Category Archives: Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork

Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 6

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Gah, I was busy last week and never got around to sporking. Sorry.

Chapter 27

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?

Chapter 28

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.

Chapter 29

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.

Chapter 30

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.

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Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 5

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Didn’t put this up yesterday since NekoShogun posted. Two posts in one day, that’s tacky as tacky glue. I am good at comparisons

Chapter 20

We’re back with Fang, at a hotel and adding Kate to our character list. Her character traits include being nice, being vegan, and being extremely beautiful. There’s a bit of painful character interaction (as in, painful because it’s bad) before Fang turns on the news and hears about the Doomsday Group, whose spokesperson talks about “taking control” and “cleansing the earth” but uses what are evidently mind-control powers to make Fang entranced by this idea until the channel gets changed. Fang decides that learning more about this group is his mission, implying that he had no mission before. Despite the fact that he was already assembling a team.

But more importantly than Fang’s poor thinking, it seems this series is turning into some sort of teen X-Men ripoff. How… interesting.

Chapter 21

Max and Dylan can’t find the plane’s fuselage. They also take a closer look at the balloons and Dylan notes that he can see that the wires each have four sides. Max can’t see this. They don’t question what the balloons are or why they’re there because all of the characters in these books are idiots. Then they decide to head to the X-Men school after suggesting it at the same time. The whole chapter is extremely awkward and boring.

Chapter 22

Ratchet and Star argue and start to fight but Kate stops them and Fang says that they need to work together. You know, your typical “newly assembled team of people who don’t quite get along because of course they don’t” thing. Boooring.

Chapter 23

“Max” suddenly appears behind Fang and when he asks where she came from she “[points] at the sky”. A reminder: they’re indoors. It’s not actually Max, though, but the Max clone who appeared in book three and then disappeared again. I had actually forgotten about her since the number of random things that happen and are never addressed again in this series is too many to keep track of.

Fang quickly decides that asking Maya, as the Max clone calls herself, to work with him was a bad idea since she, you know, looks like Max and dredges up all those romantic feelings. (And I bet we’re never going to get any explanation of how Fang even contacted Maya.)

Book Two: What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and World Destruction?

Okay, JPatterson, we need to have a talk. YOUR “BOOK” TITLES ARE NOT FUNNY. THEY ARE NOT CLEVER. THEY DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO THE BOOK. JUST STOP.

Chapter 24

Max and Dylan decide to try to enter the X-Men school through the roof. Don’t ask me why. But oh no a door opens and

figures all in black complete with ninja hoods, leaped out. (pg 82)

Um, I’m preeeetty sure that if you’re going to end a parenthetical phrase with a comma, you should probably start it with one too. (Question: am I too technical with how I explain these criticisms? I always want to use the correct terminology but sometimes that’s at the expense of clarity. Here’s a link for parenthetical phrases if you don’t know what I was talking about just there.)

Max and Dylan immediately fly into the sky, but get shot at with sniper rifles which only nearly miss. And according to Dylan and his magic sight (which was sort of addressed last book–if you’ve forgotten, he basically has a mix of super-sight, X-ray vision, and clairvoyance. Nobody ever questions why this is) the guards who shot at them were kids who didn’t have eyes. Dylan is sad about this because frowny-face about evil scientists and their experiments.

Chapter 25

Dylan suggests he and Max camp out in the desert to spy on the X-Men school. As opposed to, I don’t know, going back to the rest of the flock and visiting the school under normal circumstances like they were initially going to? This sudden goal shift makes no sense, especially since there was no indication anything fishy was going on at the school. But I guess this is just another case of JPatterson having no clue if Jeb is a villain or not and therefor everything to do with him is in a constant state of flux.

“Hungry?” Dylan reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of protein bars. I took the chocolate chip one. It tasted like sawdust mixed with chocolate chips. I was glad to have it. I contributed a bottle of warm water. We shared it in silence. (pg 85)

You know, JPatterson, it’s probably not a good thing that your book utilizes the same sentence structure I purposefully use to emphasize how boring your book is.

