Gah, I was busy last week and never got around to sporking. Sorry.
Okay, so, fight scene on the roof of the school Max decided to break into for no reason. We’re reading from Max’s perspective, and she initiated the fight, but for some reason we start by following Angel for a couple paragraphs. Then Max gets to her feet, despite the fact that she was never described as getting off her feet. So either there’s some super lazy writing going on or there was an arbitrary, unexplained timeskip. I’m not sure which is worse.
One of the guards backflips at Max (LOL) and hits her under the chin, sending her off balance. She falls backwards off the roof but “snags” the edge of it with her “fingers”. None of this causes her discernible damage and she instantly leaps back up with the aid of her wings. NOT BUYING IT, JPATTERSON.
Dylan magically realizes that the guards can’t see above them so he, Max, and Angel fly above the guards to keep them confused. Then the guards collapse, all three of them. Re-reading it seems I missed the fact that there were only three, so I guess I’ll point out now how weird it is that there were only three guards sent out. Also that they got randomly short-circuited by not being able to get a lock on their targets because they can’t see above themselves. Pretty crap security if you ask me.
After the third one fell, we snapped cord ties around their wrists. (pg 95)
And, uh, just where did these cord ties come from? Do you just carry them around with you all day in case you need to tie people up?
Angel takes off the hood of one of the guards. I’ll let the book describe him:
He looked just like a regular kid, but he had a small slit above his nose–a slit that ran around the circumference of his head, like a ring. And in that slit, I saw… many eyes. Tiny, dark orbs, angrily zipping back and forth. He wasn’t blind at all. He had 360-degree vision. They were virtually impossible to sneak up on, except from above, apparently. (pg 95)
Okay, two questions: one, how did he see through his hood? And two, why was he incapable of, I don’t know, craning his neck to look up?
They were just kids. Kids who had been cut open and experimented on, kids who had been programmed to kill us, but still. (pg 96)
Grammar nitpick: but only separating the first two clauses of the second sentence with a comma, it makes it look like the second clause is continuing the list of bad things that happened to the kids, when it’s intended to act as an opposing argument. If the comma were a dash or a period, the intended meaning would have been way stronger.
Max asks the now-awake kid who created him and why, and they end up arguing about basically the same thing as Max argued with Dr. Gunther-Hagen about in the last book. So, you know, “the world is going to end you need to be prepared blah blah blah” except the kid is coming from the perspective of him already being prepared. Max thinks the world can be saved but all of this is rather meaningless since we don’t even know what’s supposed to cause this apocalypse. Then the kids break free of their binding and Max and Angel and Dylan fly away.
The three are flying back to Max’s mom’s house when Dylan spots a “kid” below them. According to Dylan the kid is “sunburned and staggering” and since he’s a far way away from civilization they decide to go down and help him. Or, as Dylan puts it:
“Heck, let’s go save ‘im, whether he wants it or not,” Dylan said in his best Scooby-Doo voice (pg 100)
Preeeetty sure Scooby-Doo never talked like that.
They descend on the kid, who’s the computer kid from back in book one. (He was obsessed with his laptop and lived in an abandoned subway tunnel in New York City, if that jogs your memory.) He rambles about how humanity has ruined everything and needs to die and then runs off, refusing to go with Max and Angel and Dylan. I really hope there’s going to be an explanation for this.
We’re back with Fang, who’s talking to Maya.
Across the hotel room, the rest of his little ragtag collection actually seemed to be getting along. The new guy, Holden Squibb, had finally arrived, and Kate was explaining to the pale, scrawny kid how she and Star had been kidnapped by two men in lab coats on some school trip. (pg 103)
So apparently this was the source of their powers, told to us in an offhand sentence. Great writing! Also, really, the men were wearing lab coats when they kidnapped the girls? That’s just silly.
Fang explains to Maya that he found his group from “his blog”, through letters he got from kids who had been experimented on by scientists. He does specifically say letters, which is bizarre to say the least–just what address would he be giving people that someone out to get him couldn’t find him through? And, you know, why would a bunch of teenagers who met through a blog choose to communicate via letters and not email? JPatterson, your old man is showing.
Next Fang shows Maya the website for the group he saw on the news (the Doomsday Group), whose banner reads “Save the Planet. Kill the Humans.” Which, coming off that random encounter with the computer kid who said humanity was ruining the planet and needed to die… c’mon, JPatterson, don’t you think you’re laying it on a bit thick?
Fang also mentions that the Doomsday Group is big on “genetically modified kids” (though in what capacity he doesn’t mention, so I like to believe the website explicitly says “we experiment on kids!” because that’s about what I expect from a Maximum Ride book) and since the group he’s assembled “joined up because they’ve got a thing or two to tell the people who did this to them” he wants to find out more about the Doomsday Group. First, though, he gives Maya a run-down on his group members histories: Holden was “cut open” for a “potion” to be used and now he has healing powers. Ratchet has super senses, though through what means we don’t know. Kate and Star were “injected” and Kate has super-strength while Star is “part hummingbird or mouse” and can move fast at the expense of fast calorie burning. Fang speculates that she has the same “fast-twitch muscle fibers” the flock do. That makes little sense to me though so I’m just going to ignore it.
Throughout this chapter, by the way, Fang has been distracted by his attraction to Maya since she’s so similar to Max even in mannerisms. Now, right at the end of the chapter, he suddenly hopes that he and Maya can be friends like he and Max used to be. I’m not doing a very good job of describing how jarring the switch is but it’s pretty jarring since Fang didn’t stop being attracted to Maya or anything so I don’t get why he wouldn’t still be bothered by that. But whatever, it’s Maximum Ride, what do you expect.