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 our heroes made it to Warbride’s compound. Whether they’ll actually meet Warbride herself with all that security has yet to be seen.
At this point I’m giving up trying to come up with pre-review rambling, so sorry if this looks bad on the homepage for someone just dropping in, but we’re going to get right to the review.
Ah, this should boost some time. While reading chapter 26 events seem to flow at least into chapter 27. That’s what happens when you write an intro before reading the chapter. So it looks like I’m reviewing two chapters because I want to see where this goes.
Most of 26 is just the arrival at the camp and seeing Warbride’s speech. We learn, or so goes the propaganda–how well do you believe a woman using holograms to make it look like there are more people there than are actually present, something I’m sure every political rally would like to be able to do in real life–that Warbride was raped by soldiers of the previous administration while her father and brother, both dissidents, disappeared. Since this is apparently a fascist Mexico you can guess what that means. So we know why she goes by Warbride…because until Mexico is free in her eyes she is married to war. Not really the hero we’d like.
To further prove she may not be the hero here, as if the former criminals on her side wasn’t enough indication, or the fact that she’s taking money from Sands not in support in her cause but because he wants to protect his interests (who wants to bet he’s doing the same with the active government?), she brings Jake’s previous contact on stage, the one that sicked the robo bulls on Jake at Vargas’s orders, and is prepared to kill him. Despite Bethdroid’s protests Jake heads to the stage, ending the chapter. So I want to see what he’s going to, which is why this is a multiple chapter installment.
Chapter 27 doesn’t disappoint. Jake knows why the contact is about to get shot. Vargas wants to hide the fact that he paid him to kill Jake. Remember, Vargas is a jealous jackass and Jake used to be close to Warbride. Doesn’t stop him from shooting both of them with a stun gun built into her finger during a well-written fight scene. Yeah, Warbride and Vargas are apparently both cyborgs. Jake keeps attracting a lot of partial and total mechanical people for a dude who doesn’t like robots.
When he wakes up even Warbride thinks he’s here to get back together and while she seems to like the idea he’s here on business and doesn’t really have the same feelings. Remember, at most a month has passed in-universe since he learned his wife dumped him during his ice nap. Instead he asks her about what happened to the Kittridges, because she knows everything that goes on around here. She tells him that she knows of the ship’s crash but that everyone was killed…according to Vargas so that’s less trustworthy than Wikipedia. It looks like there’s more to the conversation but this feels like a cliff I’m willing to hang on until next time.
We also learn that indeed Warbride has exaggerated her backstory. Her brother’s in hiding for Tek dealing (apparently this is the only drug left in the world), and the story used to be that three soldiers raped her. Now apparently it’s five. So Warbride wouldn’t any more reliable than Vargas if it wasn’t for her relationship with Jake. Curious to see what happens next chapter as this discussion continues.