Chapter Fourteen – The Eagle Has Landed

Chapter fourteen opens with actually a pretty decent picture of an eagle that is absolutely covered in eyes. I guess that’s how it sees everything. The chapter title sounds like something a Secret Service agent whispers into his collar after Marine One lands on the White House lawn, which is a little bit jarring.

Listening to Oraculus and thinking about his message was more than the teenagers could handle. They felt that this was the final end of their journey because both of them were emotionally exhausted and irrationally confused by the speech. This situation was unbearable for them and they agreed to go home.

Joey was checking out his compass for some directions that could lead them home safe and sound, as Maya made her final preparations by organizing her backpack (pages 79-80).

Christmas.

What’s the point of saying ‘final end’? How is it even possible to be irrationally confused, and why would you be emotionally exhausted by listening to someone talk for ten minutes? How is any of this unbearable? You can’t get directions from a compass, that’s not how a compass works. And backpacks aren’t organized, you just throw shit into them for storage, nor would anyone need to prepare by organizing a backpack. Not that Maya has anything in her backpack beside a change of clothes, anyway.

Suddenly the air splits in an explosion and the eagle, Sagitta, lands. Sagitta repeats most of what Oraculus has already told him. He adds that the ‘tunnel of time’ that will take them back to the US has already closed and it’s not going to re-open until they’ve completed their mission.

Maya looked at Joey with an astonished face, realizing that this might be ‘their calling’ and so she said, “If we are not being able to go back home to our parents because the tunnel will not open up to us until we have fulfilled our mission in the ‘Land of Maradonia’ we better listen to Sagitta” (page 81).

I’m not making any of these quotes up. And yes, this has now become their Calling.

Tesch moves on to explaining what kind of person Joey is:

Joey’s nature and his reactions in several different situations in life were basically very emotional and spontaneous but this time he was thinking (page 81).

Right, that totally makes sense.

Joey is suddenly gung ho about the entire thing, even though literally five minutes earlier he was irrationally confused and emotionally exhausted and wanted to go home. He starts talking about how there is no turning back and they have to concentrate on the future and fulfill their destiny because it’s their calling. Yes, he actually says all of that. He also says that they have now conquered the ‘Decision Test’ that Oraculus was talking about in the previous chapter. Yes, that was a very difficult test, considering the decision was made for them.

Joey also refers to the eagle as an ‘Air Taxi’, which is rather insulting and makes me want the eagle to rip his spleen out of his body, even more than I normally want a giant carnivorous bird to rip Joey’s spleen out. Which sets us up for a totally nonsensical quote to close this chapter out:

Hoppy, sitting on Joey’s shoulder looked at the eagle and said “An ‘Air Taxi’! Huh…? It looks to me more like an ‘Air Shuttle’ because there is room for a whole assembly.” (page 82).

Hoppy doesn’t know what ‘taxi’ means. Or what ‘shuttle’ means. And there isn’t room for an entire assembly inside a shuttle. And there isn’t room for an assembly on top of this fucking eagle.

Drinks: 10

Chapter Fifteen – On the Wings of the Eagle

Picture of an eagle flying. On the eagle’s back are either two warts or two poorly drawn stick figures, I can’t tell which.

They climb on Sagitta and the eagle takes off. They fly. After awhile Joey looks down and wishes that he could conquer all of the mountains. Why, I have no idea, but this leads to one of the most batshit insane conversations in this entire book. I’m guessing that Tesch is trying to be very deep and meta and wise, and is failing miserably. Anyway, Sagitta says:

“Mountains cannot be conquered! You conquer yourself! You conquer your fears and can conquer your own future but you will never conquer a mountain!”

Joey was looking at the mountains and replied,” Mountains cannot be conquered! I did not know that, but now I understand that I must conquer myself, my hopes and my fears and by conquering them I have conquered the mountains of my own future.” (page 85).

I really don’t know why you would want to conquer your hopes. Also, if mountains cannot be conquered, how can you conquer them by conquering yourself, your hopes, and your fears?

Later, Maya falls off the eagle, but then Sagitta dives down underneath her and catches her, so no harm done. Eventually they land next to the Poseidon Rock Plateau and disembark.

Drinks: 11

Chapter Sixteen – At the Poseidon Rock

So they’re on a beach. Sagitta reminds them that they have to find twelve flint stones, as Oraculus told them, to find the entrance to the fjord. Maya and Joey look around for a bit, can’t find anything, and then realize that maybe the stones are buried under the sand. Now, they’re standing on an enormous beach. Despite this, after about ten minutes of digging with sticks they find the dozen stones.

It was exactly as Oraculus and Sagitta had mentioned it to them. With the detection of the twelve flint stones they found the fjord at the point where the three rivers merged into one (page 89).

