Category Archives: Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 16

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Chapter 121

Max fights against the Eraser robots with Jeb and the others for a bit, and then Ari collapses and dies.

Chapter 122

JPatterson gives Max a couple of paragraphs to be sad, none of which is emotionally compelling or powerful, and then it’s back to the boring fight scene. Jeb sees Ari and is sad, then tells Max that Omega can’t “track things fast with his eyes.” Which, uh. What?

Then Omega shows up and says he has been ordered to fight Max.

Chapter 123

Max punches Omega so hard that she suspects a small bone in her hand broke, and then they continue fighting. To test out what Jeb said, Max waves her hand around in front of Omega and it confuses him.

That–just–what? Why would this superhuman have such a weakness? How does that make any sense whatsoever?

It was like hypnotizing a cat. (pg 375)

…Because you’ve done that.

Max knocks out Omega, then for some reason decides that nope, she’s not going to kill him. Only she doesn’t decide not to kill him while acknowledging that she was originally going to; she just doesn’t. It’s as if JPatterson forgot what he had previously written.

Chapter 124

Conveniently, the electric net above them doesn’t keep things out (how that works, I have no idea), and so rocks start flying in. According to Angel, they’re being thrown by kids, who start shouting.

“Save the flock! Kill the Flyboys! Destroy Itex!” (pg 378)

I don’t have the mental capacity to properly explain just how horrendously ridiculous this is.

As the chant gets louder, flaming arrows begin streaking in in addition to the rocks. Marian Janssen directs the Eraser robots to get rid of the kids, but because she is a cartoon villain she forgets to turn off the electric net and so the Eraser robots just short out.

Then it turns out that the kids are using some vehicle as a battering ram.

Chapter 125

We’ve moved to omniscience and are currently in England. Yay!

Only not, because we’re at a School, where kids have begun protesting. Apparently this School wasn’t hidden like the one the flock come from, which is curious.

Then we’re in the Netherlands, where the protesting kids are using Molotov cocktails.

Then we’re in Australia, at one of the hidden away Schools, where children are riding in on motorscooters and ATVs.

Help me, guys. I think I’m going insane. Surely nobody would write such a contrived, ridiculous turn of events? Surely nobody would be such a horrible, horrible writer? Please, someone tell me this is just an elaborate joke!

…Please?

Chapter 126

We’re back with Fang, who is leading Gazzy and Iggy into the ocean. According to the book, he hits the water so streamlined that it’s not that bad, which would lead me to believe that he can somehow fit his fourteen-foot wingspan flat against (or I suppose inside, on account of the silly back-indentations) his back.

Which, no. That’s impossible.

Since the Eraser robots were horribly designed, however, they fly right into the water without question and all short out.

Chapter 127

We’re back with Max, just as the vehicular battering ram succeeds and a girl jumps out, saying that she just got her license. Who she’s speaking to, I don’t know.

Also, I just want to take a moment to note that this was all a demonstration, showing off hybrids and the like to potential investors or something. Those potential investors or whatnot, however, have not been mentioned once, including as all this panic is going on, so I can only assume that either JPatterson has no idea what he’s doing or that they never were there in the first place, in which case the demonstration was for nobody. In which case JPatterson still has no idea what he’s doing.

Max gets Nudge to fly over with her to Marian Janssen, which is possible because the electric net has shorted out from the Eraser robots. Which means that it wasn’t actually a physical thing, just electricity, which makes me wonder why Max would think it would prevent stuff from getting in. It also makes me wonder how the Eraser robots managed to short it out.

Ah, Maximum Ride logic.

Chapter 128

Max and Nudge fly Marian Janssen way up, though I’m not entirely sure how Nudge knew to do this because Max never said to. Max threatens to drop Marian unless she tells Max who her “real mom” is, and after initially refusing Marian says it’s Dr. Martinez.

Then Marian reveals for no reason that she’s part tortoise, and that she’s one hundred and seven years old (presumably she looks middle-aged?). Why they never tried to market this, well.

Chapter 129

Oh, and apparently that was the climax of the book. Never mind that it was ridiculously boring.

Max’s group are now in a cafe in Paris, where they are somehow able to videochat with Fang’s group. And that’s basically it.

Epilogue: We are the Champions–For the Moment, Anyway

Chapter 130

No, I don’t know why there’s an epilogue marker and a chapter number.