Max and Dylan talk a bit about random stuff.

I felt his deep turquoise eyes looking right into me. (pg 86)

…Please tell me I’m not the only one who finds this sentence creepy.

Dylan talks about how he’s luckier than Max because he knows he loves her whereas Max is unsure or whatever and blah blah blah, Max narrates about how she doesn’t show her emotions (which, frankly, I feel like she says that a lot more than she shows it), burgeoning romantic relationship, etc. etc.

Chapter 26

Angel wakes up Max, having decided to come check up on her. Max fills her in on the school’s guards, Angel tries and fails to telepathically check the school, and they decide to lure the guards out so Angel can try to mind control them.

Now, here’s a question: why? Haha as if we’re going to get an answer.

So they go to the school and Angel tries to get the guards to drop their weapons, but says that her power is being overridden by some sort of brainwashing programming. Max decides to close her wings and drop down to the roof  to see what happens regarding the eyeless guards’ inexplicable sight. They aren’t fazed by this and aim at her and turn off their safeties, because for some reason they weren’t firing on sight? Yeah, you see two intruders who you shot at yesterday flying above you and a third who tries to control your mind but you totally hold your fire.

Since Max’s spectacularly bizarre plan failed, she decides to fight the guards because of course she does. Whee, I can’t wait till next week to read another lifeless action scene. So excited you guys.

Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 4

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Chapter 14

Fang and the guy, Ratchet, are now in a diner. Fang asks Ratchet if he’s in. Ratchet says “I’m in, like I told you.” Even the characters know they’re repeating themselves! They’re waiting in the diner for another “contact” of Fang’s, and as they talk it’s revealed that Ratchet has super hearing and sight.

Chapter 15

I’m sure this viewpoint switching is meant to enthrall the reader because hey I have to find out what happens in this tense action scene but it keeps getting extended by being interrupted by other scenes! But it also completely kills the flow of the action scene. So. Not great.

Anyway, we’re with Gazzy. “To his horror” he sees Jeb in the doorway of the plane (not sure why that in particular is horrifying), so he goes to save him. He grabs Jeb, Jeb is too heavy though and after saying that “the human race will have to die to save the planet” he lets go of Gazzy and falls to the ground and dies.

You know what could have prevented that? Jeb jumping from the plane when it was nearer to the ground so he and Gazzy would be near the ground and not die from the fall. Just sayin’.

And if I made Jeb’s death sound pretty sudden and undramatic, well, that’s because it was. We do get this, though:

All he [Gazzy] saw was Jeb’s face, white and scared, as it got smaller and smaller below him.

Then Gazzy realized that was the last time he would see Jeb alive, ever again.

And it was his fault. (pg 51)

Which is basically just “CARE, DANGIT!!!!!!!” put a bit more fancily.

Chapter 16

Fang’s other “contact” (sorry, it’s too silly to use outside of quotation marks) is there, a girl called Star who’s the Uptight Icy Uber-Competent (and Super-Stylish, of course) Girl to Ratchet’s Rough-and-Tumble Guy. Boooring. She’s “fast” and got there by foot from twenty miles away, and ends up racing the guys. I wonder if JPatterson has a pseudo-science explanation for this superpower or if she’s just magic.

Chapter 17

This chapter opens with a particularly awful paragraph.

When the fuselage hit the ground and exploded, I saw my future right below me, just seconds away. (pg 55)

Max, there are simpler ways to tell us you’re falling towards the ground. Use them.

My wings were burning, as I gulped air, my muscles shaking from the strain of keeping us both aloft. (pg 55)

Are your wings burning literally or figuratively? And come on, let’s be a bit more sparing in our usage of present participles in an action sequence. Which is punchier, “my arms were shaking” or “my arms shook”?

We were going to land hard–and soon. (pg 55)

I know you’re going to land soon! You established that two sentences ago!

Max shouts at Gazzy to go help Nudge.

