Book Three: What Happens in Hollywood… Stays in Hollywood
So the current top-speed-check for Max is 300 miles per hour. Sounds painful on the wings.
Max flies for half an hour or so, ending up in Utah. (Don’t ask me how she knows she’s in Utah. I guess she somehow knew to slow down to see the signs?)
I had to take a minute out of my new life to… break down and sob like a baby. I worked my way steadily through rage, hurt, embarrassment, back through rage, and then to some random emotion that seemed to need ice cream. (pg 168)
You know, I just read a book where a character did something described as the hardest thing in their life in a single, short sentence, and somehow this seems worse. (It’s also about the last time her grief over being separated from the flock is brought up.)
Then Fang comes and talks to Max a bit. Turns out he’s decided to stick with her, and suggests they go to Las Vegas.
This chapter follows people seemingly monitoring the flock’s home with cameras, and talking about Dylan as if they created him. It’s surprisingly good at being vague and only using implication to get across that the flock are the targets of this monitoring. The point of the chapter primarily seems to be this, in regards to Dylan not following after Max:
There was no malfunction. It was simply that the soul could not be programmed. (pg 171)
You know, JPatterson seems to be setting up an internal conflict for Dylan, so it might be nice to get a chapter from his perspective that actually shows it. Just sayin’.
Max and Fang are now in Vegas. I guess nothing important happened in their trip. Max decides that she wants to gamble at a casino because [???]. And it’s mentioned that they have money from getting paid for the air-shows they did for the CSM, and that that money is “gotta be running low about now.” So… I guess the house was some sort of gift, and the flock have been paying for groceries and stuff with the CSM money? Or they somehow got waaaay overpaid and had enough for the house?
Anyway. Max wants to gamble. And nobody stops her and Fang from doing so, despite them being underage.
I was surprised that people didn’t boot us out immediately. Imagine money being more important than law enforcement! (pg 174)
Well, if gambling is treated at all the same as alcohol and cigarettes, legally, then I’m thinking Max officially lives in a fantasy-land where she can do anything. But I couldn’t say anything for sure since I’m ignorant about gambling laws and their enforcement, and don’t really feel like having that in my search history.
Max and Fang use slot machines, and Max soon sees wolf faces and then hears Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s voice when it was just Fang.
Fang wins the slot machine, and all of a sudden people pay attention to Max and Fang and Max thinks “they” realize they’re underage so Max and Fang leave. Basically, this is more of random tourism nonsense JPatterson is so fond of writing for some reason unknown to me.
Oh, and then they actually run into Dr. Gunther-Hagen.
Max drops a cup of quarters from the slot machine in surprise.
“Fang, leave that money for some poor soul who really needs it,” I said, all Mother Teresa again. Except I didn’t leave my cups of cash behind. (pg 177)
??????? I hope I’m missing something obvious because it looks like the book is just contradicting itself.
Dr. Gunther-Hagen claims that he’s in Vegas for a professional convention. I really hope that’s a lie or JPatterson just went up another notch in hackitude. He tries to convince Max to work with him about the “coming apocalypse” that will make “more than half the world’s population … simply disappear”. What is this magical apocalypse that will make 4 or so billion people magically disappear, but can be somehow mitigated by making people more resistant to damage? I don’t know because apparently it’s not important enough for Dr. Gunther-Hagen to mention. He also thinks that Max will be a good spokesperson for his vision of the future because she “demonstrates that being different can be wonderful and even necessary”. Which… doesn’t really make sense? “This person has wings and is cool, so you can be cool too by regrowing limbs when everyone else is dead!” And I mean, it’s not as if he could just use Dylan. Or clone another bird kid if Dylan isn’t willing after he gave him over to Jeb/the flock. At least I think he gave him over to Jeb? The whole relationship there is never explained because plot holes.
Max still refuses, I imagine because Dr. Gunther-Hagen failed to say anything he hasn’t already said. “Here, let me say a bunch of incredibly vague things! Join me!” Dr. Gunther-Hagen makes threats, Max calls him evil, and now they’re apparently enemies. Great.
Gazzy gives Iggy a car magazine and Iggy feels a photograph on it, then decides to “try without touching it” and describes the depicted car’s form, then touches the magazine again and guesses the car’s make.
Dylan calls the flock out to look at the stars, and Jeb points out constellations. Also, the rest of the flock don’t really seem to have any beef with Jeb. I know that I say how Max’s hatred of him is plot holey, but… so is this. Mostly because neither are properly established. We also get this gem:
“Yeah. I used to call them the Dipsticks,” Gazzy reminisced. (pg 184)
…Why do I get the impression we’re going to get ” ‘Sorry,’ X apologized” by the end of this series?
Dylan predicts meteors before they come.
“If you can see so well, Dylan,” Angel asked curiously, “why didn’t you see those Erasers coming?”
For that, Dylan had no answer. (pg 185)
It is a very bad sign when I can’t even tell if JPatterson bringing up questions like this means they’ll be answered.
Max and Fang are at Cirque D Soleil when the voice warns Max moments before she gets grabbed OH NO THIS IS DEFINITELY VERY TENSE AND DRAMATIC. Come back next week for the underwhelming conclusion to this cliffhanger!