souls

Jun. 8th, 2011 01:57 pm
kippurbird: (Sylar stole Spock's brain.)
Can books have a soul?

I think so.

All the books I've gone over have a soul. The writers, no matter how bad they, are invested in them. They care about the characters, the story, the world. They're writing isn't all that great, the way put the story together is sometimes shoddy and a host of other problems, but you know what? The authors cared.

They put effort into it and that gave the book substance. Something to work with. Some meat on the bones of the story. Maximum Ride has no soul. It's just words on paper. There's no effort in it. No care. It feels like a book report dashed off at three in the morning the day it's due.

Which is why I have nothing to work with.

Sure some people may like it. And if they do, that's fine. I won't begrudge them this.

But if there's been no effort, then how can I criticize it beyond saying there's no effort.

With life currently as upside down as it is, what with work being annoyingly vague on what's going to be happening. Yes. Because that never causes anxiety with an autistic person not knowing what the routine is going to be.

Ffft.

But I mean I don't think I can do any real focus on it. And considering there doesn't seem to be anything to work with, I may really just have to give up on it.





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kippurbird: (Awakward Roran)
Well.

The damnedest thing happened and I feel a bit embarrassed about it too.

I've got nothing to say about Maximum Ride. All I've been doing lately is summarizing what's been happening. There's nothing to look at. There's nothing there. I have absolutely nothing to say about this book any more.

It's so ... uninteresting from a writing perspective that it's just words on paper. My cat could come up with something better for me to look at trying to bite my hand while I'm typing. I mean it's worse than uninteresting. It's bland, lifeless, it's empty. There's no effort here.

There's no love.

That's what it is.

There's no love here. The writing feels like no one cared.

Considering the rumors I've heard that there's ghost writing involved, this makes sense.

I can't analyze what's not there and I feel like I'm harping on the same things over and over again. Nothing happens. Nothing changes. And the wings piss me off. There's no new revelations with each turn of the page. No strange and weird fuck-ups or plot holes or twisting the rules of magic on the head or contradictions.

There might as well not be any words on the page. They have the same effect on me. Actually blank pages would be more interesting. I could doodle on them.



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On an Egg related note, DragonCave is supposed to be getting a bunch of new features next week including teleport. I say this because some people on here are DC'vers and trades are FUN! :D
kippurbird: (Elf Queen)
Part Thirteen



We’re with Pump and Iggy up in a tree. Iggy wants to know what’s going on. Apparently the Eraserheads are there, having set up camp where the helicopter used to be. Pump doesn’t want to go back with them. He’s afraid, still having nightmares of being stuck in cages and tested on. More than reasonable.

Okay, so the School is evil, they do keep the kids in cages. Clearly cramped cages, so it makes you wonder how they were able to fly when they fled.

But that’s details.

They watch as a humvee drives down the road and gets blown up by one of the bombs they set up. The Eraserheads weren’t badly injured as they’re able to get out of the car. And instead just look mad. Pump has a bit of a crisis of conscious as he’s not sure he should feel bad if they got hurt or died. He rationalizes that it’s okay because they took his sister, at least if they got hurt a little after all they’re took her.

This is interesting. Pump is having a moral conflict. It’s quickly resolved, much like Eragon’s are, but it’s still there. Which is nice. I don’t know if anyone else is. Admittedly they’re all focused on the idea of these people tortured us, so I can see it. But even when Max saw Ari she never seem to have any sort of second thoughts about the Eraserheads being evil.

Phase one being done, which apparently just consisted of the one oil bomb thing, they have to figure out what phase two should be.

They haven’t come up with Phase two yet.

Great planners they are. Yup Yup.

The planning of phase two involves going to ‘the old cabin’ for a minute. I have no idea why. Why only a minute? What’s the point of going there? I could see it if they’re going there to avoid being at the house, but just to go there for a minute? I dun get it.

Pump is cool with this saying that they’ve done enough good for one day.

I thought they weren’t trying to do good so much as trying to prevent themselves from getting captured and tortured by evil scientists. These Eraserheads have been compared to bloodhounds and evil wolves that never give up hunting their prey until they catch it.

Iggy and Pump didn’t even substantially hurt these people and they’re calling it a day? I’m sure the eraserheads aren’t going to be calling it a day.

So, they go to the cabin. They know that eighty years ago loggers used this cabin as a base camp and that it’s been abandoned for thirty years. Why do we need to know this? I don’t know. The cabin is in disrepair. Great. Tell me that. Telling me that the cabin used to be used for logging eighty years ago doesn’t tell me anything. Nor does telling me that it was abandoned for thirty years. They’re very nice and exact dates. Round numbers. I like round numbers. They’re nice and round. However they don’t help me picture anything about the cabin. Nor does calling it a dump.

Honestly I just see Iggy and Pump in a white space. Just floating heads really. Floating and talking heads. Probably with wings coming out of their ears for all the description I get.

They’re in the cabin and Iggy is fondling the bomb when they hear a scratching at the door. OH NOES it’s the Eraserheads! They’ve found them! And they’re going to have to fight!

It’s a blind kid and an eight year old against huge muscly guys with wolf genes. I wonder who is going to win!


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kippurbird: (Abandon hope)
Part Twelve

In regards, first of all, to the Evil Scientists who continue to call Angel it. Yes, I realize that they’re deliberately calling her it because they don’t want to see her as human etc and I understand that. And I suppose I shouldn’t have a problem with it, except that it just makes them so one-dimensional. We know they’re evil. Please stop hitting me on the head with the evil stick to prove that they’re evil. I know they’re evil.

Okay. So back to Max. She steps out of the woods and calls out to the girl, Ella who is initially wary of her. When Max tells her that she’s been shot, the girl is more amenable to being helpful. She says that Max should come inside with her. Max hesitates.

