Last week, I asked for it. This week, I received it: A much needed reprieve from the CRASH BANG BOOM MURDER INTRIGUE EXPLOSION roller coaster of a ride that has been The Human Division up to Episode #4 - A Voice in the Wilderness. Now, that does not mean The Human Division Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke is without action. But, I did get a chance to catch my breath.
Again, for those of you unfamiliar with John Scalzi’s latest novel, published by Tor, The Human Division is being released as 13 episodes. The hardcover version, which will include all 13 episodes, will be published on May 14, 2013. Today was the release of The Human Division Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke.
You do not need to have read any of the previous Old Man’s War books. The Human Division‘s initial release is like a short-run television season/series, but in print form. Each episode is self-contained, telling a complete story, but fitting into the overall story arc.
The official synopsis for Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke reads:
Captain Sophia Coloma of the Clarke has a simple task: Ferry around representatives from Earth in an aging spaceship that the Colonial Union hopes to sell to them. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Coloma discovers the ship she’s showing off holds suprises of its own…and it’s not the only one with secrets.
There is one negative aspect of this format that became very apparent at this point within the series. It had been so long since certain events happened, I’m not sure I enjoyed this episode as much as I would have had I been reading the entire book in one setting. It’s been four weeks since reading the majority of the events referred to in Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke. As a result, my brain struggled to coherently piece together some of the necessary information from Episode #1 – The B-Team and Episode #3 – We Only Need the Heads.
Scalzi does a little bit of a recap of the necessary information. That helped, but only to a certain degree. It makes me wonder if, had this book not been released in an episodic format, if he would have including some of the information found within Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke.
The positives far outweigh that one negative.
In my review of Episode #1 – The B-Team, I had a slight complaint about Boyle’s Law. On Twitter, Scalzi told me that a future episode should make me happy re: Boyle’s Law. Sure enough, this chapter deals with that issue.
I’m really hoping that either Episode #5 or Episode #6, is more like great sex where you don’t orgasm, but you’re still satisfied — sort of how Episode #2 – Walk the Plank left me feeling. With Episodes #1, #3 and #4, I’m reaching climax but I’m not getting the after-play necessary to completely come down from the experience. It’s been a great ride, but just like on a roller coaster, you need a bit of a lull if you’re not going to spew your lunch all over the compartment.
My wish came true. Yes, the continuation of the political intrigue found in Episode #1 – The B-Team and Episode #3 – We Only Need the Heads ramps up even further. But, it isn’t in the, “Holy shit!” sort of way. While the events in Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke are not predictable, they are not surprising, either.
Or course, you still get a nice dose of Scalzi’s sarcastic humour.
Despite my brain having to struggle a little to recall some of the details from Episode #1 – The B-Team, Episode #5 – Tales from the Clarke was the nice, cold glass of water necessary to recover from the pace of Episodes #1, #3 and #4.
You can read my review of Episode #1 – The B-Team here, my review of Episode #2 – Walk the Plank here, my review of Episode #3 – We Only Need the Heads here, and my review of Episode #4 – A Voice in the Wilderness here.