The flock complete a stealth test with ease. Just as they do everything: with ease. Everything is a snap. They rarely have to deal with anything difficult, and the moment something difficult comes up it’s diffused with a magic bank account or some other deus ex machina.
Next is weapons training, where Gazzy displays a great knowledge of guns. Don’t ask me where he learned this, because I don’t know.
This whole sequence is really infuriating. I’ve managed to get through the books without too much difficulty before, but this just drags on and on with the most idiotic, ridiculous, contrived writing I’ve ever read. I want to just rip out these pages and skip forward. But noooo, I must suffer on because I chose to do this.
Why did I choose to do this???
Anyway, the flock are now in the office of someone I never bothered to mention because she’s irrelevant to the plot, but in any case they’ve passed the test and now are being put on a nuclear submarine.
So. The flock irritate the navy by being terrible people, then get rewarded by being put on a submarine for no. Freaking. Reason.
The flock go to the beach. Angel wants them to try breathing underwater for some reason, and they seem to be all alone until a woman screams about a kid getting pulled out by a riptide. I guess nobody was watching the flock, since Max never mentioned it, but I think you can see why people would have been watching the flock.
Anyway. Riptide. Max and Fang fly out over the water, grab the boy, and take him back to land. He is fine. This two-page diversion was pointless. This whole book is pointless.
Okay, so apparently the riptide stuff was so that Brigid would gush over Fang for a moment and make Max jealous. But then Fang asks Max to have dinner with him alone so apparently it was still pointless. Also, they rationalize that leaving the flock alone is okay since the navy is protecting them, never mind that they seem to think very little of the navy. LOGIC.
Was this a date? Those four words kept swirling through my mind, over and over (pg 164)
Um, Max, why are you thinking in past tense? That’s pretty weird.
Max is ridiculously happy to be with Fang, then they kiss, and then ALL HECK BREAKS LOOSE OH NOOOOO
Let me guess. More “thingies”?
Oh. No. This chapter is now from the rest of the flock’s perspective.
They’re heading to the beach because reasons, with improvised scuba gear because a couple of kids definitely know how to cobble something like that together.
They go in the water and then OH NO SHARKS!!!!
This is probably worse, writing-wise, than the test stuff, but at least it’s also really hilarious.
Max hears rumbling and sees bright flashes, and then Fang says to duck because they’re bullets being shot by “thingies”.
Also, the “thingies” apparently are horrible aims, given that they couldn’t hit Max and Fang in the time it took them to realize bullets were being shot, then duck.
The “thingies” close in on their targets slowly, in a semi-circle, because that’s definitely the best way to go about things. Then Max and Fang shoot over a cliff and the “thingies” don’t realize that they escaped.
Worst. Assassins. Ever.
Fang and Max take out the “thingies”, you guessed it, with ease, and then fly away. And then there’s something dark speeding towards them, ooh mysterious!
Back underwater, Angel puts her hand on her hip and says “oh no you don’t” to the sharks. This stops the sharks, which head back, “looking sheepish”.
Meanwhile, Gazzy has been stung by a jellyfish or something, and rockets out of the water only to collide with something.
The dark streak is Nudge. The thing that Gazzy collided with is Nudge. The flock fly Gazzy back to the naval base. I am immensely bored, and also slightly amused by how ridiculous this all is.
Gazzy is hurt very bad from a Portuguese man-of-war, and the doctor estimates that he will need to sleep for another day. This is problematic, since the flock have to go on the sub very soon.
Then Max talks to Nudge. According to Nudge, she learned more in a few days than she ever had in weeks of watching TV. I guess that if that’s referring math or something it makes sense, but the flock seem to be perfectly fine in most subjects so I’m generally kind of dubious about that claim.
Then Max estimates that because of the flocks’ supernatural healing, Gazzy will be awake in about four hours. This proves to be true, and he wakes up in time to go on the sub! Yay!
So to recap: Max and Fang get attacked, but get out perfectly fine. Gazzy, Iggy, and Angel go on an underwater excursion, and Gazzy gets injured, but then he’s fine! Nudge leaves the flock, then comes back right away! Easy and BOOORING.
Sheesh. At this rate, this will definitely be the shortest spork so far. I wish JPatterson would do something interesting.
Max spends this two-page chapter being unhappy to be going down into the sub, because claustrophobia. Who wants to bet that she’s going to be perfectly fine after this?
Max’s claustrophobia is mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs in this chapter, but it’s a continuation of the same scene so I’m not counting it. In any case, there’s a guy there and he says this:
“We haven’t had any direct word about your mother. However, late last night, the following surveillance film was taken in the same general area as the first one that you saw. It looks strange because it was taken with a night-vision camera.” (pg 194)
That last sentence is weird.
As seen in the video, a bunch of fish are dead!
“Mass suicide?” Total muttered, clearly wishing he was back at the base with Akila. (pg 195)
Oh, yes, clearly. (For the record, that’s sarcasm. Total is using the same snark as he always does, so JPatterson is just telling us things instead of showing. Wonderful writing!)
The image pulled back; the camera was clearly attached to a rising helicopter. (pg 195)
This is just too easy. There’s only a single sentence between this quote and the last one!
Max gets nervous about being in the sub again since the video shows a dark mass emerging from the ocean (and nobody can figure out what it is, apparently), so there’s that. Also, Angel continues to think that the flock have gills.
Anyway, that’s 12 chapters, so I’m ending this spork here.