Guess what. I hesitated. Here was the moment of decision. Until I stepped into that house, I could still turn and run, escape. Once I was in that house, it would be much harder. Call it a little quirk of my personality, but I tend to freak out if I feel trapped anywhere. We all do - the flock, I mean. Living in a cage during your formative years can do that.

But I was honest enough with myself to know that I really couldn’t go on like this - wet, cold, starving and a little wonky from loss of blood. I had to suck it up and accept help. From strangers.


Personally I would be more on the not being trapped and freaking out worrying so much as the what if they freak out and refuse to help me because I have wings. Remember those? The reason why she is afraid of being seen by anyone, not because she’s reluctant to accept help or she doesn’t want to be trapped.

Ella sees the blood and starts to free out. She calls out for her mom - there’s no dad in the picture - for help.

And we skip - from that lovely tense moment as Max tries to decided if she should stay or run. She felt frozen at least. I would think a better word would be she froze. She felt frozen meant that she felt like she couldn’t move. She froze means that she doesn’t move, stuck in a moment of indecision.

We skip, as I said, to Iggy and Pump who have set up a bomb, Iggy the one doing all the hard work. Even though he’s blind. They’ve basically set out booby traps like in the home alone movies. Oil slicks, nails in the road, trip wires. Things like that. And then they go back to the house.

And that was the entirety of chapter thirty. Why was this necessary to show us?

We do get a bit about Pump worrying about his sister and hoping that Max has rescued her already, but other than that, nothing happens here. We did not need to read about them setting up a booby trap and then flying home.


And we go back to Max. There we meet the mother. Max gives her real name and then wishes she didn’t, apparently thinking it was stupid of her. The thing is, didn’t she give herself her name after she escaped from the School so no one in the school would know her name. And besides, that the school is Top Secret and no one knows about it so who would anyone tell. It’s not like there are wanted posters everywhere for the flying bird kids.

Somehow no one has noticed her wings yet. Clearly her windbreaker is doing a fantastic job and she’s not molting. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t notice thirteen feet of wings, would you? Nope. So Ella and her mom have the worst spot check evah and mom has Ella take Max to the bathroom while she gets her stuff.

In an amazing piece of luck it turns out that Ella’s mom is a Vet. Yes. Not only did Max just happen to run into the girl she helped, but the girls mother just happens to be a veterinarian.

She just happens to be that lucky.

What are the odds of that?

Gee.

*throws things*

So Ella’s mom sends Ella to get Max some juice and she starts checking out Max’s injuries.

Apparently Max’s wings, we now learn, are able to tuck and fold into an indentation against her spine. Yes. Wings, bones and all are able to tuck against her spine so that no feathers show, not even her long flight feathers. Which should, if she’s going to be able to fly, go past her legs. But I think I’ve harped on the wing issues enough.

They’re shocked to see the wing, but Ella’s mom just acts all natural about it. Which is cool of her, I will admit. She’s a doctor/vet and they’re trained to take care of the injured ask questions later. If they were always busy asking questions then treating their patients would probably be in worse shape than if they treated first.

Though, I’m not sure why she A. Needs a tetinus shot and B. why should wouldn’t have gotten one while in the School.

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FFFGGGGT

Apr. 27th, 2011 11:50 pm
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)
Part eleven

And we’re back to Max.. Yay.

She’s bleeding from the shoulder and still running from the yahoos that shot her.The yahoos are still following her. Because after being injured like that they’re going to go after Max as opposed to seek medical attention. But, as we all know, that would make sense!

As she runs, unable to fly, she mentions the fact she screwed up and Angel is being subjected to who knows what sorts of torments. She also realizes now that she can’t get in contact with Nudge and Fang because they don’t have cell phones or any other way to get a hold of them.

… dur.

I think I called that awhile ago.

Just because you realize you’ve been holding the idiot ball, does not stop you from being considered an idiot.

Of course, it starts to rain.

Why not?

It’s not like they mentioned storm clouds earlier. Because you know, that would be something that would make it difficult to fly or anything.

Of course then again they failed to mention a helicopter earlier which dropped a bunch of eraserheads onto the group.

I’m starting to form an interesting picture here. Max clearly has absolutely no ability to notice her environment whatsoever. Neither do any of the other kids. The EVIL Scientists must have taken away their ability to notice things when they did their Evil Scientist Things to them.

In an amazing bit of coincidence (not) Max finds the house of the girl she saved. HOW LUCKY IS THAT?! Now she doesn’t have to completely introduce herself to some stranger of which she has no connection to! Instead she has an already SYMPATHETIC person who will be willing to help her.

How about that?

How lucky can that plot contrivance be?

Since she’s fairly certain that Ella is going to be friendly to her - which of course she is - she steps out of the bushes where the girl is waiting for her dog to do his thing.


EXCITEMENT OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN BEING HELD OFF. GOING TO ANGEL NOW

SAD

Well, not really.

We get more thoughts from the scientists folk. They’re boring. About blood samples and eegs. Angel is wondering where Max is as she’s in her dog crate.

So, they keep the kids in dog crates. Evil.

How is it that they’re reasoning human individuals then? They treat them like animals. They should be .. I don’t know, I want to say somewhat feral? Like those other kids that Angel saw in the other dog crates. I mean we haven’t seen any other keeping methods. They keep on calling her it.

Which is just really irritating. I mean I worked in a vivarium before. That’s where you keep the lab animals for experiments. There were lots of mice and rats. We had evil frogs of evil. Seriously these frogs were evil - if they bit you the only way you could get it off your finger was to wait until it opened its mouth to take in more of your finger. And we had bunnies. We named the bunnies, cause there were only three of them. The female mother rats were always “momma”. We played with the baby rats.

Not one of the animals was an ‘it’.

Even the nasty evil frogs weren’t an it.

And they weren’t even humanoid animals.

This is a little girl, an obvious little girl, even though she has wings, and they’re calling her “it”.

That just makes no sense. No real human would act like that.

