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.
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.
Well, now Jake is in the thick of it. Another chance to either meet an informant or getting blown up, meeting a woman he was…involved?…with and her jealous psycho boyfriend, and at least his son is here, too. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be this Jake right about now. I’d rather be more like my Jake and work on comics. Especially right now, because in all the confusion I had last week I forgot…Jake was being attacked by a cyborg with a knife hand when we left off.
Nicely described fight. One of the disadvantages of prose is that in a fight scene you have to be good enough at explaining what’s going on that the reader can follow along and create the scene in the end. One of the reasons I don’t do a lot of prose writing (unless you count reviews and commentaries) is I lack that talent. Luckily Shatner and/or Goulart manage to make the choreography understandable so you know how the fight, brief as it is, should turn out. It’s been years since I’ve seen the TV movie adaptation, never read the Marvel comic, and this wasn’t in the comic I reviewed because The TekWar Chronicles was essentially a remake, so if I’ve seen it acted out I don’t remember it. At least the layout is right there to work with.
From there Jake goes to his meeting with Danenberg, in a seedy place so we get to meet another of Jake’s not dead/incarcerated contacts, PJ Ramirez. We learn the cyborg is a freelance assassin and PJ promises to try to find out who hired him to off Jake. Meanwhile PJ is a good lookout that this time nobody’s around to explode Danenberg, so that always makes for a better meeting. If you’re going to have more side characters, at least advance the story and have it make sense that character is there. In PJ’s case this is not a problem.
Finally we get our meeting and a mix of confirmation and new information, but not every question answered. I don’t mind not having every question answered by the time I’m half way through the book, and as far as my paperback copy we’re still short of that mark, but having some answers, some information that doesn’t make me think they’re laying the questions a bit too high for a proper satisfying payoff, I’m happy to see. Dr. Kittridge may be trying to sell his anti-Tek to one of the TekLords, it requires a special synthetic crystal, the anti-drug agent from the amusement park was also involved, and no real confirmation if Beth would join her father in turning an anti-drug campaign into a payoff, though apparently she’s something of a heartbreaker. We aren’t buried in the technobabble–amusing given what franchise Shatner comes from–with a simple “I don’t have time to explain and the specifics might be above your head anyway”. This allows for some leeway in the tech but still sets some parameters of how it works and what it needs. Also she and Kittridge used to be…close…meaning either to protect his secret or just not liking her, he could have sent the kamikaze android to take her out. Could our targets be the bad guys?
The end result is this chapter pretty much got everything right and more power to it. Hopefully this continues into the next chapter, which I’ll look at next time.
[…] In the previous chapter Jake finally met with Danenberg and we learned the Kittridges may not be the nice people we hoped they were. I can’t say I’m surprised because we aren’t allowed to have heroes anymore. What is their real plan for their anti-Tek device? Maybe this chapter we’ll learn a little more. Probably not everything, given that we aren’t even half-way through the book (though may be if not this week then next week), but hopefully it will be more story and less The Future!!!!!! in our future. […]