I can barely muster any emotion towards this book anymore, so apologies for the rather monotone spork today.
Mr. Chu is in a submarine. He kills one of his underlings because Max and Fang escaped. Never mind that he let Max go.
As Brigid explains how islands work, Max lightly thinks about her claustrophobia. Read: she feels dizzy. The Voice tells her that she’s having a panic attack, and she mumbles that she’s tired and leaves. Everything I know about panic attacks says that Max is not having one, but hey, JPatterson logic.
I stumbled out of the situation room and staggered down the narrow corridor, squeezing past sailors. I felt like I might pass out any second. Every cell in my body wanted to get off this sub. Even knowing that it was the only way to rescue my mom didn’t make it any better. I’ve been locked in cells and dungeons and dog crates and never panicked like this. (pg 204)
There is no tension. No emotion. No showing, only telling. This writing is utterly boring and completely fails to convey any sense of panic. This is bad, bad, BAD writing.
Max makes it to her bunk, and Total comes in with a wet rag that he puts on her face. Remember that Total is a small dog. *Sigh*
Total is sad about Akila, and Max sympathizes with him.
That’s right: JPatterson is drawing parallels between a human girl and a sentient dog with inexplicable pop culture knowledge. I’d be rolling on the floor with laughter if this book weren’t so goddamn boring.
It took twelve hours to go a distance that we could have flown in about six minutes. (pg 207)
Ooh! Research and math! This is fun!
Okay, so I Googled how fast submarines can go underwater, and got this. On it it says that submarines can go 29 miles per hour. So they traveled 348 miles, right? Only they probably weren’t going full speed, so let’s round that down to 200 miles, or 16 miles per hour. The flock’s fastest horizontal flight speed, according to this book, is about 250 miles per hour. Since 6 is a tenth of 60, that means that the flock can travel 25 miles in 6 minutes.
So either Max is seriously exaggerating, the submarine was going super slow, the path the submarine took was incredibly winding, or JPatterson doesn’t put more than two seconds of thought into anything he spews out onto paper.
I’m putting my money on the last one.
The submarine surfaces to get a marine biologist, Dr. Akana. Then they go back down into the submarine, and I realize that only Max is having panic attacks over her claustrophobia. Apparently Fang and Iggy, despite being the same age as Max, and described as having claustrophobia along with the rest of the flock, are suddenly just dandy.
There are not enough sighs in the world for this book.
Max goes on a mini-sub. I’m not sure why. She marvels at the underwater life for a bit before there’s a cliffhanger because something mysterious is in the water that makes Dr. Akana gasp! Oh no!
The mysterious thing is Angel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any concrete references on whether or not water pressure at 180 feet underwater (which is where they are) is particularly dangerous, but I’m leaning on the side of dangerous, especially since Angel came from inside a submarine rather than slowly descending. Oh, but then the book addresses it:
“Is she not affected by water pressure?” Dr. Akana asked. “We’re sixty meters deep! A scuba diver would have to be very cautious about getting the bends.”
“She’ll get the bends all right,” I muttered. “I’m going to bend her over my knee!” (pg 217)
Dr. Akana reveals that this excursion is just to check on things, since they’re approaching the area where all the fish died.
You know, come to think of it, I’m really not sure why a nuclear-capable submarine is being sent to check out some video of dead fish. Even with the mysterious thing coming out of the water, you’d think they’d send a boat first. You know, make sure the video is legitimate before sending your big guns.
But that’s just logic.
A shark sees Angel, and apparently decides to attack her. Never mind that a shark has very little reason to attack a tiny little human swimming around with a bunch of other, more nutritious targets. Angel stops the shark with her mind control.
Back on the sub, Max is angry at Angel. Angel doesn’t care. Angel is still a horrible human being.
Max decides to have a meeting with the flock in their room.
Nudge had deconstructed her small khaki uniform and was holding a needled and thread as she turned it into something that didn’t offend her fashion sensibilities. (pg 222)
Um. What? Since when does Nudge know the first thing about sewing? And how is she going to somehow change a navy uniform with just a thread and needle?
“Max!” said Nudge happily. “Look! I took off the collar and changed the neckline. Once I move the buttons, it’ll be so much cuter. (pg 222)
What? I know that JPatterson isn’t fond of consistent characters or character development or any of that, but seriously, two thirds of the way through the fifth book in a series is not the time to suddenly add a character skill.
Ugh, that reminds me that we’re two thirds through this book. And nothing has happened.
Max says that she doesn’t think the navy is going to get them anywhere (but doesn’t say why), and suggests that if they haven’t made “real progress” in twelve hours they should ditch the navy. She doesn’t offer up any plan, though.
The flock agree to this without a word by doing the “hands on each other’s hands” thing that used to be a thing and then disappeared.
The flock have never been so willing to go along with Max’s plans. Why are they suddenly so willing? Oh, right, JPatterson wrote this.