The flock are now reuniting, and then Max says she wants to go to Arizona.

Chapter 131

Oh, okay. The epilogue was just another book part.

No, I don’t think that makes any sense.

The flock are now meeting with Dr. Martinez and Ella, and Jeb is also there because of course he is. Max gives us a paragraph about how awesome Dr. Martinez is and how happy she is to have her as a mother, which, if you ask me, is still a too-convenient turn of events.

Chapter 132

Max talks a little bit about Jeb, and how she’s still not sure she can trust him but that he’s acting “normal” again. Evidently he was working with the bad guys to have information to give Max, only he barely had any information to give her, and then there’s the fact that he was gone for two years, leaving them all alone, and he never bothered to explain things to Max, or even actually give her much helpful information, and really in the end nothing he did made any sense whatsoever.

The rest of the chapter is just gushy silliness, so I’m ignoring it.

Chapter 133

Max says goodbye to Jeb (apparently the flock are leaving for… some reason), and then the book ends.

Is it just me, or was that a really crappy three books? The second one did absolutely nothing important (seriously, tell me one thing in that book that had any kind of importance), the first one only barely passes on the plot importance test since it was the first book and thus the introductory one, and about half of the third book was completely pointless.

I’ll write up some more detailed thoughts on the books and its characters later, but right now I’m feeling pretty drained. That book was crappy, you guys!

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Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 15

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Chapter 116

Fang felt a cold jolt, then dismissed it. Max wasn’t dead. He would know, somehow. He would have felt it. (pg 353)

…Right.

“We are here to kill you,” the Flyboys intoned all together.

“Then you’re out of luck,” Fang snarled, and opened fire again. Another ten Flyboys dropped, hitting the ground with somewhat sickening crunching and splatting sounds.

So the Eraser robots say they’re going to kill them, but they don’t, instead letting Fang shoot them. That’s… not very smart.

Then Fang says that it seems as if the Eraser robots are trying to capture them, which makes about zero sense. The Eraser robots say that they will torture him publicly and then make him take back everything he’s said, which also makes about zero sense and Fang points this out.

Apparently JPatterson thinks that making his heroes point out how horribly he’s written his villains makes his heroes look good and not him look bad.

Fang continues shooting, and…

“Hey!” shouted the Gasman from above. “Watch that thing!” Fang looked up to see the Gasman pointing to two holes in his jeans–Fang had shot him right through his pants, but amazingly hadn’t hit him. (pg 355)

NO.

Meanwhile, the Eraser robots continue to say how they’re going to do bad stuff to Fang and his group while literally doing nothing to accomplish this. Fang thinks that he needs a way to take out all the Eraser robots at once; apparently Iggy’s magical bombmaking skills have not been used recently.

Fang sees the ocean and begins flying that way, telling the Eraser robot that he’s one of many. Why did he say this? No idea.

Chapter 117

We’re back with Max, as Marian Janssen has her stop fighting with the superhuman (referred to as Omega by the book; I’ll start that now). Apparently it is now time for a race.

“Begin where you are,” intoned the Director [Marian Janssen]. “Run to the opposite castle wall and back, four times. May the better man win.”

I gritted my teeth. The Director was a sexist pig on top of all her other faults. (pg 357)

Okay, I don’t have anything to say about this, but remember it. Okay?

The race itself is written in the most dull, lifeless way possible, and then at the last moment Max begins flying. She flies low to avoid the electrified net in the air, which is just now being mentioned and apparently is not visible, for Max only knows about it via her clone.

She wins the race, of course.

Chapter 118

Marian Janssen is mad and disqualifies Max for flying, and now it is time for a test of strength.

I am weirdly, wickedly strong, and not just for a girl, not just for my age. (pg 360)

So a couple of pages ago, Max points out sexism, then says how she’s more than strong “for a girl.”

Does not compute.

Max continues on about how strong she is and how she’s stronger than about any adult. Why she’s this strong, I don’t know, and how she’s this strong when she has hollow bones, well.

Max is outmatched by Omega, though.

I couldn’t believe I was going to lose a strength contest to a boy. (pg 360)

…Why?

Also, I just want to take a moment to point out how silly this situation is. Apparently the best way to demonstrate a superhuman is to have them do basic tasks against another experiment of yours whose virtues you’ve never extolled. Heck, the race wasn’t even timed!

