Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at a 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.
Time to dive back into The Future and the high-tech VR drugs. Last time the plot was actually more important than the worldbuilding as Jake got to do some actual investigating. This time I hope the momentum keeps going.
I’m a little confused on the spelling, as you may have noticed. The back cover calls the book TekWar with the W capitalized, but so often when I look it up it gets spelled Tekwar with the small W. Considering my own screenname, ShadowWing Tronix, and my fight to get GoBots spelled with the capital B and kept one word I know what a pain it is to get the internet to do it right. I even added the capitalized second W because people were trying to tell me there was only one w, and “Shadowing” wasn’t my name. So if I end up going back and forth know it’s the same typo issue that for some reason makes me go back to make sure Chapter By Chapter has the “By” capitalized. Otherwise the book says “TekWar” and that’s how I’m going to try to spell it, typos aside.
Jake arrives in Mexico and we’ll talk about the stereotyping in a moment. First let’s skip the cab ride and focus on Jake meeting another contact, a police captain named Ernie Manzano. We don’t learn a lot of new things, just clarification and minor updates on what we already know, that Warbride holds the area near the crash, the Kittridges may or may not be dead, Bennett Sands is tied into this as well as a few Teklords. It’d be redundant if it didn’t make sense to the story and there weren’t some kind of updating and clarification involved. Then Bascon calls and tells Jake that Danenberg is in Mexico and wants to meet with him. Whether or not she’s another robot we’ll have yet to find out. Then we get a nice cliffhanger as a cyborg with a knife for a hand attacks Jake in his hotel room. I’m guessing this is Shatner’s actor influence given that it’s how a show would end going into commercial or going to a multi-parter.
So…that stereotyping. Jake does nicely call out the “colorful” robot, apparently a new attempt at playing to the tourists but I think it’s supposed to sound like someone tried to hard when programming it. I’m guessing the town and the general area is that way as well. There’s fancy named bordellos (I’m guessing this border town doesn’t have anti-prostitution laws but of course this is one of those stories where the Mexican government doesn’t have a lot of power compared to the companies and mob bosses), including one with androids resembling celebrities, the obligatory cantina, and everything else you’d expect to see in an Old West period Mexican town. I don’t know a lot about Mexico…is there really an area called Chihuahua, and is the dog breed named after it or did Shatner and Goulart name a fictional area of Mexico after a dog?
Otherwise, the story advances, the worldbuilding doesn’t stifle things too much, with the setting there for flavor rather than showing off, and it’s an interesting cliffhanger. We’ll see how that resolves in the next chapter.
[…] In our last chapter Jake headed towards Mexico…which raises even more questions about the legal system in The Future! I’m no expert but if you just got out of “the joint” you really aren’t allowed to go outside the country for a while, right? At best it’s been a couple of days for Jake, and that was after spending years frozen solid, waking up to his friends missing and his family leaving him…how much pull does Bascom have here? I know he needs Jake to go to Mexico because of his history with a warlord who runs the territory the target may be at but still, that’s some serious influence he has. […]