Yes. That’s it. Not a single line about what actually happens or how this worked. Nothing. They find the stones, and the stones show them where the fjord is. That’s exactly how it happens in the book.

They hear screams and moaning coming from the Plateau, which Joey assumes is the ‘Abaddon Dude’ in prison. Right. So they’re walking along the fjord and the rocks are slippery because there’s some water – and yeah, I’ve just realized that Tesch has no fucking clue what a fjord is. I think that she thinks it’s a kind of dam that crosses a river. Anyway, Joey slips and falls into a waterfall and is carried a ways by the current. One of the doves sees him and alerts Sagitta. Considering that Sagitta can see everything in the world, I don’t know why he needs a dove to alert him. This doesn’t really instill me with confidence. But my brief hopes that Joey is going to a watery grave ends when Deus Ex Sagitta rescues Joey, minus his backpack and a shoe.

Maya runs over to Joey, who coughs up some water and asks if they passed the test. Apparently they did, because they’re on the other side of the river. Wait, that was a test? And if it was, why the hell didn’t Sagitta just fly them across the river?

This is the stupidest book I have ever read.

Maya tells Joey how happy she is that he’s alive and that it’s her fault that he almost drowned and she should have taken better care of him. Which is bullshit because she specifically told Joey to slow down and be more careful and Joey ignored her, right before he went into the drink.

Joey is worried because Hoppy is gone and he’s afraid that Hoppy drowned. But then Libertine comes flying back with Joey’s missing shoe, and inside is Hoppy.

Wait a second.

Let me get this straight, Tesch.

So a boy falls into a wild current. At this point his feet are about four feet under the surface of the water. So one of his shoes comes off his foot and immediately rises to the surface of the water and floats there in the raging current. Then a grasshopper, who is inside Joey’s pocket, which is also at least two feet beneath the surface of the water, crawls out, swims up to the surface of the river, leaps over and jumps into the shoe, and then rides inside the shoe as it goes over a waterfall, but the shoe keeps floating until a dove comes flying down and picks up the shoe and carries it back to Joey and Maya.

I’m pretty sure this book was written on a bad acid trip.

A few minutes Sagitta comes back with Joey’s backpack that she found floating several miles downstream. So the entire incident ends with no lasting effects on any of the characters. Somehow I’m not surprised.

Drinks: 10

Chapter Seventeen – Stuck in the Jungle

Joey takes all his clothes off and spreads them out to dry, which sounds a little awkward, since he’s standing in front of his sister. He pulls out his compass and sure enough, it’s still working perfectly. I kinda think they are going to make it throughout this entire book without anything bad happening to them.

Joey mentions something in his Geography class about the directions. Apparently you can remember them by saying “Never Eat Soggy Waffles”. Which isn’t clever, because these are the cardinal directions. There are four of them. They are not that hard to remember.

Tesch thinks that Maya and Joey are suddenly ‘Poseidon Rock Conquerors’, but I’m not buying it. After a bit they head down along the river, towards the lagoon. I really don’t know why they’re not flying. If Sagitta is there to follow their every whim (and he has basically admitted that he is) why aren’t they still flying?

Well, because that’s boring. And the Plot Dictates Otherwise.

They struggle through a jungle for a bit until they get stuck. Joey pulls a kitchen knife out of his backpack. I’m guessing that this is a Mary Poppins backpack that he will just use to pull out whatever the situation calls for until the end of the book.

“Character is power, my dear sister. I have nearly every thing with me that we need” (page 98).

Like I said. Also, what the hell does that even mean?

Joey begins cutting their way free. Then some monkeys appear and start throwing coconuts at them. Then they get to the river and some crocodiles eye them hungrily. Then they run back into the jungle and they meet a giant snake. This tells them that they have arrived at the ‘Trespassing Test’, which doesn’t make sense, but I don’t really care, I just want them to die. Tesch will not oblige me, though. Instead, Joey comes up with an ingenious plan:

“Maya, let me tell you something. Do not be afraid of going slowly through this trespassing area. Be afraid of standing still!” Joey came up with a strategy which made his sister very proud of him (page 100).

I’m guessing that going slowly is the strategy, because that’s all that he says. So I guess Maya doesn’t expect much of Joey. Which kinda makes sense.

“Ok Joey, good idea. It’s so right as it could be because if we are afraid and do nothing we will be doomed. Let’s move on and conquer the test. The snake might be gone.” (page 100).

Doing nothing is frequently a very good strategy. But they go out and of course the snake isn’t gone. It’s enormous. The snake informs them that they’re only going to pass through his territory over his dead body. So Joey chops the snake’s head off with the kitchen knife.

Yes. A fourteen-year-old boy, using an ordinary kitchen butcher knife, swings it like a sword and manages to decapitate an enormous snake in a single blow.

