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.
The light is at the end of the tunnel but at least this part of the tunnel has finally been interesting. I’m almost done with this book and if this is typical of what will be in this series I’m not sure when I’ll be looking at the other two books I own of this series, or the one book of the spin-off Net Force book. We’ve killed off two of the five remotely likable main characters, and yes I’m listing Soonji because even in death she was important to the story. And it’s only in the past few chapters that Op-Center has done more than talk and introduce us to mostly unlikable jerks who want to either take over the boss’s job or his wife’s “job”. It’s made cheering for them difficult but that won’t be my worry much longer.
- Chapter 77: Wednesday, 6:05 PM, Op-Center: 3 1/6 pages
- Chapter 78: Wednesday, 8:10 AM, Seoul: 4 pages
- Chapter 79: Wednesday, 617 AM, Op-Center: 7 pages
Let’s see if Op-Center’s “stunning” cast keeps on this groove they’ve been on or falls right back into form.
Despite one of the medical people on the scene telling Gregory he was a hero before he died, apparently the North general at the DMZ is looking to play politics. He’s sitting in his jeep “waiting” for the meeting that won’t happen, and they’re trying to spin what happened. If I understand this because Gregory was running towards the barracks with a knife and it should be obvious he was trying to stop the poison gas it sounds like they’re trying to connect the two poorly. It’s going to be harder to prove there’s a conspiracy going on, and Eyepatch may be getting his war. And yet Hood has a plan that hopefully will stop this war from happening. It would be nice to see Op-Center actually involved directly rather than fighting viruses and looking at satellite images, plus the Striker team has to stop those missiles from hitting Japan.
While the events continue the scene changes to Hwan in his hospital bed. Hood calls him to get his help (and to unfortunately deliver the news about Gregory, which he has to be blunt about because time is important). His plan is to get lady-Kim to contact her superiors and tell them that this was all arranged by a splinter group and not an attack by the South Koreans. However, since our poisoner wasn’t Eyepatch he’s still on the loose and Paul has to find him fast. Also Hwan learns about his comrade’s deception and moves to give her the protection he requested for his rescuer before. He also threatens to get him sent to a radio team in Antarctica which gets the jerk moving like he should have before. Good for you, Hwan.
Back to Op-Center as the team tries to track Eyepatch with the satellites. Eventually they catch him about to attack the North Korean DMZ general and have lady-Kim warn her people, then has Schneider take Eyepatch down. This is actually a good strategy if it works, which luckily it does. Now the South just saved the Northern general from an attack by a fanatic. Hood can spin this positively and stop the war. While I question the science of the satellites being able to track him that closely (I know US spy satellites are supposed to be good but enough to see the general bleeding I kind of doubt) the scene playing out through the refreshing satellite images (it’s still the 1990s) would be dramatic in TV/movie form and even in prose it works well. Now it’s just a case of the missiles taken over by the North side of the conspiracy still pointed towards Japan, and Hood is getting an update on Rodgers’ scheme. Will it work? You’ll have to wait for next time or just go ahead and read it.
With only eight usually short chapters left I can wrap this up easily if I do four chapters for the next two installments of this review and that’s what I’ll be doing. This was a great set of chapters but I still want this book over with. If only this had been the norm instead of just the climax, where the heroes are involved somehow in the story and we weren’t just hearing about how bad most of them were as people. The end of tunnel move ever closer and I’m giving it the gas this book needed a long time ago.