Monthly Archives: May 2013

Weekly Haiku 12

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Yesterday doesn’t count, alright? I mean, it was a holiday for goodness sakes! You can’t expect me to post on a holiday!

My forgetfulness seems to be the most consistent thing about my posts…

Anyway, here are this week’s haiku.

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Words

I try, I struggle

To make the words all feel right;

Again, failure wins.

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Late Night

Always late at night

When motivation strikes me;

Sleep pleads its wisdom.

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Future History

Our great legacy:

The first business on the moon

Was a McDonald’s.

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Freedom

Freedom: we agree.

But as for Whom? And how much?

Then our quarrels start.

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Florida Spring

Summer’s heat begins,

Though spring has yet to finish;

Autumn’s distant call…

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~NekoShogun

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Maximum Ride: MAX Spork Part 8

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This was not a very long spork.

Chapter 69

Everyone panics because thingies! And then just as the  captain is going away, Gazzy says he has an idea, and Iggy’s determinedness makes the captain listen to Gazzy’s plan. Which the captain proceeds to not understand because Gazzy lays it out poorly, and yet for some reason the captain doesn’t leave. ????

Also:

eight-year-old Gazzy and fourteen-year-old Iggy probably knew more about demolitions, detonators, and explosive devices than almost anyone else on earth. (pg 277)

Just… let that sink in for a bit.

So,  Gazzy’s plan is to electrocute the outside of the sub, thereby frying the thingies. He heads out of the room with the demolitions expert, and rather than actually show us what Gazzy does, we stay with Max as the water apparently electrifies and the thingies seem to die. It’s all very boring and easy and pointless.

Then Gazzy makes a terrible joke and everyone laughs because this is the end of a kids’ show.

Chapter 70

The captain wants to leave and report the radiation, but Max wants to continue searching for her mom. Before the captain can use his authority to make the decision, it’s noticed that Angel is missing. It turns out she’s out in the water.

“That’s… impossible,” Captain Perry said, sounding stunned.

“Totally and completely impossible,” John agreed, staring out the window in awe. “There’s no way anyone could be out at this depth without a pressure suit and survive. It–it just can’t be done.”

“Hello?” I said. “We’re children with wings. And now gills. We fly. Angel can read minds and communicate with fish, Iggy can feel colors, Nudge can draw metal to her, and now you’re saying that there’s simply no way Angel could be out there? Have I mentioned the wings part?”

The captain mentions that Angel surviving the pressure is more unbelievable than wings, but… Max makes a good point. JPatterson clearly doesn’t care about logic, even internal,* so this really isn’t much more ridiculous than anything he’s done before.

It’s still awful, of course.

*In this context, internal logic is the logic of a particular work of fiction’s world–for instance, I might write a story where people can pass through walls. Now, this is obviously not possible in the real world, but within the internal logic of this story it is possible. So the internal logic of these books is that scientists gave the flock certain bird-like aspects, which is not possible in real life. What defies this internal logic, however, is that the flock get arbitrary powers that have nothing to do with birds.

Oh, and then there are some of the sea creatures!

Chapter 71

Say, where did that torpedo that took out the sea creatures last time come from, anyway? Was there a sub just patrolling the waters around the flock to keep them safe?

Max heads for the airlock to follow Angel, and before she leaves Fang comes near her and she suddenly spends a couple paragraphs talking about how she loves him a lot. So she kisses him and then goes out into the water. Though given that she developed gills some time after Angel did, I would doubt that she’d get immunity to pressure at the same time. Right?

Chapter 72

Wrooong. Max feels pressure, and swimming is slow, but that’s it.

Max goes up to Angel and the sea creatures. Angel says that the sea creatures are intelligent and that they’ve been attacking fishing boats because the nets were hurting their eggs. Don’t ask me why Angel is now able to communicate with them. Also, they know where Max’s mom is, because of course they do.

Chapter 73

Though the captain was going to head back to report the radiation, the sub is now going towards where Max’s mom is based on directions from a mutated fish.

:/

They find an underwater dome, which is designed to blend into its surroundings but also has a lot of glass. Then Angel, for some reason, has to go out of the sub in order to talk to the mutated fish. Max goes with her.

Chapter 74

Remember how Angel said that she needed to talk to the mutated fish? Apparently that was a lie, since she doesn’t do that and instead she and Max swim around the dome in search of Max’s mom. I’m betting that JPatterson changed his mind about what they were doing and didn’t bother to, or forgot to (either way it’s just as bad), change the preceding stuff.