Clearly they’re pod people. I refuse to believe that any real human would be able to consistently be unable to identify with a subject enough that they can’t even assign a gender value to it. It’s not how humans work. We assign genders to BOATS for crying out loud.

BOATS

If a boat can be a woman, then a little girl can be a she.

If Jayne can name his gun Vera, then a little girl can be a she.

If the Doctor can call his TARDIS a sexy thing, and stroke it in all sorts of wrong ways, then a little girl can be a she.

If Jack Sparrow and various pirates can call the Black Pearl a she, then a little girl can be a she.

If Data an android can be called a he then a little girl of flesh and blood can be called a she!

It’s not that hard!

Really!

Just.

And.

ARGH

And THEN to make matters even worse, we go over to Iggy and Pump and they’ve made a bomb. But that’s not the worst thing. The worst thing is that Pump gives Iggy a shirt to wear and then they go out and FLY

WITH SHIRTS ON.

*throws things and stomps off*


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kippurbird: (._.; ... Yeah..)
Part Nine

Now we are with Fang and Nudge. Nudge is hungry so they go and land in a cave. The cave gets more description than a lot of other things in this book. However I don’t know how old the cave is. I am seriously disappointed in this. How am I supposed to relate to the cave and what’s going on there if I don’t know how old it is?

You know what I just realized? They don’t have anyway of getting in contact with each other. Max said meet me at the north of Lake Mead. But the north end of Lake Mead is HUGE. And they’re in a cave, how is Max supposed to find them in a cave or at all? It’ll take forever for her to find them or them to find her. Since she got shot and all. I mean it’s one thing to say meet me at the north of Lake Mead when you have an already established meeting place that you’ve decided on before hand. If you have no landmark then you might as well just say “Meet me over there... in that direction … at some unspecified time.”

*pokes the plot hole.*

*sticks head through*

I think I can fit an elephant in here.

Maybe three.

Anyway the land in the cave and Fang gives Nudge dried fruit and candy. Gee that house was awfully well stocked for being covered in dust. But still don’t know if they have a can opener or not.

Apparently, also, when the two of them completely landed in the cave they completely missed a bunch of nests that are two feet across and filled with baby birds. Especially birds that are the size of the ferruginous hawk which are the largest raptors in the states. The birds are staring at Nudge and Fang and completely didn’t put up a fuss when they first landed but now Fang is afraid that they’ll attack them now.

Fang disarms them from being hostile by letting them catch the scent of his wings. Because the wild birds are going to relax in the scent of humans right next to their fledglings even if they have wings because they’re still going to smell like humans. Clearly these birds are made of plot contrivance.

Nudge actually is the one who remembers that hey, aren’t they supposed to be looking for Angel (age six) because “she’s like a little sister, like everyone’s little sister.” Why is she telling this to Fang, who lives with Angel and likely sees her like his little sister. And that Max has to come back.

Fang says yeah, she will and then look at how that hawk is flying! Fang decides than instead of comforting his ‘little sister’ about how worried she is about Max and Angel, he’s going to emulate the hawks flying. Which I suppose is kinda okay, in a sense, if he’s not very good at emotional things. But I would have liked to have had some sort of indication of this. Like before he suggested going to mimic the hawks in flight he shifts nervously, uncertain as to how to deal with it.

Nudge goes and joins him... after brushing crumbs off her shirt... and then flying without taking off her shirt... why do I even bother any more?

So she flies with the hawks. Which are completely not scared of them being near the fledglings.

You know, we’ve had our new parakeet for about six months now, maybe a bit longer. He’s still very shy of us and we’ve been handling him since near day one. These are hawks. Wild birds. With young. They’re not going to be allowing any human to go flying with them. They’d be attacking them.

Even ‘tame’ hawks need to be handled with care as they’ll harm their handlers.

The entire reason for this? So that Nudge can angst about how the birds have better parents than she did.


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kippurbird: (English language)
Part Nine

Max goes and lands. She hides behind a warehouse and ties her windbreaker around her neck....

HOW THE HELL IS SHE WEARING A WINDBREAKER WITH WINGS?!

Why does she even have one in the first place? And how does tying it around her neck hide her thirteen feet wingspan? She pulls them into a tight accordion …

Look! Accordion wings!
WINGS )
Everybody! Polka!


Bad imagery. Bad! No cookie!

I’m sorry, but that is NOT what you want a reader to picture.

And wings do not work like that. Unless you want to break your bones.

She considers herself perfectly normal looking now with her Clark Kent disguise of A WINDBREAKER OVER HER WINGS! :O

Thus disguised she goes around the corner to discover that there are three guys surrounding a girl about eleven. One of them says that he told her “not to tell anybody about my little situation with Ortiz”.

You know, there’s nothing wrong with having a situation with someone. I mean, it’s okay to like another guy now a days.

Oh, wait it turns out apparently the speaker is beating up Ortiz so bad he looks like he was hit by a car. There. Now we know that these guys are evil and deserve whatever they get.

They’re also armed and Max gives us this:

One of them was holding a shotgun loosely in the crook of his arm. America, right to bear arms, yada, yada, yada. How old were these yahoos? Did their parents know they had guns?

Being in Arizona, probably yes, their parents knew and they were probably okay with it. Oh and goody, Max has watched Seinfeld. I hate Seinfeld.

She steps out from behind the building and SUDDENLY is a mind reader because she knows what these guys are thinking.

“Just another stupid girl,” they thought, relieved.

Yes, they all thought the same exact thing. What about “Oh it’s not the authorities/teacher/someone they know/my boyfriend” or who knows what. I mean unless you are actually a mind reader and we’ve only been told that it’s Angel who can read minds, then you’re not going to know what someone is thinking and it’s highly unlikely that the would be thinking the same exact thing. And why would they be thinking ‘just another stupid girl’.

I would be more wary of a stranger who just randomly shows up like Max does, especially if she’s all beaten up.

