Monthly Archives: December 2013

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 16

Standard

It is very easy to forget to write these after that month-and-a-half break. Apologies. This’ll also be the last spork of the year, and somehow I still won’t be done with this book! It keeps multiplying on me or something aaaa help me I am going to headdesk myself to death

Chapter 78

Max gets Angel’s telepathic message and heads to the house.

Within fifteen seconds, I was streaking through the sky at upward of 250 miles an hour. (pg 272)

Noooot physically pooooossibllllllle!

Chapter 79

Dr. Gunther-Hagen injects a hypodermic needle into Fan’gs IV line, but it does nothing. Angel is there too, evidently having given up on trying to find a phone. Suuure.

“Blast!” Dr. Hans shouted. (pg 273)

LOL, “blast.” Am I really supposed to take this guy seriously?

Meanwhile, Angel is “in a deep state of shock.”

When her Voice had given her the premonition about Fang, she had just reported it. … Somehow, she’d thought that telling Max and the others would help it not come true. (pg 273)

Right, I already pulled Angel’s quotes about Fang in the last spork, so just look to those again to see how incongruous they are with this. I guess JPatterson couldn’t be bothered to go back and change that earlier scene what with writing this book in two days.

So apparently after Dylan showed up Angel’s voice then told her that the flock needed to split up, with Angel in charge of one with Fang as her second in command and Max in another with Dylan. So, uh, what was with voting Max out of the flock? Last I checked, the best way to get someone (Max) to want to work with another person (Dylan) isn’t to force them away from said person.

Dr. Hans had promised that if Fang came here, everything would be perfect. (pg 274)

We aren’t told what constitutes “everything,” how it would be “perfect,” or what Dr. Gunther-Hagen would do to make “everything perfect,” but, you know, there’s no time for pesky things like “a plot that makes sense” when you have… uh… Well, I’d say “excitement” and “cool stuff” and “fight scenes” like JPatterson usually seems to focus on, but those have been pretty absent from this book. It’s mostly just been pointless angst and characters repeating vague things at each other without doing anything.

Oh, and apparently now Angel has decided that Dr. Gunther-Hagen was lying to her about “making everything perfect” and “making Fang more evolved” or whatever. Too bad she couldn’t have figured that out earlier with her MIND READING.

Chapter 80

I dropped down onto the terrace like a bird of prey. (pg 275)

You know, when I think of “animals that drop to the ground in a smooth manner,” my first thought really isn’t “birds.” They’d probably be closer to the end of that list, really, given that they’re creatures made for flight and all. I could maybe see them swooping in for a landing, but “dropping”? That just seems silly.

Max head for Angel and Dr. Gunther-Hagen.

Somehow, I had seen these steps in the message Angel had sent me–I knew just where to go. (pg 275)

You know… we probably should have been told this when Angel sent the message… or when you got the message… so that this doesn’t come across as a lazy plot contrivance thought up in two seconds…

Max finds Fang. He’s still dead and Dr. Gunther-Hagen isn’t trying to save him anymore.

“Why are you so surprised, Max? Your insistence upon being with Fang above all else–well, I warned you quite clearly that no good would come of it. You had the chance to protect all of the ones you love.” (pg 276)

Uh. What? It was Fang separating from Max that put him in this situation.

Chapter 81

The rest of the flock arrive, and I want to take a moment to do a little math.

Going at 250 miles per hour, Max was traveling at at least twice the speed of the rest of the flock. She said it took her “a few minutes” to reach the house, so let’s be conservative and say that means four minutes. This means that since Angel sent the message (probably about a minute after Fang died), it’s been eight minutes, for a total of nine minutes that Fang has been dead. A quick skim/read of Wikipedia’s clinical death page would point towards roughly 10-15 minutes being about as long as you’re going to be able to be dead before resuscitation without really serious brain damage. (I, of course, am not a doctor, and so my estimate is likely off, not to mention an oversimplification of the process. Still, let’s run with it.) So after the following scene (which is the last I’m getting to in this spork), Fang has been dead for about 15 minutes, meaning it’s probably not possible to bring him back. I can’t wait to see how JPatterson gets out of this one.

Just as the flock arrives, the “lab security team” enters (took them long enough). Oh, and Mr. Chu is there, because…?

