Reviews For Star Crossed
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Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 06 Jan 2021 14:20 Title: Chapter 15

Well - I quite liked the end of this story. Nothing clean and tidy - very raggedy - which gives it tremendous verisimilitude - which is really tough to pull off in a sci fi format filled with aliens and an alien protagonist, no less. 

Lots of things to like about this story - starting with a very flawed protagonist who is not only female, but alien as well and still relatable because she has a conscience. Good people die and snarky people survive. Not quite the sunny side of existentialism. I also like the sense that any personal growth in Star is tentative at best. She's like the alcoholic swearing off the juice but not pouring it out because she knows she'll be jonesing for it in 15 minutes.

I'm neither a fan of overly dark endings or bright and chipper ones (a few dozen are dead, life goes on, cue the upbeat credits music.) Kudos on this story.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Very glad you got the chance to read Star Crossed and even more so that you enjoyed it as much as you did. This story was written very much with the thought in mind that Tazla's story would continue in the next novel. But All The Sinners, Saints, which is not on Ad Astra but you can find at, doesn't actually pick up right where this story ends. Although some themes picked up in Star Crossed play a big role in that novel. I know you're making your way through Semper Fidelis at present which is actaully a great next story to read after Star Crossed. Thanks for the great reviews.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 05 Jan 2021 17:10 Title: Chapter 14

Akinola is typical captain (and stunt man, quarterback, etc.) walking back into battle wounded. 

Again, superb action sequence with consequences. Space is a rough business to be in. And apparently the Federation isn't entirely a wonderland of peace and prosperity..

Very enteraining read. Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: It certainly is not in the far reached of the Federation, far away from the core worlds. Glad you enjoyed this one.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 05 Jan 2021 17:04 Title: Chapter 13

Cliffhanger again! Really good action sequence. And too bad about the Ariolo - he was an interesting character. But space is a rough place to work. So Taz lost her arm? I don't recall an mention of a prosthetic...

Fun - Thanks! rbs

Author's Response: Yep, Star wears a cybernetic arm in future stories. There are hints towards this dropped in from time to time.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 31 Dec 2020 15:36 Title: Chapter 12

And another cliff hanger!

Very entertaining space battle sequence. It's difficult to keep space battles interesting and any serious Trek story is probably going to have a few. Glad to see you rising to the challenge.

I'm assuming the Bluefin characters are the borrowed ones - nicely portrayed.

Thanks! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, I may have said this before, but space battles are no longer coming easily to me and I do get a bit bored with writing them. If I do, I feel like they need some sort of twist or angle to make them more interesting and stand out from the norm. I may not always succeed in doing that well.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 31 Dec 2020 15:28 Title: Chapter 11

Interesting backstory on Eteron - and equally interesting that Star Fleet finds it useful to allow the place to remain a smoky backwater. I particularly liked the reference to human persistence. It's reminiscent of Tolkien's comments about the end of elvish civilization and the advent of the Age of Man - that humanity fails often but never fails to germinate new culture. Ivonovic says something similar in STH 19.3.

Good tech sequence and some entertaining character-developing throat clearing about Star's conscience in relation to the Ariolo. Missing that character in later stories about her. It makes me wonder if alt-Star has a still-loyal alt-N'ek'too...

And another cliff hanger...

Thanks! rbs


Author's Response: Eteron was a fun place to conceive and based on the rather uninviting Star Wars planets like Tatooine and the like. The planet was actually introduced in Tempus Fugit and I've featured it a few times, including in the prologue of State of Entanglement. As to the Federation's willingness to look the other way, I kind of see it as the Federation's anti-authoritarianism at work. As far as they are concerned, if the people who make Eteron their home are happy to live this way, they're not going to bother. It's not as if anybody is forced to live there.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 29 Dec 2020 12:58 Title: Chapter 10

Akinola is jumping off the page here. Always enjoyable to see a character pop. 

Warp 3? Looks like this ship has some serious problems.

