Max decides not to tell us the worst horrors the scientists cooked up, which is awfully convenient but whatever. Though Angel does mention a “magic suit,” which is not described in the prose itself so I’m just confused.
Marian Janssen then displays detachable arm replacements, with Max whispering inane snark to nobody. Then is a woman with the fangs and agility of a panther, and then the chapter ends.
Max tells us once again about how most of the other experiments from their time had died pretty quickly. Why the flock and only the flock have turned out completely fine, I don’t know, but that’s JPatterson for you.
Then we get treated to more descriptions of experiments, including a woman who can scream at super-high pitches. This causes Total pain, leaving him “biting his lip to keep from shrieking swear words.” I haven’t the foggiest of whether or not that’s possible, nor do I have any idea how to find out something like that, so I can’t really comment on that even though I think it sounds ridiculous.
Then Marian Janssen displays “nano-bullets, with their own internal guidance systems” which tear through some butterflies. Me, I’m just wondering how small bullets could possibly control themselves in the air.
“What do they have against butterflies?” Nudge demanded, outraged. (pg 343)
Today in unnecessary speech description, well, just take a look at that quote.
Then a boy comes out who, according to Marian Janssen, is basically a superhuman, both stronger and smarter than anyone else. And, of course, he’s going to be fighting Max.
Have I mentioned how much I can’t stand despotic psychopaths? Why, yes, Max, you have. Like, a couple hundred times.
Well, it’s for reasons like this. (pg 345)
Why is this passage in the book? It serves absolutely no purpose. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, it’s too short to go anywhere–it just… exists, for no discernible reason.
“Maximum Ride and Omega will fight to the death,” said the Director merrily, as if announcing the next croquet competition. (pg 345)
I am thoroughly baffled by this simile. It just sounds so silly and it only tenuously makes any sense and it’s completely illogical from Max’s pop culture mindset, because last I checked croquet is specifically not a feature of pop culture.
Max asks Angel to use her mind control on the superhuman, and Angel says okay but apparently does not sound hopeful.
This reminds me about how terribly JPatterson plotted out this whole story. He gives Angel mind-reading, then never does anything interesting with it aside from letting her control minds of the bad guys in the context of fight scenes. Then he reaches his Big Epic Climax and just magically makes her power useless. Given that the bad guys have never shown any signs of knowing about the mind reading as evidenced by how easily she obtained information from them when she was captured, there is no reason for them to have special mind-reading protection all of a sudden.
Then there’s the matter of Nudge’s touch-based memory, which manifested itself at just the right time to help the flock and has since been mentioned maybe three times and used about once.
The superhuman does elaborate acrobatics to reach Max for absolutely no reason and stops in front of her, giving her time to punch him.
Basically, he has no idea how to effectively take out his target.
Now, let’s analyze a fight scene!
He staggered back but used the energy from my punch to fuel a spinning snap kick that would have caught me right in the neck if I weren’t a great fighter and the fastest bird kid around.
Instead, I was ready, and I grabbed the heel of his boot and whipped it to the left, yanking him off balance so that he landed hard on his back in the dirt. Hoo-yah. (pg 346)
So: Max punches superhuman, superhuman somehow uses this for a “snap kick,” Max anticipates this because she’s somehow better than him (he’s designed specifically to be a great fighter; she’s got a bit of training and experience against the inept Erasers that never fought her in this manner, so huh?), and grabs the foot headed for her neck and somehow yanks it to the side without it hitting her neck. Superhuman falls on the ground.
This… does not make a lot of sense.
In a split second he sprang up again. I blocked his hard elbow jab to my head, but his other hand knifed into my side, right over my kidney. The pain was immediate and stunning; it hurt so much that I wanted to sink to my knees and throw up.
But I hadn’t been raised that way.
It’s just pain, I told myself. Pain is merely a message, and you can ignore the message. (pg 347)
Anyway, I can’t bring myself to go through the rest of the fight like this, partially because I don’t know much about fighting (which sort of invalidates the previous bit but whatever), but suffice to say that Max ignores all pain and decides that it’s okay to kill the superhuman because… basically, because she’s being forced to.
Which, if you might recall, is essentially the same situation she was in with her clone, and yet there she didn’t kill her. I’m not sure why this is different, and I fail to see what has changed in Max for her to come to a different conclusion.
And then this happens:
I did a spinning kick where I literally looked like a propeller, both feet off the ground, scissoring at Omega with my powerful legs. (pg 348)
Anyway, Max temporarily bests the superhuman and makes some jokes based on the Greek alphabet which she of course knows, and then the superhuman throws her off how dramatic only not!
We’re back with Fang, and somehow a bunch of Eraser robots located him and are now attacking.
I’m extremely confused by this turn of events.
Fang flies “straight through the crowd of Flyboys.” These “Flyboys” (if you remember, that’s what the book calls the Eraser robots) all have guns, and yet the worst Fang gets is a grazed shoulder.
Oh, and then the Eraser robots hit the plane with their gun’s bullets and it blows up.
Google search time! Namely, “can you blow up a plane by shooting its gas tank?”
Results: A Mythbusters episode summary that involves them busting the myth of being able to blow up a tank of gasoline by shooting it. A quick look at Wikipedia later, and it would seem that aviation fuel may even have additives to reduce the chance of ignition at high temperatures.
Conclusion: This situation is bogus.
AND THEN Fang grabs one of the Eraser robot’s gun, has to turn off the safety for some reason (why the heck would the safety be on?), and then shoots a bunch of the Eraser robots.
This makes no sense whatsoever. There is no way that Fang would be able to get so far without being hit by the Eraser robots, let alone take one of the guns (keep in mind that since Max’s “no guns” rule is mentioned, it can be assumed that he’s never even used a gun) and shoot ten of them.
What the hell, JPatterson?
…Yeah. I think I’ll stop here.