Maximum Ride Chapters 49 & 50

Now we’re in part three, apparently. It’s subtitled ‘school—what could be scarier?’. Being trapped in an unlit concrete room while an unidentifiable sound fills the air to the point where you can’t hear your heartbeat? Being turned into an anthropomorphic cupcake while attending Jorge Garcia’s birthday party? Being cast on Jersey Shore and thinking that it’s a springboard to actual fame? A lot of things really.

So we start with Max who manages to get her wing loose after about an hour of flight. Yeah, that’s what all those long distance runners will tell you. Once you’ve been injured it’s best to just keep working it until it loosens up. If it hurts, it just means that you need to work harder and ignore the pain.

See, this is why it’s completely pointless to make people with wings that can fly. How are they better than, say, any modern flying weapon ever devised? Take helicopters, for example. They can be manufactured en masse and quickly, they have easily replaceable parts and various weapon systems that can be changed depending on the situation.

Sure Max and the rest are really strong but they also have human brains which—if literature, movies and video games have taught me anything—always turn against their creators. Plus she’s slightly faster than a dirigible and still subject to all the same problems people are plus a host of others Jimmy doesn’t think about. Basically Max is a neat project but not something useful.

So Max flies, rather quickly I might add, to their meeting place while hoping that Nudge and Fang are waiting for her there. She has a panic moment where she thinks a helicopter, something far more useful and powerful than her, is overhead and coming at her but it just turns out to be a flock of hawks and nothing to be worried about.

Except that a few of the hawks are large and misshapen. Clearly Max is seeing a group of hippogriffs that are preying on the hawks. Next we’ll be treated to a graphic scene where Buckbeak and friends will peck max’s eyes out and feast on her liver.

Or we’ll have the tearful reunion scene with Max and everyone minus Angel. Max is so happy she just might not have to dip back into the Ketamine she stole from Vet while she was dealing with the suits.

They had waited for me, all right, and they were safe. Relief and joy flooded through my body and
soul. Now we would go find Angel, and then the flock would be whole again.

And yes, I did say soul.

Okay, Jimmy. I’ll take the bait and ask why it’s so important that Max said soul that she had to emphasize it. Did someone imply she doesn’t have one? Did the wolfmen tell her that she was a soulless monster who was destined to walk the earth as a hollow shell of humanity? Because that prediction would have been dead on.

The next chapter opens with the actual reunion scene. Yeah, yeah, Jimmy, we get it. They’re all happy to see one another, they’ll trade, boring, tales about what they did while separated and then they’ll rally together and Max will say something like ‘let’s go get Angel’. At the end of the chapter. Can we get back to the part where the guys who stole their wardrobe from a University Lab outfitter are zapping people with cattle prods while shouting ‘science!’?

They all land, Nudge hugs Max and starts trying to babble. I always love when authors try to put in the “motormouth” character, don’t you? Usually they can’t manage to write them like someone who actually talks a lot. Instead they babble which isn’t quite the same and so their character comes across like that homeless guy who stands on the corner shouting at anyone who will listen about the CIA plot to dissolve his mind with aspartame. Oh, and it might be worth mentioning that Max describes Fang’s wingspan as fourteen feet.

So they go into the cave and sit down to chat. Only they’ve picked the wrong one and awoken a sleeping Grizzly Bear! The screams can be heard all the way across the lake as it mauls the winged kids to death. Then Angel gets cut up, frozen and forgotten as they pile dead cats in the freezer with her. Then hey’re subsequently forgotten forever.

Or Jimmy has them explain what we already know. Max: ‘Why are you here Iggy and Gasman?’ Gasman: ‘Because if we followed your orders we’d be just as stupid as you are. You know, after they found our house and burned it down.’  Max: ‘Damn it, you should have stayed there among the wreckage like I told you.’ Iggy: ‘We blew some of the wolfmen up though.’ Max: ‘Oh, you caused pain and suffering on other children who are merely a product of experimentation like us? Bravo. I’m all for dismemberment and maiming if it’s one of those wolfmen who must be cleansed from the earth.’

They’re all happy now that they’re together and, in theory, Jimmy can’t procrastinate much more than he already has. Eventually they have to get to where they’re holding Angel and get her free only to have Jeb reveal himself and then kick the plot forward another couple of inches with a plot twist.

“To Angel!” I yelled, and their voices echoed mine.

“To Angel! To Angel!”

Then, one by one, we fell off the side of the cliff, opened our wings, and headed for the hated, dreaded

It would be easy to read the whole chapter and then recap it like I know what’s coming in a sarcastic manner but I really don’t. I read until something stupid enough to draw comment pops up and then keep going. So when I predicted that earlier I didn’t know it would happen from reading the story but from reading the prose and what it says about the author. It says that, yes sometimes the best succeed but you can do pretty well by mediocrity.

Oh, and they did the hand clasp. You know, one person puts their hand in and everyone piles on then they break. Only Max did a fist which is apparently something they always do. You remember them doing that all the time, right audience?

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4 Responses to Maximum Ride Chapters 49 & 50

  1. maeverin says:

    so, to be the horribly insensitive asshat that i am, is somone guiding Iggy somehow? Or did i miss that he has Daredevil type senses.

    • vivisector says:

      I think he has a genetically engineered service dog that can fly. Or Gasman is supposed to be leading him around by the hand or something. I prefer my answer though.

  2. I get the feeling that Jiminy Cricket here wasn’t a model student. His “villains” are scientists – you can’t get much more educated than a scientist. And the villains’ base of operations is called the “School”, despite nothing being taught there aside from “run this maze quickly and get schocked less”. And sometimes when I read the wingalings’ dialogue it makes them sound kind of too-cool-for-school psuedo-punk.Yeh, I fly and I beat up Wolfmen. Wanna make somethin’ of it? And now the title of the third part is School – what could be scarier? We’re dealing with a total didaskaleinophobe.

    • vivisector says:

      That or Jimmy is pandering to his audience who are definitely the kind of people that don’t like having their minds challenged, something science does a lot. They’re not necessarily bad people they just have a sort of rabbit brain that causes them to freeze and then flee if anything new approaches them. And yes, the kids dialogue sounds way too forcibly young like Jimmy was running it through focus groups before it went to print.

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