One last chance...
for Max, Fang, and Dylan...
before it all ends.
Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.
PROLOGUE | After
IT WAS NIGHT, and Angel was perched on the hot surface of the scorched rock cliff. Her wings were spread out behind her, her ravaged legs swinging into nothingness, her ears straining in the strange new silence.
It seemed wrong, this silence. Shouldn’t there be the din of destruction thundering around her? The crash of buildings sinking into rubble? Inconsolable wails mourning all that was lost? That the world as they’d known it had gone so quietly, slipping into the ether like an old, beaten dog, was disconcerting, to say the least. Wasn’t noise what the apocalypse was supposed to be about?
Where was the chaos?
But there had been chaos, Angel reminded herself. Before. There had been plenty of screaming, fire and brimstone, and panic. She had endured enough panic to last her a lifetime.
Angel hugged her knees to her chest and folded her dingy white wings around herself, cocoon-like. She traced her fingers along her scars and fought back the memories.
Despite the warnings from nature—the earthquakes, the floods—despite all the efforts of science—Angel winced, remembering the scalpels and fluorescent lightbulbs and blindingly white sheets—despite everything, in the end, the earth had been savagely claimed back for nature.
And despite Max’s missions and the flock’s preparations over the years, they still hadn’t been ready.
But then, who could ever really be ready for the end of the world?
You, Angel whispered to herself. You were ready.
Angel squinted into the darkness. She couldn’t see anything from her night perch on the cliff, but even in the light of day, the horizon didn’t look like anything familiar or natural. You didn’t see what was there—you saw the spaces between.
Watching Max fall had felt like that. Angel had imagined her grief as a blackness stretching out before her, the crushing weight of Max’s death a night without stars, without hope, without end. It had terrified her so much more than the idea of Armageddon.
The power inside her was the only thing that scared Angel now. That she had seen how it would happen. That she had known. That she hadn’t told anyone.
Angel tilted her head back to feel the chill of wind rustling her blond curls, now stringy and dirty. She listened in the silence. No whitecoats probing her, taunting her. No voices at all.
It almost felt like she was completely and totally alone. Almost.
Angel thought of the flock. Flying, diving together in one strong V, with Max at its center. She thought of Max holding her hand, calling Angel her baby. She wasn’t a baby anymore.
How many seven-year-olds had seen the world go up in flames?
Angel shut her eyes tight. She waited for the visions she had fought for so many years before coming to accept and even depend on them. But no future appeared before her.
For the first time in her young life, Angel had no idea what would happen next.
Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson
Rebecca Soler is a New York-based actress who voices numerous principal characters for the CW's Saturday morning cartoon lineup including: Viva Piñata, Huntik, The Winx Club, and Chaotic. Other audiobooks include Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen, After by Amy Efaw, for which she was awarded a 2009 AudioFile Earphones Award, and Monster High by Lisi Harrison.