by James Patterson
Max wakes up from a nightmare about being back in a lab while Fang watches, but doesn’t help her. She wakes up remembering he is gone. She sits in a tree alone wallowing in self pity while the flock enjoys some downtime with her mom and half sister, Ella. Dylan sneaks up on her and teases Max about Fang. She hits him and he falls. He comes back at her, but she dodges by dropping from her branch. He kisses her before flying off. Max and Dylan duke it out. He is frustrated that she is moping over Fang while he is completely in love with her.
Inside the house, Angel tells them that Jeb and Dr. Gunther-Hagen are coming. Max decides to let them come because it might cause a distraction. Jeb and the doctor explain that there are labs around the world that are becoming successful with genetic experimentation on kids. Max is supposed to lead them after she saves the world. They explain that there a bunch of these “Gen 77” kids that have all sorts of different abilities. They think Max should start rallying them now to save the world. The doctor adds that Max will need to create a dynasty to lead until the post-apocalyptic world is ready for democracy. They want her to breed with Dylan ASAP. Her mother refuses. Dylan is hopeful.
Fang waits most of the night to talk to Ratchet, a candidate for his new flock. He isn’t able to sneak up on him, but is able to assert his dominance. Fang sits with Ratchet, who is afraid of his gang finding out that he is leaving. They wait for their next recruit: Star, who is incredibly fast and eats more than even Fang. She also has a friend Kate, who is exceptionally strong.
Jeb and the doctor want Max to meet the Gen 77 kids. She refuses and the flock backs her up. She changes her mind when her mom wants to go. Max takes to the air while the rest of the group gets on a plane. Angel points out a camp on the way, and they decide to check it out. Max hits a large balloon-like barrier that is tied down with extremely sharp metal. She tells Angel to warn the pilot, but it is too late. The plane hits it and goes down.
Dylan opens the door so that the flock can get out and save everyone else. Nudge and Iggy get caught in the slipstream of the plane and hit the metal that sliced the plane’s wings off. Max tells Angel to go help them, which leaves her holding her mom alone. Gazzy tries to save Jeb, but when he gets him out of the plane, Jeb lets go and starts falling. Gazzy tries to catch him, but can’t. Dylan saves Jeb. ANgel and Gazzy help Nudge and Iggy. Everyone had a rough landing and Max assesses they need to go to Dr. Martinez’s office to get fixed up. Dylan wants to go find the doctor and Max decides to go with him.
Max and Dylan take off. They say the something at the same time and each wonders if the other can read his/her mind. They look for the plane, but only find a school. Max and Dylan go to land on the roof, but people come out and shoot at them. Dylan says they are kids with no eyes. Max explains that they are only experiments to the scientists. They decide to camp out and check out the school in the morning. They talk awhile and Max falls asleep with Dylan’s arm around her. Angel wakes her up. They go to the school and the kids appear again. Angel has trouble controlling their minds. Max decides that they will have to fight their way through. They find out that the kids can’t sense them if they fly over their heads. The guards spin around and eventually fall. They unmask one to see enough eyes to give them a 360 degree view. They talk to one of the Gen 77 kids, who believes they will be the new world order: humans and previous generations will be eliminated. They free themselves and so Max, Dylan, and Angel fly away. On their way back to the others, they spot a kid wandering the desert. When they land, Max recognizes him from the subway tunnels in NYC. She asks about his computer, and he says he doesn’t need it anymore. They offer him help, but he runs away, saying he doesn’t need it.
Fang continues to organize his group. There is a news piece about the Doomsday Group (DG). Fang zones out as though hypnotized. He has found a mission for his new flock. Fang’s Gang gets a little stir crazy waiting on their last member: Maya, Max’s clone. Fang starts having seconds thoughts about having her around after he sees her. He explains to her that the other have recently acquired their abilities against their will. Holden, who has self healing powers, has also arrived.
Max is surprised to find the flock, her mom, and Jeb all in a sort of daze. Angel says their minds seem different, but it may be shock. Ella and Iggy are very enthusiastic about the DG. They seem to be in a cult-like trance by it. Ella begs Max to come to her school where the group for kids will speak to them.
Fang and Maya research the DG, which seems to have gone viral overnight. She explains to him that she can’t be Max.
Max, Dylan, and Angel decide to go to Ella’s school to see how she got brainwashed. Angel tells Max that Fang has a video on his blog. It shows that Fang has replaced Max with her clone. Dylan points out the TV in the background has a report about the DG.
While at Ella’s school, everyone is talking about the One Light and is brainwashed. Max and Dylan try to get Iggy and Ella, but Iggy lets out his wings. Max and Dylan grab him, leaving Ella behind and the three sane bird kids try to come up with a way to deprogram him from the cult that wants to kill all humans. Angel can’t seem to get into his mind to undo the brainwashing. The three of them throw him in a cold show and Iggy comes back.
Fang’s gang plays “Never Have I Ever” to bond as a team. Fang tells them that he got a message telling him to save the world. They decide to go to ComicCon in San Diego where the DG will rally.
