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.
What these chapters lack in size they make up for in a sort of personal thought exercise. For those new or newer to the party, commercials to me was a chance to think about the story and come up with my own scenarios as to how the heroes would get out of a certain situation or how things could progress. Then I could see if I was right. The chapter breaks in this book are acting the same way. I read before writing the intro again to see if I had to discuss more than one chapter, but I find that I don’t want to know because I really want to see how well I can guess things. It could just be how my mind works.
Last time we met our supporting cast, a guy named Paul who works at the bakery Crede likes and a woman named Susan that Crede works with and uses his powers to secretly cover for her bad cooking. Maybe you should find someone who can show her how to cook? This chapter will introduce one more name to the list, and I have some thoughts about him.
Chapter Four: Morris Green
Before we get to Morris…actually there’s something even before I get to that. The chapters all start with a little illustration. Chapter One had a suitcase, chapter two a set of doggy footprints, and last chapter a steaming bowl of most likely Susan’s terrible soup. This chapter starts with a camera and I’m not sure how that works into the story. A snapshot of Crede’s day? Some other meaning I’m not getting? Next chapter has a decapitated stick figure with his head on the ground and I have to remind myself this is a young reader book before getting too concerned about what’s to come. Or things are about to get seriously violent up in here.
Back to the story. Crede is finding he enjoys spending time with Susan and being around her makes him feel strange. Methinks the boy has a crush. Hal meanwhile has his own fixation: chasing cats. For some reason he can chase anything but the cat chasing is what he really enjoys, which Susan (unaware that Hal is telling Crede this of course) says it’s normal for dogs. This brings up more questions about how this shapeshifting works. How does it come with mating (not necessarily sexual) instincts for the human Crede and cat-chasing and other doggy instincts for the dog Hal, both of whom are usually bodyless (according to my earlier theorizing) beings from another planet. Also Crede needs to learn to understand sarcasm and to not explain to people there’s no life on Mars. Silly Crede.
Crede and Paul hangout later at a local bar, which must be Crede’s first visit to a bar, although he knows enough not to drink. Although in his case he only knows two drinks that don’t mess with his human shape, coffee for hot drinks and water for cold drinks. I wonder if he’s lactose intolerant and how you could pull that off in a young reader book? It’s here that we meet our latest character, and the title character for this chapter: Morris Green. Apparently he helped NASA out with…something (Paul doesn’t seem to have much interest in the space program, and seems to resent Morris’s celebrity status) and how he’s really popular. He also notices Crede and locks eyes with him. No, not like that, but Crede can feel some kind of interest, like Morris recognizes him or something before reporters take away his attention and he has to leave because getting a news story is of course more important than letting some guy relax and enjoy himself. Besides, when he snaps from the stress they get to right that story too, and we all love a good fallen celebrity story. By “we” I mean the press because I’d rather nobody crashes and burns except for the evil people.
So who is Morris Green and why is he interested in Crede? Remember Hoylt, the other alien who left the collective? Maybe we finally found him and maybe it’s Morris Green, enjoying the attention but looking for Crede? It would be odd that the leader would be worried about violent restraint when it comes to Hal, being Crede’s best buddy and all, even though he wasn’t mentioned as having left, just Crede and Hoylt. Still it’s possible Hal went later, after we saw them in action and he popped up to steer us away from the upcoming threat mentioned on the back of the book, someone who knows about the still unmentioned Omega Capsule and his desire for it, and that Crede presumably has it. I have a feeling Mr. Green is going to have a strong part in all of this. Perhaps we’ll have a clue next time?
Next Time: Zucker