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.
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.
I’m not sure why but I don’t have a lot to say going into this. I guess having already reviewed Robotech comics around this period I already said plenty there. Also I don’t have any expectations when it comes to the story. I mean, I always expect a good story and more often than not that’s delivered on. However I mean I have no expectations about the story outside of wondering how all five factions (still counting Dana as her own faction) are going to play into this story. I guess we’ll just start the review and see what turns up.
So it seems this chapter is a mix of worldbuilding and moving the story ahead, which is fine. First we see more with Dana and company as they try to house the remaining Master clones. Between this and the second part of the chapter we don’t exactly get a cheery picture of Earth in the 2020’s. If you think what we actually went through is bad the government is struggling, the military is deserting–some even taking their mecha with them because…I don’t know, their cars were blown up or something–and lawlessness is taking hold. They’ve been beating found clones to death and would love to do the same to Supreme Commander Leonard if he wasn’t already dead. I’m guessing it’s anger that is making them upset he went down with the base instead of answering for his crimes when you can make the case karma did that for him. They’ll be staying at a cabin Rolf Emmerson, now declared a hero of the war, used to maintain and take Dana and Bowie.
This is a bit of an inconsistency between the show and here. I thought Dana was raised by Rico, Konda, and Bron, the three Zentraedi spies who become three of the first defectors? Instead we have Rolf mentioned as having raised Dana, which doesn’t even fly with dialog during the show. I don’t know why this retcon exists. We also seem to have indications that the former Monument City was somewhere in America, given that Denver and Portland are two cities mentioned as not taking refugees and both are among possible locations for a new United Earth Government headquarters. I’m guessing this is because where Reflex Point is shown plus Robotech being an American production because the anime the Masters saga footage came from, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, took place on an alien planet. So this does connect to Reflex Point being in the US (though Scott and his band apparently took the long way from the south to upper midwest given they end up in New York at one point) as they would logically choose the starting ground of the Flower Of Life spores being spread out. Of course that could also depend on where the Regis sticks her Genesis Pit experiments as well.
Speaking of the UEG they’re meeting in a former mall to see if they still exist and where to set up shop. As one of the members notes they seem to have learned nothing. Some of the Southern Cross leaders are still loyal to Leonard and his vision for some reason, the Global Military Police have their own issues, and one interesting name turns up in light of today’s comic review.
Alfred Nader is among the senators and is pushing for giving the Invid what they want in hopes they’ll just leave. Nader is the guy Lunk was trying to get the book back to in “Paper Hero”, the episode I reviewed the adaptation of today. The thing his it made a bit of sense for him to be the local mayor of the village warning against attacking the Invid because they had no chance, even if it did get him killed. However, he isn’t coming off nearly as smart here. Knowing that his son is killed during the first attempt to reclaim the planet from the Invid, if not the initial invasion since it’s not clear when Lunk and Nader’s son fought the Invid, is a bit more tragic knowing his dad actually thought they could make peace with the Invid. Indications in the episode was that in the initial invasion they didn’t take time to ask any more than the Robotech Masters did. And yet you could make a better case for this strategy working for the Masters if they had actually said “look, we just want the Protoculture Matrix back”. I know that would be hard given the anime but it would have been smarter for the Masters, though less jerkish.
Also mentioned here is Doctor Zand again, as well as EVE from the Robotech movie. This also shows that Leonard had been contacted by the Masters, seen as part of the footage spliced into Megazone 23 in an attempt to tie it in to the overall Robotech narrative. The movie wasn’t released but I guess events were still considered canon to the novels (I don’t know if it was adapted into a novel like it was into the Academy Comics run) as they’re mentioned here and somehow recordings of Leonard talking to the Masters were made public…instead of turned to dust apparently. That must have been one doozy of a vault they were kept in. You’d think Leonard would have deleted all evidence of the communications so he could blow up more aliens.
This is also our first mention of the Shimada family when the possibility of going out of the country and maybe going to Tokyo is mentioned. While treated as pacifists on the back cover as they’re supposed to be “hoping for a peaceful solution” one of the senators claims they’re actually gangsters and basically running the city, where oddly the war never involved them. You’d think battles and giant robots would have Tokyo as ground zero. Since I’ve seen gangsters try to take over Godzilla in more than one continuity I can’t way to see how this one goes and if the blurb was in error.
Next time we’ll get to visit Tokyo and maybe we’ll get to see a Shimada. And put him in a Pokeball…what was with that sentence, brain? Fine, I’m scheduling this for Monday and going to bed.