Angel focused on guiding Iggy down for what she hoped would be a less-than-fatal landing. (pg 56)

These random moments of omniscience would make more sense if these books were recognized in-universe as a collaboration between the flock, hence the third person. Though that would then bring into question the chapters from the villains’ perspectives. So, uh, never mind, sorry JPatterson because you’ve got more perspective issues than a kaleidoscope. (That comparison may not actually make sense.)

Meanwhile, Dylan races down out of nowhere and saves Jeb. Congratulations JPatterson, you made me think Jeb had died. I mean, the only reason I thought it had happened is because I expect bad writing from you, but you got me nonetheless.

The flock land and all survive, yay crisis averted I was so scared for them!!!

Chapter 18

The flock decide to get picked up by Max’s mom’s colleagues and go to her office to patch themselves up (including broken bones for Max’s mom and Jeb). Max’s mom, if you remember, is a vet.

That way, we didn’t have to worry about explaining the whole wing situation (pg 58)

Yeah, ’cause you know, when a bunch of kids with wings turn up and do public stunt shows, odds are most people won’t hear about it.

Max asks Dylan why he didn’t jump out of the plane after Jeb. Apparently the plane spiraled back “into” the wires and Dylan would have killed himself jumping out, but the plane didn’t get torn up anymore and spun back out of the wires in the fifteen-thirty seconds between Jeb jumping out and Dylan jumping out. Also, Dylan was described as having come from above Max, but the plane hit the ground before he passed her. MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

And by all means it looks like Dr. Gunther-Hagen was in the plane when it crashed, but this is never said with certainty so you know he’s still alive. Dylan wants to go to check the plane to make sure Dr. Gunther-Hagen is dead (gasp! That actually makes sense!) but for some reason is still waiting with the flock rather than, I don’t know, checking out the plane while they wait and then going with them to get checked out. Max suddenly feels drawn to Dylan and decides to go with him, which I guess is one way to make your protagonist stop hating another character: make her inexplicably attracted to him!

Chapter 19

The flock minus Max and Dylan get picked up and leave and Dylan says that the plane is probably about a mile away. I don’t think that makes any sense whatsoever but it’s hard to say for sure when the whole action sequence was described so vaguely. Dylan takes off.

His wings were a little shorter than Fang’s but broader–more like a hawk’s–wings built for power and lift. (pg 62)

Ew, two non-parenthetical em dashes in the same sentence? At least it’s contextually obvious how they’re being used, but… ew.

Max notes that Dylan’s wings are different from the flock’s.

For the first time, it occurred to me that the mad scientists who created us might have used different avian DNA to make each of us. (pg 62)

MAX. YOUR WINGS ARE DIFFERENT COLORS. OF COURSE THEY DIDN’T USE THE SAME DNA.

Max takes off as well and Dylan says

“There’s really nothing better [than flying].” (pg 63)

And then they both, at the same time, say “Except a white-chocolate mocha from Coffee Madness.” They are surprised by how strange that is. Which, it is pretty strange. I just hope it actually gets explained.

Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 3

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There was no spork last week because I forgot. GUD BRAIN

Chapter 8

Where were we? Oh, right. Max has to have kids because of reasons or something. It’s all really more vague than it needs to be but that’s what happens when your characters are anticipating an apocalypse that you don’t have the details for yet. “Yeah, the end of the world is coming except some people will survive and you’ll need to have superpowers to live, and you need to create a dynasty to rule over your super-powered underlings, because something is going to happen. I can’t tell you what.”

Obviously, Dr. Gunther-Hagen wants Max “breed” with Dylan, and wants them to come to Germany with him. Apparently he’s forgotten that Max has established the fact that she won’t work with him. JPatterson also seems to have forgotten that DR. GUNTHER-HAGEN KILLED FANG. Why else would Max even listen to what he has to say oh yeah, because the plot demands it. Sigghhhhhh

Chapter 9

We’re with Fang, who’s been watching some guy. Said guy is a “candidate,” probably for a Super Secret Mission that’s So Shadowy and Mysterious I wonder what it could be!!!!!

