Battlehymn - Robotech 4 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Battlehymn - Robotech 4

The conflict between the Zentradi and the humans aboard the SDF-1 takes a twist when portions of the alien armada begin to defect to the side of Earth. The action in the series resumes with Captain Gloval, disgusted with the inaction of the UEG council (which has grounded the SDF-1 for the time being, leaving its crew and civilians in limbo), relaunches the vessel. He attempts to cause a political scandal by hovering the ship near a populated area, in order to force the government to allow him to deboard the civilians of New Macross. His ploy seems to work; the Ontario Quadrant agrees to take the refugees in.
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In orbit, the combined fleets of Khyron and Azonia prepare for yet another assault on the SDF-1. Enemy ace Miriya, fresh from her inconclusive combat with Max Sterling, demands to be Micronized and inserted into the SDF as a spy, hoping to track and defeat her foe. Denied permission, she sneaks off and inserts herself into the vessel anyway.

As the human ship flies over Canada, Khyron's assault unfolds, and the fighters scramble -- including Skull Squadron, newly-commanded by Rick Hunter. The ship deploys a new barrier system in its defense, but an error causes an overload, and the Veritechs defending it desperately try to escape the explosion caused by the failure. Rick's wingman Ben Dixon is unable to do so, and dies in the disaster. The incident damages the Earth under the ship, and Ontario, on that basis reverses its offer of asylum.

Orders come from the Earth council banishing the SDF from the planet. As the ship prepares to leave, Minmei falls ill, her cousin Lynn-Kyle begins agitating for peace, and the three Micronized Zentradi spies Rico, Bron, and Konda reluctantly prepare to return to their fleet (and the Spartan life of military discipline). Back aboard the flagship of the alien fleet, the three spies report on Earth society, and Breetai finds their acclimation to human conditions like a gender-integrated society and a non-military lifestyle disturbing. The spies also bring, surreptitiously, fan artifacts of Minmei aboard, where the sheltered Zentradi soldiers find delight in them.

At the premiere of Minmei's film, "LIttle White Dragon," Lisa and Rick find themselves together. Rick is reeling from the distance of the now-famous Minmei in his life, while Lisa, reminded of her dead fiancee Karl by Lynn-Kyle, mourns his death. The two bond. Aboard the Zentradi flagship, Breetai and Exedore watch an intercepted version of the film, thus continuing the infiltration of the cloistered Zentradi society by human culture. Elsewhere on the ship, the returned spies become the leaders of a ring of Minmei fans, who begin to contemplate defection.

The Zentradi high command find a weakness in the SDf's "Daedalus" strategy, in which the robot-form SDF "punches" its carrier/arm through the hull of Zentradi vessels and opens its front, allowing a mass of Destroid robots to attack the ships from the inside. The aliens launch an ambush, fending off the initial Destroid assault and entering the human ship to cause chaos. During the attack, Minmei is holding a concert in New Macross; the Minmei-fan Zentradi congregate by the amphitheater, entranced by her singing. Rick rushes to the rescue.

Meanwhile, Rico, Bron, Konda, and their fellow defectors enter the city and seek out the military leadership, planning to turn themselves in. Eventually they succeed. Medical testing reveals deep genetic similarities between humanity and the Micronized Zentradi, down to blood types. On that basis, Gloval offers them asylum, despite the protests of the functionaries of the UEG. Word reaches Breetai of the deserters, and he orders the immediate return of all Zentradi, attempting to seal them off from Micronian cultural influence. The book ends with the humans facing the possibility of triumph for the first time, not through force, but through co-option.
Best part of story, including ending: McKinney continues to use the depth of character and background enabled by the prose form to significantly expand the Robotech universe.

Best scene in story: The odd courtship between Max and the Micronized Miriya, which begins in this book, gets a much-needed boost thanks to the presence of an interior monologue in the novel form.

Opinion about the main character: Rick's growth has definitely progressed by this point; the loss of Roy, and the death of his wingman Ben in this volume, has taught him the cost of war. He begins to move away from Minmei and towards the more mature Lisa. This growth makes him very relatable.

The review of this Book prepared by Joshua Richardson a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of Battlehymn - Robotech 4

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   air battles Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   fighter (air/space) pilot Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Spaceship setting:    -   futuristic human warship Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Jack McKinney Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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