Category Archives: Maximum Ride: FANG Spork

Thoughts On Maximum Ride: FANG

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I had a dream a few weeks ago that I finished sporking this book and it just randomly ended in the middle of the climax with no resolution. While the book didn’t actually do that, it did manage to utterly fail to resolve any but one of its plotlines. No, seriously. Angel is being subordinate and ends up ditching Max for an evil scientist? Whatever, ignore it. Iggy wants to regain his sight and Dr. Gunther-Hagen can do it? Forgotten. Dr. Gunther-Hagen has some cryptic prediction about a near-extinction of the human race or something? Never elaborated on. A new bird kid comes out from nowhere and seems to have some sort of secret? No explanation. Mr. Chu is a disguise worn by a green-skinned being? Nothin’. The only thing we get resolution for is Angel’s prophecy of Fang’s death. He does die, and then gets revived fifteen minutes later with a shot of adrenaline to the heart, with no consequences. Contrived, check, and cheap writing to boot. Also entirely predictable. Protip: when the only thing that actually happens in your book involves a character who the audience knows won’t die being under threat of death, you’re doing it wrong.

But let’s start from the beginning. Well, actually, that’s pretty difficult because there’s no real plot to follow. There are more or less three sections to the book, though: the first one is set in Chad, where Fang’s imminent death, the bird kid (Dylan), and Dr. Gunther-Hagen are set up. Oh, and Mr. Chu, who just sort of exists in an attempt to increase the tension. He never really does anything and his motives are never explained and then he pulls off the mask that is his face and he’s a green-skinned person. ???

The second part puts the flock in a house that the non-profit organization Coalition to Stop the Madness (can I bring back up what a hilarious name that is?), which, sure. The flock sort of putter around and go to a museum and have a birthday party and get attacked by the returned Erasers. I guess this was intended to be dramatic because ooh, who’s making new Erasers, except that it’s never really explored or explained. I’m not even sure if was intended to be Dr. Gunther-Hagen or not. Quality Writing. (It’s not particularly exciting, either, since the flock have previously beaten up 70-odd robots without a scratch and are now being attacked by five of last year’s grunts. Oh, I wonder what’s going to happen!) Then the flock kick out Max and Fang because they’re neglecting the flock, thereby putting the flock in danger, so obviously the solution is to send them away for good. Max and Fang gamble in Vegas while the rest of the flock go to a party in LA and get poisoned by Mr. Chu and everyone ends up in a safehouse (owned by the CSM I think? Which makes no sense but ha, what is sense in these books). All of that could be cut from the book and literally nothing would change.

The third part sees Angel leaving the flock to work with Dr. Gunther-Hagen because she believes his spiel about how the flock have to get altered further in order to survive… or something… and then later she doesn’t believe him because he apparently lied to her about something and she couldn’t tell despite her mind reading powers. You know, the usual. (Nudge, by the way, still has that power to read an inanimate object’s history by touching it. I don’t believe said power is mentioned once in this entire book.) Fang then leaves as well and ends up captured by Dr. Gunther-Hagen, dies, comes back, and then Dylan (who’s been hanging around with the flock for some reason) tries to kill himself and we skip forward to Total and Akila getting married and Fang leaving again.

These books have always played it fast and loose when it comes to actually having a plot, but… jeez. This book is awful for it. Nothing happens and what does happen doesn’t actually have an ending. At least there’s theoretically more character stuff, but JPatterson is worse at characters than he is at plot, so… Yeah. Gazzy receives absolutely no development, and Nudge only gets to cement her arbitrary change from “talkative and sorta resourceful” to “talkative and really into fashion.” Angel continues to be inexplicable and awful, and apparently now makes prophecies that have never been wrong, never mind that this book is the first time she’s ever done such a thing and she only does it once. JPatterson also finally remembered those chapters he wrote from Iggy’s perspective and so now Iggy wishes he could see. I have the uncomfortable feeling that will end up happening. As for Fang and Max… they’re definitely in love now. Not that they have any real chemistry or anything.

We also get a new character in Dylan. He seems to go through a bit of a character arc through the book, so it’s a shame he’s quiet and we never get to see what’s going on in his mind by, I dunno, a chapter from his perspective. It’s not like JPatterson doesn’t break from Max’s narration, but apparently it would just be too logical of a move for him to actually show us a character’s development rather than hinting at it. On the other hand, by barely involving Dylan he stays a somewhat likeable character.

