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.
Last time we had a new arrival, Zucker. Unlike Crede and Hal he needed help taking a form. In this week’s chapter we FINALLY get some explanation of what’s going on…just as we get hit with a new question. You’re just messing with me now, aren’t you, Theresa?
Chapter Six: The Mark
Crede brings Zucker home to meet Hal, which doesn’t go so well. Apparently Zucker and Hal didn’t get along back when they were non-corporeal. But Zucker’s added to the party and he’ll be staying with them. Now if someone hears Crede talking to someone and someone talks back, Zucker can take the “blame” for Hal, because talking dogs are…rather rare on Earth and usually confined to “I love you”. Which sounds less coherent than Scooby-Doo has led us to believe even before they cleared up his speech patterns. Seriously, watch an episode of Scooby-Doo Where Are You and compare it to pretty much anything made in the 2000s.
Then we have a scene at the restaurant where Crede introduces Zucker to Susan and finally we get some physical descriptions. Susan is a blonde with a ponytail, kind of thin, and apparently very attractive. Even Zucker is charmed by her and I wonder if there’s going to be a love triangle between Crede, Susan, and Zucker coming? But the description I’ve been wanting since Crede first took human form (maybe my cartoonist instincts) is finally given. Crede Wells (the last name being used while in human form) is of average height (Zucker maybe an inch taller), stocky build, with brown hair and eyes. Zucker’s hair is darker and wavier. Crede also notes that no two humans appear to look alike, which may mean a low population of twins in Branson, if any, and Crede hasn’t met them yet. Triplets would blow his mind and imagine a sextuplet of the same gender if most to all of then are identical instead of fraternal. It’s nice to finally get a mental picture of what Crede looks like. Now if we could get one for Hal outside of “dog”. Also we STILL don’t know what an Omega Capsule is and by now I thought it would at least be hinted as existing since it’s made such a big deal of on the back cover and part of the title.
It’s the next day when we get another answer…and a new question or two. Crede wakes up with a strange mark on his chest, which is shown to us thanks to those little sketches at the top of every new chapter. I wonder if things like this are the reason each chapter starts this way or if Broderick took advantage of her gimmick? Apparently this mark means he is destined to rule. Rule what is the question as he notes T. Dak 6 doesn’t really use rulers anymore since they have a different lifestyle. We also learn that Hoylt is Crede’s brother and that he may well be, as I predicted, Morris Green. Apparently Hoylt is better at coming up with a first name, but at least Crede can be considered an Earth name while they tell Susan that Zucker is short for Zachary and she goes along with it. Actually, it would be a shame if Hoylt turns out to be Paul, since he’s here to find out which of them will have this ruling mark and is going to be mad if he finds out Crede has it.
I’m guessing this is a relic from the race’s corporeal days because if they’re basically thought that can “phase” into other forms now you’d have no way to see this mark unless you took a physical form. Crede only came here to see how this whole life thing worked. So I’m not sure what Hoylt’s agenda is. Despite Zucker bowing (to Crede’s annoyance…in fact he freaks out at the thought of having the mark) Crede gives me the impression that nobody would care, and how would Hoylt, if he had the mark, or Crede, since he does have it, show it to anyone when their race no longer has physical bodies on a regular basis? And why does this mark indicate a ruler? We know little to nothing about their culture outside of not caring about the day-to-night cycle and a pact of nonviolence. Crede’s late to work and Hal decides to drag Zucker into investigating Morris, so maybe we’ll learn a few more things next time.
Next time: Two Dimensions
(with a picture of a desk and a computer that appears to be flat like paper)