Don't be sacred because the title says Book 19. Since I am reading/watching the entire Robotech saga in chronological order this book (printed last) takes places after the 6th book (between the end of the Macross Saga but before the Sentinels).
Finally!!!! I did it! I finished reading Jack McKenny's Zentraedi Rebellion. It was a bit like eating cotton wool. As many of you know I dreaded this book quite a bit. It's not because it's bad, but it is not very action packed and it is kinda slow. I read it back when it first came out so I kinda knew what to expect. It is great for diehards because it fills in gaps between The Sentinels and the 2nd Robotech War. It answers many questions like:
- Why did Max and Miriya leave Dana on Earth?
- How did the Army of the Southern Cross come about?
- Why did it take so long for the SDF-3 to launch?
- How in the heck did Janice Em come about?
- What's the deal with Lazlo Zand?
- Why are there no full-sized Zentraedi in the 2nd War?
- Who is the Wolff guy anyway?
The Zentraedi Rebellion fills in the gaps after the destruction of the SFD-1 and start of the Expeditionary mission to Tirol. While Rick and Lisa are trying to get the REF's mission rolling we see how the surviving Zentraedi are having a tough time of it. Lots of bands of 'Malcontents' are forming and riots and segregation is happening all over the place. Miyria is caught up in it all. The Zentraedi Rebellion seems to be Jack McKenny's reinforcement of Eternity's Malcontent storyline from 1994. It is kinda cool to see how the two mixed together. Infact the events in Eternity's comics begin in chapter 23.
So I am not sure why Breetai and gang wanted to make his flagship look like the SDF-1. Surely that wouldn't fool the Masters. I am guessing that Carl Macek wanted something to 'harken back' to Macross.
The early, secret meetings between Moran, Leonard, and the rest of their cronies makes you think of how the South must have come together before the Civil War. Let's make sure to call it what it is... this whole Malcontent/Rebellion storyline is a analogue of the Civil War.
Jan Morrison (remember her, the former screen queen who Minmei defeated at the Miss Macross pagent) went on and became this sort of New Age hippie. Well, there is this bit at the beginning of one of the chapters that quotes her from her 'audio book'. I just found that funny. That's how I get most of my 'reading' done now-a-days.
As a side note, the comics and the Palladium RPG supplement: The Zentraedi Breakout came out the same year. I took a gander through it but there wasn't any sort of adventures based on the events in the comics. It does do a lot of RDF/Southern Cross blending which is a nice cross over.
The book mentions Conrad Wilbur and the Faithful (from the comics) which is a nice continuity touch.
The Bartley's are introduced here (including a 6 month old Rook). Apparently Rook is related to Lang. That is an interesting tid bit.
We are introduced to T.R. Edwards here, working as a double agent. I just don't care for this character. Sure, we need bad guys but he is too much like Breetai (with the face plate thing) and his reason for hating Hayes and Hunter is a bit much.
Good old Walmart is mentioned in Chapter 15.
We all know Zand is the protégé of Lang but he is super jealous of Lang's mind boost at the hand of the SDF-1's computers. Zand does everything in his power to give himself that same mind boosted advantage. We see him actually give himself Invid cockpit juice intravenously... yuck!
Towards the end of the book Seloy (the female Zentraedi pilot who delivered Miriya onto the SDF-1 to find and kill Max way back when, is the main protagonist of this book (at least of Miriya's part anyway). She pretty much hits the nail on the head when she predicts that in about 20 years the Invid will arrive.
One final thought, Seloy's child Hirano could have REALLY been something interesting to explore but for some reason they didn't.
If someone were going to follow my trek through the Robotech universe I'd almost advise them NOT to read this book in order. There are a few surprises in the Sentinels that would get spilled here. I won't mention characters or events (like character's deaths) but a few of the chapter intros (those little and sometimes not so little blurbs) and some content give away stuff. Jack McKenny assumes anyone reading this book already read The Sentinels and wouldn't think anything of it.
P.S. Someone uploaded it in PDF format if you want to read it...