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Fang

FANG WILL BE THE FIRST TO DIE.
Maximum Ride is used to living desperately on the run from evil forces sabotaging her quest to save the world—but nothing has ever come as close to destroying her as this horrifying prophetic message. Fang is Max's best friend, her soul mate, her partner in the leadership of her flock of winged children. A life without Fang is a life unimaginable.

BUT THERE WILL BE ANOTHER...
When a newly created winged boy, the magnificent Dylan, is introduced into the flock, their world is upended yet again. Raised in a lab like the others, Dylan exists for only one reason: he was designed to be Max's perfect other half.

TO REPLACE FANG.
Thus unfolds a battle of perfection versus passion that terrifies, twists, and turns...and meanwhile, the apocalypse is coming.

Book One | MEETING DOCTOR GOD

Chapter 2

"INCOMING!" I SHOUTED to my flock. "Down, down, down!"

Fast-moving objects directed at the flock usually belong to one of three categories: bullets, mutant beings with a taste for bird kid, or vehicles hired by an evil megalomaniac wanting to kidnap us and use our powers. Which might explain why I was working on the assumption that the three black dots meant one thing and one thing only: imminent death.

"Max! Relax!" Fang managed to stop me before I could execute my dive. "I think those are the CSM cargo planes."

It was the Coalition to Stop the Madness (CSM), the activist group my nonwinged mom was involved with, that had asked us to go on this humanitarian relief mission to Chad and to help publicize the work they were doing there. And what with our previous adventures helping them combat global warming and ocean pollution, we were slowly being turned from feral, scavenging outlaws on the lam into Robin Hoody do-gooders. Meanwhile, I was still supposed to save the world at some point. My calendar was full, full, full.

So full that I'd forgotten this was the part of the journey where we were supposed to meet up with the CSM planes so we could be guided into the refugee camp.

I gave Fang a thank-you-for-saving-me-from-myself look. When his eyes met mine, I shivered down to my sneakered toes.

Gazzy called over to me, "I can't see anything!"

"I can't see anything either!" Iggy complained.

"I'm rolling my eyes, Ig." I had to tell him that because he couldn't see me do it, what with his blindness and all.

"No, there's, like, dust clouds below," Gazzy clarified.

I glanced down, and sure enough—the blurry endlessness of sand was even more blurry.

"Not dust devils," Fang said. His dark feathers were covered with a layer of dust, and grit was caked around his eyes and mouth.

"No." I peered downward again.

Just then Angel said, "Uh-oh," which is always enough to make my blood run cold. In the next second, I focused sharply on a few dark specks at the front of the dust clouds. One of the dark specks raised a tiny dark toothpick.

This time I knew for sure that I wasn't overreacting. "Guns!" I shouted. "They've got guns!"

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Read by Jill Apple

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