This page contains details about the plot which may lower your enjoyment of the books and/or movies. Reader discretion is advised.
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|“||Pain fades. But being a nutcase seems to stick around. Guess who got the better deal here?||”|
The Flock is asked to start attending the Day and Night School. Frustrated, Max goes flying alone, but is shot in the wing and is captured by Mr. Chu. He asks her to join his cause, which she naturally turns down.
The Flock stays at a safe house, but they are discovered and attacked by M-Geeks (working for Mr. Chu). Max's mother, Dr. Valencia Martinez, is kidnapped and the Flock must go and rescue her. They leave, but Nudge stays behind at the Day and Night School.
CSM members arrange for help from the Navy, and the Flock is taken to a Navy training camp in Hawaii, where they are to attend training before they can participate in the mission to save Dr. Martinez. Dr. Brigid Dwyer is also part of the mission. Fang finally takes Max out on a date, but they are attacked by M-Geeks and are forced to end the night early.
Nudge returns, having missed the Flock too much to stay at the Day and Night School. At the beach, Gazzy is stung by a Portuguese man-of-war and has to be taken back to the base for treatment.
The Flock passes their training easily, humiliating their Navy trainers. As they set out on the Minnesota, they hear of sea monsters attacking sea vessels. Throughout the mission, Angel rebels against Max's authority. The group comes across radioactive barrels labeled "Property of the Chu Corporation" which reveals the cause of the dead fish everywhere.
An underwater mountain, seen in earlier surveillance tapes, emerges from the sea floor. Inside it is an underwater cave which Max and Fang explore. When attacked by a giant squid, Max loses her underwater breather, only to discover she and Fang have developed gills like Angel. After fending off the squid, the group comes across a group of frighteningly enormous underwater snakes that had apparently mutated from the radioactive material.
As they head for the surface in the submarine, they are attacked by more M-Geeks. Gazzy and Iggy, with help from a Navy weapons specialist, are able to blow them up like "popcorn." They are about to return to base when they realize that Angel has left the sub and is swimming outside, perfectly fine even though the pressure at that depth should be enough to crush her.
Max swims out to save Angel, kissing Fang before she leaves. Outside the sub, she finds that Angel is able to telepathically communicate with the sea snake monsters, known as the Krelp. The Krelp, who are angry with Mr. Chu for dumping the radioactive material that mutated them, lead Max and Angel to an underwater dome. Inside, they see the dehydrated and tortured Dr. Martinez imprisoned. The Krelp destroy the dome, allowing Max and Angel to rescue Dr. Martinez.
Back at the base, as Dr. Martinez recovers, the Voice warns Max to beware of both Mr. Chu and Brigid.
Dr. Martinez and Ella return home. While most of the Flock goes swimming with dolphins on the beach at Oahu, Max and Fang fly overhead, holding hands. Max thinks that maybe it really is all about Angel, but Fang gets her attention and they kiss. From the ground, Angel gives them a thumbs up.
- Mr. Chu
- The Krelp
- The CSM
- Captain Joshua Perry and his sub's crew
- Dr. Noelani Akana
- Everyone at the Hollywood talent agency
- Lieutenant Morgan
- Main article: Maximum Ride: The Manga (9)
- The original title for MAX was intended to be "Waterwings."
- Dr. Brigid Dwyer's fate after this book is unknown.
- The Lieutenant Colonel tells the flock that Pearl Harbor is the only place on US soil that has been attacked in a war since the American Revolution. This ignores the entire war of 1812.
- LTC Palmer is incorrectly listed as being a member of the Navy. The equivalent rank in the US Navy for LTC is Commander. LTC is used in the Army, Air Force, and Marines.
- Max calls the M9 a James Bond-like handgun. In the films, Bond uses a Walther PPK
- LTC outranks Lieutenant, meaning that the rank hierarchy in the discussion between Morgan and Palmer in chapter 38 is backwards.
- The USS Minnesota was not launched until 2008, nearly two years after the approximate year that MAX takes place, but close to the year when it was published. Even so, the submarine did not enter regular service until 2013.
- None of the bird kids experience any of the dangers associated with deep-sea diving, particularly the Bends.
- A klaxon alarm sounds on the submarine. Navy subs do not have alarms, as this would give away the position of the submarine to anti-sub listening equipment.
- In chapter 69, Captain Perry claims that the sub is at DEFCON 1. DEFCON is an alert state issued by US central command with regards to nuclear retaliation. Not only does Perry not have the authority to declare the imminent use of atomic weapons, it is unlikely that his Virginia-class submarine is carrying such weapons.
- Gazzy's plan to remove the M-Geeks from the submarine hull requires diffusing the explosives throughout the water, then using an electrical charge to detonate it. Not only do military subs not use ammonium nitrate in their torpedoes, but such a weapon must be encased in an air-tight container to work under water.
- Max has trouble readjusting to land upon arriving in port in chapter 76. As the submarine was under water, it would not experience the pitching that surface ships tend to experience.