Somehow, nobody seems to see Angel and Max, and they find Max’s mom easily. Because for some reason Max’s mom is in a cell that can see the ocean. Luxury hostage holding!

Just as Max notices that there aren’t many fish around, an eel gets zapped by something surrounding the dome. How convenient!

One of the mutated fish swims up to the dome and shorts out the electric field by absorbing it or something, then secretes a liquid that dissolves the outside of the dome. I assume JPatterson made this happen just to make sure people understand how ridiculous this is.

Chapter 75

The glass in Max’s mom’s cell cracks, and water rushes in. She doesn’t die. Then the mutated fish create a bubble of the liquid, and there’s air inside, and it keeps Max’s mom safe from the water pressure. I assume, since it’s not mentioned. JPatterson probably forgot.

The bubble itself isn’t really explained, either–we know there’s air inside, but in order for them not to fall out of it there has to be something keeping them in it, such as the liquid stuff, but the liquid stuff doesn’t get all over them, and given that Max describes it as snot I’d imagine that she would note being covered in mutant snot. But she doesn’t, so really the bubble is just magic.

So, yeah. Max’s mom was saved, we get a tiny bit of Max saying “yay I saved you” and then the chapter ends and it’s all rather anticlimactic. I mean, there wasn’t even an attempt at an action scene, it was just “magic bubble from magic mutated fish saves the day the end.”

Also: not only does Mr. Chu dump radioactive chemicals marked with his name, he also builds his base right next to those chemicals. GENIUS.

Chapter 76

The flock are hanging out at some unspecified place. And Total is there!

We got him his own Fanta and stuck a straw in it. (pg 302)

Oh, god. JPatterson not thinking about how straws work has left me with the horrifying mental image of Total having a human mouth. Thanks a ton, Patterson.

After Ella shows up and Max reunites her with her mom, Max notices Brigid looking serious, so she follows her because she’s snoopy and rude. Brigid talks to a few people in suits, and then Mr. Chu is there and Brigid shakes his hand.

Okay, so let’s look at this for a moment. Mr. Chu is someone who, when mentioned to Jeb, makes his face go white and poorly lie about not knowing who Mr. Chu is. Mr. Chu is also someone who will capture someone, have them refuse to work with him, and then release them, then try to kill them later. He’s also someone who dumps chemicals with his name on them, then builds his base next to those chemicals. And now he’s someone who, upon having his illegal chemical-dumping found-out by the government, goes to the infirmary where a person he kidnapped is being taken care of in order to shake hands with someone.

Jeb is not a very good judge of danger.

Epilogue: Just Like Heaven

There aren’t chapters in the epilogue! YESSSS!

We’re an unspecified amount of time later, and Max and Fang are talking in the air about things they would have known since moments after the previous scene. Basically, JPatterson is not very good at exposition.

Anyway, Max says that she confronted Brigid and that Brigid said she’s going to expose Mr. Chu. Though she obviously isn’t since he was in the middle of an infirmary and didn’t get arrested.

Then Max and Fang kiss and awww and then the book ends.

Remember when “the birds are working” was brought up? Yeah, it was never explained.

(Bi)Weekly Haiku 11

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Did you see what I did there? Yeah? Ugh…

Well, I forgot again last Monday, so since I didn’t have a lot of haiku yet I decided to wait a week and just post then. Then, yesterday (MONDAY!), I forgot again. I really am hopeless.

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Waiting

Juvenile years spent

waiting for life to begin;

Time so slow to pass.

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New Frontiers

A new age dawning;

We reach, our fingers grasping

At new worlds brought near.

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Sad Song

Music swells again,

Lifting up my tattered soul;

Soft notes of heartbreak.

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Writing

All consuming need

To create, to write, to live…

Nah, I think I’ll wait.

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Colonists

That dream which feeds us,

That one day life will set out;

Look up to the stars.

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~NekoShogun

Maximum Ride: MAX Spork Part 7

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Chapter 61

The flock head underwater in scuba gear, apparently to check out some volcanic caves. Don’t ask me why. But Angel isn’t there, and that makes Max angry!

That mouthy six-, I mean seven-year-old–with a will of iron and all the calm reasoning power of your average rabid squirrel. Between that and her occasional bids to become the flock leader, she–was cruisin’ for a bruisin’. (pg 251)

That is possibly the weirdest grammar I’ve ever seen.

And then Max gets lost! Somehow. Like, completely lost, entirely separated from everyone else because nobody noticed her not coming along with them. Suuuure.

Oh, and then Max drops her flashlight and it breaks, which I guess might be possible if it’s a heavy flashlight? But she never says so I don’t know. And then she says she gets attacked by a giant octopus.

