| Not what you're looking for?
This article is about the 2020 book Hawk. Perhaps, you were looking for the Hawk character.
| Spoiler Alert!|
This page contains details about the plot which may lower your enjoyment of the books and/or movies. Reader discretion is advised.
A story for a new generation of Maximum Ride fans! 17-year-old Hawk is growing up hard and fast in post-apocalyptic New York City . . . until a perilous destiny forces her to take flight.
Where is Maximum Ride?
Ten years ago a girl with wings fought to save the world. But then she disappeared.
Now she's just a fading legend, remembered only in stories.
Hawk doesn't know her real name. She doesn't know who her family was, or where they went. The only thing she remembers is that she was told to wait on a specific street corner, at a specific time, until her parents came back for her.
She stays under the radar to survive...until a destiny that's perilously close to Maximum Ride's forces her to take flight. Someone is coming for her.
But it's not a rescue mission. It's an execution.
For ten years, 15-year-old Hawk has lived in the violent, poverty-stricken City of the Dead, run by Governor McCallum and enforced by with the audio Voxvoce weapon. It is filled with drug-addicted Opes and gangsters from the ruling families of the Six.
Hawk and her pet hawk, Ridley, wait every evening on a street corner for the parents who once left her there.
Hawk’s childhood friend Pietro, the heir to the powerful Pater mafia family, holds a gun duel with an opponent from the rival Chung gang. They intentionally miss each other, only for another Pater to kill Pietro’s opponent. Hawk leaves in disgust. As she heads home, two men start to follow her, but Hawk takes off into the air with Ridley.
She returns to the McCallum Children’s Home, where she lives with other children trying to evade those who would take them away to be used in science experiments. The only other ones remaining are Clete, Moke, Rain and Calypso.
At the prison next door, a murderer is brought in. Hawk is surprised when Ridley flies to him and lands on his shoulder briefly, and when the man stares intensely at Hawk.
That night, the kids hear soldiers approaching to collect them for experiments. While the others hide, Hawk flees and wanders the city. Despite herself, she returns again to her usual street corner.
A group of Chungs out for revenge think that Hawk is Pietro’s girlfriend. They carve a C into her cheek and prepare to cut out her vocal cords. Hawk opens her wings, revealing them to others for the first time, and flies away. She goes to the Paters’ luxurious home and finds Pietro, who is stunned by the sight of her wings but gets her medical care and fresh clothes. He also kisses her, but Hawk has to hurry away because his father, Giacomo Pater, has returned home. Giacomo hates Hawk.
She returns to the children’s home, where Clete tells her the soldiers took everyone. Hawk and Clete prepare a rescue. When they walk through the prison with laundry, the murderer calls Hawk “Phoenix,” and tells her that he’s her father, and her mother is Maximum Ride. Hawk faints.
Meanwhile, Max has been imprisoned for years in McCallum Island Penitentiary, or Devil’s Hill. She has lost track of how many years it has been. She last saw her family when she was badly wounded and had to leave Phoenix with a friend, Rose Simmons, while Fang took her to get help.
A fellow prisoner tries to kill Max, but she tricks him into falling down the stairs. Later, she learns that he has died, and she will receive extra food as a reward. She tries to rally the other prisoners and inspire them, but instead they start brawling, trying to kill each other for more food. Governor McCallum makes an announcement, screaming them into silence. As a metal claw descends to grab Max, he says that she will be executed.
Hawk wakes up to find that Clete has brought her back to the laundry room. Dismissing the man’s claims to be her father, they prepare for a second rescue attempt of the other lab rats. Using Clete’s hacking skills, they sneak into the Labs, only to find their friends drugged and hallucinating with implants in their skulls. Hawk and Clete, unable to rescue them, return to the laundry room to make a plan.
Fang calls to Hawk again from his cell, telling her that he’s been looking for her. He describes her wings to her to prove that he knows her, shows her his own wings. He tells her to look for his friends in the city and they will help.
Hawk flies to the city, where she meets a group of winged people like her: Nudge, Gazzy and Iggy. They recognize her as Phoenix, and Ridley as a pet given to her by Fang. Overjoyed to find her, they set out together to rescue Fang and the kids.