I dunno… I’m not sure there’s anything else to say. This book was barely even there, so what there is to critique is mostly in the minute details that I cover in my sporks. (And it doesn’t help that it took me five months to get through the book, which makes my memory of it fuzzy.) Everything else is just a solidification of JPatterson’s existing writing flaws. So if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go headdesk a lot. I’ll start on the next book in a week or two.

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Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 17

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ugghhhhhhhhh

Chapter 82

The green guy is ignored because Max is looking at Fang and reminiscing about moments they shared before the books started. I guess it’s not overly egregious since it’s small, normal interactions, but when JPatterson has done such a terrible job establishing the flock’s history and then randomly throws in bits here and there to up the drama of a scene… I dunno. It’s kinda annoying. This chapter isn’t even a page long in terms of the actual text, by the way. :/

Chapter 83

After being all sad in the last chapter, Max now gets angry and shouts at Fang and pounds at his chest. Given that she’s being unrestrained right now, it would follow that she hit him with enough force to break his ribs. Just pointing that out.

Max sees the hypodermic needle Dr. Gunther-Hagen injected into Fang’s IV in an attempt to save him. (Or at least filled with the same stuff he used.) Max takes it and plunges it “directly into his [Fang’s] heart” and narrates that this would either kill him for good or bring him back. Reminder that I did the math last spork and at this point, there’s no way Fang comes back without major repercussions. Using real-world logic, that is. We all know Fang will come back and be just fine.

Chapter 84

JPatterson drags it out for another half page before Fang’s pulse returns. How many words did this book waste on something that was never going to happen? Answer: WAY TOO MANY.

I’m pretty much of the stoical school of emotiveness, but everything I was feeling burst through me like a flood through a dam. I dropped my head back onto his chest, my arms around him, and sobbed.

Pfft. Max has spent the whole book being emotional, JPatterson, and saying “I’m not usually emotional but this made me emotional!” doesn’t really have much weight anymore. Especially after you just used it when Fang left.

Chapter 85

Dr. Gunther-Hagen suddenly decides to shout about how the flock should let him go. It’s, well, sudden, and weird. And for some reason it’s not until after he does that and exchanges a line with Dylan that he “[becomes] fully aware of Fang’s regained consciousness.” ??? Was he daydreaming or something?

“This doesn’t make sense!” [Dr. Gunther-Hagen said.] (pg 289)

I’m with ya, dude.

You don’t make sense!” I bit out through my tears. (pg 289)

laughter-gif

Dylan gets the flock to help him restrain the Dr. on a gurney and picks up another needle.

He readied the needle like a trained nurse. It was obvious that he’d been raised on injections. (pg 290)

Sigh. Is anything in these books ever going to be conveyed without a two-ton anvil?

Dylan readies the needle (which is presumably filled with something that will kill Dr. Gunther-Hagen) and the flock don’t seem to mind, except for Max who at the last moment tells Dylan to stop. He stops and then injects himself. I’m gonna guess now that Dylan’s not going to die since his character arc/backstory haven’t yet been explained, but who knows, maybe he was just a crappy plot device to shoehorn in a love triangle.

Epilogue

Uh… That’s not a good sign, because last I checked none of the book’s plots have been resolved yet. Unless “WILL FANG DIE?!?!?!11/11” was meant to be the book’s main plot. If so… Jeez.

Max, Nudge, and Angel are all dressed up for something. They’re carrying flowers, but for what purpose we’re not told. So obviously Dylan isn’t dead, since that would’ve been made clear. JPatterson, your narrative tricks are utterly transparent.

Our various bruises and scrapes had healed completely, and Fang’s injuries were only a bad memory–as was Dylan’s pseudo suicide attempt. He’d suffered no ill consequences of the injection thus far. (pg 296)

Well, CALLED IT, but also, uh, bad word choice, JPatterson. The definition of “pseudo” in my dictionary is “fake,” and “almost, approaching, or trying to be” is only the second definition on Dictionary.com. So this sentence would imply that Dylan faked his suicide attempt, but that doesn’t exactly make much sense, but since the book fails to elaborate I genuinely have no idea. You know what would have gotten rid of that confusion? Using either “attempted” or “fake.” WOW! USING WORDS THAT CLEARLY MEAN WHAT YOU MEAN, WHO WOULD’VE THUNK.

