(This got posted just before it being technically Friday, so, uh, sorry about that.)
Remember when Fang had a blog? Has that even been mentioned since, I dunno, The Final Warning?
This chapter is all in italics. In it, Dylan dramatically talks to Max, saying he can protect her by seeing people across the world and knowing what’s going to happen. He also says that he and Max will be together forever. So, you know, just reinforcing the stuff that’s already been beaten into our brains.
The last chapter was a dream, apparently, as Max is now waking up. She and the flock have been doing their self-schooling thing for the past two days (we get absolutely no information on what they did during those days), and now they’re going to do a field trip to an art museum.
“I just don’t get what bird kids need to know about art,” Iggy said grumpily. Okay, so Iggy had a good reason to be complaining, what with not being able to see art and all. (pg 76)
Great, it looks like the awkward, constant mentions of Iggy’s blindness are back. Yay.
Max has the flock split up into groups of two (Nudge and Angel, Iggy and Gazzy–Max forgetting about the explosive trouble-making, I guess–and Fang and Max) and tasks each pair with finding the answer to three questions: something they learned about history, something they learned about the flock, and something they learned about themselves. I guess JPatterson is trying to do some character development?
Fang is interested in ancient relics and whatnot, Angel cries single tears at paintings of mothers with their children, and Max, well,
God, did I wish Iggy could see with his own two eyes. (pg 80)
And that’s it before they meet up and answer the questions. The answers to the first question are, predictably, just information dumps (I guess JPatterson wanted to try to teach kids things? I dunno). We do learn that Angel doesn’t like paintings with death and stuff, and that Fang wants to live in a tribe in Papua New Guinea.
Oh, and also, what Iggy learned about himself:
“I learned I want to see.” (pg 82)
School’s Out–Forever, chapter 76:
He [Iggy] bet he could even find his way back to the Institute of you dropped him into a subway tunnel in New York. It almost made up for being completely without any kind of freaking sight at all. (pg 214)
This was the kind of thing that made Iggy crazy: other people getting all the info much sooner because they could see. He always had to wait to be told stuff. He hated it. (pg 215)
And JPatterson wants me to believe that this is the first time he’s wanted to see. MM-HMM.
Oh, and it gets better (back to FANG now):
We totally took for granted that his [Iggy’s] extrasensory skills seemed to give him pretty much the same abilities and quality of life the rest of us had–if not better. (pg 82)
Max. Max, you were just thinking about how Iggy can’t see art. Max, you are a jerk.
Say: why are the flock entirely on their own with no adult supervision? Surely an adult would be helpful for helping them learn things. I mean, Max does have a mother who she spent the last book desperately trying to save. And even if Max’s mom can’t be there, surely she’d send someone to be with a bunch of minors? I don’t think it’s exactly legal for them to be living on their own and Max’s mom would care about that, wouldn’t she? At the very least there should be some explanation for all this.
This chapter returns to the flock’s new home, where they are having difficulty with math. This is soon cut short by Angel mentioning a book by Dr. Hans Gunther-Hagen that he gave her in Chad. (Max wonders about when this could have happened. I’m guessing it will never be answered.) Max stops all attempts at education for the day and starts reading the book, in which the doctor posits that humans need to genetically change themselves in order to survive in the coming years. Fang asks if they need to stop him, and Max says they need to do some research.
Not only is this book really silly and terribly paced, but it’s also incredibly boring. Research this, learning that, bad attempts at character development there, a looming threat of character death that nobody seems to care much about here…
Max and Fang do some Googling, and apparently learn nothing of note until page thirty of the results. Suure. Oh, and that thing of note? A login screen for the Institute of Higher Living, the place they broke into and got Total.
Wait a second, wasn’t Total with them in this house? Where’s he been in the last few chapters?
…JPatterson really can’t stay consistent even within books, can he? Not that I’m doing a great job of remembering, but hey, I’m not the one who wrote them and sent them to the publisher (because let’s be real, there’s no way anyone is editing these books).
But, yeah, the login screen. Apparently the Institute’s confidential website (because seriously, it’s just the login screen) is on Google. SUUURE.
Max and Fang get Nudge to hack in, because remember when she learned about computer hacking? Oops, me neither. They then spend another twenty minutes looking through this website and apparently finding absolutely nothing worth telling us. For twenty minutes.
It’d be repetitive to say SUUUUUURE again, wouldn’t it?
They do, of course, find something of note, in the form of lab reports that “sounded like maybe, just maybe, they had the fingerprints of Dr. Hackjob-Wackjob”. It’s all technical terms and whatnot, followed by gross pictures of crazily bulging eyes and whatnot. It’s stuff that’s genuinely pretty disturbing to think about, so let’s think about the nerves Max has to undoubtedly walk away from seeing them with absolutely no mental scarring. I’d find those nerves plausible if Max were more hardened, but as it is I think it’s just authorial laziness.
In essence, the notes and whatnot show the (failed) progress to do exactly what the doctor’s book suggests. How fortunate the flock were able to find a website with this information through Google.