Date: 13 Apr 2014 23:05 Title: Chapter 36
OKay the shoutouts here are just fantastic. Made my night. But poor Mark. It's hard to age and feel like the next generation is set to pass you by before you've even made your mark. You captured that feeling perfectly. Well done, and ouch.
Date: 18 Aug 2013 19:19 Title: Chapter 7
"I don't now," Paul said with conviction. "I feel...dirty. Like we were just part of something that shouldn't have happened."
I think Paul surmizes the entire picture here with that statement. How sad after his happy opening. Seems Maria stayed true to her word but again her torture of Hank colours what her motivations are. She's made it very hard to believe her even if acts seem to prove her truth.
This is turning into a hell of a puzzle. To trust her or not?
Date: 18 Aug 2013 19:13 Title: Chapter 6
Well now we see how Maria can be so damned manipulative and knows what cards to play. Queen Bitch. Even if she may be for the good guys she's got her own agenda too.
Winsor. Ugh. I've lots of problems with him. He's another angry admiral but he's also got a burden to carry so no wonder he's as rash and angry as he is. It stands to reason really but I don't like his decision making process, especially with so little left of Starfleet and Nick is the next to stand up to him and did a rather miserable job of it. Perhaps someone of Worf's stature or Hank's might make a better job of adovating other alternaitves and stand up to Winsor. Otherwise, he might play into Maria's schemes all too easily.
But we seem to be making connections here as full circle back to Barash and his strange ancestry and links to the Del'Vreer past.
Date: 18 Aug 2013 19:02 Title: Chapter 5
Daren and Hank... RR awww. But in story context it is also a fitting a telling moment between the two characters. Hank is palgued with self-doubt and recriminations about New Haven and Maria. Those words from Daren may be the rallying call he needs. Especially as focuses now on Bethany.
Meantime, we get tantalizing answers about what happened but keep waiting for the full picture and what they can do to help. The answers from Doc Brown are less than answers and more questions keep cropping up.
Date: 18 Aug 2013 18:49 Title: Chapter 4
Doc Brown? Now we have gone back to the future?
Jeepers, ok the ending is a neat curve ball. They've been brought here by Starfleet - albeit the Federation Temporal Research Facility. There's a lot to take in here for all of them, but especially Nick as it is his call to make. (loved the joke about the oven)
Now as to the opening. Now here's a pissing contest. Between Nick and Chris - and really that was to be expected. Chris' loyalty has to be commended but he is naive or at least not in the know enough to understand that Hank isn't fit to command.
Nick has to make a hard choice by opting to retain command. I think he's right to do so. He may not be the best choice all things considered, but he is the only choice. In fact, if Chris could see it, allowing Nick to have command should allow Hank to foucs on the problem and be of more use than trying to grapple with command. Still, I've bad waters about how things are going to pan out down the line regards chain of command, and when/if Hank takes back the Pearl (i'm suddenly worrying for the fate of Nick now).
I liked too the focus on Bethany (as well as the character focus on Nick). With Hank so central to the story it is great to gain inisght to these other characters.
Date: 18 Aug 2013 18:37 Title: Chapter 3
"...once more unto the breach..." He whispered fearfully.
See again, it is this, the humanising, the bringing Hank down to earth, the undermining nearly of him all to make him a more relatable and realistic character. No cocky bravado with that line. It's said with fear.
The reveal of what happened to him though isn't belaboured by Hank or the author. He throws it out there for Nick and Bethany to process and to understand the situation. However, it is distrubing that after so long being messed with, Hank can't even be sure this isn't another vision and mind trickery - read for that mind fuckery.
Then we have a clearer picture of the plans and schemes completed by the Del'Vreer and hear too how Maria has had a plan all along, seemingly on their side. Again, how are we to believe or trust Maria. She's played the bad guy role so good that it is going to be very hard to believe she had an ulterior and better motive all along. She's made it way to hard for the crew to trust her.
Meantime, there's the enigma of the wormhole transport and who else is involved in this and how they can go about stopping the Del'Vreer taking over the Federation. What moment of time is fundamental to this? May it be that the Pearl's lineage may stand it in good stead as it will fit into an Enterprise-C Lost Era period?
