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.
For those of you just coming in we just finished looking at the first scene of the story, in which we were introduced to our cast of senior warriors and the young punks who tried to show off how much better they are because they were grown in a test tube with the genes of supposedly greater warriors. Apparently they didn’t realize it takes more than genes to be a warrior.
I’m hoping there are some actual mechbattles before this is done. While I’ve never been interested in the tabletop game (and I tried playing the demo of one of the video games and let’s just say I’m not cut out for it) it was the giant robots that drew me to the show. I just stayed for the characters. BattleTech is a larger universe with numerous characters and stories to go over, as I learned from the few comics I’ve collected, which also fascinates me for the same reason it does for something like Transformers, because I see the wide range of possibilities. Hopefully this book lives up to that because given our previous multi-chapter scene that might be ironic. I think. Darn it, Alanis Morissette!
We finally meet the “famous” Star Colonel Ravill Pryde and it’s not just the fact that we’re seeing this from Joanna’s POV that this guy’s a putz. He seems to love celebrating himself and the trial that earned him his bloodname, a sort of tournament in Battlemechs where the last Mechwarrior standing gets a last name. None of the veterans, who have seen actual combat against actual enemies, are all that impressed but the younger warriors are taking it like some great conquest. The dude’s too skinny for his uniform and as Diana points out he seems to be forming his own mythology around himself. It’s kind of pathetic and while Horse is trying to give him some credit for his bloodname Joanna’s not buying what the putz is selling. What’s worse is he keeps invoking Adian Pryde and going on about how his victory was so similar to Adian’s early trials. These young punks are really in love with Adian’s legacy but the people who actually fought aside him are not impressed with this namesake, though again for some reason Horse is trying to.
Meanwhile Joanna is dealing with her age and her inability to earn her own bloodname, which I’m sure will play into her character arc. While I’m certainly no defender of the Clans’ way of life I have more respect for Joanna. She might not have earned a last name but she has earned her rank and her way in life. She is a better example of what a warrior should be and she’s more honest while being less egotistical than the Colonel. Ravill is very full of himself while Joanna seems more interested in what it means to be a warrior and that’s why I have more respect for her personally even though the Clan’s lifestyle is one I outright reject.
As this story goes I image that we’ll see if Ravill can live up to his bloodname but I’m more interested in Joanna. We’ll see what happens to her next time.