Sprinkles: So Caramel, end of an era, you finally read the last book in the Cleopatra in Space series.
S: So tell us about it.
C: Queen of the Nile is the name of the book. It’s about Cleo learning that her mom was able to do the pink fire thingy. I’m not sure what it is exactly. But what it means is that everyone in her family who could do that thing could be the person to fulfill the prophecy.
S: Ooh, so can you remind us what the prophecy was?
C: She is supposed to save the galaxy from the evil rule of Xaius Octavian. But now we learn that all her descendants and ancestors could also be the savior. And in the end that is kind of what happens.
S: Hmm, that is not terribly clear, and I’m intrigued. But I am not going to ask you to open it up too much more because I’m afraid it will lead us to spoilers.
C: Yes, but you can feel good that the books end well.
S: That is good to know. And does Cleo eventually go back to her own time?
C: Yes, but all I’ll tell you is that she will go back when she defeats her enemy. And people think she dies in the battle, but then they look at their history books. And the rest is history, as they say.
S: So you enjoyed this last book, right?
C: Yes. a lot. It wrapped up the story really well. But I’m still wondering if there will be a seventh book.
S: Well, this one is supposed to be the last of the series. But as far as I understand, the animated TV series has gone to a third season. Apparently they do not follow the books very closely but you get to see Cleo and her friends figuring things out.
C: I liked the episodes we watched. Maybe I can convince you to watch more of them?
S: Hmm, we will see. So tell me your three words to describe this book.
C: Colorful, exciting, and suspenseful!
S: Ooh, that is good! So interesting things happen in this one!
C: Yes! Very much so. Lots of action and lots of things happen. It is over two hundred pages of action and fun!
S: That sounds good! So will you be reading and rereading this book, too?
C: Yep, I already read it ten times! Or maybe thirteen, not sure.
S: That is a lot. Both you and Marshmallow like rereading books! Okay, I can see you are getting into the book again, and will likely dive into your fourteenth read. So let us wrap this up. What do you want to tell our readers?
In his first review for 2022, Caramel revisits the Cleopatra in Space series by Mike Maihack.
Last year Caramel had reviewed the first four books from the Cleopatra in Space graphic novel series by Mike Maihack. (You might find it useful to check out his reviews of the first book Target Practice, the second book The Thief and the Sword, the third book Secret of the Time Tablets, and the fourth book The Golden Lion, before continuing on.) Today, in his first review for 2022, he revisits this series and talks about the fifth book in the series: Fallen Empires. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So it has been a while Caramel.
Caramel: Yes it has, hasn’t it?
S: But you have kept reading. Haven’t you?
S: So what are you going to talk about today?
C: Cleopatra in Space: Fallen Empires. It’s the fifth book in the series.
S: So should readers read the first four to understand this book?
C: Yup. I think they’d not get much out of it otherwise.
S: Okay, you already reviewed those first four books. So I’ll just suggest we can assume the readers have read those. What should we know about Cleo when we are getting ready to dive into this?
C: Cleo is the real Cleopatra from Ancient Egypt, who somehow got transported in time to 30,000 years later. She is a kid in these books, and she is fighting evil people. In this book she is trying to destroy an evil superweapon of Octavian.
S: And Octavian is her nemesis?
C: Well, he turns out to be Cleo’s friend from 30,000 years ago.
S: Wait, was that a spoiler?
C: No, not really. We learned it in the fourth book.
S: Oh, okay then. I hope readers have already read that one. Alright, why does Cleo’s friend have an evil superweapon?
C: Well, he became evil, because Cleo left and never came back.
S: Hmm, that is kind of sad.
C: Yes, I think he has a good reason to be annoyed.
S: So what is the title referring to? What are the fallen empires?
C: Octavian has been in multiple empires. They all got destroyed. In the beginning of the book we learn about Gozi, who was Cleo’s friend, and all his family died, and he goes through a lot. Kind of sad. And then he eventually becomes Xius Octavian.
S: Hmm, so it is related to his backstory then. Tell me did you find this volume just as fun as the earlier ones?
C: Yup. I read it really fast again. And twice in one day. I like these books!
S: I can see that! So what three words would you use to describe it?
C: Serious, colorful, and …. captivating!
S: Those are interesting word choices Caramel. “Captivating” is a big word! But given how you already read and reread it several times, I think it is a good word to describe the book. But I would not have expected you to say “serious”. You thought the other books in the series were funny.
C: This was not that funny. It was more serious. Gozi’s story is a bit sad. He had a wife and kids and they all died.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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 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.
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–
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.
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?
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.
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.
S: Okay, so this is your penultimate review for 2021. What do you want to tell our readers?