Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Kirkovitch ISBI Chapter 8: And We’re Back!

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So, yeah. As evidenced by this picture, WordPress is a selectable member of the family–the glitch is gone!

In case you’ve forgotten what’s happened in the ISBI since I stopped: I started with founder Lincoln Kirkovitch, who married Lanya LastNameForgotten. They had three children: LapTrap, Ebon Hawk, and Monumental. LapTrap died mysteriously shortly after becoming a young adult, and his grave is currently set next to the family house. Ebon Hawk, the heir, married her imaginary friend, T3-M3, who’s Mean-Spirited and flip-flops between being friends and enemies with Lincoln and Lanya. Monumental managed to get out of the household without dying.

More recently, Ebon Hawk got pregnant and had a baby, WordPress, but WordPress was unselectable and thus not a proper member of the family, but as I said right up there, the issue is now fixed.

Let’s jump in!

Jump in.

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Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 11

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Note that Fang’s blog is incredibly popular, and yet Itex has for some reason not found it and shut it down.

Just sayin’.

Chapter 90

Max spouts some sarcasm at Jeb, who tells her she can still save the world. Then he speaks with the voice of the voice inside Max’s head, which is extremely confusing because I don’t know what Max’s voice sounds like, so I can’t tell if Jeb is talking and his voice is inexplicably different or if he’s basically just putting on an accent. But I think the fact that Jeb is the voice is supposed to be dramatic, even though he’s pretty much the only known character it could be.

Chapter 91

We’re back with Fang, who’s in an internet cafe with Iggy and Gazzy when his magical senses tell him someone’s looking at him.

And, in an incredibly convenient twist, the person is the homeless, computer-knowledgeable kid the flock met in New York. I’m not going to bother to ask how he got all the way to the west coast, and the book doesn’t bother explaining it, either.

Anyway, the reason why the kid showed up? To help Fang, of course! That is, to “get a message through to every kid on the ‘net, everywhere in the world”. Which, suuuure.

Chapter 92

Let’s just take a moment to ponder the ridiculousness of this particular plot point: a homeless kid from New York got all the way to the west coast, at which point he just happened to run into Fang, at which point he agreed to send a message to every kid in the world. (Which is impossible.)

Then Gazzy wants a muffin so Fang gives him money, which makes me wonder where Fang gets his money from. Or the flock in general, really; I don’t think the issue of money has been brought up since the first book.

The more and more you look, the more and more everything in these books falls apart.

Fang introduces his group to the kid, who’s named Mike, and Mike recognizes Fang because of his blog. However, Mike requires proof of the wings, so they head upstairs and Mike unlocks the door to a storage room because of course he has the key.

Fang shows Mike his wings, etc. etc.

Chapter 93

Mike starts creating a code to send a message to every kid in the world (I will never not find this funny, by the way) when Fang gets the email from Max asking him to come help. He brushes it off for a moment, and gets started writing his message to every kid in the world.This message will apparently take the form of a basic virus (I think this is basic stuff? All I know is that I know about it as a technique) and send emails to people, then use those people’s address books to send more emails.

How this will get to every kid, and how it will avoid adults, I do not know. I also don’t know why only kids are capable of helping.

Chapter 94

Here’s the message, which I’m quoting in full because WOW:

Hey. If you get this message, we might have a chance. I mean the world might have a chance. Long story short: The grown-ups have taken a nice clean planet and trashed it for money. Not every grown-up. But a bunch of them, over and over, choose money and profits over clean air and water. It’s their way of telling us they don’t give a rat’s butt about us, the kids, who are going to inherit what’s left of the Earth.

A group of scientists want to take back the planet before it’s too late and stop the pollution. Good, right? Only problem is they think they need to get rid of half the world’s population to do it. So it’s like: Save the planet so the pollution doesn’t kill people, or . . . just kill people to start with, to save everyone time. For you kids at home, that’s called “flawed logic.” I mean, call me crazy, but that seems like a really bad plan.