Date: 18 Aug 2013 18:25 Title: Chapter 2
Reading that chapter is like doing emotional gymnastics! I'm head over shoulders, flipped over, flipped off ;) and generally shook. Wow, we pinged about on so many things here. Certainly throwing us into the thick of things and yet everything has changed drastically - on the ship and in the universe. Nice mirroring and effective resonance.
Of course, we have to address the Hank and Bethany situation. Talk about screaming at the screen moment. Seriously! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! The klaxon blares just as he is going to reveal his true feelings?! sigh. And also, just a brilliant little stroke of genius. And at least now, Hank wants to tell her even if end of universe type events seem to put him off his stride.
Then there's the fact we have Hank addressing the fact he doesn't have a place on the ship. An actual living space literally and he has to seek somewhere to go. And then on the bridge, he slips naturally into a leadership role (and the crew naturally gravitate towards offering him answers) but then Nick reappears and damn it hits Hank again - this ain't his ship anymore.
I then love the fact that you segeway into the reveal of the Del'veer ships, the destruction of the Federation and the time travel.
you throw Maria into the mix.
she's there to help?????
Ok. Don't want to believe that. And yet, I'm willing to believe that maybe she is there to help and to get Hank's help. But we all know she can't be trusted.
It is also worth noting that I just love reading authors and when they write something I totally would not have. The scene with Hank and Nick would have been a pissing contest had I written it. But no. Hank is a genuine guy. A nice guy. And he knows/understands how things must work and he steps back. Now that takes a certain mettle, a certain courage and strength of character that all attests to the character of Hank.
Date: 18 Aug 2013 18:08 Title: Chapter 1
You know what? The captain saving the ship trope can be tiresome and so badly handled. You know what? Hank saves the ship and says 'Dumb luck' before passing out. You defy the tropes, the conventions and cliches. It's the humanity of the Hank character, the everyman appeal and nature of him that makes him tick and resonate as a character with people. And amid such a scene of carnage and terror that he can say a line like that, showing humility, humanity, humour and awesomeness, that makes him and your writing so endearing.
I have to admit, that I didn't like Hank way back at the beginning. I know in the analyze thread on the forum there was talk about him being author avatar but I guess I knew you before I read Hank and I liked you already so didn't need to buy into the character. He just seemed so chipper, normal and everyday way back in the beginning. But then he steals over you. He wins you over, just when you're not looking. You find yourself rooting for him, worrying and fretting for him, and cheering for him - and then gasping in horror for him because almost after a win moment you go and pull the rug massively on us like you did at the end of book 2 (and well throughout too). No wonder that crown of yours is so polished looking!
Now, please don't be offended by the fact I didn't like Hank in the beginning. Because actually, I like having my opinions challenged and changes. I like stories with characters in them I don't like because real life is filled with that. And despite everything I initially didn't like about Hank, he always felt real and realised.
Your skill trekfan has been weaving this story that has taken the crew of the Pearl and its captain and carried us along so that we end up cheering them. That you make Hank win me over. And throughout it all, you keep the reader hooked, invested and puzzled and amazed by the rollercoaster plot.
Now it's all worth mentioning this in a chapter with little plot development in itself, because this is the opener to the third instalment and you chuck your readers right into it. The scene opening is confusing, chaotic, a frightful spectre of doom - it pays off on the climax of the last book and shows skill in your depiction.
Then with the transition to the medical bay to bring a level of normalacy back to the story. It's a natural ease down of the heightened tension and drama of the opening, serving well to introduce the reader back into the plot and setting the scene up for the hunt for answers.
And boys, what questions there are to be answered. The shockwave climax demands an answer and given the totality of it no wonder there's no ready answers yet. How does this all play into the larger schemes? What of the crew? Hank? And the dynamics now that Hank has returned to the Pearl after being missing for so long?
Date: 07 Aug 2013 23:03 Title: Chapter 22
Hank and Bethany! Win! Win! Win!
Great, passionate interactions here between her and Nick, and very believable. I liked her introspection on how she felt sending those messages vs. how he felt, too. Very realistic stuff.
Also, the game of hot potato with the command chair made me smile. Usually everyone wants it. Now no one does, like it's cursed or something.
Oh and one more thing: SQUEEEEEEEE!
Date: 21 Jun 2013 15:06 Title: Chapter 2
Somehow, I am thinking ... no.
