Caramel reviews Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga edited by Matt Moylan

In his last review for 2021, Caramel wanted to share some of his thoughts on one of his favorites among the recent book acquisitions of the book bunny household: Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, a large-scale book edited by a team of artists and writers led by Matt Moylan. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.
Caramel reviews Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you wanted to talk about this Robotech book for a while. So here we are. Tell us about it.

Caramel: This book is about Robotech! As you could tell, obviously, from the title.

S: So what if some of our readers don’t know what Robotech is? Can you tell us a bit about it?

C: It’s a bit hard to explain. I mean, it is an animated TV show from long time ago. I think it was the 1980s…

S: Wait, that is not that long ago! Sure, I was a young bunny back then …

C: I know. That was a long time ago.

S: Okay, I guess I have to accept the fact that time is moving forward and I am getting old.

C: No. You’re only getting wiser!

S: Thank you Caramel, you are very kind. So let us get back to Robotech. Robotech was a TV series from the 80s. In fact we can put a link to the Wikipedia article for those who want to read up on it And here is a link to the first episode:

Robotech The Macross Saga 1985 Episode 1 Boobytrap – from YouTube.

S: But why don’t you give us a quick summary?

C: Okay, that is going to be a bit hard. But let me try. So we are on Earth, and there is an alien ship that crashed on the planet. And humans discovered it and tried to decode the technology it used. They called that technology robotechnology. So the name Robotech probably comes from there.

S: Okay, so is this what happens in the series?

C: No, this is the background. The series starts with some aliens trying to get that alien ship back. Actually it is not theirs, either, but they want to claim it. and so there is a big war, which destroys most of the Earth in Episode 27–

S: That is terrible!

C: Oops, yes, and it is a pretty terrible spoiler if someone wanted to watch the series and did not know anything about it beforehand. I’m sorry!

S: Oh well. I suppose that was kind of difficult to avoid. This book that you are reviewing today is not only about the story though, right?

C: No. There is a lot more in it than just the story, but there are actually pages for each of the episodes, and they summarize what happens in each episode.

S: I see. Yes, there is a full page for each episode, with the episode synopsis and several screenshots from the episode.

C: Yep, pretty neat!

Caramel is reading about Episodes 05 and 06 of The Macross Saga in Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.
Caramel is reading about Episodes 05 and 06 of The Macross Saga in Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.

S: Okay, so for the thirty-six episodes there are thirty-six pages–

C: Nope, some episodes have two pages!

S: Okay, but other than that, other than the episode pages, what else is there in the book?

C: There are several pages for each of the main characters. There is a whole section called “Character Designs: Humans” which has many many pages for each of the main human characters. And then there is a section called “Character Designs: Zentradi” for the alien race.

S: I’m guessing the Zentradi are the aliens who are fighting the humans?

C: Yes. But they are humanoid and there is a very good reason for why they are humanoid. But I won’t spoil that much.

S: Maybe that is a good idea.

Caramel is reading about Max Sterling, his favorite character in the series, in Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.
Caramel is reading about Max Sterling, his favorite character in the series, in Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.

S: So tell me more about the book then. What else is there?

C: There are the mecha designs pages for the United Earth Forces and the Zentradi forces.

S: And I am sure you love those!

C: Yep. I love the mechas, especially the VF-1A.

Caramel is reading about VF-1A, his favorite VeriTech mecha in the series, in Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan.

S: So I did not know what a mecha was before you told me about them. But apparently mechas are typical anime constructs, they are large robots that usually have a human pilot in them that is steering them.

C: Yes. And most of these transform. They can be humanoid robots but they can also be fighter planes or something in between.

S: I can see why you would find them fascinating. You like space ships, you like planes, and you love robots and transformers. Just perfect for you!

C: Yep.

S: So I know you have watched a lot of the Robotech series. Do you think you would have liked this book this much if you had not?

C: It would not make much sense but the ships and the robots and so on are still cool.

S: So what do you want to tell our readers about the show itself?

C: I like the plot and I love the mechas, and I like the song Minmei sings:

Robotech, Minmei singing “We will win” during the Final Battle – from YouTube.

C: but there are some parts where I covered my eyes–

S: Yes, there was some nudity in there I think.

C: Yes. So I am not sure that everyone should watch it. But the ships are awesome! So the book is really awesome! I can just look at the robots and the ships and read about them, too.

S: That is great Caramel. So I think this is probably enough for this review. Would you recommend this book?

C: Yes! All bunnies young and old, who like starships, robots, and especially Robotech, will like this book!

S: Sounds just about right to me! Okay, Caramel, this is your last review for 2021. And then we take the month of January off, like we have been doing. So what do you want to tell our readers?

C: Happy new year everyone! And stay tuned for more book bunny reviews, coming to you in February 2022!