And then then turn their backs on her. Because you know, if you’re going to be bully someone you’re going to keep on doing it in front of witnesses.

The guys continue to be dumb and evil - you already know they’re evil because they’re carrying a gun and threatening to beat up a little girl when Max comes up to them and says one of the more original things you can say when starting a fight, “Three guys against one girl. That seems about even.”

One of them tells her to “shut up chick

Lamest insult ever. Unless they were talking about Jack Chick. (Yes that is a TVtropes link) Then that would be pretty insulting. I mean, if someone called me Jack Chick I would have words with them. First I would go and get my boffer sword (long) which has a +3 proficiency bonus but I’m not very proficient with it so that’s a -2 and my D&D notebook as well as my wand from Alivains. From there I would realize that I need another hand and thus stow my wand. Having stowed my wand, I would chase after said person with my sword and proceed to beat them with it using some of the spells with it from the Swordmage class -since that’s highest level PC. I will proceed to not teleport around or make fire with my sword, but I’m pretty sure I could still beat them pretty easily.

And yes. I did just do that. Why? Because it was more entertaining than reading this book.

She tells them she’s going to kick their butts. They laugh at her. She’s confident because she’s stronger than an average man and trained in self-defense by Jeb. Genetic engineering at work. She beats up the three guys, of course, with her self defense skills she’s apparently never seriously used until yesterday, she says. She even manages to disarm the one with the shotgun who … rushes at her.

With a gun. And doesn’t shoot her. I only bring this up because one of the other ones with a gun does try to shoot her, after also rushing her.

God these people are stupid.

She beats them up breaking a nose and possibly some arms thinking that “Humans were like eggshells” as opposed to birds with their light wings and bones. Right

She runs off but doesn’t fly away because she doesn’t want them to see her wings. Because the three bullies are actually going to tell someone that they saw a girl fly and expect to be believed. And they’re so going to tell people too.

“This chick beat us up and then flew away!”

Yeah, like these guys would so do that. They would promise to never mention it again. If they believe so badly that chicks are worthless they’re never going to tell anyone that they got beat up by one in a three to one situation, much less that the girl flew away..

HOWEVER if she did fly away then she couldn’t get shot in the wing. Which she does. Because she needed to get shot. So that she could cause unnecessary drama. And then we are told that Max’s fatal flaw is fight for the underdog.

Yes. We are fucking told what Max’s fatal flaw is. She says that “It’s in my nature to fight for the underdog. Jeb always told me it was my fatal flaw”.

*Facepalm*

We should be allowed to figure out what a character’s fatal flaw is by ourselves. We shouldn’t have to be told point blank that’s what it is. And how do we know that’s what it is? It’s not even a flaw, flaws are supposed to be bad things. Helping people out isn’t a bad thing. Selfishness, putting herself before others, that would be a fatal flaw. But saying that helping people is her fatal flaw is something that a Mary Sue would say.

My flaw is that I’m too generous and like helping people. ← That’s what she just said.

Which is a Mary Sue flaw. So basically Max is a Mary Sue.

Of course, it could be that she means her fatal flaw is risking everything to try and help someone no matter what. But when would she have had the chance to exercise such things as she has been in hiding since she escaped from the School. I don’t think there’s much chance to rescue and help underdogs when you’re hiding away from people so that you’re not seen.

Did she go out and fight mountain lions to keep them away from the deer? I mean how do you know what your fatal flaw is if your flaw involves interacting with other people and you don’t ever interact with them?
kippurbird: (Norway Whut?)
Part eight

Max wakes up and realizes oh noes they overslept. Which is an ohnoes because Angel has been in the hands of EVIL SCIENTISTS some more. Anyway after waking up Fang goes into the kitchen and starts taking food out of the cupboards to take with him. Things like tuna and trail mix and crackers. - No can opener though. Max tells him not to take the food because it will weigh them down and yet Fang does anyway.

Max gets Nudge up and they leave.

A few things here:

One. They’re going for speed. They need to rescue Angel and yet he takes the heavy food? It is, as Max says, heavy. It will slow them down. She says that Fang is stubborn for not listening to her, but she doesn’t even take the time to argue or try to enforce what she says. Speed is insanely important here and every little bit of weight will slow them down yet she doesn’t do anything about it. It’s just the one comment. She had to let us know that the food was heavy and that Fang was stubborn but nothing comes of it. If the weight is so important then she should force him to not take it. There could have been an argument. A chance for character development as they both offer their sides as to why they should or shouldn’t take the food with them.

Two. They take the food. This is done without comment, despite the fact that they’re basically stealing. It’s rather like the time Arya in Brisingr stole the clothes from the random NPC peasant woman’s washing. There’s no remorse or feeling guilty. She just did it and that’s that. The people who own this home are random NPCs. So it’s okay that Max and the others take the food and don’t leave any payment or even feel guilty about not being able to leave payment or don’t even mention the need to leave payment for the food they took. The people who own this home are non-existent.

To contrast this in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, when Hermione and Harry are on the run they need to stop off in stores to get food and supplies. Whenever they did so they always left money at the till to pay for it, even though they were under the invisibility cloak and no one could see them. Why? Because Hermione felt guilty about just taking the food and didn’t want to get the people who worked in the stores in trouble. She cared about these nameless people who we never see and just hear about.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if it just got a mention of how they were taking the food. I don’t care if she thought she had a right to do it or she felt guilty about it or anything like that

Three; They didn’t take a can opener.

Can openers, I have learned, are important when you have cans that need to be opened.

Once they’re in the air Max feels better. Yay.

Fang wants to know how they’re going to rescue Angel. Max doesn’t say, but apparently secret Plan C is the old “I’ll rescue Angel but end up being captured myself” gambit, which we all know so well. And we always know those always go according to plan. That entire paragraph there? Was a chapter.

Yup.

