By the way, the flock got two hundred bucks in the last chapter. I decided not to mention it because of WHAT ANGEL HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT.
Max gets a single paragraph of simple doubt as they go in search for the address (well, it was just a street; I used the wrong word last time) and I expect that will be the last of that in any meaningful way.
And then they find the place:
It was the building from the drawing in my brain.
And if you don’t think that’s a weird sentence, maybe you should reread it. (pg 317)
Look, Maximum, I read books. I play video games. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff, and so I really don’t care if you find this so weird. I assume this is just JPatterson writing for the illiterate (as in non-book-reading teens, not literally illiterate) teens again, but I still don’t like it.
So they enter the building and look at a catalog thing of the different companies in the building, but find no Institute. They go up and ask the receptionist if there are any other companies, but she says no and then:
Glancing back, I saw that her computer screen had cleared. …
There’s a pot of gold beneath every rainbow, filled her laptop screen in big red letters. (pg 318)
How the heck could this laptop be oriented to allow the flock and the receptionist to see it? And why would the receptionist have it in such as way that others could see it anyway?
Oh, wait, but Max has to see these words so that’s why.
Anyway, she thinks about this sentence for all of a short paragraph, according to her literally gnashing her teeth, and then voila it means a basement!
I’ve heard of plot-induced stupidity, but plot-induced genius is rather new to me.
So Max asks the receptionist about a basement and the receptionist is questioning of this, and oh noes the entire room could be full of Erasers! Only no because remember, they have to look like models… because.
The flock leave the building and conveniently Max has a ballpoint pen and the knowledge that jamming one into the channel of revolving doors will block it.
Will someone please tell me where Max gets all these tricks and pop culture references from?
The flock are walking for a bit, and then all of a sudden Gazzy goes crazy angsty. Which is, according to Max, very out of character for him and I agree.
And so Max tries to comfort Gazzy and tells him she’ll do whatever he wants and he wants to sit down somewhere and eat.
Anyone willing to bet that the whole point of Gazzy’s meltdown was to justify a “cool” scene? Count me in, ’cause my vague memory of this book tells me yes.
They go about looking for a place to eat, and find a diner but it has a half hour wait and then they find a theme restaurant with all kinds of special dining rooms, and of course it doesn’t have a wait.
“May I help you?” A tall, blond, modelly woman glanced at us, then looked to see who we were with. (pg 323)
Oh no, she’s an Eraser! Quick, RUN!
(Also, what’s with the omniscience? Max couldn’t possibly know why the woman’s looking around.)
And then the flock get seated and promptly make their waiter uncomfortable by ordering tons of food. (We know this because Max gets omniscient again and tells us.)
Now, I just thought of something. The flock need tons more calories because of flying, right? Well, for starters, I don’t believe they’ve been flying lately and so I’m not sure why they need the extra calories now, but aside from that would they actually be able to handle the food? It’s my understanding that we get full because our stomachs are full, not because we get enough calories, meaning that, say, Angel, might need more calories, but that doesn’t mean she can actually hold all the extra food.
Or am I totally off-base?
Jason [their waiter] wrote it all down, as if he were enduring an hour-long eye-poke. (pg 325)
I don’t quite like the phrasing of this (I’d go “wrote it all down, looking as if he were enduring”), but I do find the simile amusing. Like that time before, I just wanted to point out that there are some things I like about this book. (Even if they’re small.)
There’s another bit I like, in which a woman who brings them bread is called an underling, but I don’t think it was intended to be comedic.
So the manager comes over because the flock ordered a ton of food and he’s unsure and everything, and instead of showing that she has the money to pay for the food (which, thinking about it, she might not–a meal for five could cost upwards of fifty dollars down here in Florida, and with all the extra stuff, for six, in New York…) she instead gets so angry that these people dare to be unsure that she’s here under proper pretenses!
Honestly, the people weren’t being too rude at all. And, given the circumstances, their reactions are pretty justified. But of course Max knows that she’s okay, so that means the other people should as well.
And my dislike of Max goes up by ten.
By the way, there are cops. Why, I don’t know, especially since there’s at least four of them. I mean, four cops? Over six kids buying a lot of food? Really?
And apparently the cops want to take the flock down to “the station” before calling the flock’s parents, and all over buying a lot of food.
Are real police and restaurants this strict? Is there precedent for this kind of situation?
Anyway, the flock fly up into the air and mess with their waiter and the manager with food, and then Fang crashes through a skylight to make a way out. I really don’t think it’s possible, as he’d want to have his wings wrapped up against his body as to not cut them, but getting sufficient momentum to do that in a building would be difficult…
Oh, never mind.
And Gazzy apparently has the finesse to swoop down and grab an eclair, which I believe would just be plain impossible with his large wingspan–shutting up now.
The flock end up in a big tree and then Erasers!
He [Iggy] was usually our early-warning system. If he hadn’t heard these guys coming, then they’d materialized out of nowhere. (pg 333)
Given how fast they showed up, and knowing this book, I find that surprisingly plausible.
And Ari’s there, and apparently it’s a good time to do some talking and work out his character motivation. (Which is that he’s so broken up because of being neglected by the flock and Jeb and whatever.)
I shot him the bird. (Get it? I shot him the–never mind.) (pg 334)
Whatever tension this scene had just got replaced with stupidity.
And then Ari brings out Angel’s bear, and apparently she finds it so enticing that she goes down to get it. Now, I would find this implausible for a normal six year old to do, but for a kid who grew up in a cage and has no conceivable reason to be so attached to a stuffed bear? No frikkin’ way.
And then Angel starts mind-controlling Ari, and because it wasn’t obvious enough Max has to remind us about how she got the bear in the first place. More of JPatterson’s writing-for-idiots, can’t-do-subtlety thing.
Then the Erasers just… go away.
Which, funnily enough, seems like their entire M.O. “Found the flock? Do nothing!”