iggy, and Gazzy hang out in Venice Beach, while Max, Ari, Nudge, and Angel fly to Europe to infiltrate Itex headquarters. Inside, Max learns vital information about her past, including who her parents are and who controls the "Voice" in her head. A caricatured evil scientist, Dr. Borcht, informs the recombinant-DNA experiments that their expiration date is up and Max is forced into a fight-to-the-death with Omega, the robot boy. Survival options run out as Fang attempts to mobilize armies of kids to attack all worldwide Itex labs by posting appeals on his fast-growing blog. Popular-culture references abound and readers will be drawn to Max's razor-sharp tongue, especially honed in this volume, making her an edgier heroine than in the last. The dialogue-driven story ends with minor casualties and hints at the possibility of further adventures.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The third and final chapter in James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, finds Max and the rest of the gang gearing up for their final battle against the agents of the "Re-Evolution" experiment-evil scientists working to genetically engineer a "superior" race of humans. (Little, Brown, $16.99 416p Ages 9-12 ISBN 978-0316155601; May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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