Caramel loves perusing the pages of Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan, and recommends it to all bunnies young and old, who like starships, robots, and especially Robotech.
Caramel loves perusing the pages of Robotech Visual Archive: The Macross Saga, edited by Matt Moylan, and recommends it to all bunnies young and old, who like starships, robots, and especially Robotech.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack

Caramel has been reviewing the Cleopatra in Space graphic novel series by Mike Maihack, and he has already reviewed the first three books. (You might find it useful to check out his reviews of the first book Target Practice, the second book The Thief and the Sword, and the third book Secret of the Time Tablets before continuing on.) Today he talks about the fourth book in the series: The Golden Lion. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: So Caramel tell me about this book.

Caramel: The book is about Cleopatra and the Golden Lion. The Golden Lion is a star that fell on to a distant planet and Cleo wants to find it. But I am not sure it is really a star, because a star could not really fall on a planet and both still continue to be.

S: I understand. You are right. Stars are also almost always bigger than planets. Maybe it was a comet–

C: Or maybe it is a neutron star. Those can be smaller.

S: Good point! So why does Cleo want to find this Golden Lion?

C: I am not sure. I think it is in the prophesy about Cleo. But if you want the general summary of the book, let me read you the description at the back cover of the book:

Cleo is back at Yasiro Academy, recovering from the tragic events that occurred on planet Hykosis. She feels responsible for the death of her friend Zaid, and trains nonstop. And when she learns that the Golden Lion — a star with immeasurable energy that could destroy them all if weaponized — has been located, she goes alone to the snowy, icy planet Cada’duun to find it. There, she faces off with a new enemy who has been instructed to destroy the Golden Lion…and her.

S: Hmm, that sounds interesting, so she is trying to protect her friends and the Yasiro Academy, right?

C: I think so.

S: Apparently some aliens in the book speak in equations. What did you think of that?

C: I am not sure it makes any sense.

S: Why not? A lot of people say math is a language.

C: But there are so many things you cannot say with equations.

S: Like?

C: Like, where is the pizza?

S: Hmm, maybe there is a variable for pizza and the question template “where is …” is a function w(..), then you could say w(Pizza)?

C: I don’t think that makes sense.

S: That is probably because you do not know algebra yet so algebraic notation seems confusing.

C: That is true. I do not know algebra. But coming back to the book, Antony is back and he is a litter bug.

S: Who was Antony? Is this the Antony who marries Cleopatra in the real history?

C: But this is millions of years in the future, that does not make sense.

S: But I mean you told me earlier that there was a character named Antony who was a thief, right?

C: Right. That was in The Thief and the Sword. It is the same thief.

S: I see. I understand there is a surprise twist at the end?

C: Yes, but I’m not going to tell you about it. You need to read it yourself.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack.

S: So what do you think of Cleo? Do you find her relatable? Do you like her? Do you understand how she feels when you read her thoughts and actions?

C: Yes. I like her. But I think she does not always make the right decisions. Kind of like Harry Potter who also makes wrong decisions, and she goes off to do things on her own without getting help from friends.

S: I know, right? But if the main character always did the right thing, the stories would be less interesting and much shorter I think. So some readers say that this was the most intense book of the series so far. What do you think?

C: I think so. She is in big trouble here, someone is trying to kill her. And it gets a bit tense.

S: I see. So what are your three words to describe the book this time?

C: Colorful, exciting, and fun.

S: Are you looking forward to the fifth book?

C: Yes, but it will have to wait till next year. I do not have the book yet.

S: I know. And we are wrapping up this year, you have only one more review to do, and then we take off for January.

C: Yes.

S: Okay, so this is your penultimate review for 2021. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack, but will likely need to wait till the new year to read and review the next two books in the series.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack, but will likely need to wait till the new year to read and review the next two books in the series.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack

Caramel recently discovered the Cleopatra in Space graphic novel series by Mike Maihack, and he has already reviewed the first two books. (You might find it useful to check out his reviews of the first book Target Practice  and the second book The Thief and the Sword before continuing on.) Today he talks about the third book in the series: Secret of the Time Tablets. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: So Caramel you know what I am going to ask you.

Caramel: Yes, I know you will say: “So Caramel, tell me about this book.”

S: Do you not want me to say that then?

C: I don’t know. I guess it is a reasonable way to start our reviews.

S: Okay, let us start differently this time. How do you want to start?

C: I don’t know. I guess I can still tell you about the book.

S: I think that would be nice.

C: Well, in this book we find the startling truth about the true identity of Xaius Octavian!

S: That sounds kind of ominous.

C: Well, Xaius Octavian is the villain of the book, so it is kind of ominous to find out that he was all along–

S: Wait, that sounds awfully like a spoiler. So let us stop right there. Don’t tell me who he turns out to have been all along. I think I can wait.

