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.
We’re about a third into the book and so far it’s pretty good. I do wonder how much longer the character stuff goes on before the plot moves forward, as we’ve already had a potential shift in plot to a spy story involving people who don’t use spies. Ooooh, does that mean Joanna will get to have a watch that turns into a Battlemech? What? I had one as a kid. Mine was called Robotch but it was the same model robot watch that was used by almost everyone back in the 1980s. They even had them in breakfast cereal. I’ve gone off-track, haven’t I? Umm…obligatory link to the previous chapter.
A quick look shows that Diana is the focus of this story and I hope she gets to leave with Joanna on whichever assignment she’s getting because I really like her. I hope she got a story of her own at some point in this book series. Quick check…she does! Unless her story is all in this novel but I want more Diana stories. Yeah, it means more Ravill but it’s worth it. It better be. He’s in this chapter, too.
Seeing (reading) Diana tell Cholas to basically go f@#$ himself when he asks to couple with her may be my favorite moment thus far. It also allows us to learn that masturbation is forbidden in the Clans while the type of romance Cholas and Castilla, mostly Castilla now that I think about it, show is a cultural taboo as well. This gets them into a fight and Ravill shows up to break it up, of course laying the blame solely on Diana because of his disgust with freeborns–again, people not born in a canister.
However, at his office we see both Ravill’s OCD with the way his papers are on the desk and his continued obsession with both his own ego and Adian Pryde, though the latter is tied mainly to the former if you’ve been paying attention. During both his obsession with Adian and dislike of Joanna he decided to do heavy research into the man he claims to emulate, which is rare for a warrior caste member, and has learned that Diana’s father is Adian, something kept secret for various reasons. This guy really is unusual for a Mechwarrior, and his underlings aren’t much better. Because of his ego he expects Diana to be all amazed and totally on board with him now, but to nobody’s surprise but Ravill’s Diana doesn’t care. She already knew this and already doesn’t like her new CO so this changes nothing. Ravill Pryde is like a politician…except he actually researches what he’s talking about, but still has that “smarter than you so worship me” attitude the ruling class likes to have.
Maybe due to his obsession with the hero he took the bloodname for, Ravill wants Diana close, or maybe he’s trying to isolate Joanna further. Odd that he treats the close friend of his supposed hero like garbage but treats his other friends and family like he…tolerates them, since he still hates anyone that ever experienced a fallopian tube. However, both of her parents were “trueborn”, so that elevates her above other freeborn, but still below a trueborn in his eyes. It’s like saying she’s a higher quality of crap and she see that immediately. However, she’s still Adian’s kid and at least born from two trueborns so he makes her his coregn…which I had to look up and wonder why he didn’t just say “aide” or “assistant”. At least she doesn’t have to do the coupling duty because of her crap status. You know I wouldn’t be surprised if Ravill accidentally ended up under the heel of an Executioner mech. (That’s one of the ones listed in the back of the book and probably the most appropriate.)
Here’s hoping Joanna gets her out of this mess because Diana’s my favorite character so far and I want to see her get the happiness she deserves. Plus if this is a plot to isolate Joanna he’s in for a rude awakening. We’ll see what happens next time.