I have nothing to say about that that you are not already saying in your head.

Joey picks a banana leaf, wraps the snake’s head in it, and sticks it into his backpack. Hoppy dubs him Joey, the snake slayer.

Also, apparently Hoppy can change colors like a chameleon.

Yeah.

Drinks: 12

Tagged as: ,

Comment

  1. Puppet on 30 May 2010, 23:58 said:

    …Even for a child, Gloria Tesch has a, excuse my french, fucked up imagination.

  2. ZeeZee on 31 May 2010, 00:11 said:

    Not that Maya has anything in her backpack beside a change of clothes, anyway.

    Of course, things will no doubt magically appear in their backpack when needed.

    Hoppy, sitting on Joey’s shoulder looked at the eagle and said “An ‘Air Taxi’! Huh…? It looks to me more like an ‘Air Shuttle’ because there is room for a whole assembly.”

    Wait a minute… they’re going to ride on the eagle? Where? Isn’t it completely covered with eyes? Unless that’s a different eagle, because if it’s the eagle in the drawing… oh, that’s going to hurt.

    I’m guessing that this is a Mary Poppins backpack that he will just use to pull out whatever the situation calls for until the end of the book.

    I was correct!

    Also, how are any of these rivers or rocks or whatever challenges? What challenge is there? The eagle is doing everything for them.

    A fourteen-year-old boy, using an ordinary kitchen butcher knife, swings it like a sword and manages to decapitate an enormous snake in a single blow.

    Not only is that improbable, but he killed an intelligent being who didn’t attack them. The snake just warned them, it didn’t attack them. Any remorse? Any? You just killed it in cold blood, despite never having to deal with anything like this before?

    I give up. I don’t think she even wrote anything past a first draft.

  3. Lord Bob Bree on 31 May 2010, 00:44 said:

    My condolences to your livers.

  4. falconempress on 31 May 2010, 01:38 said:

    Apparently you can remember them by saying “Never Eat Soggy Waffles”. Which isn’t clever, because these are the cardinal directions. There are four of them. They are not that hard to remember.

    That sounds like something Tesch herself had to repeat to herself over and over and over again just to remember the directions.

    I just want them to die horribly

    Makes two of us.

    And by the way, how big is the bloody eagle? Or the dove, for that matter. The one that pulled out the shoe from the raging current and carried it back. Birds can only carry as much as a third of their own weight. With anything more than that they cannot fly. Also, how does the dove grab the shoe? With its feet that are completely unsuited for grabbing? With its weak beak? That dove is no Lassie, its a freaking bird. Birds dont work that way. And no, I dont care about the whole “the are in a magic land” nonsense – this is the most basic, unchangeable mechanic of an avian body SHUT UP TESCH

  5. Kawnliee on 31 May 2010, 02:11 said:

    The eagle (judging from the illustration) is absolutely enormous, probably bigger than Tolkien’s eagles. The doves appear to be more or less exactly the same as ordinary doves. And I considered this, and was actually thinking of making a joke about the airspeed velocity of a laden dove, and maybe having two doves carry a shoe between them, suspended from its shoelaces….but I think my 8th shot of Jameson distracted me and I never pursued it.

    I should go back and add that in, though.

  6. The Drunk Fox on 31 May 2010, 02:37 said:

    Wait a minute… they’re going to ride on the eagle? Where? Isn’t it completely covered with eyes?

    I was wondering the same thing!

    The eagle is doing everything for them.

    Or the dove, but yeah. I want random birds to do things for me and help me through my day, too! :(

    You just killed it in cold blood, despite never having to deal with anything like this before?

    Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen! Or is this just a case of ‘it’s a snake, so it’s obviously EEEEEEVIL!’

    Joey picks a banana leaf, wraps the snake’s head in it, and sticks it into his backpack.

    …Ew, why? This isn’t King’s Quest, why is he just putting weird-yet-useless stuff in his invento- I mean backpack? (Though I wish it were King’s Quest…)

    Also, are there any, y’know, rules for these tests? Because if it really is as simple as ‘cross this river’ or ‘agree to do what we want’ or whatever then it’s not really much of a test, is it?

  7. TakuGifian on 31 May 2010, 04:50 said:

    I kind of want to know the cumulative drinks total, but I’m afraid of going back through your previous sporks. Although maybe going backward wouldn’t be such a bad idea: it would seem like the writing was getting better!

    These ‘tests’ seem completely arbitrary and really reather silly. What’s next the ‘Test of Stopping For A Moment To Maybe Have Some Food, Or Something’?

  8. falconempress on 31 May 2010, 05:48 said:

    And I considered this, and was actually thinking of making a joke about the airspeed velocity of a laden dove, and maybe having two doves carry a shoe between them, suspended from its shoelaces….but I think my 8th shot of Jameson distracted me and I never pursued it.

