Sunday, November 28, 2010

ROBOTECH, Doomsday by Jack McKinney (GRADE: B+)

I just finished ROBOTECH Doomsday by Jack McKinney.  Doomsday is parts 4, 5, and 6 of a SIX part series based on the ROBOTECH animated series, which was aired in the United States in 1985.  OVERALL, I thought Doomsday was a fun read and I would grade it a B+.

There are SIX books that chronicle the MACROSS series, the first 36 episodes, describing the first ROBOTECH war.  The first three books were compiled in the book compilation called BATTLECRY (see previous entry), including the books (1) Genesis, (2) Battlecry, and (3) Homecoming.  DOOMSDAY is a compilation of (4) Battlehymn, (5) Force of Arms and (6) Doomsday.  DOOMSDAY picks up where BATTLECRY leaves off.  The SDF-1 has made it back to earth but earth does not want the SDF-1 to remain, the military wants the SDF-1 to leave earth in hopes that the Zentraedi will follow the SDF-1 and leave earth alone.

The tone of the books, all the books, is a little campy at times and very serious at other times.

The pacing of the book is good.  The writer doesn't stay in one particular scene for very long and things that don't translate well from the animated series to the book, the author quickly mentions it in the book and then moves on.

The character development is uneven: some of the characters are well developed while others are not.  Some of the changes in the characters are very sudden and a little jarring.

The love triangle between Minmei, Rick and Lisa is a major element of the drama in the series.  Some of it is very well done and some of the resolutions are jarring.

I thought that Jack McKinney's version of the ROBOTECH MACROSS series was better than the animated series itself.  McKinney attempts to explain in the text the things that were sudden (and some things that were silly).  I liked McKinney vision of Robotech.  I grade this book a B+.  It was a fun, light read.  It was a little too campy at time but the campy-ness was definitely redeemed by the cool dogfights and action in the book.  Plus, McKinney adds scenes in the book that are helpful in understanding the story and, in places where the animated series simply doesn't make much sense, McKinney changes it in the book to something that is more plausible and sometimes clever.

Overall, I thought it was a fun read.  I grade this book a B+.  It wasn't high literature but I don't think it was meant to be.  Good times.  :)

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