Aaalso, what did Dylan inject himself with? That’d tell us whether or not it would be likely for him to be affected by it. Instead JPatterson is just being vague.

Plus, we hadn’t seen Dr. Gunther-Hagen again. We’d rolled him kicking and screaming into a giant lab cold-storage room before splitting that day, but I was sure one of his posse would revive and let the doc out of his icebox before he turned into a Popsicle. (pg 296)

Ummm, WHAAAT? Why would you just leave him? This is JPatterson land, there’s no reason it wouldn’t have been possible to get him arrested. That would have actually provided closure to that plotline! And while we’re talking about closure, we’d better get an explanation for that green guy. (Or even know what happened to him, since we were told about Dr. Gunther-Hagen.)

Max tells us that she and Angel haven’t talked about the animosity between them. There’s another plotline with no resolution. What even happened in this book?!

We’re at a wedding, BTW. Angel is the flower girl:

She walked slowly down the red carpet, strewing white rose petals everywhere. (pg 297)

And Nudge is a bridesmaid, I guess:

She gave me one last smile, then headed down the red carpet slowly, walking in time to the music. (pg 297)

That’s “slowly” used twice in as many paragraphs. Hrmph.

Max meets Fang halfway down the carpet.

His black hair had been cut, somewhat. (pg 297)

Is JPatterson absolutely determined to be as vague as possible or what?

Max and Fang link arms to go the rest of the way down the aisle, then go to their opposite sides. Angel also did this with Gazzy, and Nudge with Iggy. And for some reason JPatterson just had to use the word “separated” for all three times they split up. (And throws in an ellipsis for Max and Fang as if we were supposed to wonder what was going to happen or something.) It was sort of okay when he repeated it the first time with Nudge and Iggy because he was drawing a parallel between the two events, but would it have killed him to use “parted” or something for Max and Fang? I know it’s a major nitpick, but it’s annoying, and basic word choice should not stick out and be annoyin! That’s one of the most basic rules of writing. I try to be conscious about it in my sporks, which shows me I spend more time thinking about my own writing than JPatterson does his. How great is that?

Oh, the wedding is for Total and Akila, by the way. I’m… not sure that’s legal. And that’s all I’m going to say about it because is it the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

The Other Epilogue

OH MY GOD.

This epilogue takes place after the reception and is narrated by Max. IT HAS NOTHING TO REASONABLY SEPARATE IT FROM THE FIRST EPILOGUE.

WILL YOU EVER STOP, JPATTERSON?????

Fang had left the reception an hour before the rest, and no surprises, it turns out he left again. And left a note again! JPatterson is just repeating himself now and that is hilariously awful. The note is just mushy stuff and “I’m putting you at danger still so I have to leave blah blah blah” and then the book ends. Well, there’s a collection of unpublished blog posts from Fang that I’ll look over later and if there’s anything noteworthy I’ll put it in the “thoughts on post,” but… yeah. That was a crappy ending, and there’s one final question I’m going to ask: Did the serum that was supposed to make Fang better work? We weren’t told! Because JPatterson is a terrible writer!

SIGGHHHHH

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 16

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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.

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 15

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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?

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 14

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[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.

Maximum Ride: FANG Spork Part 13

Standard

There won’t be a spork next week because of stuff going on in my life. Thank god for that because this book is slowly destroying me.

Chapter 65

So, Angel has a gun pointed at Max and she tells everybody not to move until she says to.

The scary thing was, she didn’t look like a child anymore. She looked very, very focused. (pg 227)

“How old are you?”

“Oh, I’m focused, but I’ll be determined next August.”

Angel tells the three gunpeople, one holding Jeb, the other two held by the flock, that if they don’t leave she’ll kill Max. I mean, it’s not like she has mind control or anything.

The gunpeople say that they think Angel is bluffing, and the flock chime in about how she’s weird and unpredictable and wants Max gone and I guess they must be good actors (heaven forbid if they’re not good at everything) because the gunpeople start to leave, albeit looking strange and emotionless. (Which would imply mind control on Angel’s part, but if she were using mind control, there’d be no reason to threaten Max, so… ??????) The last one, however, shoots Jeb because Angel only told him not to hurt the bird kids! Ha ha! That’s not ridiculously contrived at all!

