Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure
is a 2012 young adult novel by James Patterson. Despite its title, it’s actually the second to last novel in Patterson’s Maximum Ride
series, which describe the adventures of a group of human-bird hybrid teenagers created in scientific experiments. Nevermore
traces the attempts of this group, called the Flock, to stop the genocidal plot of an organization bent on killing most humans as a way of speeding up evolution.
The novel opens with a vision of the death of Maximum “Max” Ride, then flashes back in time.
Max, the leader of the Flock, is getting her fellow bird-kids ready for Newton Private Academy, an Oregon school that’s been paid for by their ally Nino Pierpont, the richest man in the world. During the morning, the Flock sees TV news reports about the “99 Percenters,” a splinter activist group with seemingly sinister yet unclear motives.
After one of his classes at Newton, Dylan—a mutant genetically designed to be Max’s perfect boyfriend—is taken aside by his teacher, Dr. Williams. Dr. Williams reveals that Max’s life is in danger, but that the people Dr. Williams represents could keep Max safe if Dylan accepts a secret mission: to capture another bird-kid named Fang. Fang used to be a part of the Flock and was Max’s previous romantic interest, but he left to start his own group, nicknamed Fang’s Gang. Dylan is no fan of Fang, but Dr. Williams makes it clear that the point of capturing Fang would be to experiment on him in the same horribly abusive conditions the Flock once escaped from. When Dylan tries to refuse, Dr. Williams threatens Max’s life once more.
At the same time, Fang and his group are investigating the 99 Percenters when they’re attacked by a gang of Erasers, human-wolf mutants who are also the product of scientific experiments, and who functioned as enforcers at the experimental lab where the Flock were abused. Leading the Erasers is Ari, Max’s half-brother. Ari was thought to be killed in the previous novel, but turns out to have been cloned. Fang and his friends lose the fight when several of Fang’s group are revealed as traitors, and the fight ends with the death of Maya, a member of Fang’s group who was also an almost exact clone of Max.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Angel, a Flock member who’s like a surrogate daughter to Max, and who was presumed killed in the previous novel, is actually alive. She is back at the School, the evil experimentation lab that created the bird-kids. Locked once more in a dog crate, Angel is subjected to a series of maiming operations that leave her nearly blind and with clipped wings. Through her telepathic powers, she watches Fang’s fight and feels relieved that the teen who died was Maya and not Max. Angel also figures out that the lab’s scientists are now working on behalf of the 99 Percenters, a group that’s advancing a plan to reduce the Earth’s population by 99 percent, killing all nonenhanced people. Suddenly, Angel sees smoke in the lab, but can’t escape because she is tied to the operating table.
Fang disbands his group and suddenly is surprised to hear the Voice in his head. The Voice is a telepathic communicator who usually only speaks to Max, offering cryptic premonitions of the future and giving vague advice. The Voice tells Fang to find Max, and he immediately sets off.
Max and Dylan share a romantic moment that goes awry when she accidentally sets the treehouse that he built on fire. That night, their proximity alarm goes off when Fang finds their house. He makes up with Max, to Dylan’s consternation. But their love triangle is put on hold when Fang tells the Flock that his blog has gotten a tip about Angel: She’s alive and is being held at the School. When the Flock gets to the School, the fire has already gone out. They find some charred scientist bodies and an unharmed Angel, who is slowly regaining her eyesight.
Back at their Oregon house, Max and Fang rekindle their relationship. Frustrated, Dylan explodes and takes his rage out on the neighborhood by breaking windows and denting holes in cars. The Flock gets ready to try to find him, only to be attacked by a huge number of Erasers led by Ari and Jeb, the School scientist who is Max and Ari’s father. Originally, Jeb was one of the good guys, leading Max and the Flock to safety away from the School, but he has since reverted to his untrustworthy ways. Jeb reveals that everyone is hunting Fang because his DNA holds the secrets to unlocking immortality. If they kill him now, the group will be safe from those pursuing him. Dylan arrives just in time to kill Ari and thus disable the telepathically linked Erasers.
The veterinarian Dr. Martinez, Max’s mother, arrives by helicopter and whisks the Flock away to a tropical island owned by Nino Pierpont. Dr. Martinez explains that the 99 Percenters are about to release a virus called H8E that will target all nonaugmented humans and kill them. The island’s humans will be protected in underground caves. Horrified by this unimaginable genocide, Fang and Max kiss to forget their troubles. Dylan interrupts to tell them that something horrible is coming from the sky. When Max ignores him, Angel tells her to listen to Dylan, revealing that she is the Voice.
Suddenly, the sky explodes in some kind of natural disaster that’s immediately followed by a giant tsunami that floods the whole island, clearly killing everyone in the caves. Fang and Max hold each other as the water pulls them under.
The novel ends here, but there are two epilogues.
The first epilogue describes Max explaining that even though she didn’t get to save the world, she is happy to have died in the arms of her true love. Suddenly, she hears Fang’s voice calling her, and tells the reader to save the world themselves.
The second epilogue describes Max underwater. She hears singing and sighs with relief, a sigh that reveals she’s breathing under water. She is pulled out by Dylan, Fang, and Angel, who are safe—but the world’s continents are covered with fire or water. Max realizes that this is finally her time.