Episode 8 of The Human Division, “The Sound of Rebellion” starts out with Heather Lee, a CDF soldier, in a precarious predicament. She’s tied to a chair and she’s naked. And there’s a voice telling her that she’s about to be interrogated and that if she doesn’t cooperate then it’s a shotgun blast to the face.
So she does what any rational person intent on saving their hide does: she sings. She sings like the canariest canary that ever did canary.
But the reason for her singing is the clever thing here–and I’m not going to spoil the reveal but let’s just say that there some seriously awesome naked ass-kicking.
I felt like this episode had a lot more to do with the overall arc of the story than last week’s but I still don’t have a good sense of where things are going or even what the hell is going on.
We’ve got some shadowy conspiracies, we have the CDF and Earth factions and we have the Conclave (who I suspect are the shadowy conspiracists). Conspiracies, factions, and snappy dialogue aren’t enough to hold a novel together–there is a lack of narrative tension that is, I think, exacerbated by the episodic structure and the stated goal of making each episode work on its own. Without rereading the whole thing each week, it’s hard for me to maintain continuity: I’m the kind of person who likes to read one book at a time all the way through (luckily I’m a very fast reader so this isn’t usually a problem). There aren’t a lot of obvious links between the episodes, not really even in the A plot.
I don’t know. I love this setting and Scalzi’s a skilled writer, but with each week that passes I am more and more meh about this particular book. I’m still in it for the duration, though; I’m really enjoying my Tuesday morning reading over breakfast and will be bereft when I’ll have to find something else to read in its place.