Chapter 66

Oh no, Jeb got shot! I wonder what Max thinks about this?

If he died, I would have some major soul-searching to do. (pg 231)

And that’s pretty much all she has to say about it. No explanation of what that soul-searching would be about, or why Jeb dying would cause it, or anything to actually make this random dramatic line anything other than a random dramatic line popped in because DRAMA!!!!

Max is at the hospital, where Jeb “looks like he’ll be fine.” I’m so glad that plot twist was relevant to the story! I don’t at all think JPatterson is just throwing in random crap!

The flock are also there, under observation because of the weird stuff going on with their skin.

Even with his [Dylan’s] messed up skin, he still looked like he’d been designed by Gods R Us. Except right now it was Trolls R Us. But, like, a troll who would totally be a pinup in all the troll teen magazines. (pg 232)

“Yeah, my family have some mysterious ailment and my father figure just got shot, but OMG DYLAN IS SO HOTT!!!!!”

Max’s mom speculates about what caused the flock’s messed up skin when Jeb walks in, looking “pale and weak” but otherwise normal after just being shot. And I guess he’s just got free reign of the hospital with nobody to keep him in his bed? What a great hospital.

Jeb says that he thinks the flock were given a genetic accelerator that’s affecting their mutations and “introducing new mutations.” He thinks that the flock’s current state is just temporary. Nobody seems to wonder why he believes this to be the case, instead theorizing about who could have done it: Dr. Gunther-Hagen. Jeb suggests they ask him about it.

The idea of contacting the doc for help was totally crazy to me. Excuse me, but hadn’t Jeb just been shot by one of the man’s employees? (pg 236)

Uh… I don’t think you have any way of knowing if those people were with Dr. Gunther-Hagen, Max. Or did you get mind-reading powers and not tell us about it? That would explain all your random moments of omniscience.

I had only one real desire right then: to go back to Colorado and drink the water. If my flock was going through this, I needed to go through it too. (pg 236)

…Max? Are you okay?

Book Four: The Totally, Completely Unthinkable

Well that’s not melodramatic.

Chapter 67

The flock slowly recover in a safehouse provided by the CSM, and after a couple of days the skin stuff is pretty much gone. On the same day they’re pretty much recovered, Angel disappears, leaving a note saying that she believes in Dr. Gunther-Hagen. She also brings back up her prophecy about Fang dying, saying that his time is nearly up and that he’s putting the rest of the flock in danger. So, you know, the same bizarro junk that’s par for the course with Angel in this book.

Chapter 68

Max spends a page looking at Fang’s neck to see if he has an expiration date like the Erasers did, but there’s nothing. What a twist!

Dylan then asks if he has an expiration date.

“I don’t know,” I said. “You were made by different people, I think.” (pg 244)

What, Max, you “think”? Haven’t you asked anyone? Really, why wasn’t that the first question out of your mouth when you were introduced to Dylan? It’s extremely relevant information!

Max spends another page checking Dylan’s neck. Basically, this chapter is entirely pointless.

Chapter 69

Max wonders where Dr. Gunther-Hagen might be and Nudge heads to the computer to use her magical skills. While she does that, Fang says he wants to come with Max to go after Angel, but Max says no because she wants him to stay safe. It’s a moment that might actually warrant a bit of melodrama and some pondering on Max’s state of mind, but JPatterson has terrible priorities when it comes to what to write about. The flock go to a museum? Fifteen pages! Max is worried about Fang and so she wants him to stay in a safehouse? A couple of paragraphs, no big.

“Um, I found an address in Malibu, weirdly enough,” said Nudge. (pg 246)

You found “an address”? What kind of address? Is it his home? A workplace? Details happen to be relevant in this case, Nudge! But no, more important to Max is that Malibu is “practically next door.” How convenient.

Chapter 70

We’re with Dr. Gunther-Hagen and Angel in this chapter, who are expecting Max. Apparently Gunther-Hagen thought it would “take longer for her to find this house.” Angel says that they’re “totally on top of the research” because of their computer, from “the CIA or the NSA or something”. Which… what? Is she talking about the Itex computer JPatterson retconned in in the third book that’s not been mentioned since?

But there’s no time for that, because after Dr. Gunther-Hagen walks away for some reason, Angel is being self-satisfied because her plan is reaching the endgame! Ooo! How dramatic! I’m totally intrigued to find out what happens next!