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.
Usually when I do the Chapter By Chapter articles I do the intro first, read the chapters, and then finish the review. It adds a bit of authenticity to the intro when I don’t know what’s coming up instead of pretending I am to make for a good intro. This week however I wasn’t sure if I would be reading two chapters or three. Together, chapters 21 and 22 make for a full chapter length but reading through three chapters like I did last week and other chapters in this section of the book seemed like a good option. When the techs broke out the guns I decided to read one more chapter.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Joanna has talked Karlac into investigating the warehouse. What will they find? Yeah, I already know but that’s not as much fun. Let’s just get to the review.
Our heroine and her new…not really friend, acquaintance maybe…break into the warehouse and find just a bunch of junk the Inner Sphere (the original combatants solo in the BattleTech games before the Clans were introduced) left behind when this area of space was given to the Jade Falcons. As Joanna suspects it’s just a cover for a secret underground base of some kind using former mines. We don’t know yet what’s down there, but these three chapters do their cliffhangers well. When the secret elevator starts to close Karlac panics and jumps into it. When Joanna later tries to use the elevator she ends up looking down the barrels of guns held by the techs I mentioned earlier. When the last chapter in this set ends they’re heading towards a bright light at the end of the tunnel, but was a good place to end this session. Whatever issue I have with the shorter chapters these weren’t bad stopping points.
We do get some question about how being part of this old folks…sorry, solahma unit may affect these warriors. Karlac hasn’t lost her restlessness but she has lost her edge. It shows as she’s more cautious than Joanna, who still has her warrior impulses pretty sharp since she’s only been here a few months. Karlac is easily defeated by the techs while Joanna is ready for them. Karlac almost seems to admire Joanna for her determination…though there is also some question as to whether or not she’s the spy for Clan Wolf. While there’s clearly some mystery surrounding Bailly what do we really know about Karlac?
Meanwhile we learn that the Wolf Clan are not cowards but do more willingly embrace the freeborn members of their group, and one of their Khans (the dudes in charge) was an Inner Sphere bondsman. (Bondsmen are warriors defeated by the Clans who are taken under the wing of the one who defeated him and take them on as a sort of apprentice. This includes members of the other Clans as well as the Inner Sphere warriors. We saw this in the cartoon when one of the Inner Sphere heroes are taken in and become a member of Jade Falcon.) So if Ravill was a member of this group he would be pretending to hate freeborns this much as a cover, almost comically? No, that still wouldn’t explain his obsession with Adian Pryde to the point of wanting to be the mentor to Adian’s biological daughter. Yet we know he’s part of some experiment mixing Jade Falcon and Wolf Clan genetic material. I wonder if that’s in play here as well since otherwise it’s an odd addition to this story and a bit distracting.
Next time we learn what Joanna and Karlac find as I again have yet to decide how many chapters I’ll be reviewing. The next two chapter take the full length but we’re still dealing with short chapters and it depends on where the good break is. Join in and find out, especially if you’re reading along. Is anyone reading along? Let me know because I wonder if anyone ever does.