Even though they knew I couldn’t leave Fang’s side, I’d never seen the flock look so confident and determined. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we were in a lab, and we knew our way around labs. (pg 278)

Bzzzzt. Labs should be bringing back traumatic and/or repressed memories for the flock, as indicated by their uneasiness around antiseptic smells. (Heck, didn’t Max get freaked out by the vet back in book one? Oh, haha, silly me, expecting JPatterson to follow his own continuity.)

The flock take out a few of the guards, masterfully using their environment because lulz what is logic, then stick those guards in crates. There are still guards left, though, that apparently just waited around while their allies were subdued. Riveting stuff.

It could have easily been a lost battle without the secret weapon. Dylan. (pg 280)

Hmm? What about Dylan? Or were you just too lazy to press the shift key for that handy colon?

So, yeah, Dylan fights and is really good and Max is apparently watching this all with the presence of mind to be able to write it down like this, but is too upset to fight? Because the love of her life’s death has for some reason overridden her most defining character trait of “gets angry and fights stuff.” Oh, JPatterson.

Angel brings some containers from another room and gets Gazzy to analyze them despite there being a big fight going on that should be preventing them from doing this. Or there are so few guards left that they can easily stop fighting, at which point why would they need extra weapons? But no matter because

The impeccably dressed Mr. Chu–who’d been cowering under a lab table to avoid the fight, or to avoid ruining his suit–now appeared at their side. (pg 281)

1) Go with security guards to fight intruders.
2) Hide for half the fight.

MAKE PERFECT SENSE.

Iggy slams into Mr. Chu and “twists his neck” (???) and then Mr. Chu’s face comes off to reveal a green-scaled face of someone else, who Max calls “a freak” because that’s nice. Dr. Gunther-Hagen refers to him as Robert.

Robert?” Iggy almost shrieked. “He’s green!(pg 281)

I know it’s not what was intended, but the presentation here kind of makes it looks like the second piece of dialogue is objecting to the scaly guy’s name on grounds of him being green and that is very funny to me.

Dylan tells the flock to be careful because some of the guards they’d taken out are getting back up. So these ones weren’t put in crates? And apparently all the guards have been taken out? But it was still necessary for Angel to get containers full of chemicals? THIS WHOLE SCENE MAKES NO SENSE.

Advertisements

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 15

Standard

Apologies for the delay.

Chapter 74

So, Fang has left, leaving a note that says he’s going to “go find out what’s going on” (paraphrased). Nudge comes in and reads it too.

I felt frozen except for the burning hot tears starting to leak out. (pg 260)

In this context, “frozen” would seem to mean “unable to move” as opposed to “cold.” But crying isn’t moving, so in order for “except” to be warranted, it would need to be the heat of the tears that’s important, thereby meaning that “frozen” is being used literally. So, uh, Max? Put on a sweater.

Max kind of zones out from sadness and Nudge brings the others, who try to use a cookie as some sort of reviving salts. At this point, I’m pretty sure “cookies are good” is one of this series’ biggest morals next to “global warming is bad.”

Max’s mom has everyone else leave and talks to Max.

“You love him so much it feels like you can’t go on without him,” said my mom.

I had never admitted to anyone, even myself, how much I loved Fang. I bowed my head and gave a tiny nod. (pg 261)

A page ago, Max seemed to frame Fang leaving as being the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, leading her to this extreme sadness. But apparently that’s not the case, and… Well, it’s quite interesting that JPatterson’s Strong Female Character who supposedly laughs at emotion and “weakness” is now falling to pieces over a boy.

Chapter 75

Fang goes to Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s house to “get some answers.” So remember how Max found where the house was and then went to it and… was there and then left? And it was pretty pointless and awkwardly paced? Well, it would seem the only reason they found out where the house was was so that Fang could know where it was for the sake of the plot, but then Max had to go there in order to follow through with her motivations. Basically, it’s a bunch of clumsy plotting.

So, yes, it actually is important that Fang goes to the house because he gets stuck with a dart!

He started to swear, glancing around wildly for the shooter. Then his knees buckled, he swiped the dart away, and the world swirled around him. (pg 263)

Just how long was that swear that Fang couldn’t complete it in the time that it took him to look around? Or did he stop himself from finishing the swear for some reason? Why did JPatterson not bother to use clear language in a dramatic scene so that I would be even a little bit interested instead of wondering what the heck he meant?

