Hello, everyone! I can’t really remember how, but recently I decided I wanted to spork a book. For those who don’t know, a sporking is when someone goes through a book, chapter by chapter, and critiques/makes fun of the book. Because of the nature of sporking, it’s almost always done with bad books. Surprisingly, I’ve found very little talk about Maximum Ride around, even though it’s quite popular and quite bad. Shall we get on with things, then?
Oh, but first, a disclaimer: just because I’m sporking the book doesn’t mean you can’t like it. Don’t let anything I say get in the way of your enjoyment of the book, because in the end that’s what a book is about (even though I’d rather you read something else). Okay, now let’s begin.
Actually, I just have to start with the reviews/testimonials/promotional thingies at the beginning of the copy I got, because they’re pretty funny and actually do a good job of mocking the book by themselves. Now, let’s do some math:
There are 31 “reviews”.
7 of these reviews don’t actually say anything positive. O_o
9 of the reviews are from uncredited first names. Seriously, there aren’t even ages or anything to make one think people weren’t just paid to say some things about the book. “Oh, hi, I’m Jenna! LISTEN TO MEEEE.”
So out of 31 “reviews”, only 15 are actually real. Well, I’d say 14, because of this:
It’s awesome and it fired my imagination. I chuckled throughout, but wept unashamedly at least four times. The scary thing is, it could happen, or may have happened! …One of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read!
Seriously. Not only did this person cry four times (I don’t think there are even four sad parts!), but they said it could happen. Yeah, no, for reasons that will be explained once I actually get into this thing. Although, this whole section never says it’s praise for the book, so maybe this is a review for a different book? Seems a lot more plausible. Bad publisher!
OKAY! Onto the real book.
First of all, I’d like to say that normally I’d do this by chapter, but Maximum Ride has ridiculously short chapters so I can’t do that. I guess I’m digressing again, but this is literally a waste of paper; by my calculations, the book is roughly 90,000 words (the same amount of words as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone), and it has 134 chapters. One hundred, thirty-four chapters. Seriously. Now, each chapter title is a bit under half a page, so taking into account the space before it (at the end of the chapter), each chapter has about half a page of wasted space. So that’s 67 wasted pages. SIXTY SEVEN EMPTY PAGES. James Patterson must hate trees or something.
The book starts with a prologue, telling me that by reading this I’ve come closer to surviving my next birthday. A bit melodramatic, but whatever. There’s a quick little bit saying this could easily be my story (which NO, it could not be), then a description of our “heroes”; Max, who doesn’t tell us her gender (I know it from having read the books previously), explains that her and her family are “pretty cool, nice, smart–but not ‘average’ in any way.” I’d like to decide that for myself, thank you very much.
Max goes on to tell us their names; Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman (the italics are mine), and Angel. I’m really curious how someone would end up with a name like Nudge.
So we learn that Max and her family were made by “scientists” (I don’t know why it’s in quotation marks, as I’d think gene splicing or whatever is quite scientific) and grew up in cages. Now, there’s an interesting bit here:
It’s pretty amazing we can think or speak at all. But we can–and so much more.
Now, it looks like this is mostly in reference to their ability to speak, but I do believe it’s never explained how they’re able to speak, or think, or behave like typical kids of their age (I know this from having read the books–so far it’s not really obvious whether or not Max is “normal” acting). According to fairly basic psychology, growing up in cages and being treated like lab rats (as Max says they were) would at the very least cause some serious trauma–but even beyond that, Max and her family should be psychopaths who can’t tell between right and wrong, because they don’t know what’s right and wrong. I’m sure you’re familiar with how that kind of stuff works; if a kid is abused as a child, they’ll go on to abuse their own child because that’s all they know. Max should not act like she does. She just shouldn’t.
Moving on, Max tells us about another experiment, that are capable of “morphing into wolf men, complete with fur, fangs, and claws.” The dictionary.com definition of morph:
1.Linguistics . a sequence of phonemes constituting a minimal unit of grammar or syntax, and, as such, a representation, member, or contextual variant of a morpheme in a specific environment. Compare allomorph ( def. 2 ) .2.Biology . an individual of one particular form, as a worker ant, in a species that occurs in two or more forms.
That’s not the word you were looking for, JPatterson. (EDIT: This is incorrect. Morph is a perfectly acceptable word in this case; I missed one of the word’s definitions.)
Oh, and the name for these guys?
Yeah. What scientist–no, person–says “oh, I just created this vicious, evil wolf-man! I think I’ll call him an eraser.”
Blah blah blah, the Erasers want to kill Max and her family, and apparently this story could be about me, or my children. Considering I didn’t grow up in a cage, and I doubt anyone reading this book did, it certainly couldn’t be about me, and what if I never have children?
So yeah, fail again.
There’s some unimportant stuff, and the prologue ends.
Now, let’s see. I just finished the prologue and I’ve already found numerous issues, many of them quite large. This is going to go swell.