C: Okay I won’t tell.

S: Instead tell me about the secret of the time tablets. Are these the tablets that brought Cleo to the future from all the way back in Ancient Egypt?

C: Yup. But I think the tablets do not play a big role in this book actually. They give Cleo a ton of power, but other than that, i’m not sure if we learn the secret or anything. It is kind of like in the How to Train Your Dragon series, you do not really learn about how to train your dragon. I mean, there are pages of the books that look like the could be parts of a manual, but mostly there are stories about dragons and their Vikings.

S: Hmm, will you read me out loud what it says in the back of the book?

C: Okay, let me read:

Cleo and her friends journey from Yasiro Academy to the city of Hykosis, where some of the most notorious thieves and assassins live. They’re in search of information about the time tablets that could determine Cleo’s fate — whether she wants them to or not. But the group is separated when Xaius Octavian’s fleet attacks their ship, and Cleo and Akila are on their own until they run into an old nemesis. Will Cleo find the information she needs and get out of Hykosis alive?

C: Did you like my dramatic voice?

S: I did. And I could also see a bit how the tablets come into play in this book. It seems to me that they are important, but then Cleo and her friends have a lot of other things to worry about through the book.

C: I guess you could say that.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack.

S: Okay, so it seemed like you read through this book very quickly, and then turned over to the first page and began rereading. I’m guessing this means you liked it.

C: Yup.

S: So tell me your three words to describe it then.

C: Colorful, adventurous, and funny. <switches to dramatic movie trailer narrator voice, as much as a little bunny can do it> Danger awaits them in Hykosis!

S: Oh, that sounds mysterious! And exciting!

C: And dangerous! But then that would make four words. So I cannot say it.

S: I think you can say it if you want to.

C: Okay, I want to. The adventure is dangerous.

S: So are you excited about the fourth book?

C: Oh yes. I actually got both of the books from the library at the same time. So I will dive into the fourth book right after this review.

S: Hmm, so we should probably wrap things up then.

C: Yes, I definitely think so.

S: Do you think there will be a review of that fourth book too?

C: Yes, I am quite sure.

S: Okay then, what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap things up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack

Last week Caramel reviewed Target Practice by Mike Maihack, the first book in the Cleopatra in Space series. Today he reviews the next book: The Thief and the Sword. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you are back to talk about another Cleopatra in Space book with us!

Caramel: Yes!

S: So tell us what happens in this book.

C: I can’r spoil.

S: Sure, but you can give us a couple clues about the general events that happen.

C: Okay. In The Thief and the Sword, Cleopatra is still in PYRAMID, Pharaoh Yasiro’s Research And Military Initiative of Defense. You need to boldface the initials of the words so readers can see that they make up the word PYRAMID.

S: Cool acronym! I like these kinds of acronyms; I remember you reviewed a book with a fun acronym before!

C: Yes, I reviewed N.E.R.D.S. and that too opened up, to mean “National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society”.

S: Well, I did not know the name of the institution Cleo was in before. So is this the special place Cleo is getting trained to save the galaxy?

C: Yes.

S: And who is Pharaoh Yasiro?

C: He is the person who saved a lot of the information they have to fight the bad people. And we never see him because I think he is dead, but we hear about Pharaoh Yosira, who is apparently Yasiro’s granddaughter.

S: Hmm, that is kind of complicated.

C: Yes, Yasiro and Yosira sound pretty similar but you get used to it.

S: I am sure I will.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

S: So tell me more about the thief and the sword.

C: Cleo recovered the Sword of Kebechet in the first book. And apparently it is a mythical artifact. And the bad people want to get it. They actually do get it because there is a thief named Antony…

S: Hmm, that is a name historically connected to Cleopatra. Anyways who are these bad people?

C: The main bad guy is Xaius Octavian.

S: Wait! Octavian is also a Roman name, like Antony. That is interesting…

C: Yes, hmm, maybe I will need to read up on Egyptian and Roman history. Anyways Octavian leads an army made up of a race called the Xerx. In the animated show these are robots. But in the book they are just a different species of aliens I think.

S: Oh, yes, you ended up watching the show!

C: Yes, I watched a couple episodes. It is a lot of fun. But it is very different from the books. And I like them both. They are both a lot of fun.

S: So I am guessing your first word to describe the book would be “fun”?

C: Yes. And I would say, “colorful” and “lots of action”.

S: Well, that last one is a little bit more than a single word, but okay. I see what you mean. Maybe this is a good place to wrap the review up. Do you think you will be reading the next book?

C: Yes! I’m trying to get my paws on a copy. But till then, maybe we can watch another episode of the TV show?

S: Hmm, we will see. What do you want to tell our readers as we close this up?

C: You know what I am going to say!

S: I think so!

C: I’ll say it anyways. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.