Chapter 76

Fang is seriously messed up, with broken ribs and a bunch of bumps on his head, etc. Angel is there, and says that after he woke up from the sedative that was in the dart he went berserk and had to be subdued, causing the damage to his body. He doesn’t remember this, and I really hope there was a reason for it happening other than JPatterson thinking it’d be cool to have Fang be beat up for a “dramatic” chapter opening.

Dr. Gunther-Hagen has injected Fang with a serum that’s supposed to improve his “personal evolution.” Then the Dr. talks about Dylan and how he’s so special and will soon be “paired” with Max. JPatterson actually succeeds at making him somewhat creepy. Now, if he could manage to make the Dr. even a little bit sinister or threatening, we might be going somewhere.

Fang became aware of a huge weight on his chest. (pg 267)

…Has JPatterson never actually learned how to write strong sentences? I mean, “became aware of”? Really? Was “felt” was just a bit too simple, or what?

The weight gets worse and Fang stops being able to breath and slowly blacks out. Angel is very concerned about this, and that makes me wonder if she didn’t have the same reaction to the serum, or if for some reason she wasn’t injected. Or what Dr. Gunther-Hagen even wants with her, given that he’s made his plans for Max (to be with Dylan and lead the flock) and Fang (to start his own flock and find a “mate”) pretty clear now. JPatterson seems pretty determined to simply not give basic information.

Chapter 77

Fang’s heartbeat has stopped! Oh no!

“This wasn’t supposed to happen!” said Dr. Hans, looking upset. “This drug has been tested on many subjects!”

“But were they normal, to begin with?”

“Yes, mostly…” Dr. Hans trailed off. (pg 269)

If this is your idea of lively writing, I don’t know what to tell you. And, apparently it’s necessary to know that Dr. Gunther-Hagen is upset, but we don’t even get a dialogue tag for Angel? I mean, her line could be delivered a number of different ways and knowing how she’s saying it might actually be relevant. It’s certainly more relevant than telling us that Dr. Gunther-Hagen “trailed off” as if it wasn’t obvious.

Angel yells at Dr. Gunther-Hagen to do something, says that he promised Fang wouldn’t get hurt, but the Dr. says there’s nothing he can do because it’s “too late.” Now, maybe this is just me, but I might have the staff I have on hand try to figure out what’s gone wrong so Fang can be revived? Well, actually, I’d start by having staff on hand because apparently Dr. Gunther-Hagen does not!

Angel looks around for a phone but doesn’t find one, so she goes out to the terrace and tries to send Max a telepathic message, but she’s never done it from so far away so it might not work! (Spoiler alert, it does, and we see so on the very next page. Good drama, JPatterson.)

But, um. Does anyone else remember what Angel said earlier in the book?

“Nothing can last forever, Max.” … “And actually–I hate to tell you this, but Fang will be the first to die. And it will be soon.” (pg 28)

And now she’s all concerned over Fang’s apparent death? WHY?

(Not Even a Little Bit) Weekly Haiku 32

Standard

So NaNoWriMo happened, and as a result haiku didn’t. But now it’s not, so they can. Or something.

Haze

The sky a dim haze,

All cloud and orange city glow.

Then wind sweeps away…

*

Cold

The cold grips me tight,

Sinking deep within my flesh.

A soft breath of wind.

*

Silence

Silence covers me

Like a warm quilt in winter.

Alone, I can think.

*

Still

Wind chimes and water

Fill the air with soft music.

Summer lingers still.

*

Ideology

One mind follows first,

Then on and on more tumble.

Like a storm, they rise.

 

~Michael Vest

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 14

Standard

[AAAAA! I had this post all finished back in October and somehow never published it! So, uh, here you go now. Sorry about the ridiculous wait! I’ve left that intro in, too, just in case you were wondering what I meant by “as I said in the last spork” in my last post.]

Just like last year, I’ll be taking a break from sporks for the month of November to participate in NaNoWriMo. Since I’m so close to the end of the book, though, I’m going to finish it next week, no matter how long the spork ends up being. That’s gonna be… not fun.

Chapter 71

So, Max is heading to Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s house for the climax of the book because JPatterson decided it was the time for the climax. Heavens know there hasn’t been any real plot development that would require this to happen now rather than near the beginning of the book. But, you know, nothing actually happening is perfectly normal for Maximum Ride.

Max spends the first paragraph of this chapter describing Malibu (in an extremely boring and plain way, no less) and pointing out that the houses are at risk if there’s an earthquake. Pointless observation or heavy-handed foreshadowing? I guess we’ll find out!