Fang pounces on the guy but the guy isn’t there and the guy has a knife to Fang’s throat! And then Fang disarms him.

In the same instant Fang’s, other hand clapped over the guy’s mouth. (pg 33)

Was this book not copyedited? Jeez. How do you miss a stray comma like that?

So Fang pounced on this guy, but apparently they know each other as they share a password. Logic. And then the guy agrees to something.

And so it began. This guy made it into Fang’s new flock–of one. (pg 34)

That, uh, makes no sense. It’s as literal a contradiction as you can get.

Chapter 10

We’re back with Max. And we’ve seen a little timeskip as they’re now eating lunch with Dr. Gunther-Hagen what. And he and Jeb have another request for Max, to go to the Maximum Ride version of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters and meet the super-powered kids so they can recognize her and vice versa.

I gestured at him [Dr. Gunther-Hagen] with my sandwich. (pg 36)

Nitpick: contextually, this “gesture” would seem to be her pointing at him, but if she had pointed at him, that word should have been used instead of “gestured”. So since the word “pointed” wasn’t used, it would indicate that Max made some other gesture, which leaves me wondering what kind of gesture can you make at someone with a sandwich other than pointing at them.

Max says she doesn’t want to go, and Angel and Dylan back her up.

It would have been churlish to remind Dylan just then that he wasn’t part of my flock. (pg 37)

What, so now Max cares about being polite? I just looove consistent characterization.

Max’s mom says that they should go and Max gives in to her authority, which as much as it’s just for the sake of plot movement, I think is actually in line with Max’s character. It also means a lot from a character standpoint, as while Max usually hates authority, she loves her mom and respecting her authority shows that and, as I said, means a lot. Not that it’s likely JPatterson thought that far into this.

Chapter 11

Max is flying next to the plane (both her and it heading to the superkid school), which is holding everyone else. Never mind the flock’s claustrophobia.

Angel telepathically points out the camouflaged school and Max speeds up and

I don’t know what made me look up at that moment, but I did, and suddenly, not fifty feet in front of my face, was a huge, clear–jellyfish? I was going almost three hundred miles an hour and I plowed right into that sucker. (pg 40)

So she saw it after looking up and it was falling and just happened to hit her as she was going forward? Or she looked up and then looked forward and it was there? The first is highly implausible and the second doesn’t seem to fit with what’s written. And, she’s going NEARLY THREE HUNDRED MILES PER HOUR?????

Chapter 12

So the “jellyfish” is some transparent balloon that bounces Max back sixty feet. There are a bunch of these things (Max says “hundreds” which is an implausibly high number) and they’re tethered to the ground by metal wires that cut through Max’s feathers when she tests them. She tries to warn Angel but it’s too late and the plane sucks one of the balloons into its intake. This causes a giant explosion, and then the plane’s wings are sheared off by the wires. So I guess the balloons are in neat rows or something? Who knows. But oh no, the plane has no wings! Max is keen to point out how bad that is, never mind that there was also an explosion that would have done a ton of damage to the plane anyway.

Chapter 13

So the reason why Max was the only one not flying in the plane is for this to be Scary and Dramatic because everyone is stuck in the plane! JPatterson, I see your transparent plotting that contradicts established character traits. I’d say nice try, but you didn’t even try.

The plane nosedives and Max says they “only had seconds” but then a good minute or two of action takes place. Iggy and Nudge get their wings torn up by the wires, but not cut off because that would be consistent with the way the wires were described, slicing Max’s feathers like nothing.

Nudge and Iggy were now totally out of control, cartwheeling through the air. The pain in their sliced wings made them want to close them, and the air billowing through their feathers was making their injuries worse. (pg 45)

Max. You are a first person narrator. Unless otherwise specified, you cannot be omniscient! That is not how writing works! Grrrrrrr

Max is conflicted because only her, Nudge, Iggy, and Angel are out of the plane and who does she save?! Well the flock of course. The next chapter skips back to Fang so I’ll go ahead and end this spork here. It’s not like you don’t know everyone’s going to get out alive.

Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 2

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The category for this spork has been “AMGEL” for a week and nobody told me aaaaaa

Chapter 5

Max infodumps about her mom, probably since JPatterson doesn’t expect us to remember her after not showing up in the last book. Then Max goes back inside and Nudge shoves a cookie in her mouth because we’re still not over the freaking cookies. Meanwhile, Ella is reading some Tarzan book to Iggy.

I’d been sharing her room at night for the past week, and the conversations we’d had in the dark, when everyone else was asleep, made me feel like a normal teenage girl. (pg 18)

But don’t show us any of these conversations or anything. Developing characters’ relationships with each other is entirely unnecessary! Oh and Ella has a crush on Iggy zzzzz

Of the five (formerly six) of us, they’re [Angel and Gazzy] the only real blood siblings. Which I suppose explains why I have brown hair and brown eyes, Fang has dark hair and darker eyes, Iggy is tall and fair and light-haired, Gazzy and Angel are both blond and deceptively angelic-looking, and Nudge is African American, with light brown skin, curly corkscrew hair almost the same color, and eyes like melted chocolate. (pg 18)

Why yes, Max, that would explain it. Also, if you’re going to pointedly not include Fang in one sentence, do try not to include him in the very next one. That’s pretty sloppy.

Angel says that Jeb and Dr. Gunther-Hagen are coming, and Max tells us about how Angel can “pick up on people’s energy and emotions, from a distance” and pretty much completely read their minds at close range. I guess we finally have an explanation of how Angel’s powers work after seven books, though it seems as if her mind control has been dropped. Also, uh, Dr. Gunther-Hagen? Why is he still around? Last we saw him he was in the middle of a lab in which he had against Fang’s will injected him with something that ended up killing him. And the flock just… let him go? I mean, come on. If a bunch of kids rioting was enough to take down Itex, there’s no way Dr. Gunther-Hagen couldn’t have gone down for his actions.

Max is angry with her mom for letting Jeb come and her mom says that Jeb wanted to talk with Max about something urgent. Let me guess, it’s “the world is in danger you have to save it that’s it bye.”

I looked into her warm brown eyes that were similar to mine. Her hair was darker and curlier than mine. We didn’t look much alike. (pg 19)

I saw a dog. I pet the dog. The dog ran away. I was sad.

Chapter 6

A small plane lands behind the house. The house is also described as small, which makes me wonder how eight people are living in it. Also, you know, why Jeb is arriving via plane.

Jeb and Dr. Gunther-Hagen enter the house. We get a bit of exposition about them, but at no point do we actually learn what happened between the flock and Dr. Gunther-Hagen in the last book. JPatterson almost gets there, telling us about Dr. Gunther-Hagen killing Fang, but manages to also fail to mention why this murder went unpunished. GOOD WRITING.

Jeb says that there’s something bigger than all of them going on (you know, like always). According to him, there are a lot of labs around the world making genetically altered kids like the flock in order to speed up the evolutionary process. Max is unimpressed by this despite having been driven to take down Itex in the first three books for doing exactly that because what is continuity. Jeb also mentions that the flock were the fifty-fourth generation of experiments, which makes little sense given that the six of them share four different ages. (As this is a scientific context, “generation” isn’t a grouping of people base on their age but rather something more akin to a version number for software). But the age gaps never made sense anyway, so.

The Erasers, meanwhile, were generation fourteen. The Erasers from the last book aren’t mentioned here for some reason, oh yeah, the reason is “what is continuity.”