When he was pronounced the winner, he looked at me with those weird, expressionless eyes. I didn’t think he was a robot, like the Flyboys, but I did wonder if his emotions had been designed out of him. Of course, with a guy, how could I tell? Ha ha! (pg 361)

I just… I can’t understand what Max’s ideologies are when it comes to feminism. That’s not to say that she’s sexist, or that anything she says against guys is as harmful as prejudice against girls (I think I may have implied/said that in the past, though)–I just don’t understand.

Not to mention the disconnect between how she’s theoretically a feminist and yet is frequently racist, or even kind of ableist in relation to Iggy. Did she only take the time to learn feminism via her magical education?

Then it’s the test of intelligence! Max tells us how she’s really bright, but not booksmart, and how she’s only educated via TV and Jeb. Evidently Jeb is a feminist or something, because last I checked TV’s still got quite a bit of sexism ingrained in it.

Hmm.

Max is angry that the questions are mathematical (calculating the weight of the place’s walls) and supposedly not useful, because when she’s captured by the bad guys and facing her doom this is what she cares about.

Also, pointing out again how silly this is. Want to show how smart your superhuman is? Put him against some random experiment! Don’t bother to time him or anything.

Chapter 119

Angel uses her mind control to make the mutants start fighting each other, and this is apparently enough of a distraction for Max’s group to escape.

I mean, I don’t know how big this area is, or how many mutants there are, but they’re not even fighting the bad guys–they’re just fighting each other. That doesn’t seem like it would turn everything to chaos or anything.

Chapter 120

As the Eraser robots begin trying to stop the mutants, Angel directs the mutants to attack the Eraser robots. Why she came up with the idea of mind controlling the mutants but not having them attack, you know, the bad guys, I’m not sure.

I also want to point out the fact that the mutants are unhappy because they’re not being treated like people, and that Angel is literally controlling them. The book does not address how creepy and unsettling this is.

As Max begins fighting an Eraser robot (which gets her in the head with the butt of its gun, which would make me assume its gun is loaded with lethal ammunition, which makes me wonder why they don’t have rubber bullets for crowd control), Jeb appears and tells her to hit the base of their spines. Max does so, and this causes the Eraser robot to short out.

Whee!

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 14

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Chapter 111

Max decides not to tell us the worst horrors the scientists cooked up, which is awfully convenient but whatever. Though Angel does mention a “magic suit,” which is not described in the prose itself so I’m just confused.

Marian Janssen then displays detachable arm replacements, with Max whispering inane snark to nobody. Then is a woman with the fangs and agility of a panther, and then the chapter ends.

Chapter 112

Max tells us once again about how most of the other experiments from their time had died pretty quickly. Why the flock and only the flock have turned out completely fine, I don’t know, but that’s JPatterson for you.

Then we get treated to more descriptions of experiments, including a woman who can scream at super-high pitches. This causes Total pain, leaving him “biting his lip to keep from shrieking swear words.” I haven’t the foggiest of whether or not that’s possible, nor do I have any idea how to find out something like that, so I can’t really comment on that even though I think it sounds ridiculous.

Then Marian Janssen displays “nano-bullets, with their own internal guidance systems” which tear through some butterflies. Me, I’m just wondering how small bullets could possibly control themselves in the air.

Chapter 113

“What do they have against butterflies?” Nudge demanded, outraged. (pg 343)

Today in unnecessary speech description, well, just take a look at that quote.

Then a boy comes out who, according to Marian Janssen, is basically a superhuman, both stronger and smarter than anyone else. And, of course, he’s going to be fighting Max.

Chapter 114

Have I mentioned how much I can’t stand despotic psychopaths? Why, yes, Max, you have. Like, a couple hundred times.

Well, it’s for reasons like this. (pg 345)

Why is this passage in the book? It serves absolutely no purpose. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, it’s too short to go anywhere–it just… exists, for no discernible reason.

“Maximum Ride and Omega will fight to the death,” said the Director merrily, as if announcing the next croquet competition. (pg 345)

I am thoroughly baffled by this simile. It just sounds so silly and it only tenuously makes any sense and it’s completely illogical from Max’s pop culture mindset, because last I checked croquet is specifically not a feature of pop culture.

Max asks Angel to use her mind control on the superhuman, and Angel says okay but apparently does not sound hopeful.