A little additional comeuppance with Mahoney and keeping the Sacajawea sidelined both fun and handy for the storyline. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Yeah, issues abound in this scenario.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 28 Dec 2020 13:15 Title: Chapter 9

Very intriguing character, Ariolo. Since there's a big gap between my reading this chapter and the previous several, I will need to go back a chapter or two to pick up his physical description. 

Always handy to have a loyal defender. And yet another shade in Star's rather dark persona to have exploited this facet of his culture.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Glad you liked the Ariolo character. I think they were just a throwaway alien race in Trek, introduced to show the variety of the Federation but never really used. Probably because of the awesome looking but impractical make-up. Since I had forgotten I even used this character, a quick Google search revealed that apparently they are now considered to be a four-legged centaur style species, at least according to ST: Lower Decks. Interesting. Not the direction I went with, obviously.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 23 Dec 2020 14:55 Title: Chapter 8

Akinola and his crew pop right off the page in this scene, especially the interaction between Akinola and Gralt. Red-skinned orion? That's a new wrinkle...

So it appears Schwarzkopf is a little wet behind the ears as well. 

Good technobabble - and you don't have good Trek without good technobabble.


Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Akinola is a wonderful character and so are the other members of his Bluefin crew. Kudos once more to TheLoneRedshirt who has created these characters and crafted such terrific stories with them.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 22 Dec 2020 14:35 Title: Chapter 7

Very interesting and quick planning - which goes to Star's native strengths and makes her a valuable asset in spite of her obvious weaknesses.

 You have set up a very intriguing story here.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad this resonates. Tazla Star is one of my favorite characters I've created as evidenced by the fact that she got a whole novella as an introduction to the series.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 21 Dec 2020 19:50 Title: Chapter 6

Do the ends justify the means... That is one of the best ethical questions to play out in Scifi and a perennial Trek meme. When the ends are personal ambition, it makes the entire question much darker. Which makes Star an increasingly interesting character. One playing out both the fall and redemption narratives in the current work. And what an interesting godfather Altee is...

And nicely played on Mahoney. I just don't feel sorry for him at all.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Mahoney is a dirtbag, and that's probably the nicest thing to say about him. The end justifying the means is just such a fun question. It has become a bit trope-y over the years but you just know it'll never really go away because there's no good answer to it.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 18 Dec 2020 15:53 Title: Chapter 5

Quite a relevant story for todays opioid epidemic, but particularly interesting given the hornet's nest of relationships involved with Star's access to this drug. 

Looks like some fairly dirty dealings going on in Star Fleet. And a badguy from an angelic looking race is a really nice touch. As is the smarmy doctor. 

Very interesting to see just how interested he is in helping Star break her addiction. From the subsequent story I previously read, evidently not successful.

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: The Opioid Epidemic is an interesting parallel, I hadn't considered. Drugs have always been bad, of course, but I'm pretty sure back when I wrote this opioids weren't as much of a big deal as they have been in recent years. And regarding the crew of the Sacajawea: Not a great bunch.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 17 Dec 2020 15:44 Title: Chapter 4

Well now - a Deltan Godfather.. That's an interesting antagonist. Nice to get some perspective on him as he is being featured in your current venture.

And maybe he wasn't kidding about the addiction. Again, an interesting backstory to be catching up with. 

Flawed characters are always the most interesting...

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Altee's first appearance I believe. He is very much a background character in the series and only makes a full, in the flesh appearance in QD, albeit as a different version. Glad you're enjoying this little story.

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Dec 2020 17:02 Title: Chapter 3

And a good buildup of supsense regarding the mission at hand and particualrly the main antagonist's motives, connections and the allure he presents to Star Fleet. More interesting internecine conflict among the various service branches. 

Also an interesting cultural reference in the nephew taking the name of his wife. 