So. We’re flying. We’re flying. We’re flying. Nudge is babbling. Max notices some kids walking on the ground. It’s a bunch of guys surrounding a younger girl. She thinks the guys look threatening. So, what does she do? Why goes to rescue the girl.

Because, you know, exposing yourself as a flying bird person while trying to rescue your beloved missing flock member who is being horribly tortured by EVIL SCIENTISTS is far less important than rescuing some random stranger.

Now, the point of this scene to show how wonderful Max is. To show some positive traits about how she’s willing to risk things to help people. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. It’s pointless. What it shows is Max being stupid and not caring about Angel as much as she says. Sure it shows she cares about some random stranger who she doesn’t know and doesn’t even know the situation the little girl is in. But it also stalls the plot.

See, because the School is only a day or two’s flight away, Patterson has to come up with a way to stretch out Angel’s time in there. How does he do it? By making the rescue take longer for stupid reasons. By handing the characters the idiot ball. It’s as if she’s suffering from Chronic Hero Syndrome but instead it’s really stupidity. The only reason why she thinks the bigger kids are threatening are because they’re boys. She’s up high and using her super bird vision and can tell that they are, from above, looking at their heads, that they’re dangerous. I’m not sure exactly how much body language you can tell from up high looking at a person’s head.

Max tells the others to go on ahead, thus causing more unnecessary complications becasuse now she’ll have to find them. When it would probably be smarter for them to all land and then her and Fang take a look into the situation since she and Fang are about the same age. The boys are also about her age, she thinks, because she can tell these things from the top of their heads. Or because the Author Wants Her to Know. Two would be better than one.

That would be intelligent. We can’t have that.

She dives down and goes after them.

We then go to Iggy and Pump. Iggy, the blind kid, has managed to fix the computer, the fan of which wasn’t working.

How the hell does a blind kid do that?

What does the text say?

“He had just fixed the computer, presto change-o”

That’s it.

Just he fixed the computer.

Somehow.

He fixed the computer.

With no explanation beyond something that sounds like he waved a magic wand and presto-change-o the computer is fixed.

Just.

ARgh.

ffffffght.

I’m sorry. But that is not an acceptable explanation. It’s not an explanation at all. It’s just not even dignifying the reader with the possibility for an explanation. We’re just supposed to accept that the blind kid was able to fix the computer.

Somehow.

nnngh...

Okay. I’m going away now before I hurt something. Or someone. Or somethings with someone.

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kippurbird: (Norway Whut?)
Part Seven

Random rivalry with Fang is random. I say this because they’re flying and Max is hungry but she refuses to stop for food until Nudge asks if they can because she doesn’t want to give Fang the satisfaction.Where did this come from? I know she had some issues with Iggy because he was blind and could do stuff she couldn’t, but not from her and Fang.

Oh look. Pop culture references. As she is amazed at Fang’s calm she says “Sometimes he seems like a droid - or a drone. Fang of Nine. Fang2-D2”

Fang of nine is a reference, of course, to Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. SOMEHOW, Max has assimilated Star Trek pop culture references. And not only that but the sort of references that more serious fans would know. What I mean by that is that most people when they think of Star Trek think of Star Trek the Original Series or the Next Generation (or now the Reboot) but Voyager was one of the more obscure series, didn’t do very well and a lot of people try to forget it. So this is why I’m calling it an obscure reference.

The Fang2-D2 is less obscure of course, because it’s Star Wars and more people have picked up on such references than Voyager.

What I’m trying to get at here is that Max and the others appear to have a person their age’s full assimilation of pop-cultural knowledge while they’ve only been freed for several years. In that time they’ve learned about Star Trek, - Star Trek Voyager even - Star Wars, concepts like fembots and other things that appear to be appropriate for kids their ages. After all Max would have been about eleven the last year of Voyager coming out and still in the School. When she got out there would be no reason for her to want to watch it.

Unless Jeb introduced her to it.

Which we don’t know. We don’t know anything. About anything.

/rant

They decide to try for a skiing village where the houses would likely be empty for the summer. Landing she folds her wings tight against her body which seems to indicate that they’re there all the time. The vagueness, it annoys me.

Max breaks into the house through a window, it’s full of dust and the bushes outside are over grown. there’s still food in it. Orange soda, ravioli and condensed milk to which Max says “whatever that was”.

So, she knows about Star Trek Voyager but not about condensed milk.

Riiiight. Okay. Sure. I believe that.

The three of them decided to take a nap and we skip over to Iggy and the Gasman. Who I’m now going to call Pump, because it’s just as stupid but doesn’t sound as juvenile. Pump actually has some sort of sympatheticness going on for him.

He kicked a worn red sneaker against the kitchen island. The house seemed empty and too quiet. He found himself listening for Angel’s voice, waiting to hear her singing softly or talking to her stuffed animals. He swallowed hard. She was his sister. He was responsible for her.


This is more introspection and emotional hitting things from Pump than from Max’s “SHE WAS SIX” . We can see here that Pump is feeling guilty about not being able to save her. There’s actions -expecting to hear her voice - and not telling so much.

All of this gets dashed when they decided that they need to set up bombs. See, rightly so, they figure that the School probably can find them and where they live so they need to protect the house. So to do that they need to make bombs. Which they’ve apparently done before. Last fall Iggy - the blind kid, mind you - made a bomb big enough that they almost caused an avalanche. Because they were trying to make a trail through the woods.

Who uses bombs to make trails!?

How would they even get the materials needed to make the bombs - fire bombs apparently? And wouldn’t people notice that someone is blowing shit up in the mountains!?

But yes. They’re going to make firebombs to protect the house from invaders.

If they were so worried about the School finding them then they should have been more prepared before hand. The difference between saying you’re paranoid about having people finding you and acting like you’re paranoid about people finding you is generally a weapon carried on you at all times.