This reminds me about how terribly JPatterson plotted out this whole story. He gives Angel mind-reading, then never does anything interesting with it aside from letting her control minds of the bad guys in the context of fight scenes. Then he reaches his Big Epic Climax and just magically makes her power useless. Given that the bad guys have never shown any signs of knowing about the mind reading as evidenced by how easily she obtained information from them when she was captured, there is no reason for them to have special mind-reading protection all of a sudden.

Then there’s the matter of Nudge’s touch-based memory, which manifested itself at just the right time to help the flock and has since been mentioned maybe three times and used about once.

The superhuman does elaborate acrobatics to reach Max for absolutely no reason and stops in front of her, giving her time to punch him.

Basically, he has no idea how to effectively take out his target.

Brilliant.

Now, let’s analyze a fight scene!

He staggered back but used the energy from my punch to fuel a spinning snap kick that would have caught me right in the neck if I weren’t a great fighter and the fastest bird kid around.

Instead, I was ready, and I grabbed the heel of his boot and whipped it to the left, yanking him off balance so that he landed hard on his back in the dirt. Hoo-yah. (pg 346)

So: Max punches superhuman, superhuman somehow uses this for a “snap kick,” Max anticipates this because she’s somehow better than him (he’s designed specifically to be a great fighter; she’s got a bit of training and experience against the inept Erasers that never fought her in this manner, so huh?), and grabs the foot headed for her neck and somehow yanks it to the side without it hitting her neck. Superhuman falls on the ground.

This… does not make a lot of sense.

In a split second he sprang up again. I blocked his hard elbow jab to my head, but his other hand knifed into my side, right over my kidney. The pain was immediate and stunning; it hurt so much that I wanted to sink to my knees and throw up.

But I hadn’t been raised that way.

It’s just pain, I told myself. Pain is merely a message, and you can ignore the message. (pg 347)

…Riiiiight.

Anyway, I can’t bring myself to go through the rest of the fight like this, partially because I don’t know much about fighting (which sort of invalidates the previous bit but whatever), but suffice to say that Max ignores all pain and decides that it’s okay to kill the superhuman because… basically, because she’s being forced to.

Which, if you might recall, is essentially the same situation she was in with her clone, and yet there she didn’t kill her. I’m not sure why this is different, and I fail to see what has changed in Max for her to come to a different conclusion.

And then this happens:

I did a spinning kick where I literally looked like a propeller, both feet off the ground, scissoring at Omega with my powerful legs. (pg 348)

BAHAHAHA.

Anyway, Max temporarily bests the superhuman and makes some jokes based on the Greek alphabet which she of course knows, and then the superhuman throws her off how dramatic only not!

Chapter 115

We’re back with Fang, and somehow a bunch of Eraser robots located him and are now attacking.

I’m extremely confused by this turn of events.

Fang flies “straight through the crowd of Flyboys.” These “Flyboys” (if you remember, that’s what the book calls the Eraser robots) all have guns, and yet the worst Fang gets is a grazed shoulder.

RIIIIGHT.

Oh, and then the Eraser robots hit the plane with their gun’s bullets and it blows up.

Google search time! Namely,  “can you blow up a plane by shooting its gas tank?”

Results: A Mythbusters episode summary that involves them busting the myth of being able to blow up a tank of gasoline by shooting it. A quick look at Wikipedia later, and it would seem that aviation fuel may even have additives to reduce the chance of ignition at high temperatures.

Conclusion: This situation is bogus.

AND THEN Fang grabs one of the Eraser robot’s gun, has to turn off the safety for some reason (why the heck would the safety be on?), and then shoots a bunch of the Eraser robots.

This makes no sense whatsoever. There is no way that Fang would be able to get so far without being hit by the Eraser robots, let alone take one of the guns (keep in mind that since Max’s “no guns” rule is mentioned, it can be assumed that he’s never even used a gun) and shoot ten of them.

What the hell, JPatterson?

…Yeah. I think I’ll stop here.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 13

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(Sorry for the late update! Life got in the way.)

Chapter 103

The scientists leave, and Max’s mom gives us an interesting tidbit:

“You were designed to be very smart, Max,” she told me. “We electrically stimulated your synaptic nerve endings while your brain was developing.” (pg 311)

Now, I’m not an expert, and I haven’t the first clue of how I’d check into the legitimacy of this, but to my untrained ears this sounds like some bogus science.

