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.
Although as you can see from the article title, we’re reviewing three chapters like we did last week. To use a different TV analogy, it’s like the chapter is stopping at each commercial break instead of a full-length chapter. To me a chapter should feel like a full experience on its own, something you read between life events to relax and if you have more time (and the story is that good) you read more. Basically a chapter ending is a good stopping point if you need to be doing something else like getting something to eat, returning to work, or putting out that grease fire in the kitchen. No, wait, maybe these chapters are short enough for that but maybe put the book down and grab the baking soda or fire extinguisher. Not water, that just spreads the fire…WHY ARE YOU READING THIS WHEN YOUR KITCHEN IS ON FIRE!
Fire out? Good. Now until you hear back from the insurance agent let’s go see on Joanna is handling her new assignment on planet Dogg and her secret other assignment. Last time we met at least one jerk whose best quality is “he’s not Ravill Pryde”. How long before she risks her secret mission and punches this guy in the face?
In chapter 18 Joanna makes a new friend…sort of. Karlac is basically another Joanna and they both don’t like Bailly. so of course they bond until Karlac accidentally almost spits out what they’re storing. Joanna’s new so she isn’t considered ready for the local gossip. However, it’s nice that she got to make a new friend. We also learn that Clan bodies whose genetic material isn’t reused in the next vat of test tube warriors gets put into the nutrient the growing “babies” absorb and frankly…that’s kind of gross, not going to lie. I think the important thing is that there is an interesting secret on Dogg but whether it ties into the possible Wolf spy we have yet to see.
On to chapter 19, the longest chapter in this set. This is where things get interesting, as insomnia gives Joanna a reason to have a late night look around, and sees a dropship (they drop from a ship in orbit, kind of like in Halo) without markings and guarded by Elementals. Now in the show I thought the Elementals were just some kind of mech-type armor, like Iron Man or the third Robotech war. That’s how it appeared in the cartoon. Well, there is indeed armor like that it’s actually designed for a special breed of tall, powerful warrior. So think Steel, or even guys like Shaq or Hightower from the Police Academy franchise. So I learned something there that was different from the show. Karlac is also aware of the drops, which happen every few months and the techs get nervous when it’s landing day. Joanna talks her into going with her tomorrow night and doing some investigation, allegedly out of boredom. When Karlac leaves she sees Bailly, who apparently isn’t as in as bad a shape as he’s pretending. Something weird is going on.
Finally, chapter 20. Not much happens in this one. It’s just Joanna trying to figure out what’s going on, and annoyed by both the state of the old fogeys sitting around and the strangeness of her mission to her. She and Karlac make final arrangements for their little truth seeking mission and Bailly is nowhere to be seen. It’s the calm before whatever is about to happen next.
Combined with chapter 17 this could almost be one chapter, though 17 could also stand alone as a bridge between Sudaten and Dogg, the two phase of Joanna’s life right now. I’m not sure if next week’s will be two chapter or three based on a quick peek. Once I start reading I’ll decide page count versus story and see what feels like a good ending point. We’re slightly over half-way through the book now and things are starting to get interesting. Let’s hope the plot really gets moving next time.