Jeb scolds Max for flying off because she wasn’t there to deal with the fire and her problems in general and blah blah blah
“Go jump!” I yelled at him. (pg 136)
Max retorts by pointing out that Jeb left the flock himself, and says “let bygones be bygones.” What a jerk. Oh, and he wants to stay with the flock, too. Max says no, Jeb criticizes her, they go back and forth, and the chapter abruptly ends.
Max mentions having nightmares that night, and then it’s the next day, and as the flock are cleaning up and generally being autonomous, Jeb is still there. Why, we don’t know, because JPatterson oh-so-conveniently skipped over when that would have been addressed. Max mouths off at Jeb and Dylan.
It was mean, but Jeb and Dylan didn’t seem to be getting it.
They were not our family. (pg 140)
Max. Max… I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to “get” something you’ve neither said nor implied.
Before Jeb or Dylan can respond, Max heads out for groceries, and yet another chapter in this series ends with Max flying off because of her emotions. (Which, to be clear, is only something I’m pointing out because it’s so repetitive.)
The chapter starts in the middle of the flock, minus Max, with Dylan, playing charades. Then a gas grenade explodes on the floor (how it got there, is very conveniently not mentioned).
They all fanned around the edges of the room. Angel motioned to Dylan to keep his back against the wall. (pg 142)
I’d like to see that motion.
Just as the flock make to escape, Erasers come in from all available exits/entrances.
“They still smell like garbage!” Gazzy yelled, as the first blows were exchanged. He felt like he might barf.
“Okay, now I’m mad!” Iggy shouted.
Angel glanced over to see a thin trickle of blood coming from his nose. (pg 143)
Okay, JPatterson? Either you’re writing this from Angel’s perspective, and we shouldn’t be told by the narration what Gazzy is feeling, or you’re writing this from an omniscient perspective, which means Angel doesn’t need to see Iggy for the narration to report about his bloody nose.
That, or Gazzy feeling sick was told to us via Angel’s mind-reading, but that still doesn’t really work: information Angel gets from mind-reading isn’t usually presented without commentary, which makes this incongruous with how JPatterson writes the mind-reading. Also, it only really brings up questions about Angel’s mind-reading; since she was just playing charades and didn’t know what Gazzy was, she clearly can either turn off her mind-reading, or it’s something she has to consciously do. So then, if she has to turn it off and it’s now on, why aren’t we getting more information about her current mental state (is getting so much information from the flock and the Erasers hurting her? Is it confusing? What is she getting from the Erasers, anyway, since that’s relevant?)? And if she has to do it selectively, why did she mind-read Gazzy just now?
The flock fight, but an Eraser grabs Nudge and prepares to break her wings! Oh no! I totally don’t know whether or not JPatterson is going to get rid of an integral part of one of his main characters!
As Max flies, she notices a shadow following her and instinctively punches it. It turns out to be Fang. They rest at a tree, and Max tells Fang (because apparently he never learned while helping with the cleanup?) that the couch was set on fire by Gazzy and Iggy, making explosives. On the couch. After talking for a bit, she and Fang notice black helicopters flying higher than helicopters normally fly.
We could barely see them, barely hear them. Most humans wouldn’t have been able to spot them, wouldn’t have known they were there. (pg 148)
Okay, JPatterson, just because you learned a new way to structure a sentence doesn’t mean you have to do it in two consecutive sentences.
So, yeah, the helicopters are heading towards the flock’s house, so Max and Fang go after them.
Dylan hadn’t been alive much longer than eight months and didn’t know much about flock taboos, but one thing he insticntively knew: Don’t mess with a bird kid’s wings. (pg 149)
Dylan, after somehow knowing that the Erasers were going to throw Nudge out the window after snapping her wings, jumps to save her and gets kicked.
He slammed into a wall and hit his head hard. (pg 149)
I just can’t get over how silly “he hit his head hard” (which, by the way, is hilariously difficult for me to write with how similar the words are) sounds. It’s really the “hard” part; it’s such a… basic way of getting across that information. It sounds entirely out of place in what should be a serious action scene. It’s also entirely unnecessary, but then, this is JPatterson.
In the midst of the battle, Gazzy raced to the kitchen. (pg 149)
Oh, okay, that’s helpful to know. I thought he might be doing it before the battle. I mean, time travel is completely normal for Gazzy.
Also, that information is relayed to us from Dylan’s perspective, who then takes a glance into the kitchen. After hitting his head hard, because he got kicked away from, oh yeah, Nudge’s wings being about to be snapped? Good to see that not only can he can recover from head injuries in moments, but he also has terrible memory.
Well, apparently the Erasers are really terrible at snapping the wings they already grabbed, because Gazzy manages to find the time to grab a “weapon,” run back to Nudge, and stab the Eraser after pressing a button on his “weapon.”
The mixer blades quickly began to spin, and just as quickly got horribly tangled in the Erasers long, greasy fur. Gazzy pushed the speed button to “high,” and fur actually started ripping out. (pg 150)
Okay. Um. What? Did Gazzy somehow… stick an Eraser with a blender? And the Eraser didn’t, I dunno, move, thereby allowing Gazzy to change the setting on the blender? After he had already set it to a presumably lower setting before stabbing the Eraser with a blender? And need I remind you that blenders have containers blocking the blades, and that the blades are at the bottom of the blender, anyway?
WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED.
Iggy’s keen sense of smell had been the most assaulted by the gas bomb and Eraser stench. But the upside was he could easily gauge each Eraser’s position. (pg 151)
WHAT? WHAT DOES EITHER OF THOSE HAVE TO DO WITH THE OTHER?
And then he throws the blade from “his” food mixer and it sticks the Eraser in the back? And after pushing the Eraser out of the window, they “gang up” on the remaining Erasers, “two or three on one,” and none of that makes sense because “gang up” means the flock are working together, meaning they’re the “two or three” of “two or three on one,” at which point there were only, what, three Erasers left? Meaning five in total? (There was another grabbing Nudge but I omitted mentioning it for flow.) Which means that five Erasers and a gas grenade were apparently deemed enough to capture the flock, who were only ever before taken down by hundreds?
So, uh, as you can guess, the flock take out the Erasers.
Then Max and Fang landed on the deck, hopping and skipping to avoid all the debris and broken glass. (pg 152)
Okay, I know this is a major nitpick compared to what just happened, but. Um. The Erasers broke the windows inwards, so why is there glass outside?