Then Max’s mom makes Max very angry and Max goes on this tirade that might sound cool if Max didn’t interrupt every paragraph to tell us how cool it was. The gist of it, though, is that Max will somehow make everything complicated even though the current options are 1) work for the Chinese or 2) die.

Somehow I don’t think she will manage this. Or if she does, it will be ridiculously contrived.

Chapter 104

Max gives us a paragraph explaining that no matter how difficult our lives are, hers is worse.

*Seeths*

Anyway, she’s back in the dungeon for… some reason, and then Jeb comes in and starts talking to her. He tells her that being Marian Janssen’s daughter could put her in a position of power, and asks her what she’d do with that power.

“And I would seize all the offshore hidden bank accounts of companies and people who had contributed to ruining the environment. With that money, I would make sure that health care and education were available to everyone for free.” (pgs 317-318)

I seriously don’t understand why I haven’t heard of Fox News ripping this apart. Seriously.

I felt Nudge and Angel smile against my shoulders, and I sat up straighter. “Plus, housing and food for everyone. Companies that polluted would be shut down and banished. People in the government who ignored the environment and started wars would be booted out of office and made to work in the fields. (pg 318)

Look, JPatterson, I don’t wholly disagree with Max, but this is ridiculously egregious. Come on.

But apparently this speech made Max pass a test, at least according to Jeb.

Chapter 105

Jeb says that her speech means that she’s uncorruptable (???), reveals that Marian Janssen is not biologically related to Max, and says that he is Max’s father.

Brilliant plotting, JPatterson. Really brilliant.

Chapter 106

Max is ridiculously shocked by this, and says that for “years and years” she had wished that he was her dad.

That is, regardless of the fact that he raised her and loved her and cared for her, she didn’t view him as her dad. Apparently you have to be biologically related to someone to really care about them or something.

This is just text and thus you can’t tell, but I’m really grossed out right now. JPatterson’s usage of Max as a mouthpiece clearly means he thinks of himself, or Max, or both, as some sort of moral genius(es), and yet these books are constantly spouting off offensive values–“Indian names,” requirement of biological relation for parenthood, only thinking to teach Nudge and Angel how to make cookies despite Iggy being the best cook, the characters themselves fitting neatly into preconceptions of how their genders should act…

Urgh.

Then Jeb says that Max’s biological mother is Dr. Martinez, AKA Ella’s mom, AKA the character Max randomly stumbled into in the first book and absolutely loves.

HOW CONVENIENT.

Chapter 107

Max then says that Dr. Martinez is Hispanic and that Max doesn’t look like her, which on the one hand cool, some confirmed racial diversity; on the other hand, I guess Max is too good to look anything but white? Or something? I mean, I certainly can’t think of a reason for her to not look mixed race, considering that that’s some nice diversity.

Blah blah blah Max doesn’t want Jeb to be her father chapter end.

Chapter 108

Angel asks about the files they had found with addresses and whatnot, and Jeb says that either the flock misinterpreted them or they were planted by Marian Janssen; either way, finding the rest of the flock’s parents is a no go.

So, considering that Anne Walker has yet to show up again and the files were useless, the entire first two thirds of School’s Out–Forever were completely and utterly useless.

If this isn’t proof that JPatterson has absolutely no idea what he’s doing with the plots of these books, I don’t know what is.

Jeb says that there’s a “final test” for Max after “the rally”, and the chapter ends.

Chapter 109

Oh god it’s more Fang’s blog.

The gist of it is basically that kids have begun organizing… things. What things, I have no idea, because they seem to be related to Itex even though Fang never mentioned Itex or anything more than the By-Half plan, and I refuse to believe that a bunch of kids heard that evul scientists were going to kill half of the population and decided to do… something about it.

Okay, so far as I can tell, these somethings may be protests? Which seems absurd–all these kids know is “these bad guys want to kill us!” and apparently saying that is going to do something.

I do not understand this book’s logic.

Fang and his group are currently waiting for a freight plane that they’re going to sneak onto.

It was torture to wait until six like this, and then the whole flight across the ocean, and then look for Max somewhere in Germany. (pg 332)

I cannot for the life of me figure out how this sentence’s grammar makes any sense whatsoever.

Chapter 110

Max’s group are now outside, and Max thinks about how Dr. Martinez and Ella are basically her favorite people outside of the flock.

How convenient that they’re her biological family AKA somehow more important.

