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.

Does Dana have ulterior plans? Well, she’s Dana so the odds favor it. Last time she let slip something about going into space but the way she said it makes me think it’s not just about seeing the remaining Zentraedi up on the old factory satellite, where we’re headed this chapter.

I’m wondering if maybe there wasn’t too much backstory last chapter. Obviously there are things that need to be established but a good use of backstory is to establish a history, maybe making someone curious to see these other stories in the novels and comics to see this “expanded universe” part of Robotech, but when done wrong actually loses the audience instead. I think we know what we need to about the otherwise unchronicled years but given what’s about to happen I’m expecting more talk about the Malcontent Uprisings, a period I know only a little about because I didn’t know there were Robotech comics until the Academy run and this is my first novel. Let’s see if we get a good balance this time.

Dana goes to the Robotech satellite and in typical Zentraedi repair abilities, as in none if you saw The Macross Saga, it’s kind of a mess. We also learn that they ended up separated by gender again, which was more Macross than Robotech, as I don’t remember the split being as defined in the latter. Apparently the men of this self-imposed exile died because they couldn’t handle the strain, fell into a depression, and died off. If this were a modern story I’d blame it on the culture but this came out in 1996 so I’m more willing to believe this was just a storytelling decision. I’m not sure why the author made that decision but he did.

The book also dives into expanded universe stuff, with the women referred to as T’sentradi, Rolf having a history with someone named Iian Tinari…about the only thing I followed was that her adoptive uncles died and she was taken in by Rolf, and of course that time Dana was brought to the satellite so Max and Miyria could display the power of love as part of a plan to retake the factory satellite back in the first war. The former was mentioned in a comic I have while the latter was from an actual episode I don’t have available to me in either episode or comic form. Everything else, including Zentraedi language, are from later comics and novel adaptations. Also, Dana and Marie arrive in either a Legolos or the Alpha and Beta fighter combo. I couldn’t follow that part as both mecha were mentioned. So I was lost for a bit as they go into history only readers who were lucky enough to learn about this stuff at the time managed to read.

Of importance to this story is that the T’senradi tell Dana that weapons won’t work on the Invid Sensor Nebula and it’s too late anyway. Better to prepare for the invasion, which they request to be part of as free people. Given how what’s left of the Southern Cross is dealing with deserters I’m not sure what their chances are.

From there we go to Liberty, the apparent hellhole of torment this book decided it is. Poor Dennis (and that first paragraph should have established “he” was Dennis) meets up with Rawley, the tech from when the satellite first appeared and I swear he may be worse than the male Zentraedi in that I’m surprised he hasn’t killed himself. I don’t know if his woe-is-me rambling about the satellite and wanting to run off to the Southlands to live like a hermit is supposed to be amusing or as annoying as it actually is, but thankfully he shuts up when another bogey shows up…which he again thinks is the Invid. Actually, it’s Colonel Wolf’s ship and it couldn’t have arrived too soon for me. Otherwise this segment would have been even more unnecessary than the one from last chapter. Even this has to mention some group that I’m not sure was part of an expanded story or not but it wasn’t worth bringing up.

Maybe now that Colonel Wolf has arrived this signals that the novel is done with backstory both useful and confusing, and ready to get the story moving forward. We’ll see what happens in the next exciting chapter of Robotech.

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. […] In the last chapter of Robotech: Dana meets with the remaining members of her people who didn’t go with the Robotech Expeditionary Force and it was a rather bleak reunion. Some good news came with the arrival of Colonel Jonathan Wolf, hero of the wars on Tirol and experienced fighter of the Invid, along with new mecha and protoculture plus a ship that may just give the planet a fighting chance of surviving a third Robotech War over the mysterious power source known as protoculture. […]

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