The flock all gather in a cave home to bats some ways away from Anne’s house, at which point Max suggests they move on (i.e. leave Anne’s care). Nudge, however, does not like this because Thanksgiving is coming up and she wants to be at a proper home for Thanksgiving because of dinner. Max, of course, agrees to staying for Thanksgiving.
It’s almost time for Thanksgiving dinner and Anne is freaking out over the cooking because that is her character or something.
Thanksgiving dinner yay!
Also Anne wants to officially adopt the flock.
The flock are now going to meet Iggy’s parents, and once again Iggy’s mom answers the door:
“Uh, hello… ma’am,” I began, in that smooth handle-everything manner I have. “I saw you on TV, where you said you’d lost your son?”
A look of sadness crossed her face. “Yes?”
I stepped back so she could see Iggy. “I think this is him.”
Okay, so I’m not known for subtlety.
For a second the woman frowned, about to get angry at me for yanking her chain, but then she looked at Iggy and her frown changed to a look of puzzlement. (pg 232)
The omniscient narrator strikes again!
So they go into Iggy’s parents’ house and his parents use a birthmark he has (that, to my memory, was conveniently never mentioned until now) to identify him.
Internal monologue about feelings about Iggy.
The flock, minus Iggy, are now back with Anne, much to her distress.
We’re now with Ari, who apparently has a voice in his head similar to Max’s, as he’s preparing for an Eraser attack on the flock. He is at first planning to kill Max, but then for some reason decides to kidnap her and make her his friend instead.
You know, just a complete 180 on his entire characterization so far, no big deal.
Max is at school as Iggy is being reported as missing by the headmaster, and then she heads into the teacher’s lounge for… some reason, at which point the teachers pull out some Tasers. (By the way, is capitalizing that correct? The book did it, so I’m just following suit, but it seems not quite right to me.)
In classic bad-book style, it turns out that the headmaster is on the side of the eeeeevil Taser teachers.
Tangent time: this is actually a quite common trope among less experienced writers (often evident in fan fiction), in which everyone who dislikes the hero is undoubtedly a horrible person, quite likely in league with some higher villainy. They also have a tendency to be humiliated by the end of the story.
Now, what is this amateur trope doing in a novel written by James Patterson, who should be far from an amateur?
Seriously, does anyone know? I can’t fathom a reason for such atrocity from someone who’s written so much (and supposedly written some good books at that).
Aaaanyway, Max ends up racing down the halls yelling for the flock to get out of there.
Max is getting out of the school when the headmaster’s car comes at her, so…
I rain straight at the car and, right before it crashed into me, I jumped into the air. As my wings gathered wind beneath them, I kicked hard, shattering the headhunter’s windshield.(pg 250)
Um, even discounting the fact that Max would never be powerful enough to shatter a windshield, well, windshields (at least modern ones) don’t shatter. Period.
The flock escapes just as Ari arrives, blah blah blah.
The flock go back to Anne’s house for Total, Ari somehow managing to arrive just after them (despite their ninety MPH flight speeds). Total’s outside, being chased by an Eraser in typical cartoon fashion, and then he does a super jump (twenty or thirty feet, because dogs can do that) and ends up in Angel’s arms.
The flock are hovering around the house, watching Anne interact with Jeb and Ari, when Iggy shows up!
“Oh no–Iggy. What happened?”
“Well,” he said, his face grim, “they didn’t mind the wings. In fact, they loved the wings. Especially since they got eight different publishers and magazines into a bidding war for the all-exclusive rights to my life story, complete with photographs and interviews with the freak himself.” His voice was indescribably bitter. (pg 257)
Well, I wouldn’t want you to strain your narrative ability, Max.
But seriously. What was the point of all this? Oh, parent finding subplot that ends up with nothing and will probably be forgotten within ten pages! All it did was pad out of the story.
That’s all this book is, really: filler. Nothing of note or importance has happened, and we’re over halfway through. I can’t even muster anger because it’s just boring.
Meanwhile, Anne is still arguing with Jeb, so Max heads down.
I shot toward the ground at two hundred miles an hour. It was a total rush, over in a split second, and then I was braking, snapping my wings out to catch the air. (pg 259)
I’m really not buying that these wings added onto a human body can bring that body to a stop from a 200 MPH drop without at the very least great pain. At worst, her wings might snap right off (I’d think, at least–I’m no expert).
Also it turns out Anne is Jeb’s boss because of course she is.
Maybe, deep down inside, I had known. Maybe that was why I had never been able to trust Anne, to relax. Or maybe that had just been my total paranoia coming in handy again. (pg 262)
Either way, it’s awfully convenient, don’t you think?
Blah blah blah, Max leaves and tells us she has a thirteen foot wingspan.
Because wings that size could totally be able to fold into her back.
So Max and the flock are flying through the forest (with a goal of the bat cave, where Max had put supplies for the flock) with her thirteen foot wingspan (managing to harm herself no worse than having a couple feathers torn out). She briefly ends up talking with Ari about things that aren’t important, and then she heads off again.