Max runs to Ella’s mom and it’s all very emotional for some reason. Then Max has Fang show himself, and in the span of one page I get three little gold mines:
Dr. Martinez’s eyes widened when a stiff-faced Fang slowly emerged from the woods, as if a shadow had taken form and come to life. How’s that for a little bird-kid imagery, eh? The soul of a poet, that’s me! (pg 71)
First up, some of Max’s trademark horrible humor. I seriously have no idea how I was able to stand her when I first read these books.
Inside, the house seemed more familiar to me than Anne Walker’s, though I’d only been here maybe forty-eight hours, months ago. Maybe because it had felt like home, the first real home I’d ever been in. (pg 71)
Then some plot convenient feelings.
Behind me, Fang stood close to the door, taking in every detail, cataloguing exits, planning courses of action in case violence broke out. (pg 71)
And rounding it off, we get a nice little dose of omniscience.
Oh, and then there are chocolate chip cookies. I guess that’s where the part title came from. JPatterson was really reaching for that one.
A brief couple paragraphs that are a brand name-drop away from product placement for cookies later, and Ella’s mom starts asking questions which Max and Fang do not want to answer. Also, awkward exposition where we go from Ella’s mom talking to a paragraph telling us information about Ella’s mom, with absolutely nothing smoothing it into the rest of the prose. (You’ll have to take my word on this one; I’ve been kinda quote-heavy so far, and I don’t want to stretch the fair use clause too far.)
Then Ella’s mom reveals that she might have a way to get the chip in Max’s arm out, and Max wants this very much so it’s going to happen.
Nudge couldn’t remember hearing Iggy sound so defeated, He was one of the older kids, Like Fang and Max. Most the time she forgot he was blind. (pg 77)
Okay, so first off, “most the time”? What?
Second–well, this should be obvious. Nudge can forget Iggy is blind, apparently, but in this book I’m not sure he’s ever been mentioned separately from his blindness.
Also, apparently Angel had been a wreck for “weeks” after being kidnapped and taken to the School.
*Checks copy of The Angel Experiment*
Nope. Angel was fine by the time they got to New York, which was about three days after she was rescued. By School’s Out–Forever, it had pretty much been forgotten.
So Nudge says they need a plan, and:
Why don’t we ask Santa Claus?” Iggy sounded bitter. (pg 77)
Oh, really? He sounded bitter when he made a sarcastic comment while in a horrible situation? How shocking! I certainly couldn’t envision his tone until you helpfully told me!
(Two can play at the sarcasm game, you know.)
Ella is now back, and asks Max if Fang is Max’s boyfriend. Then she says he’s cute, then says not as cute as a boy in her class.
Because, you know, girls can’t go for more than ten minutes without talking about boys. It’s a scientific fact! Clinically proven, no less!
I had no Spring Fling in my date book. Mostly I had “kick Eraser butt,” “destroy evil School,” “save world,” stuff like that. (pg 81)
Alternatively, there’s the newly discovered Strong Girl, who is all business until her love interest comes knocking!
And there is no middle-ground, because that’s how fiction works.
Max, Fang, and presumably Ella get taken to Ella’s mom’s clinic, at which point Max’s voice starts telling her not to take out the chip. Max ignores the voice, of course.
Max then tells us that she has a horrible reaction to “science lab-type smells” and that she “had to grip the sides of the table to keep myself from leaping up and racing out of there”.
Notice how all of that is telling. Even the sentence with action in it is not “I gripped the sides of the table, yearning to run away” or whatever, but after-the-fact “had to”.
This is why I don’t buy Max’s horrible trauma.
My heart was pounding, my breath coming shallower, and I could feel the white lightning of adrenaline starting to seep into my veins. (pg 82)
Okay, so there’s that. I maintain that it’s not much, and Max’s behavior doesn’t actually reflect this, but okay.
And now it’s time for the operation!
Max is put under anesthetics, and this makes her woozy and prone to say she loves Fang, which she of course does. Then the chip is out, but oh no Max has lost control over her left hand!
Who wants to bet she regains control by the end of the book?
(Spoiler alert: she does.)
Say. Are vets typically well versed in surgery? How about human surgery?
‘Cause, you know, Ella’s mom just performed human surgery.
I’m just saying.
Also, despite Max’s theory that the voice was connected to the chip, it’s still there. My theory, on the other hand, is still intact: Max is insane.
“I don’t think you should leave until your arm heals,” said Dr. Martinez [Ella’s mom], looking worried. “I’m saying that as a doctor, Max.” (pg 89)
But you’re not a doctor. You’re a vet. Surely JPatterson realizes there’s a difference?
Then Max reminds me of how the flock have super-healing. Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall.
Anyway, Max is adamant that she and Fang leave, so:
There were hugs, of course. These people couldn’t spit without having to hug someone. (pg 90)
Okay, serious question: What the heck does that mean?
As Max and Fang leave, it’s revealed that Fang’s wings are fourteen feet long.
Let’s file that one away, shall we?
As Max and Fang fly back to where they left the others, Fang gives Max a photo of Gazzy as a baby; that is, the same photo that Max and Fang found back in the last book. Apparently this photo was in Ella’s mom’s home office, between a book about recombinant-DNA theory and a book about birds. OOH SUSPENSE!