I only know some of your mythos and so Maria is a familiar name and is someone awful, but I do not know where she's from, her species, her motivations, etc. But she seems like, as they say, bad mojo.
And just when Hank was all about to tell Bethany the wonderful truth!
I got a bad feeling about this.
Date: 01 Jun 2013 17:12 Title: Chapter 2
Hmmm, even more mystery abounds. Who is the mystery man talking about artificial wormholes and people not being erased from history?
On a more personal note, there's some awkwardness between Hank and Bethany, especially with having to borrow her shower, now that he doesn't have a ship anymore.
Date: 01 Jun 2013 15:58 Title: Chapter 1
A gripping beginning and a scary one as well. You got a lot of good, expository information out there very quickly. I'm walking into the middle of this movie, but I'm not having major issues with following the plot or the characters. Of course I know Hank and Bethany from your free writes, but I don't have to, in order to not be lost.
Can't say the same for the crew of the Pearl, though.
I've got you on my - read more later - list as I continue to plow through the stories on the review list. I'll be back. :)
Date: 01 Jun 2013 14:50 Title: Chapter 1
I haven't read much of your stories, TF, but I hear they're highly popular with other forum users. I still seem to know these characters very well from the challenge and the weekly prompts.
The opening chapter is a really teaser shrouded in mystery. How did the ship end up in this situation? A battle? Some kind of subspace anomaly? I'll be reading on to find out, as well as getting caught up on the previous two ST Chronicles novels.
Date: 30 May 2013 17:22 Title: Chapter 21
So the story comes to a halt here! And all I can say is MOAR! I want to see how the ending pans out, I want to see how you can tackle all the mysteries you put forth and revealed in the first two Chronicle books and this one. Your use of time travel doesn't irk me so much and it's starting to feel a bit like Yesterday's Enterprise, and I hope you can resolve this story without bringing into question the events which happened in Yesterday's Enterprise. It hast to be a solution where captain Garrett meets her fate despite knowing what the older Winsor has told her.
I have a sneaking feeling you can pull this off, although questions remain, including this enemy of the Del'Vreer and also their methods of time travel. Plus you have to write an ending where the timeline for TNG, DS9 and VOY is not effected to. So I don't envy the challenge which faces you.
If this you pull this well then this story will be a masterpiece with the only disappointments being the OTT melodrama which happened in chapters 11 and 12. So here's to the completion of your third Chronicles book before this year is over! Here's also to your third book doing justice to what has so far been a rather gripping trilogy!
There are a huge amount of questions to be resolved and I can you can finish this book as fast as possible. In the meantime I'll be going over any other stories related to the cast of Star Trek Chronicles, so expect some more reviews in those particular stories!
Date: 30 May 2013 16:59 Title: Chapter 19
And so what must be the craziest mission ever begins! If any of them survive this then there is going to be some serious fallout. The Walker brothers are at each other's throats, Hank and Nick clearly have some bad blood between them and Nick's attitude is very disturbing. I mean he would save his wife and child by doing anything, and that makes him very vulnerable to being coerced by the Del'Vreer...
Date: 30 May 2013 16:51 Title: Chapter 18
This mission will work because the events they will be planning describe the circumstancing surrounding the Enterprise C's disappearance. I find it not coincidence that they're going to be sending a false alarm, the Enterprise C that is, to these two Starfleet ships by the Outpost Zeus to ensure they are far away from the area where the Del'Vreer anchor is. History is repeating itself and that could be the first hopeful sign that maybe, just maybe, this crazy mission will work...
Date: 30 May 2013 16:40 Title: Chapter 17
You know of all the friendships formed in this trilogy, I think the one between Hank, Oron and G'rull is the most pleasing to see. They are in essence three enemies, three people who under normal circumstances would not trust each other, but that time in the prison changed all of that. And it's really moving you know!
Also I'm starting to really admire Karrie's character, she is one of the few sane people in your cast!
Date: 30 May 2013 16:16 Title: Chapter 14
Good thinking of Hank's by preparing a plan B should Maria betray everyone. I also really like Oron, he goes beyond your average Romulan, yes he is calculating but calculating in a very good way, to the point where you to admire him. Pointy ears or not!
