by James Patterson
The flock is performing an air show for the Coalition to Stop the Madness (CSM) to spread awareness about the environment. Angel drops onto Max to save her from a bullet, but Total is hit. Max finds a tiny scrap from the bullet on Total’s tail. Fang points out the lone sniper in a window. As Max gets there, it explodes outward.
The bird kids end up at a talent agency through some long connection. The agents seem excited, but the flow isn’t impressed. They give the adults a hard time while eating the food that was brought in for them. They decide to leave via the balcony.
Angel, Gazzy, and Nudge like doing the air shows, but Fang points out the danger of the suicidal, exploding cyborg from the last one. They agree to one last show. Max realizes that Brigid will be there to flirt with Fang.
Max lies away thinking. Angel tries to reassure her that she is pretty and that Fang is in love with her, but Max doesn’t want to hear it.
The air pollution in Mexico City is terrible, but the flock continues on with the show. They have heightened security, but Max is till twitchy and upset by Brigid’s admiration of Fang. After the show, the flock prepares to receive an award. Their honor is interrupted by sixty ninja-like creatures (M-Geeks) that climb into the stadium and attack. They fight them off after deciding they can’t leave it to the innocent bystanders. Afterwards, Fang tries to comfort Brigid while she takes them to a safe house. Max is still on edge until her mom opens the door to let them in.
Max has a chance to catch up with her mom and half-sister, Ella. Jeb mentions a school for “gifted” kids and Nudge gets excited about it. Max gives a definitive “no” on the subject. At night, she sneaks out for a solo flight. While trying to clear her head, she is shot in the wing and starts to fall. Their latest threat is there to catch her with a trampoline. They say Mr. Chu wants to see her, and Max realizes she is out of options and passes out from the pain.
Waking up on a boat, Mr. Chu tells Max about the impeding apocalypse. He wants the flock to stop working for the CSM and join his team. Max refuses and he makes threats. max isn’t phased by the familiarity of it all.
Once she gets back to the safe house, Max has to ring the doorbell to get back in. Her mom orders her not to fly for a week. She is miserable watching the rest of the lock come and go. The rest of the flock has also voted to try Jeb’s school in her absence.
The M-Geeks have been watching the flock. The team leader wants revenge for his losses and so does Mr. Chu.
Back in the states, the flock goes through placement testing at the school. Jeb leaves and tells Max to beware of Mr. Chu. Max scopes out the school’s campus and isn’t impressed with the security. She explains to Nudge that they have to leave. Nudge refuses because she is tired of running.
Max and Fang fly out into the desert to talk about Nudge. Fang kisses Max and she doesn’t run away. After an extended make out session, they fly back to the safe house. Every light in the house is on. Everyone in the house has been looking for Max to tell her that her mom was kidnapped.
John from the CSM gives her some information about the situation. Her mom was taken to stop the CSM. He shows her a picture that was sent to him. It shows that her mom is on a boat. Max is told to stay put, but Fang points out that the house is surrounded by about eighty M-Geeks with automatic guns. Max orders the flock to an upstairs hallway with no windows. Fang points out that the leader is made to look like Ari. While exchanging theories and quips about the new threat, Iggy and Gazzy use a lightning rod to fry the M-Geeks.
John arrives in an armored car with Brigid. Nudge says she doesn’t want to leave the school, and Max decides to let her make her own choice as long as she promises not to have her wings removed.
The group exchanges stories as they head to a jet. Total and Akila are reunited and affectionate. Max worries about her mom, Nudge, and Fang.
They end up at a naval base. The commander thinks it is inappropriate to have children there until Max shows off her wings. The flock is shown video of a a fishing boat being capsized from below. They then show the picture of Dr. Martinez. In the porthole in the background is a piece of the capsized ship. Max is ready to fly to Hawaii right away, but is forced into an alternative plan.
Max is not happy to be on a private jet, worrying about her mom and missing Nudge. Fang calms her down. THe voice returns to tell her that he is her soulmate.
At the naval base, the flock is told they will have to train for seven days before they can be put on a submarine to rescue Dr. Martinez. John is working on a way around it. the next morning at five, the bird kids are woken up and led to training in their new uniforms. the lieutenant colonel that is supposed to be teaching them how to survive gets frustrated with them. max isn’t worried once she sees his agenda. She steps up against the self defense teacher and beats him twice. He agrees to pass them in his course without testing the others. The obstacle course and outdoor survival were not much of a challenge, as the flock was designed to be fast, strong, and light. Gazzy points out the flaws with the gun the lieutenant colonel is attempting to train them on before informing him of how to make it explode. After passing all the classes, the flock is informed that they will board the USS Minnesota the next morning. They are to follow orders completely or be thrown off and the mission will be cancelled.
The flock has some time to kill, so they go to the beach. Angel talks to some angry dolphins and says that Max and Fang should practice breathing underwater. A boy is pulled out to sea by a riptide, but Max and Fang are able to fly out and save him. Back at the base, they are congratulated for their heroic rescue.
Fang brushes off Brigid to ask Max to go into town with just him for dinner. they get ice cream and talk while walking around. Max spaces out for a while, feeling overwhelmed. Fang expresses his concern and lets her know he has her back. She admits that she wants to be with him. Their nice time is interrupted by a few M-Geeks. They take them out quickly and sneak away from the commotion. Out of nowhere, they realize that Nudge is flying towards them.