The other thing about these scientists is that they’ve tried to create a new kind of human who might survive better, like if there’s a nuclear winter or whatever. I won’t go into the details, but let me just say that this idea is as boneheaded and dangerous as their “kill half the people” plan.

What I’m saying is: It’s up to us. You and me. Me and my flock, you and your friends. The kids. We want–we deserve–to inherit a clean, unmessed-up planet, and still keep everyone who’s already living on it.

We can do it. But we have to join together. We have to take chances. Take risks. We have to get active and really do something, instead of just sitting at home playing Xbox. This isn’t a game. We can’t defeat the enemy by hitting them with our superlaser guns.

We want our planet back.

Kids matter. We’re important. Our future is important.

ARE YOU WITH ME? (pgs 282-283)

I swear, this book is quickly becoming the poster child for liberal brainwashing, and I don’t even think that’s a thing.

But seriously: this pops up in your inbox. You’re a kid. What do you do? Certainly not go out and fix everything, if only because Fang doesn’t say how or even give contact information.

Chapter 95

Now it’s time for Fang’s group to head to Germany!

Chapter 96

Max gives us the time-old play off of the “when life gives you lemons” saying, because of course she does. Then she starts trying to teach Ari to spell his name for some reason. (I’m not sure I mentioned it, but the book previously disclosed that Ari can’t read or write.)

Jeb had taught me and Fang to read. I’d taught Gazzy and Nudge and Angel. We were a little shaky with spelling and grammar sometimes, but all of us could forge signatures like a pro. (pg 287)

And yet Fang’s message was grammatically sound. And Nudge’s email to Fang was pretty much perfect. So, uh.

Max sort of apologizes for almost killing Ari in New York, and he says that she did kill him but that the scientists “fused some of the bones in my [his] neck.”

I feel like that’s not how anything, ever, works.

Ari and Max have a heart-to-heart over Jeb which sounds human when you forget that it’s another instance of informed emotions that are never actually shown. Then the chapter ends.

Chapter 97

Max’s group are taken out to what they describe as being similar to a prison yard, AKA outside but walled in, but they don’t fly away because that would be intelligent. Then Max tells us about how her group has collars on their necks, which she assumes would shock them if they try to escape.

Now, this is something I’ve noticed throughout the book: Max will tell us something at the beginning of the chapter, then refuse to elaborate on it until later (for instance, at the beginning of this chapter, she says they get moved to somewhere bad, but this place is not described for another page). She’ll also withhold important information for much longer than she should, which just creates an awkward reading experience because I’m having to ask basic questions and then wait for their simple answers.

Also, Angel asks if this is what prisons will be like after the By-Half Plan ends (or starts? It’s been a while since we were informed it was starting, but nothing has yet happened), Max says yes, Nudge asks why they’d need prisons when they’re trying to stop the fighting, Max says Nudge is right, and none of them stop to think that this being a prison has never been established.

And then Max’s clone is there!

A break for August (+ Sims update)

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Since I, EmotedLlama, will be taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo in August, I’m afraid I won’t be able to provide my normal content during the month. However, I may post some unrelated stuff during that time. And! What I am writing for Camp NaNoWriMo will, after a bunch of editing, be posted on the blog, so rest assured that I am producing content.

Also, good news on the Sims front! I set up a town in the Sims 2 for a new series, but I missed the Kirkovitches and so I started up the Sims 3 and found that the glitch had gone away–WordPress was in the family properly. I intend to get a short chapter up either tomorrow or in early August, and then I’ll continue with updates once September starts.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 10

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Chapter 79

We’re back with Max!

We hadn’t bothered with the Itex plant in England, since it was just a single head of the hydra. (pg 235)

Max. This happened just a couple of chapters ago. We know this already.

We knew there were about four different Itex plants in Germany, including its world headquarters, and that’s where we were headed. (pg 235)

??? Since when do you know this? And where from?

However, while Max wants to go straight to Germany, Total really wants to go to Paris because pop-culture knowledgeable dogs love Paris. Then Nudge wants to go, too, and then Angel.

