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.
After the last book I’ve decided to take something a bit shorter. This one is only six chapters, although the prologue is as long as the chapters. (The epilogue is rather short though.) It may seem strange to review a book where the chapters are roughly six to eight pages after declaring double than that is a preferred length but this is a young reader book, not quite Dr. Seuss length but still shorter than for example The First Phase Shifters And The Omega Capsule, which was a book for older young readers, teenagers who aren’t the type to read something War & Peace in length. This is for even younger, the usual target audience for Transformers until the older market gained their own attention.
Yes, we’re returning to the world of Cybertron and the Autobot/Decepticon war. We’re also returning to one of my favorite type of Transformer, and if I had the connecting audience (and maybe some of you are) I would be giving the book away by saying we’re looking at yet another introduction of the Mini-Cons. In the past I’ve looked over the US comic, the UK comic, the mini-comics (no pun intended), and someday I should go over the cartoon and video game. So this is not my last trip to this particular toyline’s media, and I don’t just mean Transformers in general. So to cleanse my pallet a bit for the next regular novel in our Chapter By Chapter book review series, I bring you…
Transformers Armada: The Battle Begins
written by Michael Teitelbaum
As a book for kids, produced by Reader’s Digest’s children’s book line, there is of course illustrated pages but the art is only attributed to “Dreamwave Studios”, because apparently they were doing all the artwork for the franchise. However, no individual artist is named, which I think is a shame. The art is quite good. The book also has an Autobot and Decepticon sticker bound inside (I still have them there) but no Mini-Con faction symbol sticker. They also put a flip book type thing in the corner that’s just the Autobot, Mini-Con, and Decepticon symbols spinning around into each other. This is the only other book I have ever owned that I remember having this feature, the other being a Flintstones pocket book (although considering how thick it is I’m not sure how well it would fit into a pocket but it’s otherwise the right size) that had Fred and Barney roller skating despite roller skating not being part of the story as I recall. I’m sure it’s around here someplace so I may look into that for The Clutter Reports someday. I was never very good at using flip books. I always seem to miss multiple pages when I flip.
The description on the back of the book is rather short but does at least explain the story.
The AUTOBOT robots fight the DECEPTICON warriors for the ultimate power in Transformers Armada: The Battle Begins.
When three kids make a strange discover in a mountain cave, little do they realize that the adventure of a lifetime is about to begin. Before their very eyes, two armies of giant robots suddenly materialize, and a battle–begun long ago on another planet–now breaks out on Earth.
Oddly the only mention of the Mini-Cons is a co-sell for the next book in this series, Race For The Mini-Con Robots, which I do not own. I bought this out of curiosity because I really like the Mini-Cons even if I think the gimmick was never fully realized. It’s my hope that this last chance yields a better result. The cover has Optimus Prime and Megatron on the cover but none of them has their Mini-Con partner. You would think the primary gimmick for the whole darn line would get a mention on the cover.
This is not Michael Teitelbaum’s only trip to Cybertron. Checking out his bibliography at the Transformers wiki shows other Transformers books, including three others in this series. Additionally he has also worked on kids books based on the DC Animated Universe, Star Wars, Nick Jr shows like Paw Patrol and Blaze & The Monster Machines, a Grumpy Cat book (RIP Grumpy Cat), and…a parody of The Hungry Caterpillar with a zombie. Hmm. I didn’t see that coming.
Next week our look at this book begins with the prologue. Over the following six weeks (that makes seven in total) I’ll go over the remaining chapters, combining the two page epilogue with the final chapter. This will be a lot shorter than our last book but I need a bit of a breather while still only reading one chapter at a time rather than three or four to get a proper reading experience. If this isn’t of interest to you, I’ll be back with a novel for adults afterwards. I just need an easy one this round. Roll out with me next week.