Monday, October 29, 2012

Book 5: Robotech: Force of Arms

by Nathan Stout (of

The next book in my year+ long look at Robotech is the fifth book in the Del Ray series Robotech: Force of Arms. This book covers episodes 19-24 which cover the big events of the first Robotech War. Before we go on you will undoubtedly notice that I now am calling this my 'year+ long look at Robotech' as opposed to my 'year long look at Robotech'. As the middle of the year zipped by I started to figure out that my schedule will not permit me to finish this within the year. This will probably drag into the majority of 2013 now. No big deal but I would have liked to have completed this task before the year was out so I could read other stuff. Watching the show is a breeze but the reading of the books and the comics have become a real time drag. Oh well, more Robotech fun!

This is the big one... the book covers the near destruction of the human (and Zentraedi) race. After the events of the Zentraedi attack the story takes this lurch of 2 years and slows way down. Yeah, I know this is all spoiler material but you probably know everything that happens anyway, right?

This is also the book that covers the fun events of Max and Miyira's meeting and wedding. Wow, a lot happens here. The novel does a lot to explain some of the weirdness of their meeting like the fact that Max meets this stranger in a park at night and why all the sudden he falls so in love he doesn't care that she is trying to kill him.

They fall in love and marry and all that jazz. Suddenly the military lets Miyira get in a Veritech and fly around with him in battle?! Does anyone find that a bit strange? The author does his best to explain it but you can only do so much.

As you know I have had my suspicions as to who was writing which book (Daley or Luceno). It used to be somewhat obvious but now I am not 100% sure. I would bet that Daley did this book but he didn't stick so closely to the show like he did before.

Back to the action: so Max and Miyira are in the battle and she tells him to shoot the pods so the pilot will survive. What Miyira does is more cruel to the Zentraedi pilots that just blowing them up. She is basically disabling the pod, stranding the pilot in deep space to presumably to die of starvation. They are a warrior race that seems to care little for their troops. Do you really think higher-ups will bother to go retrieve a few measly pods? I doubt it. Also, these are warriors, to deprive them of a honorable death in battle is humiliating! That Miyira... what a bitch!

During Rick's rescue of Lisa (in the show) his canopy gets broken. It's very faint (thanks to the fact that is transparent) but you can see it. In the book this doesn't happen. I think the source tape the author was watching was bad enough for him to miss this fact.

In the final attack of the SDF-1 on Dolza's headquarters the main gun is NEVER used. I just found that interesting since it was always such an important part of the ships offense and the storyline.

In the show several direct hits on the SDF-1 and the destruction of Macross City. It looks like they animated the destructing at 32 frames a second (twice as normal). It is kinda heart wrenching but the book just mentions it briefly.

When the SDF-1 launches it final attack and turns on the shield barrier the book never mentions that this is the same overload type explosion that happened to Ontario. A very clever twist by the writers. The book says the alliance attacks Dolz'a base's reflex drive. This just sucks. The deliberate use of the faulty overloading shield is much cooler.

Dolza seems to change his mind at the last second when he sees the power (and cunning) of the SDF-1 in the hands of the humans. I doubt this behavior would be the Zentraedi way. Again (as in an earlier book) the Zentraedi high-command considers attacking their masters (the Robotech Masters). I think this is off-base with their character as a whole. They are Zentraedi, bred for war. I doubt it would have even crossed their minds to betray their masters.

I have never really even though about this part but Breetai and Azonia's forces fight along side the SDF-1 where do they go when the SDF-1 goes in and blows up Dolza's ship? The explosion takes out ALL of the Zentraedi forces. How did Breetai and Azonia escape?

In my RPG books and in other material it looks like the SDF-1 lands in North America after it destroys Dolza's fleet. Now... Rick and Lisa are on hand to see it fall from the sky. Rick saved Lisa from Alaska base. You mean to tell me that Rick and Lisa flew that far? Remember Rick ditched his Veritech's canopy after it was damaged. So they flew unprotected all the way down there? Whaaaaa????? lol.

Chapter 22 (the beginning of 'Reconstruciton Blues') recaps the destruction of the Earth at the hands of Dolza's fleet. It is very good. Bravo!

Sorry this took so long to post. I have been trying to sell my house and all that jazz so it has taken extra long to get this stuff done. Not to mention I finished watching the Flash TV series and Birds of Prey series (on DVD). I'm such a slacker!