Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were 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.
And this book club is staying in the realms of science fiction. Being what I assumed (falsely perhaps) to be a self-published book, I wasn’t expecting a lot of people to have heard of this. Considering what it goes for on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, however, I’ve rethought that assessment, so please ruin nothing for me. I have read zero of this book. Remember when I talked about my mom trying to read The Black Stallion’s Ghost to me (although circumstances halted that)? We’ll, I had some idea about that book. I’m going into this one completely blind, like the Phantom anthology. Only this one comes from my late mother’s library. My dad wasn’t much of a reader while my mom was a huge reader. She had a lot of books because she didn’t read comics like I do, meaning all her reading material were in prose form. I kind of wish I had kept the Erma Brombeck books because I hear her writing is really funny, but I’ve got a huge stack of my own novels to go through, so that didn’t happen.
However, while I’m using this article series to get to read it I’m going to have to tread a little lighter on this review than I have on others. The writer for this one my mom’s cousin. I don’t remember meeting her (but I have enough trouble keeping track of my own cousins, including two I’ve never met for family reasons, although one of them was a pen pal for awhile) but it does mean I’m technically reviewing family here. (By the way, I said on Sunday that she was a nun. Apparently that’s a different cousin of hers. I refer you to the previous parentheses.) I’m going to be fair, mind you; I’ll praise what I think works and comment on what I think doesn’t, but I’m going to pick my wording a little more carefully than in previous installments. So how many of you have even heard of our next Chapter By Chapter book review topic…..
The 1st Phase Shifters And The Omega Capsule
By Theresa Broderick
The first book in this series, which goes for quite a lot so this may be one of the most expensive books I currently own (although I may give it to my Uncle when I’m done because she’s his cousin, too). That’s impressive as it’s one of the newer books I’ve read for this article series. The second book isn’t as pricey but both Amazon and B&N are out of stock as of this writing, at least online. So, go cousin! But what’s this book about? Let’s check the back of the book.
Knowing that it’s the only way he can experience what it’s like to really live, Crede must first leave his home, change his phase of being, and travel to a new and primitive planet. Then he learns to use his unique powers and adapts to life here on Earth.
This isn’t a criticism, but I would love to see a story with an alien visitor (not even an invader, just a regular visitor) who has advanced space travel and yet the smartphone is considered advanced technology. After all, even a cheap MP3 video player for kids has more brain power than the computers that got us to the moon and back in the 1960s. I just would, for once, like to see us not the most primitive planet among the spacefaring species. “How is it so cool in this room despite the heat outside?” “Air conditioner. You should see my sister’s place. They have central air HVAC.” “Amazing!” If we suck so bad why does approximately one quarter of the galaxy (give or take a parsec) keep trying to conquer us?
What Crede doesn’t know, however, is that someone else followed him. Someone who has been inside the Omega Capsule and knows about its secrets. Someone who knows what it can do! Someone who wants what Crede has and will stop at nothing to get it!
So this piece has a villain. The only problem I have with paragraph is it doesn’t sell the titular Omega Capsule well. I don’t know what an Omega Capsule is; this is the first book of two currently in the series. I don’t know who Crede is, what an Omega Capsule is, or why I should be concerned about this alleged “secrets”. Sure, we never knew what secrets lied in Castle Grayskull, but everyone built it up as a big thing. Why not call it the “mysterious Omega Capsule”, or explain if it’s a vessel like a starship or a TARDIS, or an object he carries like the first Ultraman’s Beta Capsule. I know I’m going to find out in the first chapter or so, therefore yelling at me about it is a waste of time. The cover, especially this being a paperback, should give me some idea of how dangerous this knowledge is besides “I know what it does”. Yeah, I saw what you did last summer, too, and the most exciting thing was that face slap you honestly deserved. There’s a reason I got her phone number and you didn’t. Wait, where was I? Oh right, delusional because the closest I got to the beach was a family gathering near the lake. Stupid 2016.
So what has Broderick (I’m in professional mode now) written prior to this? Well, according to the “about the author” page, her work has been in the realm of children’s books. Of course I haven’t read them, but the author page boasts that her previous books are really popular in schools. This is more of a young reader book, like The Black Stallion’s Ghost. We’re talking 17 chapters plus a two page introduction. So next week we start with that and our first chapter as we learn what a Phase Shifter is and why the Omega Capsule is such a big deal.
Next time: The Arrivals