The gag about the ice cream and the unfinished ship model were interesting character clues as well. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Border Dogs and Regular Fleet don't always play nice. Nothing too surprising, I guess

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 16 Dec 2020 16:49 Title: Chapter 2

Star's level of animosity for a fellow starship captain is probably going to come back to bite her in some way... 

Nice character moment with Lt. Bane - and an interesting character both in him and his captain. Always interesting to see the relationships among the various service branches. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Star is probably one of those people who was not quite ready to be a starship captain. This is gonna be a great story to read to get some more background on Tazla Star. Also, quick shoutout to my fellow United Trek author The Lone Redshirt who has created the Bluefin and her characters. You can learn more about TLR's amazing Bluefin stories at

Reviewer: Robert Bruce Scott Signed Liked [Report This]
Date: 15 Dec 2020 15:22 Title: Chapter 1

It looks like Star may have been promoted a bit too soon. A commanding officer has to put aside their gut likes and dislikes for individuals as those can lead to critical errors in judgement. Seems like she's coming into it with some shady history as well.

All of which make for a fun, interesting character. Flawless people are boring.

Intriguing start. 

Thanks!! rbs

Author's Response: Agreed and the main reason Tazla Star was written into Star Eagle Adventures. Yeah, I know her name is a bit on the nose, but I ended up really liking it. And you can't get much more flawed than Tazla Star. The other great thing about flawed characters are their redemption arcs.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Oct 2014 00:01 Title: Chapter 15

Poor Taz! Newheiser looks almost loveable compared to Mahoney. She will have a rough time ahead her, but I guess what the doctor has promised her will be kept. It is understandable that she feels very embarrassed at her decisions but still they were the correct decisions. Not the right ones, but correct under the circumstances. She got entangled in a vicious cycle she could not break. In a way, this development, though harsh, gives her an opportunity to start again without being pressed by shady organizations inside or outside Starfleet.
It is a great story, with interesting and credible characters who have their ups and downs and fight their predicaments to the best of their ability. They have depth and background and the story breaks away from the Scotty-beam-me-up cliché where Starfleet is glorious, captains are wise and they generously heap humanity and proton torpedoes on nasty aliens who fall out of step. I have to admit that I got hooked on Taz so I am moving to “All the Sinners, Saints”.

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for reading and reviewing this story and I'm glad you enjoyed it and that you got hooked on Star. Admittedly this story didn't help to create many fans of hers. She still has a long way to go from here to become a balanced person again. One story I'd recommend you check out if you enjoy reading of Star is 'One Toke Over the Line' which is part of the Vignette Series 'Crossing Over' and available to download at, along with 'All the Sinners, Saints'. The latter is a long read but naturally I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you get a chance to finish it. In the meantime they'll also be a lot of Star in 'Semper Fidelis' as she will have to face some of the fallout from this very story. Thanks once more for your reviews. They are greatly appreciated.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Oct 2014 21:32 Title: Chapter 14

That was close, the shock wave was very strong. It makes sense, it wasn’t an ordinary freighter but a firebomb. Unfortunately, Akinola lost his nephew without being able to make it up to him. It is terrible when the last thing you remember is an argument and harsh words and then you realize that you will never be able to tell the other person that you did not really mean it. Still, he managed to suppress his bereavement with no small help from Baxter who kept his cool. I wonder what the situation on Heracles is. Probably not better.

Author's Response: It's a terribly awful thing to happen to anybody. And it is a pain Akinola won't soon forget. Definitely not by the time he meets Schwarzkopf again.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Oct 2014 17:17 Title: Chapter 13

This was a dramatic chapter loaded with action and losses. First, the battle in the dark, then the explosive decompression. Too bad that N’ek’too was killed. I refused to believe it was only loyalty. Loyalty is such a rare commodity that I see conspiracies everywhere. Still, Shuun knows better than being captured by an angry interstellar criminal who is likely to make an example of him. Star really had a tough choice “ a former lover against a current dependence. She did her best given the circumstances. I hope her injured arm can be healed.
I respect her choices “ whatever she did, she paid the price for it, in fact, she paid it twice. And it will be with her forever. It has never been about how good or how bad someone is “ you either have the guts to do what has to be done and face the consequences or not. You are either a survivor or a victim. Everything else is a matter of vantage point. I really like the way you present her actions and decisions “ she never gives up fighting no matter how slim her chances are.