    Yay Monty Python references! Although large quantities of liquor do tend to have that sort of effect on a human mind

  9. Puppet on 31 May 2010, 11:23 said:

    It’s a shame we can’t see the illustrations. I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the internet.

  10. Rayquazakid on 31 May 2010, 14:22 said:

    What I would have done, is at the part the eagle what-ever-it-is catches Maya, is instead catch her with his feet.

    Because they are flying, and the eagle might not be used to carrying anything down there, Maya’s legs are slammed into a nearby rock pillar. Oh, her legs are broken, now our heroine is a now a crippled.

    That would be much more of a conflict than this entire story.

  11. Northmark on 31 May 2010, 15:00 said:

    Most of the quotes in this book sound like Engrish. Seriously, when people can think English could be your second language, you shouldn’t be writing books in it.

  12. LucyWannabe on 31 May 2010, 16:03 said:

    Oh, Never Eat Soggy Waffles is a memory game you learn to help remember the cardinals directions. What makes me double-take is that this is something you learn in elementary school . If the brother and sister are as old as they are, they should’ve memorized the actual directions by now.

    Also, I’ve seen it written as “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” before. :P

  13. Danielle on 1 June 2010, 11:57 said:

    “Mountains cannot be conquered! You conquer yourself! You conquer your fears and can conquer your own future but you will never conquer a mountain!”
    Joey was looking at the mountains and replied,” Mountains cannot be conquered! I did not know that, but now I understand that I must conquer myself, my hopes and my fears and by conquering them I have conquered the mountains of my own future.” (page 85).

    ….

    Erm….

    Ah….

    Nightmare Revisited, anyone?

    Kidnap the Sandy Claws

  14. Asahel on 1 June 2010, 17:47 said:

    why would you be emotionally exhausted by listening to someone talk for ten minutes?

    Well, clearly you’ve never listened to The Warrior talk about destrucity for 10 minutes.

  15. Apep on 1 June 2010, 19:58 said:

    That only explains why we’d be tired of this, not the characters. They’re so used to the nonsensical ramblings that are posing as plot that they’ve built up a tolerance to it.

  16. fffan on 2 June 2010, 05:02 said:

    ‘A fourteen-year-old boy, using an ordinary kitchen butcher knife, swings it like a sword and manages to decapitate an enormous snake in a single blow.’

    ‘Not only is that improbable, but he killed an intelligent being who didn’t attack them. The snake just warned them, it didn’t attack them. Any remorse? Any? You just killed it in cold blood, despite never having to deal with anything like this before?’

    On top of that, he grabs a random bananna leaf from a random bananna tree, wraps the snake’s head in it and adds moore weight to his back pack for no reason. Yeesh.

  17. swenson on 4 June 2010, 22:14 said:

    …OK, I’m starting to wonder if Miz Tesch had just finished playing some obscure (and very poorly written) JRPG when she wrote this, because it sounds exactly like every quest-type game I’ve ever played. Informed Evil? Check. Extraordinarily important people you conveniently run into, despite there being no good reason for you to meet them? Check. ‘Choices’ that have no more than a thin illusion of free will? Check. Deus ex machina that, again, conveniently show up when the plot requires, and only then, despite having no reason for A) being there in the first place, B) not being there all along, and C) solving the problem instantly without the help of the main characters? Check.

    (paragraph break for readability) Thinly characterized characters consisting of the clever girl, the brash leader boy, and the comic relief who doesn’t do anything but is still brought along? Check. TARDIS-esque backpacks capable of carrying everything possibly required? Check. Tests that aren’t really tests, because you don’t want it to be too hard for the players and you want to make sure the plot, such as it is, gets moving along? Check. Picking up of random objects because they might come in handy later? Double check.

    Let me guess, in the next chapter they have to grind on mobs of goblins to get their experience level up?

  18. ManIWonder on 30 July 2010, 02:16 said:

    She must have learned English as a second language. The way some things are written are consistent with that, while other parts (meaning most) are just… ugh

  19. Tundra on 3 September 2010, 21:41 said:

    Ok I didn’t realise while commenting on the others that this is a kid writing this. Ugh. I have nothing against kids being published… if they’re good. I think most 13 year old writers could do better than this though. It’s hilarious!

  20. Brontozaurus on 19 October 2010, 21:24 said:

    I’d like to know whether it is ever mentioned that Joey puts his clothes back on.

    Because otherwise it means he’s wandering around naked for the rest of the book.

  21. swenson on 20 October 2010, 15:09 said:

    Bronto, my friend, have an Internet. Have two, in fact. This book has just become several times even more hilarious!