Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 8

Standard

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!

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4 responses »

  1. First of, 200 robots. All hit the same sign. None of them noticed that the ones in front of them had hit it, so they didn’t adjust their course. JPat is targeting coma patients for his audience.

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but seriously- the kid is a blind teenager (or close to it) male, of course he wants chicks described to him. Everyone else seems to forget how fortunate they are to be able to admire good-looking people. Has Max ever commented on a male character’s good looks? If so, she is a sexist pig according to her. Wtf. Humans are visually-driven, that’s what we will usually notice first. Not smell, wee can’t immediately ascertain personality, so what do people expect? Just cause someone compliments another on how cute they are doesn’t mean that is the only thing they will admire about them, it’s the only thing they can comment on. If they’ve known the person for awhile, but they only comment on their looks, that’s different. I dunno, I consider admiration of appearance to be a positive thing. I’m assuming that the descriptions being given aren’t super-explicit and indicate a desire to subjugate these women, of course.

    • While the action of wanting to see people is not inherently wrong, the entire way it’s played out is just steeped in creepy; the girls being described are not being described as human beings, but as objects to look at. They’re being dehumanized, and that’s a strong basis of most discrimination.

      The descriptions are sort of sexual, too, with one of them being a girl whose ice cream has dripped onto her chest–it’s not really “oh look, people! People are awesome!” but “describe me these girls because I want to see girls.”

      • Right, because he’s a teenage boy and he probably gets a little randy from time to time, and he’s never seen women before (or did he lose his sight at a young age, which if effectively the same thing)? I’m just saying that it’s perfectly natural to look at someone attractive and think “damn that guy/gal looks hot.” Izzy (is that the blind one?) isn’t fortunate enough to be able to do that in his head where noone can hear him, so…yeah. I find it hard to believe that Max, for example, has never thought to herself how attractive someone is.

        How else would you be able to describe someone you’ve just seen for the first time as anything BUT an object? You don’t know their personality or mannerisms yet to help round it all out so they can be better described “as human beings”, assuming that means talking about their personalty, mannerisms, etc. I dunno, maybe I just think way differently or don’t quite know how to phrase it. Hopefully I don’t sound like a lecherous creep who owns 5, no, 6 pairs of binoculars and 4 telephoto lenses for my cameras so I can objectify women all day every day. Nope, none of that here!

        As always, I haven’t read the text, so for all I know it’s ubercreep stuff. The ice cream on the chest thing’s a little … yeah that’s kinda in creepyland.

        • Natural and expected =/= right. I don’t think it’s particularly horrible to look at people and think of them as attractive, but the way Iggy handles himself is just… not pleasant.

          That’s the thing–the act of describing people like that is objectifying in and of itself.

          I think the text does make it more creepy. Here are some additional excerpts (asterisks used to mark italicized text):

          “*Describe* the people on this beach,” Iggy said again. ‘This is Venice Beach! Part of LA. Home of Freak University! And you guys are, like, looking at maps and stuff!’

          Until Iggy kicked him [Fang].

          Unerringly, Iggy’s hand shot out and grabbed a fistful of Fang’s shirt. He pulled Fang’s face close to his own. ‘*Describe. The. People.*’

          ‘This is Venice Beach,’ Iggy said again. ‘Home of roller disco. I smell coconut oil. I hear high-pitched giggles. I know we must be surrounded by beach bunnies, and you’re looking at a *map!*’

          Sighing, Fang looked around. … ‘Um, over there is an Asian girl, skating on Rollerblades, with her dog, like a greyhound or something, running beside her. Oops, she almost took out that stroller.’
          ‘What’s she wearing?’ Iggy asked.
          ‘A striped bikini.’
          ‘And knee guards,’ the Gasman put in.
          ‘Oh, man,’ Iggy breathed. ‘More, more.’

          It’s just… I can’t explain it, I just think it’s extremely creepy.

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