Author's Response: It's a big turning point for Star, I think that much is clear. She made her choices here and now she will have to live with them. What that means for her future we'll find out in the following stories.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Oct 2014 23:34 Title: Chapter 12

A great space battle! The details about the torpedo loading are interesting. The reverse maneuver and the tractor beam strategy can help them to keep the firebomb vessel at bay. Schwarzkopf paid a heavy price for underestimating the tactics of the border criminals. They may not have big impressive ships but have the brains to conceive devious plans. Akinola behaves very professionally and his crew acts quickly and efficiently.

Author's Response: Yep, Akinola has been around the block a few times, and it shows.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Oct 2014 22:34 Title: Chapter 11

Now I feel like a kid in a candy store “ baddies and anti-heroes all around. I just can’t make my mind who to relate to first. I like Shuun very much “ a charming gangster and a former Starfleet officer who got tired of playing by the rules. N’ek’too is an enigma too. He disapproves of Star’s actions but keeps following her. The description of Eteron and its history is gripping “ a real gangster paradise and no man’s land.

Author's Response: If you like your morally ambiguous characters, this is the place for you, no doubt.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Oct 2014 22:49 Title: Chapter 10

The situation is going from bad to worse, even without the Orion Syndicate around. As though Schwarzkopf’s pompous stupidity wasn’t bad enough. Now the semi-stoned Commander Mahoney can’t make head and tail of what has happened let alone to act upon it. On top of that, Akinola decides to join the party and since nepotism does not exist in Starfleet, he keeps scaring his nephew.

Author's Response: Oh don't count out nepotism just yet. If you get a chance check out 'Paternal Instincts' which explores this quite a bit. Akinola just doesn't quite believe in it.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Oct 2014 23:41 Title: Chapter 9

Yes, this chapter answers my doubts expressed in the review of Chapter 7. Still, I think there is something more than loyalty, something ulterior and more tangible. N’ek’too can be very loyal and I want to believe that this is the case, but he can also have some scores to settle, a revenge to seek, or he might be a double agent working against Taz. His desperate determination to prove his loyalty flashes a red light.

Author's Response: Everyone on this ship seemed to have another agenda, it's not too difficult to believe that N'ek'too had one as well.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 03 Oct 2014 23:02 Title: Chapter 8

Akinola is a great captain but it seems to me that all great captains are sidetracked so that ambitious idiots like Schwarzkopf can show off their incompetence. Having in mind Solly Brin’s comment, I would rename this nuisance “Scheisskopf”.

Author's Response: Yeah, I know, it's a little cliched. But it does set up quite a bit of the story which follows this one in All The Sinners, Saints (sorry, not yet on Ad Astra, but you can find it at Many of these characters return in that one and as you can imagine, it won't be the prettiest reunion.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 01 Oct 2014 23:29 Title: Chapter 7

Taz is very cunning, but still I can’t figure out how she managed to secure the Ariolo’s unquestionable assistance in stealing and incapacitating Starfleet vessels and stunning a civilian crew. He is much more loyal and reliable than the rest of her crew but if they were captured, his “I was following my captain’s orders” would hardly suffice. Unless he knows about her dealings with the Starfleet Intelligence and considers it a legitimate covert operation.

Author's Response: How did she N'ek'to on her side? All will be revealed.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Sep 2014 17:18 Title: Chapter 6

No sex, please. We are Starfleet. Taz is great, the more I read about her, the more I love her. Great chapter!

Author's Response: LOL. Certainly no sex on screen. But they're getting pretty close to it. But no, all that is in the past as far as Star is concerned.

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