Gazzy and Iggy want to try out the under water breathing devices. Angel goes with them. Iggy can almost see while under the water and Angel talks to the fish. Gazzy gets stung when some shark Angel had previously gotten rid of scares a fish. Angel stops the sharks from attacking. She takes charge and tells the boys to shoot out of the water and get air-born. Gazzy manages to do this, but hits something and starts falling. Fang sees this and is able to catch him. max is glad they are all reunited, but is worried about Gazzy. The military doctor refuse to let the flock leave, so they jump out a window, thanking him for his help.
The flock loads up into the submarine. Max hates being in such an inclosed space, but sucks it up to help her mom. They are taken to meet Captain Joshua perry. He shows them a video with dead fish, a lot of birds, and a mountainous form rising out of the water. That is where they are headed. Angel insists that all of the flock members have gills like her.
Mr. Chu is not happy about his team failing to kill Max. He sends his fourth in command out into the ocean to be crushed by the pressure. He makes Dr. Martinez watch and threatens to do the same to her if she doesn’t stop the CSM.
Max has a panic attack and the voice tells her to go lay down. She does and Total joins her. He tells her that Akila and he are thinking about marriage, but he doesn’t want to leave the clock.
They make a stop to pick up a marine biologist, Dr. Akana. Max realizes they need to be prepared and goes to find Gazzy. After some arguments with Angel, Max boards a tiny vessel with Dr. Akana and a crew member to get a better view. Max is impressed with what she sees through the small ships clear dome until Angel starts swimming out to them. Max explains that she has gills and they continue to monitor the area. The crewman and doctor are especially shocked when Angel plays with a huge shark like it is a puppy. Back on the submarine, Max scolds Angel. Fang agrees that the seven year old should listen to her. Max calls a meeting, not including Brigid, and says they are give the military twelve more hours before they go off on their own.
The flock is struck by the emergency lights, thumping, and sirens. As they start running to the front of the ship, Angel says it is M-Geeks attacking the sub. Max and Gazzy go to steal the tiny Triton ship to throw an explosive at them. As soon as Max and Gazzy get going, Angel appears in the water again. She leads them to the M-Geeks that are trying to cut through the submarine. Angel swims over to them and is surrounded. As Max and Gazzy try to figure out a plan, the M-Geeks leave and Angel returns to them. All of a sudden, Angel is really scared because the mountain like creature starts rising. They maneuver back into the large sub and Angel says the huge thing is intelligent and wants to kill. The sub has to make an emergency surface and the flock takes the opportunity to get directions and fly off. Max wonders how Angel could talk to the machines.
In yet another research facility conference room, Brigid explains he theory that the mountainous killer has been mutated by radiation. She goes to look for radiation signals and takes Fang to show him. Max start flying and the remaining members of the flock join her. They see something large in the water and tell Brigid, who wants to check out the radiation she’s detecting. Angel jumps in the water. Max, Fang, John, and Dr. Akana get scuba gear on and head under the water to follow her. Max gets lost in her head and then physically lost in a cave. She drops her flashlight and is attacked by a giant octopus that starts ripping her gear off. Fang comes to her rescue. Max realizes that her air supply is destroyed and Fang points out that she has gills. She notices that Fang also has them. They ditch their tanks and start heading back to the surface.
Mr. Chu’s second is still trying to get Dr. Martinez to denounce the CSM. They have been poking her with electricity and starving her, but she won’t give in. They say they have Max in custody, and Valencia Martinez gives them her sympathies.
The group is attacked by bunch of strange creatures. The voice tells Max to get out of there, right before a torpedo comes rushing to their rescue. Everyone makes it out and back onto the boat.
After the group boards a new submarine, Max and Angel describe the building-sized, pickle-like creatures to Captain Perry, John, and Brigid. They start getting high Radiation readings and turn on flood lights to look out and see rusted open canisters of chemical waste with Mr. Chu’s name on the barrels. Suddenly, they are rushed by hundreds of M-Geeks. Gazzy and Iggy come up with a way to electrocute most of the attackers using a torpedo, and it seems to work.
Captain Perry wants to return to base to report the waste immediately. They are arguing about finding Dr. Martinez when they realize Angel is out int he bone crushing pressure of the ocean with the creatures heading towards her. Max gets ready to go after Angel. Brigid tries to stop her, but Max refuses to leave without the youngest flock member. She kisses Fang before leaving. She finds Angel, who tells her that one of the creatures, Gor, has been telling the story of his kind, the krelp. They are mad about the radiation and the fisher’s nets killing their eggs and babies. They want to help take out Mr. Chu, and luckily, they know where to find him.
The krelp lead them to an underwater dome. Angel needs to go out to continue communicating with Gor and Max insists on going with her. Max, Angel, and the krelp swim over to the dome, but there is an electric net around it. Gor powers through it so that Max and Angel can follow. He seeps out a gel that starts burning through the dome’s glass. Max realizes that if her mom is still alive, this would kill her.
When the ceiling above Max’s mom gives in, Max rushes in with the water to get her. The krelp make a protective snot bubble that has air to get them back to the submarine. Dr. Martinez is alright and Max is so relived that she starts crying in Fang’s arms.
Back at the base, the flock takes some time to recover. Max greets Ella and takes her to their mom. She sees Brigid walk by and decides to follow her. Brigid talks to Mr. Chu.
Max and Fang fly close together while the others play in the ocean below. Max wonders if Angel is the key. She kisses Fang and when she looks down, Angel gives her a thumbs up.