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.
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)
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.
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.
“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!
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.
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
Part 4: I Didn’t Just Hear What I Thought I Heard, Did I?
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.
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!