Maximum Ride Chapters 51 & 52

The first order of business is for Jimmy to remind us that, holy shit, these kids can fly! So they start off just getting high, like the author. Once they’ve reached a certain height they decide they can talk to one another now and Max asks for reports.

Ah, damn. Nudge forgot to file her TPS report. Max will have to make sure she got a copy of that memo as will Fang and Iggy and Gasman. Wait until Jeb and the other consultants get here, Nudge is sure to be fired…from a cannon, at a wall, while strapped with enough Gelignite to take down a city block.

Nudge immediately pipes in that went to see her mom. Max does a sort of double take and can’t believe it. Sure she mentioned that she’d found her mom in the records Jeb left behind and she was the only one who showed any interest in her parents. Naturally it comes as a surprise that Nudge would go off on her own and pay a visit to mom’s trailer park.

Max asks if Nudge actually got to talk to her mom or if she peeked at her through the bushes the way Jeb used to watch their closest neighbor. Nudge says she didn’t get a chance because those wolfmen showed up and ruined everything. Luckily everyone there in the broken down trailer park was off at work or easily distracted by their can of soda so they didn’t witness the flying kids and the wolves fighting in the street. Then Max asks about Nudge’s mom and we get this gem of a line.

“I’ll tell you about it later,” Nudge said offhandedly, so I knew it had gone badly.

Wait, you picked up on that Max? That’s incredibly sharp of you. Here I would have thought a mother and child reunion interrupted by Benicio Del Toro’s cousins, Chet, Hubert and Lester Del Toro, would have gone extremely well. If someone would have lost an eye it would have been perfect.

And it’s amusing that Jimmy has Nudge clam up about the attempted meeting with one half of her genetic contributors because she’s embarrassed. I would have thought if someone were uncomfortable talking about it they wouldn’t have brought it up in the first place. It would have made for some interesting character development if Nudge and Fang had stayed quiet while deciding to keep their excursion a secret. But that would be more real and less stupid. Then another gem from Jimbo.

I narrowed my eyes at Gazzy and Iggy. “We know what you’ve been up to,” I said. Gazzy gave me his sweet, abashed smile. That kid.

Oh, the wacky hijinks of preteen boys. Disfigurement and murder are the two most hilarious pranks. What are you going to do? I think Wally should be the one to sit down with the Beav and have a brotherly talk to him.

Is anyone else worried that, not only is Max completely unsurprised by Gasman and Iggy’s actions but that Max is practically encouraging it? She might not be giving him an atta-boy and a pat on the back but she’s not rebuking them which is as close to praise as you can get without handing out gold stars.

And just how many bombs have they set off before? I mean, no one makes a working explosive on their first try unless someone is leading them by the hand and giving them a package of Semtex to start off with. They had to have made a few practice bombs before that. Maybe that’s how Max and them were really found, the wolves just followed the reports of constant blasting coming from the middle of the woods.

Max then steam rolls everyone by telling them that she had an X-Ray and she might have a tracer chip. When they ask how and why she ended up having an X-Ray, Max just kind of brushes them off and they go back to wondering about those chips and whether or not they come with French onion dip. She does wonder idly why, if those chips are the reason the wolves keep popping up at inconvenient moments, why they waited four years to find them. It’s called plot contrivance, Max. Get used to it because I imagine it happens a lot in a series that spans eight books written by a man who mainlines episodes of 24 before he sits down to write.

So they head towards the “school”, again and hopefully for the last time. Max tries to lighten the mood though by making us chuckle and it works well. She tells us that they’re now headed towards their worst nightmare and the punchline that follows is priceless.

Anybody’s worst nightmare, believe me.

I guess if Jimbo ever gets tired of buying islands with the most mediocre talent he could always go into comedy. He really seems to have a natural talent for it and proves it by opening the next chapter with more jokes.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but all of us in the flock have an inborn sense of direction. I don’t know how it works. We just always know which way we’re going. So we rocketed west-northwest for a good two hours. Many of the hawks whose cliff Fang and Nudge had shared stayed with us, flying in loose formation. Our new best pals.

It’s okay Jimmy, you don’t have to languish away as a terrible writer. Even at your age you can still branch out and try something different. A career in stand up might not pay the same but it would be more rewarding on a personal level and that’s what matter Jimmy.

They fly until the hawks stop following them, Max hears about the new technique Fang and Nudge learned and share it with everyone and then they decide to stop for food near a mall. Also, Max suggests they get a map. She says they don’t really need it but they’ll be able to find the “school” easier because it will be a blank space on the map.

Right, because secret government compounds are often built as close to population centers as the budget will allow all for the sake of convenience of course. Sure it poses a major security risk and it’s sure to draw lots of attention but that’s worth it if a couple of midlevel bureaucrats can visit the mall on their lunch break.

Then someone pulls into a parking lot and up to an ATM, gets money and yells into their phone. Right after that a black truck, being driven by Ari, speeds into the same parking lot and sprays gravel, somehow, at the car parked by the ATM. The guy curses at Ari, Fang predicts Ari will go crazy and then Ari rolls down the window and asks the guy what he said. I’m assuming Jimmy is saving the beat down for the next chapter though.

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3 Responses to Maximum Ride Chapters 51 & 52

  1. Say… what I know about genetic engineering so far says that you basically can’t alter someone’s genes after they’re born, or even as a fetus. They have to still be at least an embryo, but a blastocyst or raw gametes would be better. So my knowledge is telling me that unless the theatre major dropouI mean scientists have access to some 24th century technology, all the winged children would have to have acquired as blastocysts… which is fine, except it makes it a little weird that Nudge is so fixated on her parents.

    • maeverin says:

      that makes sense (at least to me who admittedly knows nothing) since i can’t fgure out how they would splice genes after birth either. it’s not like giving a blood transfusion and i’m pretty sure you can’t just take some genes out, splice them, and put them back in to multiply.

    • vivisector says:

      I think what Jimmy just pulls whatever is hot off the headlines and uses it in place of magic. Had he written this in the eighties, Jimmy would have used cyborg implants instead.

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