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.
Question for those of you following or reading along: is there a worse case scenario we don’t have yet? An ill-advised experiment is about to be disrupted for a well-meaning but also ill-advised solution to a different problem. At this point I think we’re just waiting for the train to crash, and we’ll be half-way through the book when it does. You have to feel sorry for Spider-Man since he just put himself at ground zero. This couldn’t go worse if Milo Murphy was standing IN the fire cage with Kasaday. All we can do is sit back and watch the…well, carnage.
We see the events from three different perspectives, jumping back in time a few second to change views. Dr. Catrall, security chief Fiorello, and Spider-Man both witness as Catrall tries to use the radiation to destroy the madness liquid, Fiorello tries to stop him not knowing what’s in the briefcase, and Spidey tries to save Catrall from being shot full of holes. Instead (surprising nobody who saw this coming somehow) the generators get his and Carnage gets loose. Nice going, doc! Next time you need a lot of radiation, call Bruce Banner.
I think the chapter ends early though. It should have ended with the fight between Spider-Man and Carnage and Carnage’s inevitable escape, my money being on either Catrall, the vial, or both going with him. Instead it ends with Spidey confronting Carnage. The chapter feels a bit short because of it.
What we do get is a good use of those perspectives. Our narrators remember that Fiorello shouldn’t know Catrall, name and Spider-Man shouldn’t know Fiorello’s. We see what we need to see from one perspective, then warp back a bit to see the new angle before the fan takes on a manure scent. The descriptions continue to paint a proper picture. I just wish the chapter had been a bit longer. I don’t think this is a young adults novel.
Next time Spider-Man versus Carnage, round 1. We are now at the halfway mark of the book so I don’t see this going well for our hero…or New York!