Max points out how the Eraser robots now have their guns connected directly to their arms and how this is an improvement over the previous model, which used guns manually.

A question: you are making a weapon robot. Do you: take the time and resources to program it to operate guns not connected to it, guns that can be dropped and lost, or: build weapons right into their arms?

Yeah.

Marian Janssen comes out and begins her speech, and then it’s time for some reveal.

Tune in next week to find out what that reveal is!

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 12

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Aaand we’re back! Since I had forgotten what was going on well enough to accidentally start writing this spork part from seven chapters back, I think a recap is in order. Last we left Max, she was in a walled in outdoors area in the bad guys’ castle fortress when Max’s clone showed up.

With that surprisingly short recap out of the way, let’s  jump in!

Chapter 98

Max’s clone talks to Max, and then Nudge… well, I’ll just quote the book.

“Baa,” Nudge bleated. “Baaa.” (pg 294)

…Yeah.

Then Max’s clone says that the experiments, including herself, are rejects and are being destroyed, and so she’s on Max’s side.

What does Max have to say about this?

She could have totally been lying, of course. In fact, it was safest to assume that she was. But her words were all too likely the truth. (pg 295)

Don’t tell us why they’re likely the truth, though. That would actually make sense.

Max’s clone says that the experiments are all being slowly killed, disappearing from the yard where they’re being forced to walk in an oval, which makes about zero sense but okay. Also, Max says that she thought they’d have a few days to regroup and “find a way out of this.”

Which, what. The bad guys say they’re going to kill you, and you expect to get a few days to just lollygag around?

Then, again, with these villains…

Max bumps into a “mutant” (in quotes because they’re called that, but I don’t know why), who leaves a piece of paper in her hand saying Fang is coming.

I just.

Chapter 99

I’d just like to note that since the chapter numbers take up a third of a page, this book has thirty wasted pages so far. ANd that’s before you even take into account the gaps at the end of chapters.

Also, the “mutants” that are in the yard are apparently all murmuring stuff. What stuff?

Unfair. Lied to us. So many of us gone. Don’t want to disappear. Don’t want to be retired. What to do? There are so many of them. Too many of them. This is a prison. A prison of death. Unfair. I did nothing wrong. Except exist. (pg 299)

And I’m not buying it. I mean… it just seems silly, and not very, I dunno, realistic? I can’t really put it into words. I just don’t believe that these “mutants” are all murmuring their thoughts like this.

Then an “electronic buzzer” “tells” Max’s group to go back inside, which makes me wonder what the point of that whole excursion was on the bad guy’s end. Let Max interact with a bunch of scorned experiments? Makes perfect sense!

As they head back inside, ter Borcht is there and says he wishes to speak with them “vun last time.”

Chapter 100

With chapter 100, we reach page 300. That’s an average of three pages per chapter.

This will never not irritate me.

Max’s group get directed into a “white, sterile-looking lablike room”, at which point Angel mind-tells Max that she can’t control ter Borcht’s mind.

How convenient for the plot!

“So!” said ter Borcht, coming towards us. “I vass verry disappointed dat you are not dead by now!”

“Vee feel de same vay about you!” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

His eyes narrowed. Really, sometimes I impress even me. (pg 301)

Have I mentioned how much I dislike Max?

Five scientists, whom Max feels the need to identify as Asian (after speculating that they might be Chinese), walk in and Total says how their lab coats are “last season’s” and look “Revenge of the Nerds”-y.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike Total?

Then Max starts referring to the five scientists as the “Clean Team” because sure, and they inspect Max’s group. She brings up how she heard that some country wanted to buy them as weapons, which if you remember had been China, so at least that sort of tells us why she needed to specify their ethnicity? I guess JPatterson was trying to go for subtle but forgot that to do that you shouldn’t have your character speculate if the characters are from the very country that you said wanted to buy your character.

Chapter 101

No, I don’t know why this was a chapter break, either.

“Ah, hallo,” one guy said in heavily accented English. “We will ask you some questions, okay?” (pg 304)

I don’t really connect “hallo” to Chinese accents, but okay.

The “one guy” asks Max for her name, she gives him a number, he asks Nudge for her name, and she says it’s “Jessica Miranda Alicia Tangerine Butterfly.”

How do the scientists react?

They turned to Angel. “We will call you Little One,” the leader said, obviously deciding to dispense with the whole confusing name thing. (pg 305)

BAHAHAHAHA.