It’s like JPatterson forgot that he just did this with sightseeing in London. This time, however, Max internally monologues about how Paris couldn’t possibly be helpful, and so I’m assuming it’s going to conveniently give some plot clues.

Chapter 80

Max agonizes a bit over being away from Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy.

Part of me was dying to find an Internet cafe and at least read Fang’s latest blog entry. (pg 238)

What’s funny is that just a few chapters ago Max’s group went to an Internet cafe to research Itex, and ended up having to go to a library because they didn’t have a computer for said Internet cafe.

It would appear JPatterson doesn’t even remember what he just wrote anymore.

“OMG!” Nudge squealed, putting a filmy, arty scarf around her neck. “This is fabulous!” (pg 238)

I just.

Okay, as a mom I’m unconventional, I admit. Especially since I’m only fourteen and didn’t actually give birth to any of these guys. (pg 239)

And now Max is dissing adoption, it would seem.

Max’s group continue their sightseeing, checking out the Eiffel tower and doing some shopping. It’s all very boring.

Chapter 81

Max talks about travel times by flight, which actually seem to be in line with Max’s previously established 90 MPH flight speed. Obviously that speed itself is ridiculously unrealistic, but at least JPatterson is staying consistent here.

Then they reach Itex’s world headquarters, which is a castle.

What.

“Wait, don’t tell me,” Total said, trotting after me. “We’re gonna break in, steal some stuff, break some stuff, almost get caught, and then escape in some dangerous, dramatic way.” (pg 243)

…I’m with Total on this one.

Max’s group get outside the castle, and then oh noes, Max’s clone is there, along with a bunch of other bad guys who are marching outside for some reason!

Chapter 82

Oh, and there’s also a Nudge clone, and an Angel clone. Because of this, Max says they should come up with a code to make sure they’re talking to the real person. We are not told this code.

Chapter 83

Max’s group march in with the bad guys, and Max ponders how long it will be until they get noticed. Evidently I was right, and Angel’s convenient mind-control is being forgotten about when it could actually be helpful.

They continue through the headquarters:

We were heading deeper and deeper into one of Itex’s most important strongholds without anyone getting in our way.

I looked down at Angel.

“Trap?” I said out of the side of my mouth.

She nodded. “Trap.” (pg 249)

Oooo0-ooooo!

Sorry, I just can’t find this even remotely dramatic what with the flock having been in and out of the bad guys’ lairs too many times to count.

Chapter 84

Max’s group get into an important-looking room, where a woman is going on in other languages via a TV screen. Finally she gets to English, and oh no the By-Half Plan has begun!

Chapter 85

The woman continues to talk, and Max argues under her breath because that’s a really smart thing to do. Then the voice tells her she needs to get Iggy, Fang, and Gazzy back.

I swear, this book keeps going back and forth on what it wants to do.

Chapter 86

I just want to note that we’re 250 pages into this book and only now is there starting to be plot. Most of what’s happened so far could have easily been cut, and probably should have.

Max’s group go in search for a computer through the ventilation ducts because OF COURSE, and easily find one. Then, for the first time I can recall in this book, Nudge’s ability gets brought back up as she navigates the computer to send an email to Fang.

And then! The woman from the TV screen appears on the computer and tells a bunch of hovering Eraser robots to attack Max’s group.

Chapter 87

Keeping in line with the confusing strength levels in this series, Max’s group get captured. They’re taken to a modern-looking office (which is made a point, because the rest of this gigantic company’s headquarters for taking over the world is in the dark ages, architecture-wise), and in a surprising turn of events Max tells Angel to use her mind-control.

A bunch of scientists come in, including the TV/computer screen woman.

My name is Marian Janssen,” she said calmly. “I’m the Director of Itex, and its research and development companies.” (pg 260)

Max displays some disappointment that the director is female, but more importantly:

“Not only that,” she continued, keeping her eyes on my face, “but I am your mother, Max.” (pg 260)

GASP!!1!111

Part 4: I Didn’t Just Hear What I Thought I Heard, Did I?

