[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.
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.”
“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.
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.