Nudge tells Max about Fang’s plan to go to the rally. Gazzy tells Max that Jeb told him the humans have to die to save the planet. He thinks Jeb and Dr. Martinez are in on it. Max listens as the others point out her mom’s involvement in their misfortunes. They agree not to trust grownups anymore. Iggy finds Ella’s phone and nudge gets into it to view all of the DG propaganda. They decide to go save her from the facility they now have the floor plans to. They find Ella a few miles from the Gen 77 school at a campfire with a whole bunch of other kids. Iggy goes to the group looking like an angel and spits out some propaganda before pulling Ella aside. She tells them in five days, the world will end. Dylan and Iggy get her out of there.
Fang’s gang fits in with all the characters at ComicCon, but there isn’t any sign of the DG. They find the rally in a nearby stadium and listen to the brainwashing girl from the TV end her rant with, “Kill all the humans.” The really continues and people fill the stands, many of them attendees are genetically altered. They all chant and sing along about killing humans. Back at the hotel, Fang’s gang contemplates the severity of the DG. Fang knows his group can’t do it alone.
Angel is able to deprogram Ella after she is dunked in a hot spring. max tries to explain their mom’s betrayal. Dylan suggests they might be brainwashed. Ella will go to her Aunt’s house. However, Ella ventures off to get herself wings. As the flock goes to rescue her again, Fang calls and says he needs the flock’s help in San Diego with the DG. The flock abandons Ella.
When the two groups meet up, there is obvious tension between Max and Fang that only gets worse when Maya shows up. Everyone starts arguing. Fang decides he and Max should settle it. They get outside and fly up to yell out each others frustrated jealousies. They agree they need to work together. They return to find their groups comparing skills. A food fight breaks out and security makes their way over. Dylan starts singing to Max to distract everyone. They leave the restaurant without incident. Outside, Dylan kisses Max.
On a plane to GD headquarters in Paris, Gazzy lets out that Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s plan for Max and Dylan to reproduce. Fang is furious. Maya weights in and Max is ready to throw down. Star stops them and Angel tells Fang that he has to live with the consequences of his decisions. She tells Max that she needs to figure out her feelings and get on with leading.
Max and Fang’s groups split up. Fang’s gang takes to the street and shows off their abilities until a girl comes up and gives them a DG flyer for an event. Both groups meet up at a restaurant and discuss what they found out. Fang is happy that he out did Max. There is an explosion and the wall comes down. They all get out, but people are stuck under the debris and calling for help. After a second explosion, Nudge tells Max that Angel is inside.
Angel gets a little boy out of a fire filled room and returns him to his mother. Max is crazy with worry the whole time. Seeing that everyone is alright, Max takes off because she can’t stand to watch Fang and Maya bond. Dylan arrives and kisses her again. This time she reciprocates. Fang isn’t happy when Max returns with Dylan. They all go to dinner together and on the way home, Angel expresses her support for Max, no matter what she decides.
Max and Fang end up alone in an elevator to get to their hotel rooms. Fang starts out with small talk. max asks how he could stop loving her. They argue about Dylan and Maya. The elevator stops and Angel is waiting to reveal her plan. She wants to be recruited by the DG to get information. Everyone that knows her thinks it is a good idea. Max convinces the rest.
Angel finds a couple DG kids in the park. Gazzy shows up and they are both taken to an adult. Angel begs to join them because they don’t want to be with the normal people anymore. The girl, Toni, takes Angel and Gazzy to meet Mar, who Angel feels is filled with greed and hate. Angel shows him her wings and he wonders if he can trust her. He pulls out a hot poker from a fire.
The remaining members of the flock go to the rally early to volunteer. Their help is turned down until Max suggests an air show. Max and Dylan fly close. She can see Fang’s group trying to work the crowd. Dylan comforts her just before Angel gets in her head. They are in the sewer and she is really scared. max dives into an open manhole to go get her. Dylan follows Max and they both land in the sewer water. Angel keeps calling to Max, and Dylan points out it might not be her. Max goes anyway. Angel says she now realizes the evil the are capable of.
They find Angel and gazzy alone, but surrounded by explosives. Fang joins them and it is decided that he and Angel will stay to help Gazzy defuse the explosives. Max and Dylan go to warn everyone.
Max takes the stage and grabs the microphone from a girl. She tells the crowd about the explosives and poisonous gas below them, but they don’t care. They flock and Fang’s gang team up to fight off the guards and brainwashed kids. Star runs around super fast making a noise that seems to bring them out of it. dylan is shot in the arm saving Max. Holden protects Max and Dylan from the bullets. Fang appears to fight with Dylan. Mark comes out of nowhere and strangles Max, but Maya comes to the rescue. THey throw him off stage and see that he has some wires. There is a loud explosion.
Gazzy appears and then Fang. Gazzy said that Angel was right behind him, but they can’t find her. After five hours of searching, they still can’t find her. Gazzy feels horrible. Everyone is tired and hopeless. Fang says that his group is going to search for the One Light. Max has to go back to look for her family.
Angel is strapped down and can’t move at all. A voice tells her she has to overcome her humanity and they will take care of her. She just wants to be home with the clock and to be a kid.