Chapter 88

Max goes back and forth with Marian for a moment, then Marian confirms that killing the flock is the current bad guy plan. Which, just, wow. How incompetent do you have to be to fail to kill these guys? Grab a gun, find them, shoot them. Bam! You’re done.

And why aren’t Max’s group being killed right now? Anyone?

Anyway, more talking between Max and Marian, Max mostly just being very angry. I’m willing to bet, however, that any angst over Max’s mom being evil going forward is going to be waaay too little and waaay too silly.

Chapter 89

Max’s group are chained up in a dungeon, which is apparently synonymous with “kill them.”

I don’t even know, you guys. It would also seem like Angel’s mind-control has been forgotten about.

Max is still going through the mandatory period of parental angst, and then Jeb is there and the chapter ends!

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 9

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Chapter 67

Kewl dude 326 said . . . (pg 199)

No!

Sugargrrl said . . .(pg 199)

Noooo!

Heather said . . . (pg 199)

Oh, okay.

As you may have guessed (or surmised from me telling you), this chapter is a bunch of fictional comments on Fang’s blog. Maybe one of them (from “Heather”) actually sounds somewhat realistic; the rest are grammatical messes even real people don’t make filled with bizarre reasoning that only comes from people like JPatterson not knowing what kids are like.

Also, all of these kids believe that there are kids with wings flying about, despite the pretty much zero evidence to support it. AKA they apparently cannot separate fact from apparent fiction.

Chapter 68

Max explains how Angel used her mind control to make people not notice Total or Ari (Ari because he’s permanently half-wolf), get them first-class plane tickets, and extra meals to boot!

Now watch as Angel doesn’t use these ridiculous powers to, I dunno, stop the bad guys.

Then Max and Nudge get a nice moment in which Nudge is surprisingly adorable and likeable. There are good qualities to these books, even if they’re few and far in between.

Chapter 69

Max’s group arrive in London, and

The Voice was MIA, and we were on our own.

Which was fine. I’d gotten us all this far. The Voice was a recent phenomenon, and as far as I was concerned, it could stay gone. (pg 206)

Well, let’s see. Max escaped the School because of Jeb, lived up in the mountains because of Jeb (and then had to make about zero Big Decisions when he disappeared since their house was magical), rescued Angel, went to New York, and then it was the voice from then on. That’s two and a quarter out of three books, which is pretty sizable if you ask me.

Max says they should start researching Itex, but Total of course has to interrupt:

“Whoa, whoa, hold the phone,” said Total. “We’re in London. Are you telling me we’re not going to go see the Crown Jewels?” (pg 206)

I know I sound like a broken record, but Total shouldn’t even have heard of London until the flock were heading there, let alone the Crown Jewels. Remember, he’s a dog. That lived in a cage. But apparently he’s a pop culture whiz who possesses a human consciousness!

Anyway, the rest of Max’s group pile on the idea of checking out the sights, and the voice tells Max to let them and so it is decided.

It’s like JPatterson doesn’t even want Max to have to make decisions; everything’s directed by the voice, which is just an excuse for JPatterson to control the plot independent of his characters.

Chapter 70

The flock check out a museum before heading over to Madame Tussauds (which, to my knowledge, is essentially a wax sculpture museum).

“I don’t know who any of these ‘famous’ people are,” said Angel, once we were inside Tussauds.

“Me neither,” said Nudge, sounding disappointed.

“Me neither,” said Ari.

“Um, I think this one is Brad Pitt,” I said, pointing. “Who knew he was this tall?”

“Who’s Brad Pitt?” Angel asked.

Total tsked and scratched behind one ear with a hind leg. “Only a world-famous movie star,” he said. “Read a paper sometimes, will you?” (pg 210)

I just.

WHYYY.

Chapter 71

Time to find Itex!

There office was in . . .

“Threadgill-on-Thames?” Nudge read carefully.

“It sounds like a tweed theme park,” said Angel. (pg 212)

Angel, please tell me what a tweed theme park is, because I have no idea. (And you said you didn’t know who Brad Pitt is!)

