Maximum Ride Chapters 73 & 74

One of the frequent criticisms of critics, aside from fans shouting ‘I’d like to see you do better!’, is that they just complain. That instead, critics should be suggesting ways it could be improved. And while I don’t think it’s up to critics to go around fixing everything they review, I do think it’s a healthy exercise from time to time. So in that spirit, I’m going to make a couple of suggestions to Jimmy.

Number one. Make the villain’s motives clear. This would have been one of the easiest improvements. Subtract all the boring dialogue where the characters sit around speculating and add in scenes of the villains doing stuff. I would have kicked off with a prologue where Jeb and an unnamed authority figure have a brief conversation.

‘You don’t understand,’ Jeb said. ‘I need more time. If you’ll only give me a couple more months.’

‘You’ve been begging months out of us for four years now, Jebediah,’ She said, crossing her arms. ‘The decision’s been made and your project’s being scrapped. We’ll bring in the subjects and they’ll be destroyed along with all the files. I’m sorry but they’re just a dead end.’

Short, simple and to the point. Sure it would have revealed that Jeb was alive to us and not the characters but sometimes it’s okay for the audience to be in on a secret. Then you keep flashing over to him and make him look like he’s one of the bad guys that way it’s more of a surprise when he turns out to have been a hero all along.

Secondly, stop switching between styles. While we’re with Max, it’s like she’s talking at us. When we’re with anyone else the narrator takes over. Being as this is all supposed to be Max telling the story, it comes across as inconsistent and confusing. Switch to third person and stick with it. Anywho, enough critiquing. On to the complaining.

Demonstrating that idiots also think alike, we kick the chapter off with Max coming to and then waking everyone up. That is to say, she shouts at everyone to get up. ‘Hey guys and possible wolfmen who are searching for us while we sleep! We’re over here and particularly vulnerable!’

You’ll be relieved to hear that my brief descent into weary lack of caring was totally gone by the time the sun fried my eyelids the next morning.

Oh, I’m supposed to be relived now. Good, thanks for the heads up Jimmy. I don’t know what I’d do if you were there to inform me of what emotions I can and can’t feel during a story. Otherwise I might have had to rely on my own judgment and that’s clearly flawed as I’m reading this.

Max gets the fire going again and decides to whip out a thing of Jiffy Pop for breakfast. Instead of complaining about how gross that is, I will instead ask when they had a chance to stop and grab popcorn? Did the “scientists” let them keep their supplies and stolen money or did they just steal it? Also, there are six of them. I doubt a single serving of Jiffy Pop will cover them all.

They decide it’s time to take off and Max announces that they’re headed to New York. So she jumps up and gets a few feet in the air before falling down while experiencing her new and sudden onset crippling headache. Images flash through her head, Fang asks if she’s alright and then they finally get going.

That is, they finally get airborne in the beginning of the next chapter. Goddamn, Jimmy can certainly stretch out the pointlessness. If there’s one thing he’s a master of, it’s wasting ink and paper.

As soon as they’re up in the air, Nudge decides she wants to have a conversation. She’s back to banging on about her parents and how, if they thought she died, they would be happy to see her. Of course, after all there’s nothing like reopening old wounds that might have finally healed years after. Then some girl claiming to be their daughter comes along which certainly won’t cause them to chase you off their property, Nudge. Of course Nudge thinks visiting them might be a bad idea but not for my reasons.

“Unless . . .” She frowned. “I mean—I guess I’m not what they would be expecting, huh? It’s not my fault or anything, but I mean, I’ve got wings.” Yep, I thought.

Yeah, wow. That’s some heavy stuff there, Jimmy. It’s not like Nudge could just hide her wings. After all, Max can fold her up to where no one notices them under a windbreaker. Also, I imagine that wouldn’t really shock them too much. They did sign up for a program to have their unborn child mixed with some random genetic code, after all.

‘What? You mean those genetic experiments we subjected you to while you were a developing fetus had side effects? That’s absurd! You must have been exposed to artificial goose down and radiation. I see no other plausible explanation.’

Max reassures Nudge that they’re her parents and they’d probably love her no matter what. Unlike real parents who, being just as human as anyone, might hate/resent her or not even care that she’s alive. Then Max starts whining about cursing and Angel.

Now I was gulping, trying not to cry. Because I hadn’t experienced enough emotion already this morning. I muttered a swear word to myself. After I’d heard Angel cussing like a sailor when she stubbed her toe, my new resolution was to watch my language. All I needed was a six-year-old mutant with a potty mouth.

Yeah, you’d better watch your mouth around a kid that can read your mind. She can tune in when you mentally curse the bastard that didn’t wash his hands when packing that Jiffy Pop later while your in the bushes but god forbid Angel hear you curse aloud. You wouldn’t want someone who’s been zapped with cattle prods to go around cursing now, would you Max?

Max changes gears for the third time in as many paragraphs. Now she’s going on about the cookies she got from Ella and Vet. She’s all choked up because they’re the best cookies in the whole world and they smelled like home.

I’m glad that’s what really sticks in your mind. Not the impromptu surgery and follow up X-Ray Vet did for you or the way she risked her life to hide you. No, those are expected. The only time Max would take note of moments like that would be if Vet hadn’t done those things. The cookies though were a nice bonus. Max will have to remember to demand those when she invades the next house of unwitting suckers.

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1 Response to Maximum Ride Chapters 73 & 74

  1. maeverin says:

    #&%#^& when did Max learn to cuss? there a lot of truckers coming into the school? Scientists are usually too professional to use naughty words.
    I know, i know, add it to the list of “How the Bleep Would They Know That?!”

    I love when you throw in re-writes, Vivi. They’re fun to read 🙂

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