Max is all “get to the point” and they go back and forth a bit more and then Dr. Gunther-Hagen cuts in:

“These children, this new generation, are the ones you’ll be leading, after you save the world. It’s time you start leading them. Now.” (pg 24)

Uhhh, what? Max is supposed to lead them, future tense, after she’s saved the world, except… she’s supposed to lead them now? C’mon, Dr. Gunther-Hagen, you’re a fictional character, your dialogue is supposed to actually follow a coherent train of thought.

Chapter 7

Okay, slight flicker of interest. I’d been doing the “save the world” thing for a while, and so far it had been mostly saving the world one small part at the time. (pg 25)

Max, you’ve completed three major plot victories over these books, and out of the two that actually affected the world, only one was saving a “small part” of the world. The other was saving two-thirds of the population.

These new genetically modified (well, some of them are described as having “spontaneous genetic evolutions” but, um, no) kids are called generation seventy-seven, and it’s “very likely” that a lot of them will be among “the human survivors of the apocalypse.” So, yay, Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s mysteeeerious apocalypse hasn’t been forgotten. Now if we could just be told what it is and how the flock are suited to survive it, why Fang needs to be away from Max to make them survive better, etc., I would be much obliged. Really, this all sounds a lot more like some sort of big war than a “universal or widespread destruction or disaster” as this usage of the word is defined. Unless Jeb and Dr. Gunther-Hagen are using apocalypse to mean a “revelation or prophecy” haha we never told you which definition they were using PLOT TWIST!

So these kids, who are all from the same generation, have incredibly varied powers like underwater breathing, telepathy, or thermal vision. Either we’re meant to believe they achieved all these different powers through the exact same form of modification, or Jeb and Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s scientific community is crap at using the term generation to mean anything useful.

As Dr. Gunther-Hagen said, he and Jeb want to lead these kids under Max. How Max is supposed to be a singular leader to the kids when by the sound of it there are dozens of them, I’m clueless. Oh, and Dr. Gunther-Hagen has some sort of surprise, but Jeb doesn’t want him to tell it and then Angel reads Jeb’s mind (but not Dr. Gunther-Hagen’s?) and puts her hands on her cheeks and says “oh, no. Not that!” (that’s a direct quote) and BRB, laughing at that hilarious image. And… I’ll end the spork here since it’s getting long. I won’t give you a cliffhanger, though: the thing is that Dr. Gunther-Hagen wants Max to have kids. Which is… yeah, but not really deserving of Angel’s reaction.

Maximum Ride: ANGEL Spork Part 1

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250px-Angel_A_Maximum_Ride_Novel_CoverYou can’t see it in this image, but the photo quality for Max’s face is really awful. Also, that tagline is awful. My copy says “Angel knows how it all ends” instead, which is boring, but better. Really, this cover is pretty boring, though at least it’s not ninety percent text. The jacket blurb, by the way, never even mentions Angel. I wonder if she’ll actually be relevant to the plot? (The answer is probably no, knowing JPatterson.)

Book One: The Sky is Falling

Oh, great, we’re still at it with the “book” thing. What a great start.

Chapter 1

Max is trapped in a dog cage, expecting Fang to come for her. There’s also a lab assistant who smashes the cage with a club every time Max gets near the front of the cage because that makes sense. Apparently this cage is frail enough that the lab assistant’s smashes weakens the hinges and lets Max kick the door open. Personally, I’d think that if the hinges are weak enough to get destroyed by that the door is probably just going to dent from kicking it, but none of this makes sense anyway so who cares. I mean, just a moment ago Max was wanting Fang to help her and now she’s getting out on her own? I get the impression JPatterson just started writing with no idea what he was doing and didn’t bother to do basic editing.

Max escapes the cage and immediately roundhouse kicks the assistant in the head. I wonder why there would be enough distance between them for that. JPatterson’s answer to that would probably be “Max is Chuck Norris!”

Max hops onto a table, swings on a pipe hanging from “a low section of the ceiling,” and kicks the assistant.

This was the perfect time for me to run to the end of the table, jump off, and spread my wings.

That’s where the “mutant freak” part comes in. (pg 4)

Max, please only use definite articles to refer to items you’ve established as existing. Or, in simpler terms: WHAT MUTANT FREAK PART?????