Total corrects Nudge’s pronunciation, too, because of course he does.

Max introspects for a bit, thinking about Fang, and then Nudge breaks her out of it and it’s decided that they’ll fly to the Itex office.

Chapter 72

They’re now at the Itex office, which is dark and gloomy and used to be a prison, because of course.

Chapter 73

Everyone prepares to enter the office, but the voice interrupts with a Hydra analogy; evidently, this office is not the actual base of Itex, and so they have to keep looking.

I’m looking at something different, though: how JPatterson managed to waste five pages on a completely pointless diversion (going to this Itex office).

So, yeah, Max randomly chooses France, and everyone wants pastries because of course.

I stifled a response–had Madame Tussauds taught them nothing?–and took off into the chilly night, kind of feeling like Harry Potter escaping from the Dursleys. Except in our world, Dursleys were everywhere, were heavily funded, and had a strong scientific bent. (pg 220)

Remember how JPatterson compared his villains to Hitler? Well, now he’s comparing Max to Harry Potter.

Chapter 74

Los Angeles, gangbangers, huh! (pg 221)

What.

“If they’re not the Crips or the Bloods, does that mean they’re the Cruds?” Iggy asked in all seriousness. (pg 221)

WHAT.

Okay, so it would seem Fang’s group have been taken in by a gang galled the Ghosts, since the gang’s leader reads Fang’s blog, and so Fang’s group get some rest at a Ghost residence.

Chapter 75

Apparently the “go to People magazine” plan is happening now, and Fang manages to get himself, another fourteen-year-old, and an eight-year-old into the building under the guise of delivering food.

I’d let that one sink in for a moment, if I were you.

Upon reaching their destination, however, Fang completely bungles everything and security gets called.

Chapter 76

They get thrown out, of course, but not before a wacky chase scene.

Chapter 77

Does anyone even know what this book is about anymore?

Fang’s group are eating hot dogs when oh no, Eraser robots! They number at about 80, which makes perfect sense: when 200 fail, send 80!

I mean, what.

Chapter 78

Fight time!

So, yeah. It’s a fight scene, nothing new, though it is striking how before, the flock would just hold their ground against twenty Erasers, and now they’re fighting against way more Eraser robots (which are obviously stronger).

I don’t think JPatterson understand how power creeps work.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 8

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Part 3: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Okay, so no idea if I got the capitalization right since the title is in all caps in the book, but regardless: gag.

Chapter 56

What do you know? It wasn’t all a dream after all. And somehow my hand still worked now. So, bonus. (pg 167)

This is undoubtedly the most blatant example of plot-convenience in the entire series.

So the flock grab the supplies Max and Fang left before finding the others, then head up north. Max also tells us a little about her impeccable internal compass:

At the School, when we were little, they’d done tons of experiments searching for our magnetism sensors, which tell us where magnetic north is.

They didn’t find them. (pg 167)

Okay, so maybe this is the most blatant? I dunno, it’s too close to call.

They continue to head north, and it gets colder as they do so, but somehow none of them have issues with the likely freezing air.

Then oh noes, they’re out of food!

Chapter 57

Max decides they’ll head for the vacation home they found early in the first book, which she can of course find with her special compass.

Never mind that that’s not how compasses work, but anyway: Fang does not like this plan, but Max digs her feet in and so it is decided.

Chapter 58

So, uh, JPatterson, if you could stop with the barely-over-one-page chapters?

No?

Oh. Okay, I guess. It’s your book.

Imagine, if you will, a somewhat run-down, not very much used vacation hacienda. For those of us without even an everyday hacienda, the notion of having a vacation one makes us positively giddy. Even an unrenovated one. (pg 171)

I just.

In an amazing stroke of luck (not that they ever have bad luck), the house’s occupants are just leaving as the flock arrive, so the flock are free to gorge themselves on the house’s food supply.

Then! Fang decides that Max has to choose between him or Ari.

Chapter 59

“Gosh, Fang, you romantic fool,” I said sarcastically. (pg 174)

I think it says something about JPatterson’s target audience that he felt the need to specify the sarcasm here.

