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.
In the last chapter of Robotech: Numerous factions seek the Homeward Bound for their own ends; some as a means of escape, some as a means of attack, and one in the foolish hope of pleasing the Invid as a gesture of peace with an enemy who has long since forgotten the word’s meaning. There is one common view however, that their best chance to rest the ship from Colonel Jonathan Wolff and the returning Robotech Expedition Force is Dana Sterling, whose only goal would be returning the survivors of the Robotech Masters to Tirol before they all die of homesickness and severed ties to the protoculture matrix and the triumvirate way of life they clinged to for so very long.
We have eighteen chapters plus the prologue and epilogue. That means we’re near the end of the book. I’ve already chosen the next Chapter By Chapter (though I have about six weeks to change my mind so I won’t reveal it yet). So far I’ve found the book…interesting. This political stuff never really interest me but knowing these characters and being curious how the heroes of the second war managed to escape the third one has kept me interested in this story. Is it enough to save it in my collection? Let’s get back in and get closer to finding out.
Three segments this round, with the first and third almost bookends, given their connection. So let’s start with the second. Louie goes to Dana hoping that she can get the code they need to get into the computers. He mentions nothing about what Shimada is planning and almost seems to be manipulating Dana into helping, of course not knowing about Dana and Jonathan’s affair. Yep, apparently they did more than kiss after the last chapter. Louie mentions getting the Tirolians home, which Dana calls him out on and while he apologizes I’m not seeing Louie in a positive light right now. There were times he was one of my favorite characters but the way I’m reading things now I’m losing respect for him as far as this story goes. I’m also a bit disturbed that Dana is now another of Wolff’s failed romances between his wife, Minmei, and in the comics at least (I don’t know if this happened in the novels) the amnesiac Praxia. It kind of taints Dana a bit as a character whatever benefit it adds to the personal drama in the story itself. I’m not a fan of these decisions.
The first segment meanwhile has Misa possibly finding a romance among the Starchildren, not sure if she really wants to be with Terry between working for the government and working for Shimada. She’s been having second thoughts since meeting up with the Starchildren since spending time with them. It kind of makes that romance unnecessary so here’s another odd decision in this chapter I’m not a fan of. Heck, at this point the Starchildren themselves have become superfluous to the story. Now some of them are just there to be part of the project but don’t plan to be among the leaving. Don’t worry; according to the historical blurb you’ll be right here to be killed off by the Invid. We also learn the GMP informant also working for Shimada is the mistress of the husband of the woman behind this project. That seems as unnecessary as the group itself honest.
The segment ends with an attack on the ship, but in the third segment we learn it was General Vicinzi’s people behind it, playing nice with the GMP. I haven’t talked about him much but he’s apparently one of Leonard’s acolytes and is hoping to get his hands on the ship as well, because everybody is. The problem is he feels out of place in this story, another unnecessary factor that comes off as T.R. Edwards done wrong. He wants to replace the crew with robots. Really at this point it’s a case of who isn’t trying to steal this ship at this point and each one is worse than the last.
In short I really didn’t enjoy this chapter. Louie and Dana don’t look good, the Starchildren are kind of there at the moment, and the villain feels unnecessary in a story where the other factions are morally questionable and working fine on their own. Be with us next time for chapter seventeen, the next chapter in the odyssey of Robotech.