I shot upward, flying toward a small window high in the wall (pg 4)

Okay, so as far as I can tell, this is what the room Max is in looks like:

Room

WHAT THE HECK KIND OF ROOM IS THIS????

Max sees Fang outside the window and proceeds to use the term “have my back” approximately twenty times. She tries to break through the glass but fails.

I bounced off it and dropped hard, like a brick. (pg 5)

Okay, JPatterson? Either use an adjective or a simile, but not both. Falling is not a difficult concept to understand and you’re destroying any semblance of pacing by overexplaining simple things.

Max gets shot with a tranquilizer dart and Fang just watches from outside and duh, it’s a dream. But a dream during the day, mid-flight!!! This fact is ignored even though it sounds like a pretty big deal. Instead we get a paragraph about how horribly awful it is that Fang is gone. Not anything of substance, mind you, just “it’s terrifying and makes everything bad and waaah.” And according to Max, Fang will never “have her back” again. And she says it in italics! I wonder how long it will take for the two of them to start working together like the jacket blurb says is gonna happen. *Eyeroll*

Chapter 2

Max is in Arizona, she tells us, with her mom and Ella and the rest of the flock. They’re there because Angel called Max’s mom since Max had been lying in bed in the fetal position for 24 hours. (Her overreactions to losing Fang are hilarious.)

Max continues to monologue about how she’s barely anything without Fang because what is Max if not with Fang and blah blah blah and then she interrupts her narration mid-sentence because someone says “boo.” Which is, uh, weird to say the least. I mean, when’s the last time you were telling a story and explaining your feelings at a particular moment and then suddenly you had to stop because the next thing in your story had happened?

Chapter 3

The unknown speaker is Dylan.

“What do you want?” I scowled at him.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. “Don’t know who you are without him?”

“I’m so sure!(pgs 10-11)

Okay, so according to Max, Dylan is sarcastic now so I guess that would explain him being goading right from the get-go. But I have absolutely no idea what Max’s response is meant to mean. Seriously, can anyone help me with this? Does it make sense to any of you?

Max kicks Dylan off the tree.

Dylan caught himself before he went splat, shooting out his fifteen-foot wings like sails, letting them fill with wind. (pg 11)

WHAT THE HELL

WINGS ARE NOT LIKE SAILS

(AND SAILS DON’T SHOOT OUT SO YOU CAN’T SHOOT OUT SOMETHING LIKE SAILS ANYWAY)

WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING IS CLOSER TO A PARACHUTE THAN A PAIR OF WINGS

ARE YOU KIDDING MEEEEE

Alright, I’ve decided that the flock don’t actually have wings, but broken accordions that sort of splay all over the place and work using magic. That makes more sense than what JPatterson describes.

Dylan returns and and knocks Max off the tree, then catches her.

“Get your hands off m–” I started to say, but in the next second, he pulled me close and kissed me–hard. (pg 12)

Wow, in the space of two pages JPatterson managed to turn Dylan from a sort of nice, vaguely intriguing character into an absolute jerk. NICE JOB.

Chapter 4

I surged upward, deciding that killing Dylan was an appropriate response. (pg 13)

I’m with ya. Too bad he’s a main character and obligated to be the Jerk Bad Boy Love Interest in the love triangle JPatterson decided fit his action series.

Dylan mocks and insults Max as she prepares to attack him. She kicks him in the chest, he hits her with his wing (in midair? suuuure), etc. She wonders where he’s been learning to fight and then realizes that he’s learning from her. I… don’t think that makes any sense. They fight a tiny bit more, then Max tells him to leave, and Dylan says he can’t. They both stop fighting to talk, Max’s blood rage all gone because it was convenient to the plot.

“Never, Max,” Dylan said. “I’m programmed to imprint on you. You know it. I can’t fight the urge to be with you, no matter what.” (pg 16)

HOW ROMANTIC.