Apologies for the delay.
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.
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?
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.
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?