(Until this spork, I’ve been using a copy of Maximum Ride from the library, which was paperback. Recently, however, I bought a used copy that’s hardback. Because of this, the page numbers I’ve been citing will not be consistent between previous sporks and all from now on.)
This chapter opens up by telling us Iggy is super smart. Because of course he is, right? Anyway, he and Gazzy are trying to make bombs, apparently from a stereo. Oh, and then this:
He [Iggy] had just fixed the computer, presto change-o. (pg 64)
He just magically fixed the computer. Brilliant storytelling, JPatterson. Yepyep.
You know, a thought: how did Iggy learn all this stuff? Did they have a program on the computer to read things out loud? Did the others read stuff to Iggy? Does he know braille, or does he just get by without written word? These are all things I’d like to know, things that would expand upon his character and be quite interesting, IMO. But of course we don’t get to learn this stuff, because action!
They need a timer, and Iggy tells Gazzy (for some reason referred to as Gasser) to get Max’s alarm clock.
Max tells us she’s somewhere in Arizona. Whether this is just stupid or bad infodumping I’m not sure, but it’s still silly.
Oh, and apparently Max’s wings are accordions. Seriously:
I pulled my wings in, feeling them fold, hot from exercise, into a tight accordion on either side of my spine. (pg 66)
This simile makes no sense. None whatsoever. And apparently by tying a windbreaker around her neck Max’s wings are completely hidden. Riiiight.
Anyway, we get a description of some ridiculously cliche bad guys, their leader berating the girl for telling on him beating up some other kid. And one of them has a shotgun!
Max gives a brief monologue about how she hates the strong picking on the weak, how it happened to her and seems to happen so much on the “outside world”. I could say something about how I’d like to know her other experiences with this, but I think I’m getting rather repetitive about it.
And Max is apparently a mind reader, too!
Just another stupid girl, they [the bad guys] thought, relieved. Their eyes lingered a moment on my scratched face, my black eye, but they didn’t keep watching me. (pg 67)
Yep, Max is a mind reader. Why didn’t she tell us this? It seems like something pretty important. Oh, and a beat up kid walks in on these guys and they just ignore her? That makes no sense whatsoever.
One of the guys using “chick” as an insult later, and Max is telling us how she’s stronger than full-grown men, apparently because of genetic engineering.
…I thought they were just bird-kids? Now they’re genetically modified humans with bird DNA? I could use some exposition, JPatterson!
The bad guys rush Max (apparently shotguns are no good for shooting with?) and she dispatches them with ease. Oh, and she uses the word “jeezum”. I did a quick search, and it would appear this is a way of saying “Jesus” without offending religious people. Because Max cares so much about offending religious people? I can understand her not using swear words at all as this is a kid’s book, but it makes no sense for her to specifically use a non-offensive word.
One of the bad guys picks up a gun (referred to as “his gun”, despite the narration never telling us there was more than one, and I would assume this isn’t shotgun guy as the narration is vague about it) and cocks it, starting towards Max, who runs away.
So this kid picks up a gun and moves toward his target, and she runs? The heck?!
So Max is running into the woods, and the bad guys (who she has, like, a hundred names for–bozos, yo-yos, yahoos, bullyboys…) yell at her and one of them shoots the shotgun.
Then Max gets weirdly angry and says how this situation is like the situation in her dream. Oookay, Max, no need to be so weird about it. If her other behaviors didn’t discount it, I’d think Max might actually be showing normal signs of PTSD!
And then Max gets shot and trips and falls down steep slope, ending up in an overgrown ravine. Her shoulder and wing were hit by the shotgun shot, and she angsts a bit before telling us it’s in her nature to fight for the underdog, which Jeb always told her was her fatal flaw (oh, wonderful, our protagonist’s worst flaw is that she roots for the underdog!). The chapter ends with this:
Jeb had been right. (pg 72)
Which might actually be a dramatic ending to a chapter if there had been any previous mention of any of this.
Fang and Nudge are flying around, and Nudge is hungry. Fang leads them to a cave, where they sit down and eat dried fruit and chocolate bars. The entire exchange seems really weird to me in an indescribable way, but whatever.
And for some reason Nudge is just now asking about where Max went and what she was doing, despite her supposed talkativeness and the fact that it’s been an hour since Max left. I’m not buying it. Anyway, Fang says they’re right over Lake Mead and they’ll wait for Max here. In a cave, where she can’t see them. Brilliant. Nudge finishes eating, then goes and looks around and sees something!
So there are birds, including fledglings, near the cave on the ledge that’s outside it. The birds are staring at Nudge and Fang, apparently having done nothing for the five or ten minutes Fang and Nudge were inside the cave. For some reason I don’t think predator birds with babies would really just stand by while a couple of humans go right by them, but what do I know?
“Ferruginous hawks,” Fang said softly. “Largest raptor in the States. Sit down, very slowly. No sudden movements or we’re both bird feed. (pg 75)
And yet these birds did nothing before. Yeeaah.
Nudge starts to speak but Fang “motions” for her to be “quiet, very quiet.” I’d like to know what kind of motion could convey that.
Fang starts to extend his wings to let the birds catch his scent. I’m no bird expert so I can’t say for sure, but I fail to understand why Fang’s wings wouldn’t just smell like the rest of him, which would be human. Yes? I don’t even know.
But, at least in this novel, it works and the birds just continue on, no big deal. I dunno, I’d think they’d still have some reaction to a bunch of human-looking animals, regardless of their smells. But again, I’m not a bird expert, can’t say for sure (and I’m inclined to believe I’m wrong, if only because that’s common for me).
Anyway, there’s a bit of fluff and the chapter ends. Yippee.
(Sorry for the late posting on this one; bad timing got in the way.)