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Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

There's one last chance to save the world in MAXIMUM RIDE: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the closing chapter of James Patterson's thrilling trilogy. The time has arrived for Max and her winged 'Flock' to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of 'Re-evolution', a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race...and to terminate the rest.

Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them-but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Chapter 4

“Fans still hanging on your every word?” Max asked sleepily some time later.

Fang looked up from his blog. He didn’t know how much time had passed. The slightest tint of pink on the horizon made the rest of the world seem blacker somehow. But he could clearly see every freckle on Max’s tired face.

“Yep,” he said. Max shook her head, then relaxed into the crook of a large branch. Her eyes drifted shut again, but he knew she wasn’t yet asleep—her muscles were still tight, her body still stiff.

It was hard for her to relax her guard. Hard for her to relax period. She had a lot to carry on those genetically enhanced shoulders, and all in all, she did a dang good job.

But no one was perfect.

Fang looked down at the screen he’d flipped off when Max had leaned closer. He thumbed the trackball, and the screen glowed to life again.

His blog was attracting more and more attention—word was spreading. In just the past three days, he’d gone from twenty hits to more than a thousand. A thousand people were reading what he wrote, and probably even more would tomorrow.

Thank God for spell-check.

But the message on the screen now was particularly odd. He couldn’t reply to it, couldn’t trace it, couldn’t even delete it without its mysteriously reappearing moments later.

He’d gotten one just like it yesterday. Now he reread the new one, trying to decipher where it came from, what it meant. Looking up, Fang glanced at the flock, now all sleeping in various nearby trees. It was growing lighter with every second, and Fang was pretty whipped himself.

Iggy was slung across two branches, wings half unfolded, mouth open, one leg twitching slightly.

Nudge and Angel had curled up close to each other in the crooks of wide live oak limbs.

Total was nestled on Angel’s lap, one of her hands holding him protectively in place. Fang bet it was incredibly warm with that furry heat source snoozing on her.

The Gasman was tucked almost invisibly into a large hole made by long-ago lightning. He looked younger than eight, dirty, pale with exhaustion.

And then Max. She was sleeping lightly, characteristically frowning as she dreamed. As he watched, one of her hands coiled into a fist, and she shifted on her branch.

Again Fang looked down at the screen, at the message just like the one he’d received yesterday.

One of you is a traitor, it read. One of the flock has gone bad.

Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson

Read by Valentina de Angelis

Valentina de Angelis co-starred with Joan Allen and Sam Elliot in Off the Map, directed by Campbell Scott. She has appeared on television in Law & Order: SVU and Love Monkey. She has also appeared in over fifty commercials, narrated voice-overs, and did a guest stint on Saturday Night Live. She read Maximum Ride #2 by James Patterson for Hachette Audio.

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