In any case, Fang and Max argue for a bit over whether or not to let Ari stay with the flock (Max being for it, and Fang being not for it), and ultimately Fang decides to fly off.

I’m going to assume that since Max is our protagonist and Always Right, she’ll be right and Fang will come around to Ari and Ari will be a good guy.

Chapter 60

You are reading Fang’s Blog. Welcome! (pg 177)

What–

Today’s date: Already Too Late! (pg 177)

No.

You are visitor number: 28,772,461 (pg 177)

NO.

As you may have guessed, this chapter is a supposed excerpt from Fang’s Blog, basically just reiterating what the By-Half Plan is (kill anyone not deemed useful!). Also, there’s the matter of the 28 million views.

Chapter 61

Wait a sec, random question: how did the Eraser robots find the flock (minus Fang and Max)? ‘Cause I have no idea.

Anyway, Max waits a bit, Fang comes back, and they have a chat over stuff. I dunno, it’s all rather dull to me, and the characters are actually acting halfway human, so there’s not much material to poke fun at.

Chapter 62

The next morning, Fang decides that he’s going to go off on his own and follow leads he gets via his blog.
Iggy and Gazzy are going to join him, while Angel, Nudge, Ari, and Total (do I have to list him as a character that actually exists?) are sticking with Max.

Chapter 63

Max is now completely lost as to what to do, and then the voice tells her to go to Europe because the voice is helpful at just the right times! It’s basically the cheatiest plot device ever.

Oh, thank God. Goddess. Whatever. (pg 187)

Today in Maximum Ride things I actually like, take a look at these five words!

So, yeah. The voice tells Max to go to England and look for capital-S Schools, and because of the ocean thing it’s decided that they’ll take a plane.

Total frowned. “Isn’t that redundant?” (pg 189)

Bleeping dog knows about bleeping redundancy.

Chapter 64

Flying west without Max was like flying with one wing missing, Fang thought. (pg 190)

Nitpick time!

First, the wording of this sentence makes it sound like the west part of flying is important, which would mean flying south without Max would be just fine. Second, I can’t figure out the purpose of the “Fang thought” tag. Either it’s marking the stuff before it as direct thought, which clashes with the book’s scheme of using italics for direct thought (and also every other word, but that’s another thing) as well as the laws of how people think, or it’s marking the stuff before it as Fang’s opinion, which is unnecessary because of the third-person limited perspective the book makes use of. (Third-person limited is basically where the book is in third person, but the narration is tied directly into the thoughts of the character whom it’s following.)

So. Yeah.

Flying west, etc. etc.

Chapter 65

Say! Has Nudge’s magical ability of reading objects even been mentioned in this book so far? Honestly, it’s like JPatterson isn’t even trying.

Moving on, Fang’s group are now in L.A., and while he and Gazzy are looking at maps for… some purpose, Iggy is very irritated that Fang is not describing girls to him.

I mean.

What.

The Fang complies, and

He never would have done this in front of Max, Fang thought. She would have been all over him like ugly on an ape, telling him what a sexist pig he was. (pg 195)

At the risk of agreeing with Max, I must say that I agree with Max.

But really, this entire sequence is more bizarre than anything. It also makes me dislike Iggy, which is a shame because up until now he was pretty much the only character who was vaguely likeable.

And then oh no, Eraser robots!

Chapter 66

We’re with an entry on Fang’s blog now, telling us about the Eraser robot attack–though he first wonders about how the Eraser robots found them, which is a question I echo. I wonder if we’ll ever get an answer.

Oh, and by the way? This blog post is all in perfect grammar. I don’t think I need to explain why that’s wrong.

The Eraser robots apparently numbered at about 200, but this was no match for Fang’s group–they managed to get all 200 of the robots to crash into the Hollywood sign. Which, no. Just no.

The next chapter looks to be fictional comments on Fang’s blog, but unfortunately this spork part has reached a good length and so I’ll have to save that for next time. Till next time, I am horrified of what is to come!