Chapter 62

JPatterson’s idea of compelling drama is randomly sending the flock into underwater caves, making Max get lost, and having her be attacked by an octopus.

:/

This chapter is from the perspective of Max’s mom. She’s being tortured with shocks, and her captors want her to sign something and denounce the CSM on video. How anyone would take her seriously when she’s been missing, I don’t know.

And then everything clicks into place and she understands the whole plot that’s going on oh wow!!!!

Chapter 63

Max is being squeezed at by either an octopus or a squid, she doesn’t know, and it pulls off her mask and regulator (for breathing) and oh nooo!!!!

Chapter 64

Suddenly, the octopus or squid is pulled off of Max, and everyone is there and Fang punches it, and Max now has gills.

BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE DOES.

Chapter 65

Gills yay! And then the flock head out of their plot-induced cave journey AND THEN SOMETHING ATTACKS MAX OH NOOOOOO

Honestly, JPatterson, you need to stop with this.

Chapter 66

Max was attacked by a “creature”.

The creatures were bizarrely agile and fast, whipping through the water like snakes or eels. (pg 265)

You know, actually establishing what these things look like might be helpful.

Also, they apparently range in size from cars to airplanes. Which is ridiculous. I mean, these things are attacking by ramming the flock (and John and Dr. Akana, but whatever), so if one of them is the size of a 747 as Max says, a single attack from it should be able to kill them.

Max and Fang attack the creatures underwater with regular moves (last I checked, punching something underwater is incredibly ineffective), freeing everyone else to get up to the surface.

I heard a thin, sharp whistling sound and looked around to see a slim, dark, long thing coming right at us. Not an animal but even more deadly: a torpedo. The navy had arrived. (pg 266)

I CAN’T

I JUST

CAN’T

JPatterson, you are not writing a ridiculous comic book! This is a novel that is at least trying to be taken seriously, but your writing is bat[censored] insane!

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The flock swim up 30 feet as fast as they can, so I assume they’re gonna have the bends when this is over. Then the torpedo hits the creatures, exploding and sending the flock into the air. I can’t find any information on how dangerous torpedoes could be from that range, but I guess a small one might not kill the flock outright? I mean the flock certainly do get damaged from the blast in the book, especially Dr. Akana, but… come on.

Chapter 67

The flock are on a submarine again! And bends-free.

I swear, this book is paced like something crazy.

Max’s only damage is a busted eardrum, while everyone else (aside from Dr. Akana, who was taken away due to her injuries) is fine. Well, I assume so, since Max doesn’t mention them being injured.

Also, Total is not on the sub! YESSSSS

The sub picks up “off-the-scale radiation”, so they turn on the lights.

Chapter 68

There are containers on the ocean floor outside the sub, marked with radioactive symbols and said to be the property of the Chu Corporation.

So, let me get this straight. Mr. Chu dumped radioactive materials underwater and marked them with his name?

Some of the containers are rusted open, and Nudge theorizes that that must be what caused the “creatures” that the flock fought underwater (the radiation, that is). John puts the pieces together:

“The Chu Corporation is dumping illegal radioactive material into the ocean. He created his army of robots to keep it hidden and protected. The CSM was doing a lot of work to bring ocean pollution to everyone’s notice, so we became a threat.” (pg 273)

That sounds extremely silly. It’s probably right.

And then hundreds of the “thingies” are coming towards the sub! OH NO!

I’m gonna cut this spork short on that ridiculous cliffhanger so that next time can be full-length. Come back Wednesday (ish) for the boring conclusion to MAX!

Weekly Haiku 10

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Apologies for the lateness of this post. I can see now if I’d been smart I would have built up a buffer before starting this whole enterprise. Maybe I should start squirreling away a few extra haiku every now and again for weeks like this. But enough of that, you came for haiku, right?

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Clouds

Windswept clouds above:

Aurora borealis

Rendered in cotton.

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Social Anxiety

Words I speak aloud

At once set my nerves on edge;

Will people like me?

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Deadline

Deadlines are what say,

“You have this long, get to it!”

I sit. I write. *Sigh.*

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Cranes

Twin cranes saunter by,

Their long necks gently curving.

Easy, rambling life.

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~NekoShogun

Maximum Ride: MAX Spork Part 6

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Being busy combined with forgetfulness = no spork last week. Sorry.

Chapter 55

Quick recap: claustrophobic, paranoid bird kid, trapped on a jam-packed navy tin can of death, submerged under hundreds of feet of water, and now, huge crashing sound and no lights. (pg 225)

Huh. For once Max’s pointless recaps actually helped.