Date: 30 May 2013 16:08 Title: Chapter 13
A rather interesting conversation about the intricacies of counselling and Paul's approach to Hank's condition is rather unconventional.
And at last Barash is up and awake! And finally it seems like Maria has done a good thing for a change! With no strings attached either!
Date: 30 May 2013 15:57 Title: Chapter 12
After the emotional and psychological trainwreck of the last chapter, you manage to do the same thing again! I'm impressed, I'm... Speechless. I mean talk about coincidences, you have Hank's former lover here and Bethany's former lover here and I'll be perfectly candid with you; it's over-egging the pudding. It's basically making things really emotional for the sake of things being really emotional. You've got to tone it down and it would have been so much more powerful if Hank and Bethany were to have this much needed private discussion without having the baggage of two former lovers on board. Sure it would be a bit soapy but not as soap-like as this.
I mean the whole galaxy is in danger and we're getting a massive dosage of angst, messed-up love and broken relationships? It detracts from the story and oddly enough from a really good romance. I so dig Hank/Bethany but this is pushing it a bit too far. The emotional stakes are too high, unrealistically high.
At least the conversation between Karrie and Mark is a lot more reasonable and at this point more enjoyable. It feels more normal and yes there is baggage and they both have some troublesome woes, but it is done more subtly and that is where it is at. In fact Karrie/Mark are probably the most sensible and sanest couple at the moment, the rest are trainwrecks!
I'm sorry I have to be so critical, but I just feel this Maria/Hank/Bethany triangle has gone too far and beyond plausibility or realism, or beyond suspension of disbelieve. But at least you redeemed yourself with that scene between Mark and Karrie.
Date: 30 May 2013 15:39 Title: Chapter 11
Okay, okay! Your solution to helping Hank find a little comfort and resolution to those months of hell he spent being tortured by Maria, was for Hank to meet up with a woman who also wrecked his life and made him miserable for months on end, and now Hank is feeling a bit better!?!
That is the craziest psychological logic I have ever seen! Hank -- in the space of several minutes -- gyrates from shunning Kayla, to accepting her apology and then deciding he can vent all of his most personal woes and feelings (and his love for Bethany) onto Kayla? Onto a woman he knew for barely several hours, and onto a woman who has literally appeared out of nowhere and he rectifies it all in several minutes with her?
How is that possible? And Kayla's reaction is unbelievable, after one moment of muted shock she then acts like they're back in that bar all those years ago and if nothing more than ordinary conversation has taken place. It just not logical or plausible that either character would act that way. It's like two wrongs make a right, or two women who have given Hank trauma can also give him healing to? Maybe Hank could resolve things with Kayla under more normal circumstances, but under this emotionally charged situation... I keep saying it but it makes no sense and the only sense I can discern from it is that of some kind of OTT soap scene.
Hank is a tough cookie but of all the people he decides to tell everything it had to be Kayla? I mean consider this. If you had a girlfriend whom you really loved but for some reason she left you, and then years later you met her again and had suffered from a great personal loss, would YOU tell this hypothetical girlfriend about everything you are thinking or feeling? Without regard to privacy or personal secrets?
I know I wouldn't, and that is why this chapter has got it so wrong with what Hank discussed with Kayla.
Now I bet, come the next chapter, Hank is going to walk into Bethany's quarters and let me guess, Maria is with her, and then... Well there is torturing Hank and things just becoming too emotionally charged.
I am still getting over what happened here!
Date: 30 May 2013 15:20 Title: Chapter 10
That is quite a plan though I have a few things about this anchor ship. One wouldn't the Del'Vreer have more than one anchor ship? So even if the one which arrived in 2343 was destroyed, the Del'Vreer could always send in another one at a different time and a different place. Having said that the Del'Vreer are a dying species so maybe when they arrived in 2343 -- as Maria explained -- they had few resources, few ships and only one anchor ship. But they replenished their supplies and revitalized their race all in preparation for this greater foe who is about to attack everyone and everything?
A bit of a stretch perhaps but it explains the mission to travel back in time. Though there does not seem to be any plan to return the Pearl back to the present so you have your work cut out for you trying to make all this work and make it plausible...
Without the trilogy collapsing into a burning pile of plot holes...
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed you can somehow pull it off.