Max lands at Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s house and finds Angel lounging outside.

“Want some daiquiri?” she offered, pointing at a blender.

“Is it traitor flavored?” I asked. (pg 251)

Wow. I… really hope that was meant to be a terrible comeback. Otherwise, this is definitely the best example of “terrible snark passed off as clever” JPatterson has written yet.

Dr. Gunther-Hagen comes out and Angel starts repeating the “the world is going to end!” stuff, still failing to mention why the world might end. Seriously, JPatterson has written the same argument about twenty times in this book and it’s always just as vague, undoubtedly because he’s trying to skirt around the fact that he hasn’t yet decided on any plot details. Just another case of first draft roughness that makes it clear nobody edited these books.

One new element is added this time: Dr. Gunther-Hagen claims that all Max has to do is “let go of Fang” and “accept Dylan instead,” apparently to stop the apocalypse (or something? This is what seems to be going on but the book is SO VAGUE and doesn’t even try to make this the least bit dramatic or important). I really can’t wait to see what ridiculous reason JPatterson cooks up for why being with Dylan is somehow going to change anything. Max, for some reason, decides to humor Dr. Gunther-Hagen when he asks why she won’t be with Dylan, even though she has no real answer and only says he’s too clean. Apparently she’s suddenly willing to let someone she doesn’t like own the conversation.

So, because Max won’t be with Dylan instead of Fang in order to prevent the end of the world, she decides to leave. She asks Angel to come with her, but doesn’t bother to try to understand why Angel agrees with Dr. Gunther-Hagen, find out why they think the world is going to end… you know, learn relevant information so that she can persuade Angel otherwise. “Oh, you think the world is going to end and don’t want to be around me and want me to do arbitrary things to stop it? Okay whatever bye.”

Chapter 72

“Are you really in danger?” Dylan’s voice broke into Fang’s thoughts.

Fang looked at the newest bird kid. Dylan was an inch or two taller than he was, and somewhat heavier built, though he still had the long, lean look of a human-avian hybrid–you couldn’t make bricks fly. (pg 254)

And that’s it. Fang doesn’t reflect on the differences between him and Dylan, wonder where Dylan came from, or anything. We just get a random bit of description of an important character 50 pages from the end of the book.

This whole chapter is super weird. The whole thing is Dylan saying Fang should go away because people are trying to kill him and it’s putting the flock in danger and… what? The flock have been targeted equally throughout the entire book. There’s really no reason to think that Fang is the source of this. But the weirdness isn’t even just what Dylan is saying, but also how it’s awkwardly written and how where he and Fang are is never mentioned until the very end. It’s just an out of context conversation that comes across, well, weird. Also:

“You gotta do what you gotta do,” said Dylan, calming down. “It’s just–I can’t stand the thought of something happening to Max. I can’t stand it.” His clear turquoise eyes met Fang’s black ones. “I’m designed to feel that way.” (pg 256)

Huh? How does that even work? And why does Fang not find it intriguing information? Does he already know what’s going on with Dylan? Has JPatterson just been keeping a mystery without ever actually bringing it up as a mystery? It feels like I’m missing a chapter that explained things rather than being given hints at something.

Chapter 73

Dylan was calmly leaning on the balcony rail of the safe house. His eyes were locked on me as soon as I came into view, as if he’d known exactly when I was returning. (pg 257)

Or if JPatterson’s not being terribly vague, he’s laying on the foreshadowing thick as molasses. *Sigh*

So, yeah, Max has returned and apparently her being at Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s wasn’t the climax? And the book is so close to being over…

…The book isn’t just going to end, is it? Surely JPatterson is slightly better than to write a whole book where barely anything happens and what little did happen isn’t even resolved? Please tell me my growing suspicions are wrong!

Anyway, Max tells her mom that Angel decided to stay and help Dr. Guther-Hagen with his “research.” We still have no idea what this research is aaaand I’m more of a broken record than JPatterson at this point. It’s just so dumb! Is he really incapable of explaining basic plot details? Does he actually expect us to care what’s going on when we don’t even know what it is?

Everyone is in the living room but Fang, so Max goes to find him and you guessed it, he’s gone! And he left a note! And I’m going to spoil you for next time and let you know that the note barely even says anything, because I’m getting tired of these sporks ending on JPatterson’s inane cliffhangers.