During her trial, Max realizes to her horror that she has been imprisoned for ten years. McCallum wants her wings cut off and grafted onto one of his soldiers. Sedated and paralyzed, Max ends up an operating table. However, the surgery is delayed, as the doctors cannot figure out how to keep her wings viable.
Hawk and the Flock break into Fang’s prison, only to find his cell empty; he has already been taken away for execution. They hurry to the square, where he has somehow survived the execution, but then on one of the many broadcasting screens, McCallum shows Max as he announces that they will cut off her wings.
They get away with Fang and immediately begin planning to go find Max, but Hawk threatens them and reminds them that they promised to get her friends after Fang. They finally agree, searching frantically while their time to save Max runs out. They find the other lab rats, but they are all on dope, and Rain’s eyes have been removed.
They escape, and Nudge explains they’re going to fly out of the city to a canyon where there’s a hidden settlement. Hawk has always believed they’re surrounded only by desert.
Max escapes from the operating table and uses a doctor as a hostage, flying around the caged-in prison as long as she can, but is eventually netted.
The Flock arrives at Tetra, a city hidden in the canyon, where the kids receive food and medical care. Then the Flock leaves for Max’s island prison, taking Hawk along. They bomb the roof open and retrieve Max, who becomes overwhelmed upon seeing them again. When Hawk arrives and cuts her free of the net, Max faints.
Back at Tetra, Max explains to Hawk how they were separated. Not only was Max mortally injured, but seconds after they left her, Phoenix's caretaker Rose was hit by a car and killed. Max, while healing up, was taken by McCallum. Fang, having lost Max and unable to find Phoenix, spent years either imprisoned or searching for Phoenix.
Hawk meets Angel, who is the leader of a worldwide movement called Freedom. They begin planning to free the City of the Dead from McCallum. Angel arranges a meeting between the six gang families of the city, hoping to broker piece and work together against McCallum, but the meeting is interrupted by an enraged Giacomo Pater and turns into a gunfight.
As the Flock regroups, Max is alarmed by Hawk’s lack of training and does not want her involved in the mission. However, Angel tells her that they need Hawk to help Clete as he uses his hacking skills during their rally.
Pietro comes to see Hawk, but runs off after their conversation becomes an argument.
The Flock organizes a citywide rally in Industry Park, where Max’s speech stirs the crowd and inspires them. However, the Six families show up with tanks and guns and fire on the crowd. Hawk notices Pietro disguised in the crowd, helping innocent bystanders. Clete hacks and disables the government-made guns, but is killed by a soldier. Hawk flees through the sewers and heads towards the Pater house, wanting revenge on Giacomo, while the Flock bombs government buildings and dope factories. There Hawk is captured, but escapes and finds Pietro, who tells her he can help her find McCallum. She carries him away moments before the Flock blows up that building as well.
At the Marble Tower, Hawk and Pietro fight past guards and he is wounded. Hawk bandages him and goes on alone, into a broadcasting studio where McCallum is filming. She sees McCallum in person for the first time, only to realize that he is being controlled by someone else. She hears the voice instructing him through his headset and flies away. She reencounters the Flock and tells them what she’s learned, and they return to the club where they had planned their peace meeting between the Six. Hawk and Max fly together through the hidden tunnels there, searching for Giacomo Pater, only for Hawk to hit a tripwire and fall. Giacomo emerges and is about to shoot her when Max intervenes, breaking his neck but suffering a gunshot wound in the process.
In the epilogue, as Max and Hawk recover from their injuries, the Flock discusses the City of the Dead’s efforts to rebuild, with hospitals and detoxing facilities. The Paters’ estate is being repurposed as a real children’s home, overseen by Pietro. Hawk’s friends are living with the Flock. Hawk finally accepts Fang and Max as her parents.
In August 2019, James Patterson began posting hints on social media that the Maximum Ride series would return. In October and November 2019, publication information for Hawk appeared on Amazon and publication databases.
This is the first Maximum Ride-related book to credit Gabrielle Charbonnet as co-author.