Okay, have you got that picture? Now ramp up the adrenaline about 400 percent. Mix in a little terror. Stir. (pg 225)

And then it’s ruined. If JPatterson’s idea of good writing is to tell the readers what they should be feeling, well, he’s a terrible writer. But you already knew that.

The flock get out into the corridor, where the sailors are rushing about, apparently ignoring the flock, who start going along with the flow of sailors for no reason. Then Angel stops them and says that the “thingies” are trying to get into the sub. I’m not sure how she knows, since the “thingies” are robots.

Max decides to go for the minisub, and Gazzy hands her what is assumed an explosive and tells her to throw it at the “thingies” using the minisub’s claw.

Let me guess, this is going to work.

Chapter 56

I’ve hot-wired quite a few cars and driven all kinds of weird vehicles, like a school bus and a tank. (pg 229)

Eh? Since when have you driven school buses and tanks?

So Max and Gazzy, who is going along with her, continue through the submarine to the minisub. Max even remarks that nobody tried to stop them, which, sure.

Max, having forgot about her claustrophobia, now worries that she’s in a tiny minisub with Gazzy because of his gas problem. It’s as dumb in the book as it sounds.

Max manages to drive the minisub as they head around the submarine. Then Angel is there again, and she directs Max to the back of the submarine, where there are eight “thingies”, trying to cut into the submarine with a welding torch. Angel goes up to them before Max can use the explosive, oh no!

Chapter 57

Angel talks to the “thingies” and they swim off.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

As the minisub heads back to the submarine, a swell of water knocks them away, and Max sees what’s described only as a “mountainous thing” causing the disturbance. The current miraculously doesn’t crush Angel, who’s on the top of the minisub, and even carries the minisub back into the submarine.

HOW CONVENIENT.

Angel says that the mountain thing was thinking, was intelligent, and wants to kill everything. Then the submarine gets knocked over on its side.

We were dead in the water. (pg 236)

Stop being so melodramatic, Max.

Chapter 58

Okay, so apparently the power in the submarine is gone, and Max doesn’t “know if we were sinking slowly into the darker, colder depths of the ocean”. ALSO:

And at this depth, the water pressure was so great that the hatches couldn’t be opened. (pg 237)

????? If Max doesn’t know if the submarine is sinking, then she has to assume that it’s at the same depth as it was before, which means that this is the same exact depth at which the minisub and freaking ANGEL GOT OUT OF THE SUBMARINE!

JPatterson WHYYYY

Then the rest of the flock come in, never mind that the submarine is on its side, and say that the submarine is relatively fine and is surfacing.

How very easy.

The flock decide to fly back to where a helicopter would otherwise be flying them to.

It was hard to jump into the air from an inflatable raft, but we managed, though we sank about a foot into the water before we were aloft. (pg 239)

How does one get lift when one’s thirteen-foot wings are only feet above water? Hmmm?

John and Brigid waved, and maybe I’m imagining things, but I thought Brigid looked envious. Maybe she wanted wings too. (pg 239)

No, she’s definitely envious about your failsnark. C’mon, Max, why would she look envious while looking at you flying and not be envious of your wings? That second sentence there is just pointless.

Max notes that Angel shouldn’t have been able to influence the “thingies” since they’re robots. I guess we’ll be getting an explanation about this, then, though I suspect it’ll be terrible.

And here’s a thought: the mountain thing could think and had a consciousness, but Angel didn’t notice it until it was causing currents. Why? (Hint: it definitely has something to do with JPatterson’s warped logic.)

Chapter 59

Now at a marine research station, Brigid Dwyer posits that the mountain thing used to be a normal living creature that was mutated by radiation. This means that they should look for the source of radiation, despite the fact that this is purely a theory and there’s no reason to assume it as truth.

*Sigh*

Chapter 60

The flock are now on a boat to look for the radiation. JPATTERSON LOGIC.

Max goes flying, and is joined by the rest of the flock. And Gazzy has water balloons, somehow.

Nudge squealed as he smacked her right in the head despite her evasive moves.

“My hair!” she shrieked, water dripping into her eyes. “You know what humidity does to it!” (pg 348)

Does he? I mean, I certainly don’t. Is this another one of JPatterson’s new developments that he tries to pretend always existed?

I had no idea how they’d [Gazzy and Iggy] even reached that elevation carrying so much weight in water balloons. And where had they gotten the stupid balloons anyway? It wasn’t like we’d popped into a party store lately! (pg 248)

Anymore I get the impression that JPatterson knows that nothing he writes makes sense, and he just doesn’t care.