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.

First, let’s set the mood.

Well, now that I’ve burned that theme song even further into my brain trying to find a clean intro that wasn’t the stupid “remastered edition” or one of the Toonami intros let’s finally start with this book. Last week we looked at the back of the book plot of the story, in which we’ll have five different factions feuding over Jonathan Wolf’s ship. First there’s the government, who thinks it’s not to late to stop the Invid Sensor Nebula because they never checked the barn door. Then there’s the military, who just sees more shiny weapons. New to our story are the Starchildren, who see this as a space taxi, and the Shimada family, who actually think you can reason with the unreasonable despite two wars already disproving it and everything I’m sure the Zentraedi and Tirolains have told them, plus the new info I’m sure Wolf brought back. Finally there’s Dana, who is a faction unto herself.

We know this story is ultimately to get the surviving heroes of the Second War out of the picture so they don’t have to die in the third war yet we don’t have to explain why they didn’t take part, while also getting Wolf where he needs to be in the show. It’s the same reason Robotech II: The Sentinels exists, though not in the intended form. I think we can assume Dana wins, but the question is how she wins and what happens to the other four factions…and will the two new busybodies do anything worth caring about? So let’s drop into the first chapter and begin this series of reviews.

This chapter seem to primarily get readers up to speed not only with remembering the end of the “Masters” portion of the show but a few things Jack McKinney (who remember was actually two writers until this last book, written when one of the team passed away) had added either in the adapting novels or the two original novels that preceded this one. So I can’t fully comment on the idea of Dana somehow having “powers” (outside of being unnecessary to me but wait until we get to the post-New Generation stories from Academy Comics, Aftermath and Mordecai/Clone), the concept of the Shaping, one of the Master Elders being given a name, or some of the characters clearly introduced elsewhere like Misa Yoshida, or Dr. Zand. Clearly McKinney added a few things to the story, trying to add a quasi-mystical element to what Protoculture is rather than keeping it simply a power and food source of strange science. Outside of the Regis’ Genesis Pit experiments I don’t see it. While Sentinels did show some enhanced psychic abilities when Tesla was chowing down on fruit cultivated from the Flower Of Life that would be it.

Misa is the first character we see, living underground in Tokyo (probably thanks to the events of the war with the Zentraedi) and watching broadcasts about the events of the final episode as the Masters try to take the remains of the Protoculture, and Zor’s failed attempt to destroy the Flower Of Life only to spread it and call to the Invid anyway. The rest of the chapter is Dana recounting her own perspective of the last episode and I’m guessing the events of the previous two original stories involving her being kidnapped by Zand because of her supposed powers and trying to “marry the Flower Of Life”, whatever the heck that means. It certainly isn’t in the ceremonial sense but it may be another example of the quasi-mystical elements having been added. Dana notes that both Zand and Dr. Lang treated Protoculture from an almost religious nature but I have questions on that as well.

As an introduction this kind of loses me, and I supposedly know this franchise. However I don’t know what Jack McKinney added to the lore in their books both in the adaptations and two previous original stories so while I followed the parts I know pretty easily the parts I don’t were hard to follow. I imagine someone who knows nothing about Robotech or even just the second war would be worse off than I am. I’m hoping the entire novel doesn’t require this level of familiarity or it may only be recommendable to fans of McKinney’s run and maybe the show but definitely not as an entry point. Next chapter we’ll see what direction the story takes.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. […] The previous chapter was all backstory for anyone who missed the end of the Masters saga and the original takes from the previous novels. This time I’m hoping for some actual advancement. We only have 17 chapters to go and the action doesn’t start until Col. Wolf shows up with the SDF Plot Device. […]

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