Then we go to Angel. She’s being experimented on by Evil Scientists who are Evil. We know they’re evil because they shock her with a cattle prod whenever she stops running on the treadmill and call her “it”. She’d been on there for over three hours and she did some amazing biological things and the people are horrible. And it’s horrible that they’re doing horrible things to her and I should probably care, but I don’t. The scientist’s reactions are just too over the top it’s hard to take them seriously. They call her an “It” and talk about wanting to dissect her like you would talk about wanting to go see a new movie or get it on with some girl. “I’ve been wanting to dissect this recombinant for four years!” See what I mean?
kippurbird: (._.; ... Yeah..)
A secondary edit to the previous Maximum Ride post.

Patterson broke the book's conceit.

At the very beginning we were told that this is Max and the flock's story about the School and all that fun wacky shit. As they are the ones telling us their story - or as Max is the one telling us their story - it makes sense that it's told in first person. When we shift point of view, the book should keep to the first person style. As if each member of the flock is telling the reader about their own experiences. Yet, the book doesn't.

When we go to Angel's point of view, we leave first person and go into third. In fact, skimming ahead, it seems like whenever we leave Max's point of view we go into third.

Why?

There's no reason for this. It would be more conducive to character- reader involvement -of which we have very little of - if it were written in first person. Is Patterson completely unable to write in the Point of View of a little girl?

Now, I have no problems with books switching from first to third to first etc point of views. I find it annoying, but that's fine. It's the author's choice. I can see why you would do it. However if your conceit is a story about your and your family's time as lab rats then it would be the best to stay in first person. Unless of course, the other people think about themselves in the third person.

As none of them have started speaking in Hulk speak, then I don't believe that this is true.

This book should be told entirely in first person.

It is not.

Patterson continues to suck as an author.
kippurbird: (Boom!)
Part Six:

Hotel California, sort of.

Hah. It is to laugh. They’re going to California. To the School which is sort of like a hotel, but not. I’m not going to really bother with asking how they know of the title of the song.

Okay, so Nudge, Fang and Max are flying off to rescue Angel. They’re flying at about ninety miles per hour. I like how they know how fast they’re flying. It reminds me of the old question of the air speed of a swallow (African or European) carrying a coconut. Which is discussed here In riveting mathematical detail. Obviously if it takes that much math to figure out the air speed of a swallow (African or European) and not even taking into account coconuts. I’m not at all certain how Max, who has an Internet Level education that more than likely doesn’t include higher maths, knows how fast she is going. She doesn’t have any equipment on her to gauge her speed, or the wind currents, or anything else.

There is no possible way for her to know how fast she is flying or how fast she could fly. It is possible that they did testing on her while at the School, but that was more than likely under controlled conditions, which would not, of course, account for actual flying. And again, how are they even capable of long distance flight?

In regards to the fastest flying bird, that would be a Peregrine Falcon which can hit around 120 mph. But, you know, a Peregrine Falcon is built for speed and flying. Humans are not. So it is highly unlikely that they could reach 90 mph much less 120 mph on good wind currents.

And now I’ve just proved I’ve done more research into this flying thing than the author.

Huzzah!

Max and Nudge even managed to have a conversation. While flying. At ninety miles per hour. Because, you know, that’ll be heard easily. It’s all exposition. Max is making sure that Nudge knows what “Plan B” is: Meet up at the north most point of Lake Mead. The school, we learn is in “Death Valley, eight miles due north from the Badwater Basin”.

Um.

Badwater Basin is - besides being the lowest point in the United States - right smack dab in the fucking middle of a National Park. You know. A National Park. Where people, you know, visit. Every day. During the year. And, you know, a bunch of wolf- people, scientists, and kids flying would be noticed. And you know, there aren’t any trees. I say trees because in the first chapter it mentions that she ran through trees to reach a cliff. Which, if Badwater is the lowest point in the Entire Fucking North American Continent, there wouldn’t be any cliffs because that’s the entire fucking point of being the lowest point in the Entire Fucking North American Continent. And there are most certainly not any tress because, you know, they’re in a FUCKING DESERT. This paragraph brought to you by a simple search on the Death Valley National Park Website.

Research. It’s your friend. Use it or look like a complete and utter moron.

Why is the school located, then, in Death Valley. Well so that Patterson could likely have Max make the following joke:

“You got it,” I said. “Good job.” Did you hear that address? Could the School be located in a more perfect place? Death Valley. Above the Badwater Basin. Like, when we got there, we’d see a road paved with good intentions and have to cross the river Styx to get in. Wouldn’t surprise me.


Question: If she was born and raised there, shouldn’t she know what the geography of the School looked like? And so, shouldn’t there not be any surprise giving the landscape features?

Just saying.

Continuity. Please. Remember: it’s your friend too.

The Gasman and Iggy were left behind, as mentioned in the previous section. Fang is not happy -he’s apparently never happy - but instead calm and cool as cucumber. (that cucumber bit was all me).

Nudges’ age is again brought up. We know that she is three years younger than Max and Fang and she’s holding her own. She’s also skinny, likely weight no more than sixty pounds and has strong light birdy bones.

Max starts thinking about setting down to find something to eat, when Nudge brings up some things she saw in Jeb’s files about her. Her real name, it appears, is Monique and she might be from Tipisco, Arizona which is right on the Arizona -California border. And she’s wondering about her real parents, and if they could visit them, though she never gets to say that because Max shuts her down.

She says that they don’t know if they have anything to do with Nudge - even though the names are right on her file - and if they’re test-tube babies or what.

Then we get FORESHADOWING. Max says “I knew this one was going to go come back and bite me in the butt.”

LOOK *points * FORESHADOWING!!! :O :O :O

Wow. That’s even more blatant than some of the stuff in Eragon or the Fifth Sorceress and they had some blatant stuff.

