Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were a reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
I just realized that the new theme means I need new category headers for some series. Anyway, it’s been too long since I’ve gotten into this book, so I sat down with a couple of chapters of the not-an-adaptation of the video game. Honestly, chapter 22 contradicts one of the levels of the game. The previous group of chapters were setting up the scene but getting facts wrong, and that not only continues this edition, but more namedropping and continuity issues plague the adaptation.
I have said before and I’m betting will continue to say (I’m going to try to get back to doing these Chapter by Chapter reviews more often) that the story is pretty good. My nitpicks have been minor and some border on “fanboy”. However, here we have Starscream going into the depth of Cybertron, the flying level of the Decepticon campaign where Starscream and his team have to activate the Energon bridge, already fueled by Dark Energon (which still acts like an addictive drug, I hope that plays a role in the finale of the book), when I don’t recall that being the case in the game. Starscream also seems to be joined by more Seekers, but none of the typical Seekers (Thundercracker, Skywarp, Ramjet, Thrust, and Dirge) are mentioned. With the name dropping we’ve seen not only in this book but in the next chapter, that seems odd to me. Instead we get two original characters, Nacelle and Hotlink. Both are actually pretty good Transformer names and if Nacelle isn’t a nod to Star Trek, I’m just going to pretend it is anyway. However, one of Megatron’s scientists back on Trypticon Station is called Catalycon. That’s a terrible name, at least to my ears (when I can guess at how to say it in the first place).
The mission is a bit different as well, due to the changes in the story. In the game the point was to activate a shut down Dark Energon production factory, since Dark Energon is such a dangerous substance that the Autobots don’t want to mess with it. Here, they’re just activating a plain old Energon factory so they can beam the Energon to the space station and convert it into Dark Energon. However, Catalycon doesn’t think there will be enough, so Soundwave tells us that he found the Plasma Energy Chamber. In the three-part finale of the original cartoon, the Plasma Energy Chamber is the forge that was used to create the mechanical bodies of the Transformers, but houses great energies that can destroy machines. This was used for Beast Machines as well. Here it’s one of those mystical artifacts that nobody remembers. Soundwave seems to think it’s a potential energy source, but whether it’s just a big generator or the more traditional forge of great power it still is just name dropping.
There are positives, but that’s if you ignore the game and other continuity. Starscream continues to play his game and I’m thinking that his motivation isn’t one of power (unlike his namesakes) but more about autonomy. He seems to want to live without restraints, which is in keeping with what is motivating the war, which is the caste system and what if any version should be allowed to exist. We also see why Megatron is willing to suffer Starscream, even when he knows his lieutenant isn’t all that trustworthy. But really that’s it.
Next time, which I hope to go through a lot sooner than I have been, it’s the battle between Megatron and Sentinel Prime. I think we can guess who will win, and again, this will be different from that part of the game, but will it be a good fight?
- Ch. By Ch.> Transformers Exodus chapters 19-21 (bwmedia.wordpress.com)