“Okay,” Angel said agreeably. “I’ll call you Guy in a White Lab Coat.” He frowned.

“That can be his Indian name,” I suggested. (pg 305)

You know, for one who’s fairly adept at pointing out sexism, Max is being really racist right now.

The scientists continue asking questions, the flock continue being failsnarky, and JPatterson continues his trend of making anybody and everybody who shouldn’t be, really easily riled up by the flock’s bad attempts at sarcasm. (That sentence is kinda confusing; what I mean is, those who really shouldn’t be, are.)

“You know, Borchy,” I said in a loud whisper, “you might want to lay off the fried foods.” I patted my stomach, then pointed to his much, much bigger one. (pg 306)

I am really, really, really disgusted with Max right now.

Then Max’s mom comes in!

Chapter 102

Mom–Marian Janssen–greeted the Chinese scientists warmly, so I figured they were offering her a big chunk of change to buy us as weapons. (pg 308)

So, first Max thinks they might be Chinese, then she refers to them as Asian, then she calls them the Clean Team, and now she magically knows they’re Chinese.

I’m really not impressed with JPatterson’s consistency.

Anyway, Ms. Janssen asks the scientists if the flock are cooperating, they say no, so she takes out a PDA and starts answering their questions.

“Max, here,” she said, gesturing to me, “has exceeded two hundred miles an hour, straight on, and upward of two hundred and sixty miles an hour in a steep dive.” (pg 308)

You could argue that the flock having wings is acceptable, due to the fiction part of science fiction. You cannot argue that un-aerodynamic human bodies with wings grafted on can go twice as fast as the fastest bird, a species designed specifically for flight.

JPatterson fails credibility forever and ever.

Then Marian says how high Max has gone, which is about thirty-one thousand feet. I don’t know the feasibility of that, nor do I feel like taking the time to find out, so whatever.

Max speculates that Mary got her information from the chip in Max’s arm, and then the one scientist asks how much weight the flock can carry. Her female parental unit says that they can carry four-fifths of their own weight for about an hour, and a half of their weight indefinitely. Again, not gonna look into the feasibility of that but if it’s anything above the average, I’m calling bogus because of the whole hollow bones thing.

Max’s ma goes on about the flock’s body fat and whatnot, when Max butts in and says there’s no way she’s going to be a weapon. Maria Jania just says they can find a way to motivate Max and her group, and Max says okay, but that they’re going to need a bunch of silly stuff, to which the scientists respond…

They nodded eagerly, thrilled at my giving in, which, frankly, was pathetic. I mean, don’t they have cynics in China? Clearly these guys were not the brightest crayons in the box. (pg 310)

I. Hate. Max.

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports Spork Part 11

Standard

Note that Fang’s blog is incredibly popular, and yet Itex has for some reason not found it and shut it down.

Just sayin’.

Chapter 90

Max spouts some sarcasm at Jeb, who tells her she can still save the world. Then he speaks with the voice of the voice inside Max’s head, which is extremely confusing because I don’t know what Max’s voice sounds like, so I can’t tell if Jeb is talking and his voice is inexplicably different or if he’s basically just putting on an accent. But I think the fact that Jeb is the voice is supposed to be dramatic, even though he’s pretty much the only known character it could be.

Chapter 91

We’re back with Fang, who’s in an internet cafe with Iggy and Gazzy when his magical senses tell him someone’s looking at him.

And, in an incredibly convenient twist, the person is the homeless, computer-knowledgeable kid the flock met in New York. I’m not going to bother to ask how he got all the way to the west coast, and the book doesn’t bother explaining it, either.

Anyway, the reason why the kid showed up? To help Fang, of course! That is, to “get a message through to every kid on the ‘net, everywhere in the world”. Which, suuuure.

Chapter 92

Let’s just take a moment to ponder the ridiculousness of this particular plot point: a homeless kid from New York got all the way to the west coast, at which point he just happened to run into Fang, at which point he agreed to send a message to every kid in the world. (Which is impossible.)

Then Gazzy wants a muffin so Fang gives him money, which makes me wonder where Fang gets his money from. Or the flock in general, really; I don’t think the issue of money has been brought up since the first book.

The more and more you look, the more and more everything in these books falls apart.