We switch POVs to Angel’s. It’s in third person now, not first. Which is a bit jarring. Angel wakes up in a dog crate. A “Kanine Kamper, size medium” to be exact. How she knows this, I have no idea. I don’t even know why it’s an important detail. I’m sure I’m not going to mention the fact that my cat’s crate is a Petmate of … some size if I were to ever talk about putting him in there. From the smell of chemical disinfectant smell she realizes they’re in the School.

For the grammar nerds out there is: “she would recognize that chemical, disinfectant smell anywhere” a correct usage of the comma?

Angel telepathically hears things in Courier New Font

What she hears is New new ‘n’ wings and new new wings girl new

What she sees are two kids younger than her in a crate next to hers. They’re not very bright, as can be told from these thoughts and clearly rather … animalistic in how they look.

One had rough, scaly skin - literally scaly like a fish, but just in patches, not all over. Not a happy effect.

The other one just looked like... a mistake. He had extra fingers and toes, and hardly any neck. His eyes were huge and bulging, and the hair on his head was sparse. It made Angel’s heart just hurt to look at him.


Now here’s the thing. These two boys are clearly experiments of the School and they’re rather primitive in their thoughts. They haven’t been taught how to speak or think. So, logically speaking, the others who have been at the school longer should be just the same. Perhaps not Angel as she is likely young enough to be able to get out of the feral stage, but Max and the older ones - definitely should still be feral.

And yet they’re not.

Why?

I have no idea. But it is something to think about.

In any case it seems like the reason why they wanted Angel back was because they wanted to cut up here BRAAAAIN and see how she’s psychic.

Yay.



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kippurbird: (Abandon hope)
Part Five

Having lost their beloved Angel, the others go home to cry and lick their wounds. I’m not sure exactly how badly they all are hurt, it looks more like cuts and bruises since Max is able to fix them up with a first aid kit. Max wishes that she was normal. At least that’s what I think she’s doing:

And every once in a while, like when I realize all over again that Jeb is gone forever, that we’re on our own, that the others depend on me and I can’t let them down, well, that’s when it all gets to me. Suddenly, I’m a little kid again, wishing Jeb were back - or even, hey, wishing I was normal! Or had parents!

Yeah, right.


What’s missing is the “as if that would ever happen”. Other wise it feels like, to me, that she’s saying like “yeah right, like I’d ever wish that would happen to me”.

It reminds me of a scene in the Fourth series of the New Doctor Who where the Master and the Doctor meet each other again for the first time and the Master is running off with the TARDIS.
There’s this brief snippet of conversation between the Master and the Doctor with this line:

The Master: Why don't we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me, I don't think!


See, the “I don’t think” at the end negates the beginning first part of the sentence. The “yeah right” negates the previous paragraph. If that’s true, then she doesn’t wish she was normal, had parents or had Jeb back again. Without any qualifiers, that is.

They yell at each other some and cry and Iggy wants to know what happened out there since, you know, he couldn’t see. And apparently helicopters don’t make noise, because they had to tell Iggy that Angel got taken away by a helicopter. He doesn’t give them a no duh in regards to there being a helicopter either, so clearly they are silent like the HOWLING WIND.

And apparently despite the person that Max loves the most has been kidnapped by EVIL PEOPLE OF EVIL WHO WILL DO EVIL TO HER EVILLY she is clearly un-upset enough to notice that the kitchen isn’t clean.

They then discuss the fact that the EVIL PEOPLE OF EVIL wanted Angel in particular and didn’t care if the others were dead or alive. And that they know where they took her. Even if the Gasman as to say “They could be anywhere by now”.

Because, you know, the EVIL PEOPLE OF EVIL aren’t going to go back to their EVIL LAIR OF EVIL. Which isn’t as obvious as the sun in the sky during the day time on a nice bright and sunny day.

The problem is that this is something that everyone knows. The scene is supposed to be dramatic. They’re worrying about her. They’ve figured out that she’s probably still alive, this scene has been done in movies and tv shows all over the place and then there’s the dramatic “INSERT NAME OF EVIL PLACE HERE” revelation as everyone winces.

But when the place is so obvious to EVERYONE then there shouldn’t even be a question of it. It should have been “Okay, we know they took Angel to the school (Why do I keep on thinking of the Buffy version of Angel and how much more awesome would that make this entire book?) how do we get in?”

This is not met well. Nudge gasps. The Gasman looks scared but pretends to try and not look it. Iggy’s spine tightens (how she knows that... I think he meant back stiffened) and his face is like ice and I have no idea what that means.

Then, randomly, we learn that Iggy wasn’t always blind. When he’d been at the School, they’d tried to surgically enhance his night vision. Now he was blind forever. Oops.

Oops? Who the hell says Oops in regards to something terrible happening to a family member that you care about?

My dad got hit by a car and broke his legs. Oops.

My best friend had to put her dog down because he got bit by a rabid raccoon. Oops.

My beloved accidentally got a bomb dropped on his head and is now a freaky mutant bagpipe creature doomed to play Stop Hammer Time as he breathes for the rest of his life. Oops.

Oops? Really. Oops. The oops after that is something that

OH is this that million dollar vase of yours that I shouldn’t touch? oops. Oh dear it broke. Gee. I’m so sorry.

I’m fairly certain that it is supposed to be sarcasm, but it’s not really coming off like that.

Never mind the fact that mentioning how Iggy got blind right there is in the most utterly and completely random of places.

Okay. We finally learn that they’ve been gone for four years.

Wow. This school sucks ass at finding things. Four years. Where is the immediacy in this? So, what do they do? They get a map.

Where did they get a map?

Well, apparently Jeb kept one in a manila envelope sealed with wax. And not only that Max knew about it.

Why the hell would he keep a map in an envelope sealed with wax? I mean, sure sealed is fine with me. But with wax? This isn’t some sort of fantasy novel. Who thinks about sealing things like this in wax?

But it is a map. Of the school. In California.

