This cover is sorta okay, I guess. It shows Fang, like the title suggests, and nothing else, so in that respect it’s pretty boring–and the blue coloring is pretty weird. But at least the cover isn’t 70% text. I really don’t have anything else to say so let’s jump in… with the jacket description!
FANG WILL BE THE FIRST TO DIE.
Maximum Ride is used to living desperately on the run from evil forces sabotaging her quest to save the world–but nothing has ever come so close to destroying her as this horrifying prophetic message. Fang is Max’s best friend, her soul mate, her partner in the leadership of her flock of winged children. A life without Fang is a life unimaginable.
BUT THERE WILL BE ANOTHER…
When a newly created winged boy, the magnificent Dylan, is introduced into the flock, their world is upended yet again. Raised in a lab like the others, Dylan exists for only one reason: he was designed to be Max’s perfect other half.
TO REPLACE FANG.
Thus unfolds a battle of perfection versus passion that terrifies, twists, and turns… and meanwhile, THE APOCALYPSE IS COMING.
So. Pretty melodramatic, as to be expected, but I think the concept is pretty fascinating: in theory, the struggled between found compatibility and created compatibility could be a really intriguing, thought-provoking plotline. There are a few problems with it here, though: First, what the hell is this doing in Maximum Ride? JPatterson was writing some sort of action series, but this sounds like dramatic romance stuff. I’m guessing the description is somewhat misleading of the actual plot, but still. Second and last, this is JPatterson we’re talking about. Do we really expect him to pull off this plotline?
The answer is no. But I will read and suffer to prove this through Science! Oh, but first, the dedication.
Many thanks to Gabrielle Charbonnet, my conspirator, who flies high and cracks wise. And to Mary J0rdan, for brave assistance and research at every twist and turn.
…Research? I didn’t realize that word was in JPatterson’s vocabulary. I guess you learn something new every day.
Book One: Meeting Doctor God
Is JPatterson calling parts books now? Is he really doing that? Ugghhhhhh
We join Max, flying at 20,000 feet over “Africa.” Yes. Africa. The entirety of it, I guess. All 11.67 million square miles.
“Max!” Iggy called over to me. “Why did they name themselves Chad? I mean, Chad. It’s like naming a whole country Biff or Trey. I don’t get it.” (pg 4)
Okay, so we’re in Chad. Good to know.
Fang turned his head and gave me one of his classic half smiles–you know, like the kind of smile Mona Lisa would have had if she were a guy. A teenage guy with longish scruffy hair, dark eyes, and a leather jacket. Mmmmm. (pg 4)
You know what? I think this is pretty clever. It made me smile, at least.
The whole trip had been as exhilarating as one of Fang’s killer smiles. (pg 4)
Aaand you ruined it.
So as the flock fly over Chad to help somebody or something, “three black dots in the distance” head towards the flock, who prepare to fight. I guess JPatterson was itching to show off his lack of writing skill.
Oh, but the black dots are just planes that the flock were meant to meet up with. So instead JPatterson was just showing off his ability to include pointless cliffhangers.
Gazzy called over to me, “I can’t see anything!”
“I can’t see anything either!” Iggy complained.
“I’m rolling my eyes, Ig.” I had to tell him that because he couldn’t see me do it, what with his blindness and all. (pg 8)
And the “Most Awkward Exposition Award” goes to…
(Also, uh, the flock are flying at 20,000 feet, presumably very fast. Iggy wouldn’t be able to see Max roll her eyes anyway.)
Oh, and apparently when Gazzy said he couldn’t see anything he was referring to dust clouds on the ground. ??????
And there are specks on the ground with guns! Thank god, finally some sensible weapons for dealing with the flock.
Bullets fly through the air and don’t hit the flock, and at the same time the planes start to fly over them. Okay, so some thoughts:
- The flock are 20,000 feet in the air. What the heck kind of gun can shoot that high?
- Shooting into the air is a great way to have those bullets come right back down and possibly kill you. Real smart.
- The bullet are whizzing past the flock. Why aren’t they hitting the planes?
So. Max, figuring that the bullets hitting the fuel tanks of the planes would not be good (it would result in leaking fuel, but… nothing else), and since the flock can’t slow down without falling out of the air (no…? They can, you know, keep flapping their wings to stay in one place), and can’t speed up without getting hit with the planes (?????????), they have to fight the gunmen.
The flock take out the gunmen, but not before Max gets hit by a camel, gets knocked over it, grabs its reins for [insert reason here because THE BOOK DOES NOT GIVE ONE], and gets dragged by it before climbing onto it and flying off.
THIS. MAKES. NO. SENSE.
The flock are now at the refugee camp they were headed for, where they’re helping out with the CSM (Coalition to Stop the Madness, if you remember) relief efforts for refugees. Stuff happens, then Angel brings over a little girl, says the girl has gifts, and cuts open her hand.
The little girl heals herself with her saliva.
I’m… I’m gonna stop with that.