Aaand we’re back! Since I had forgotten what was going on well enough to accidentally start writing this spork part from seven chapters back, I think a recap is in order. Last we left Max, she was in a walled in outdoors area in the bad guys’ castle fortress when Max’s clone showed up.
With that surprisingly short recap out of the way, let’s jump in!
Max’s clone talks to Max, and then Nudge… well, I’ll just quote the book.
“Baa,” Nudge bleated. “Baaa.” (pg 294)
Then Max’s clone says that the experiments, including herself, are rejects and are being destroyed, and so she’s on Max’s side.
What does Max have to say about this?
She could have totally been lying, of course. In fact, it was safest to assume that she was. But her words were all too likely the truth. (pg 295)
Don’t tell us why they’re likely the truth, though. That would actually make sense.
Max’s clone says that the experiments are all being slowly killed, disappearing from the yard where they’re being forced to walk in an oval, which makes about zero sense but okay. Also, Max says that she thought they’d have a few days to regroup and “find a way out of this.”
Which, what. The bad guys say they’re going to kill you, and you expect to get a few days to just lollygag around?
Then, again, with these villains…
Max bumps into a “mutant” (in quotes because they’re called that, but I don’t know why), who leaves a piece of paper in her hand saying Fang is coming.
I’d just like to note that since the chapter numbers take up a third of a page, this book has thirty wasted pages so far. ANd that’s before you even take into account the gaps at the end of chapters.
Also, the “mutants” that are in the yard are apparently all murmuring stuff. What stuff?
Unfair. Lied to us. So many of us gone. Don’t want to disappear. Don’t want to be retired. What to do? There are so many of them. Too many of them. This is a prison. A prison of death. Unfair. I did nothing wrong. Except exist. (pg 299)
And I’m not buying it. I mean… it just seems silly, and not very, I dunno, realistic? I can’t really put it into words. I just don’t believe that these “mutants” are all murmuring their thoughts like this.
Then an “electronic buzzer” “tells” Max’s group to go back inside, which makes me wonder what the point of that whole excursion was on the bad guy’s end. Let Max interact with a bunch of scorned experiments? Makes perfect sense!
As they head back inside, ter Borcht is there and says he wishes to speak with them “vun last time.”
With chapter 100, we reach page 300. That’s an average of three pages per chapter.
This will never not irritate me.
Max’s group get directed into a “white, sterile-looking lablike room”, at which point Angel mind-tells Max that she can’t control ter Borcht’s mind.
How convenient for the plot!
“So!” said ter Borcht, coming towards us. “I vass verry disappointed dat you are not dead by now!”
“Vee feel de same vay about you!” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.
His eyes narrowed. Really, sometimes I impress even me. (pg 301)
Have I mentioned how much I dislike Max?
Five scientists, whom Max feels the need to identify as Asian (after speculating that they might be Chinese), walk in and Total says how their lab coats are “last season’s” and look “Revenge of the Nerds”-y.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike Total?
Then Max starts referring to the five scientists as the “Clean Team” because sure, and they inspect Max’s group. She brings up how she heard that some country wanted to buy them as weapons, which if you remember had been China, so at least that sort of tells us why she needed to specify their ethnicity? I guess JPatterson was trying to go for subtle but forgot that to do that you shouldn’t have your character speculate if the characters are from the very country that you said wanted to buy your character.
No, I don’t know why this was a chapter break, either.
“Ah, hallo,” one guy said in heavily accented English. “We will ask you some questions, okay?” (pg 304)
I don’t really connect “hallo” to Chinese accents, but okay.
The “one guy” asks Max for her name, she gives him a number, he asks Nudge for her name, and she says it’s “Jessica Miranda Alicia Tangerine Butterfly.”
How do the scientists react?
They turned to Angel. “We will call you Little One,” the leader said, obviously deciding to dispense with the whole confusing name thing. (pg 305)
“Okay,” Angel said agreeably. “I’ll call you Guy in a White Lab Coat.” He frowned.
“That can be his Indian name,” I suggested. (pg 305)
You know, for one who’s fairly adept at pointing out sexism, Max is being really racist right now.
The scientists continue asking questions, the flock continue being failsnarky, and JPatterson continues his trend of making anybody and everybody who shouldn’t be, really easily riled up by the flock’s bad attempts at sarcasm. (That sentence is kinda confusing; what I mean is, those who really shouldn’t be, are.)
“You know, Borchy,” I said in a loud whisper, “you might want to lay off the fried foods.” I patted my stomach, then pointed to his much, much bigger one. (pg 306)
I am really, really, really disgusted with Max right now.
Then Max’s mom comes in!
Mom–Marian Janssen–greeted the Chinese scientists warmly, so I figured they were offering her a big chunk of change to buy us as weapons. (pg 308)
So, first Max thinks they might be Chinese, then she refers to them as Asian, then she calls them the Clean Team, and now she magically knows they’re Chinese.
I’m really not impressed with JPatterson’s consistency.
Anyway, Ms. Janssen asks the scientists if the flock are cooperating, they say no, so she takes out a PDA and starts answering their questions.
“Max, here,” she said, gesturing to me, “has exceeded two hundred miles an hour, straight on, and upward of two hundred and sixty miles an hour in a steep dive.” (pg 308)
You could argue that the flock having wings is acceptable, due to the fiction part of science fiction. You cannot argue that un-aerodynamic human bodies with wings grafted on can go twice as fast as the fastest bird, a species designed specifically for flight.
JPatterson fails credibility forever and ever.
Then Marian says how high Max has gone, which is about thirty-one thousand feet. I don’t know the feasibility of that, nor do I feel like taking the time to find out, so whatever.
Max speculates that Mary got her information from the chip in Max’s arm, and then the one scientist asks how much weight the flock can carry. Her female parental unit says that they can carry four-fifths of their own weight for about an hour, and a half of their weight indefinitely. Again, not gonna look into the feasibility of that but if it’s anything above the average, I’m calling bogus because of the whole hollow bones thing.
Max’s ma goes on about the flock’s body fat and whatnot, when Max butts in and says there’s no way she’s going to be a weapon. Maria Jania just says they can find a way to motivate Max and her group, and Max says okay, but that they’re going to need a bunch of silly stuff, to which the scientists respond…
They nodded eagerly, thrilled at my giving in, which, frankly, was pathetic. I mean, don’t they have cynics in China? Clearly these guys were not the brightest crayons in the box. (pg 310)
I. Hate. Max.