For some reason though Max has to say it’s a map of a secret facility first. Because we didn’t know that the School was a secret facility in the first place. It wasn’t obvious that the place where they did HORRIBLE EVIL EXPERIMENTS ON KIDS wasn’t a SECRET FACILITY in the first place.

Iggy, the Gassman and Nudge are all oHMiGAWD!! And then Nudge starts to babble.

”Oh,” said Nudge, her brain hitting overdrive. “Yeah. We have to get Angel back. We can’t let her stay there - with them. They’re - monsters. They’re going to do bad things to her. And put her in a cage. Hurt her. But there’s five of us. So the rest of us have to go get Hmph-”

I had wrapped my hand across her mouth. She peeled my fingers apart. “Uh, how far is it?”


Peeled her fingers apart? Like bananas?

But anyway, that was dumb and annoying and … birdbrained.

It’s about six hundred miles from where they are. I’m assuming they’re not in California. A seven hour flight not including breaks.

Iggy doesn’t want to go because they’re out numbered. Max insists that they are going. But not Iggy or the Gasman. Because Iggy is blind.

So nice of that to be remembered.

And the Gasman because he’s eight and young and they might want him since he’s Angel’s brother. This then beg’s the question, then why didn’t they take him when they took Angel?

Iggy says that Jeb would have never made them stay.

Max says that Jeb is dead. When did she get to that conclusion? The last we heard he was missing. Not dead. I would think that she’d be holding out some hope that Jeb wasn’t dead. There wasn’t any indication that she thought he was. It’s some sort of weird... missing things again thing. She relents however and agrees to let them go.

And this ends part one.

I don’t care about about Angel being stolen. I don’t care about anyone. I knew Angel for all of three pages and she didn’t make a mark on me personality wise. She didn’t do anything to endear her self to me. Max is an apparent heartless bitch. And I don’t care about anyone else either.



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kippurbird: (I need a fez)
Part Four

So, Max, without tearing her clothes, manages to unfold her wings. So, either she wasn’t wearing a shirt this entire time or her wings are some of that magical wings that are often shown in comic books that just magically appear through a shirt.

Once again we’re told that yes, they really did live in a place call the School and that avian DNA was grafted onto them. Okay, I did a bit of research, having remembered the thing of glow in the dark mice. Here. if you want to see. The thing that it says is that the DNA is injected into the mice embryos and then they glowed in the dark. So, grafting the DNA in the … am I getting to caught up in the scientific details here?

Ah. Anyway.

Jeb had been one of the scientists and he kidnapped them all from the School because he felt sorry for them.

And now the Erasers *sniggers* had six-year-old Angel.

I say “six-year-old Angel” because that’s what the text says. We’re told, once again, that she’s six years old. Because we need to know that bit of information again. For some reason. It’s not like knowing it again helps improve the story in anyway, shape or form. Is it supposed to be more horrid that she’s been kidnapped since she’s six? Or is it supposed to … you know, I have no answer to it. It’s not relevant to her character or her situation. The fact that she’s kidnapped should be relevant enough to making us fear for her.

So the five of them fly after the humvee, Iggy, the blind one with them all right. And with their at least thirteen feet wing span they’re flying through trees. And Fang decides to whack the car with a stick he manages to “snatch a dead branch off a tree” which seems to indicate to me that he has to break it off. Which I think would be hard to do while flying. And he gets shot at, but not hit.
at point blank range.

Oh! And there’s a helicopter! How did they miss that? I mean... it’s a helicopter. They’re large and make noise.

Max thinks that the best shot they have at retrieving Angel is when they take her from the car to the chopper. As opposed to taking down the car before it gets to the chopper. But, that would be logical. A grenade is thrown and Nudge and Iggy avoid getting blown up. I am sad. Fang however has gotten hurt. Somehow. All we’re told is that he drops on some Eraserhead and then drops back as he’s bleeding from his arm. But, how he was injured, we don’t know.

We’re then told, as he does so, that Ari is incredibly athletic as he jumps through the helicopter door after tossing Angel through the door. Because him jumping through the door in the helicopter taking off doesn’t show him being athletic.

Max grabs a hold of a landing skid and Ari picks up a rifle to shoot it at Max. As he does so he says, “Let me tell you a secret, old pal, old chap,” Ari yelled at me.”You’ve got it all wrong. We’re the good guys!”

First. Who talks like that? Old chap? That’s something you hear Supposedly British People say in period pieces. This is not a period British piece. The character speaking it is of undetermined age but we’re going to go at most in his teens and he’s on a helicopter with a rifle.

Second. “We’re the good guys”? Why did he even say this? Max hasn’t said anything to him. Pleaded with him to come with her, to let them go. It’s like there’s a missing scene there. Something got cut out. Max should have pleaded with him to come with them, let Angel go, blah blah blah. Something that should have cued him saying that he’s the good guy.

It’s as if there are scenes missing and no one noticed. If LKH’s editor is a goldfish in a bowl, then Patterson’s is a five year old kid with scissors and tape.

Max drops off the helicopter and angsts about her baby flying to her death and things worse than death. But she says to death and then worse than death. Which can’t happen if she’s already dead. It should have been the other way around.

We're told they all have raptor vision (except Iggy, well, we're not told that) and so they can watch the helicopter fly away much longer than normal folks.

There is angst about this. She cries and beats a tree trying to figure out what to do. And she cries. And it’s horrible. And I don’t care.

And Ari’s words ‘we’re the good guys’ are still in her head. Why?

I have no idea.
kippurbird: (Feanor Hates You)
Part Three

So, after the blind kid some how fixes breakfast with food they somehow have despite not having any sort of means for money or getting anywhere to get the said food, Angel declares that she wants to pick strawberries. After she says that the Gasman farts. This is funny because everyone gets upset about it. And makes exaggerated oh god he farted we’re dying in need of air jokes.

Yeah.

In which Kippur gets severely pissed off at the author for being a complete and utter fucking disgrace to humanity. )


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kippurbird: (Chibi Greywolf)


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