Maximum Ride Chapters 43 & 44

Well, at least Jimmy settled the discussion on whether or not these kids were actually created in a lab. Being as Nudge is headed towards her parents house at the start of this chapter, with Fang in tow. So that’s one positive thing going for him, right? He picked a direction and went with it.

If you were thinking that, you would be wrong and here’s why. See I remember when Nudge mentioned finding her parents names on a list amongst Jeb’s files. This was early on to and it was dumped in the middle of everything and no other character made so much as a peep. The only thing that served was the notion that all the kids know they’re modified and have real parents. Which then begs the question of why Max kept trying to sell us on the idea that they were created in a lab. Either Max is a liar, which I could get behind, or Jimmy and his editor just don’t care which is more likely.

Privately, Nudge was surprised that Fang was still with her. Fang had threatened to leave her several times, but when he saw she really wouldn’t budge, he’d retreated into angry silence.

Because normally Nudge isn’t a caustic jerk to Fang and he’s normally such an articulate guy. Why I remember the moving monologue he delivered early on that made me stop and rethink my position on vagrant hunting. These aren’t details that we need to know, Jimmy. You’re just reiterating what we already know.

They fly over the town and find the street that Nudge’s parents were listed at. Now, according to the Census Bureau people move, on average mind you, 11.7 times in their life. Some people are less mobile than others, depending on skill sets, education and personal disposition but I’d say, figuring as Nudge is around eleven, her parents probably moved at least once after she was given up. Fang actually points this out in a hilarious way.

“What if they moved?” Fang asked for the nth time. “What if you misunderstood what you read and these people aren’t related to you at all?” Then, with horrible gentleness, he said, “Nudge, even if you weren’t a test-tube baby—which you probably were—what if there was a reason they gave you up? They might not want you back.”

Damn you Fang and your horrible gentleness! It’s almost as bad as the way he’s constantly shrieking his empathy at people. I only hope no one punches him for the cruel and wanton comfortings Fang is known to dish out without warning.

They wind up in a trailer park, littered with rusty cars and broken appliances of course, and land across the street to watch the address. Some lady in curlers comes out, sits down, lights a cigarette and opens a soda even though it’s early morning. And in one fell swoop Jimmy has almost hit every major cliché about trailer parks ever put to paper. It’s like he was reading a Jeff Foxworthy book and using it as a guide for this part of the story.

As Jimmy like to try and be clever, he interrupts the tiresome reunion scene  with a tiresome villain appearance.

“Looking for something, freaks? Guess you found it.”

There was no mistaking that beautiful, melodic Eraser laugh, right behind them.

Why do they all have beautiful voices? Was that something these “scientists” had to engineer in as well as the wolf bodies and the ability to morph? Because I’d hate to see how big the reject pile is when batches one through seventeen don’t work out.

‘All right, so this Eraser can assume wolf form.’ ‘Correct.’ ‘And he has augmented strength beyond mortals.’ ‘Affirmative.’ ‘Alright, good. How about his voice?’ ‘Sir, I really don’t think…’ ‘Damn it! Don’t argue with me! What about his voice?’ ‘I can’t help it, sir. No matter how much I tweak they all come out sounding like Sam Elliott or Stacy Keach.’ ‘Damn it! Shoot him and the rest then get back to work. We need them to sound at least as smooth as Morgan Freeman or else NOVA won’t have anyone to narrate their documentaries.’

The next chapter keeps us with Nudge, almost like the author gained a little bit of focus. Which makes me ask why we ended the last chapter as prematurely as we did. Why bother splitting it up if the little tension hook gets wrapped up in the next one? It’s not like Jimmy spent page after page carving out a perfect scene for some epic showdown.

So the wolfmen are still there, yup, I was worried they might have disappeared on us in between the white space of the pages. They begin transforming form their male model looks into Dog Soldiers.

Which also makes me ask, to what advantage do they gain by transforming? They get claws and fangs but they already have access to guns and, last time I checked, the gun was mightier than the claw or else the wolf wouldn’t have been driven to near extinction. Other than making them incredibly conspicuous Jimmy just keeps it there as a reminder. ‘Those guys are bad because they have traits that are opposite to adorable puppies.’

Nudge recognizes one of the wolves, Ari, the son of Jeb from way back towards the beginning. She feels all sad and pities him for being made into a monster. This is supposed to show us how compassionate Nudge is. A trait that gets activated on a whim, depending on whether or not the author remembers it being as she ignored how rudely she’s been treating Fang throughout the story.

Ari says he’s happy as he is now, strong and powerful. Nudge pities him some more then Ari says they’re the last two alive and their house was burned down. Fang and Nudge plan out their attack by talking about it right in front of the wolves then start fighting. Oh, but they were talking in a sort of code so the wolfmen didn’t expect it.

Look, Jimmy, just because they’re henchmen doesn’t mean they have to be retarded. If people they’re trying to subdue start talking amongst each other and they sound like they might be hinting at a code they just might start killing first and asking questions later and I would not fault them.

Anywho, one of the wolves gets kicked onto a cactus in what is surely supposed to be hilarity amidst the serious aspect of combat and it only comes out like a chicken crossing the road joke being inserted into the middle of a geriatric slap fight over pudding. They fight a bit and then Jimmy starts lifting dialogue out of the X-Men series.

“You’re gonna die, mutant,” Ari snarled, leaping for Fang as he pushed off the ground. He grabbed Fang’s leg, and they both fell heavily. Then Ari was sitting on Fang’s chest, punching him. Nudge gasped and put her hand over her mouth as she saw blood erupt from Fang’s nose. The second Eraser kicked at Fang’s chest, hard, over and over, thunk, thunk.

Yes, Ari would use the term mutant in a derogatory manner when he is among them. Of course, Nudge points this out after she uses some conveniently placed cans of spray paint as a substitute for pepper spray. Then the two jump into the air where the wolf men can’t reach them.

Now that will certainly show those brash hooligans, good show Nudge and Fang. To be bereft of the gift of flight will most certainly be…oh, wait. One of the “Erasers” pulls out a gun and starts firing into the air. Why didn’t they do that in the first place? I guess they forgot.

No one gets hit though. Probably because of that damned lone gunsmith and his unorthodox way of dialing in the accuracy on firearms by hitting them with rocks until he’s too tired to move. Then he does it for another hour or so. Fang tells Nudge that they’ll head home, she says it was burned down and he says he meant their new home with the hawks.

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4 Responses to Maximum Ride Chapters 43 & 44

  1. maeverin says:

    Beautiful melodic voices–yep. more evidence that the evil scientists are actually theater majors. they stuck that in to appease the voice majors because if they didn’t, the next production would be “Twilight, the Musical.”

  2. My respect for Jimmy as an author will increase by 50% if Nudge’s parents really gave her up voluntarily for selfish reasons.

    • vivisector says:

      I’ll second that but we both know that’s gray area and Jimmy avoids it like the plague. I think at best, that is to say the best Jimmy could do, they’ll have given her up due to circumstances beyond their control. At worst the evil shadow group of nameless government lackeys will have taken her as a baby.

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