Fang introduces his group to the kid, who’s named Mike, and Mike recognizes Fang because of his blog. However, Mike requires proof of the wings, so they head upstairs and Mike unlocks the door to a storage room because of course he has the key.

Fang shows Mike his wings, etc. etc.

Chapter 93

Mike starts creating a code to send a message to every kid in the world (I will never not find this funny, by the way) when Fang gets the email from Max asking him to come help. He brushes it off for a moment, and gets started writing his message to every kid in the world.This message will apparently take the form of a basic virus (I think this is basic stuff? All I know is that I know about it as a technique) and send emails to people, then use those people’s address books to send more emails.

How this will get to every kid, and how it will avoid adults, I do not know. I also don’t know why only kids are capable of helping.

Chapter 94

Here’s the message, which I’m quoting in full because WOW:

Hey. If you get this message, we might have a chance. I mean the world might have a chance. Long story short: The grown-ups have taken a nice clean planet and trashed it for money. Not every grown-up. But a bunch of them, over and over, choose money and profits over clean air and water. It’s their way of telling us they don’t give a rat’s butt about us, the kids, who are going to inherit what’s left of the Earth.

A group of scientists want to take back the planet before it’s too late and stop the pollution. Good, right? Only problem is they think they need to get rid of half the world’s population to do it. So it’s like: Save the planet so the pollution doesn’t kill people, or . . . just kill people to start with, to save everyone time. For you kids at home, that’s called “flawed logic.” I mean, call me crazy, but that seems like a really bad plan.

The other thing about these scientists is that they’ve tried to create a new kind of human who might survive better, like if there’s a nuclear winter or whatever. I won’t go into the details, but let me just say that this idea is as boneheaded and dangerous as their “kill half the people” plan.

What I’m saying is: It’s up to us. You and me. Me and my flock, you and your friends. The kids. We want–we deserve–to inherit a clean, unmessed-up planet, and still keep everyone who’s already living on it.

We can do it. But we have to join together. We have to take chances. Take risks. We have to get active and really do something, instead of just sitting at home playing Xbox. This isn’t a game. We can’t defeat the enemy by hitting them with our superlaser guns.

We want our planet back.

Kids matter. We’re important. Our future is important.

ARE YOU WITH ME? (pgs 282-283)

I swear, this book is quickly becoming the poster child for liberal brainwashing, and I don’t even think that’s a thing.

But seriously: this pops up in your inbox. You’re a kid. What do you do? Certainly not go out and fix everything, if only because Fang doesn’t say how or even give contact information.

Chapter 95

Now it’s time for Fang’s group to head to Germany!

Chapter 96

Max gives us the time-old play off of the “when life gives you lemons” saying, because of course she does. Then she starts trying to teach Ari to spell his name for some reason. (I’m not sure I mentioned it, but the book previously disclosed that Ari can’t read or write.)

Jeb had taught me and Fang to read. I’d taught Gazzy and Nudge and Angel. We were a little shaky with spelling and grammar sometimes, but all of us could forge signatures like a pro. (pg 287)

And yet Fang’s message was grammatically sound. And Nudge’s email to Fang was pretty much perfect. So, uh.

Max sort of apologizes for almost killing Ari in New York, and he says that she did kill him but that the scientists “fused some of the bones in my [his] neck.”

I feel like that’s not how anything, ever, works.

Ari and Max have a heart-to-heart over Jeb which sounds human when you forget that it’s another instance of informed emotions that are never actually shown. Then the chapter ends.

Chapter 97

Max’s group are taken out to what they describe as being similar to a prison yard, AKA outside but walled in, but they don’t fly away because that would be intelligent. Then Max tells us about how her group has collars on their necks, which she assumes would shock them if they try to escape.

Now, this is something I’ve noticed throughout the book: Max will tell us something at the beginning of the chapter, then refuse to elaborate on it until later (for instance, at the beginning of this chapter, she says they get moved to somewhere bad, but this place is not described for another page). She’ll also withhold important information for much longer than she should, which just creates an awkward reading experience because I’m having to ask basic questions and then wait for their simple answers.

Also, Angel asks if this is what prisons will be like after the By-Half Plan ends (or starts? It’s been a while since we were informed it was starting, but nothing has yet happened), Max says yes, Nudge asks why they’d need prisons when they’re trying to stop the fighting, Max says Nudge is right, and none of them stop to think that this being a prison has never been established.

And then Max’s clone is there!