Reviewer: Samuel Pengraff Signed
23 Dec 2010
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Please note that this review contains spoilers.
A fascinating and plausible interpolation into some of the events that occurred between the end of Kirk’s first five year mission and Spock’s self-induction into the Kolinahr ritual. I look forward to more.
Nearing the end of their mission, Kirk, McCoy and Spock have become more volatile versions of themselves. The mission has clearly taken its toll. Some of the dialog is extreme and Spock is having more difficulty than ever repressing his emotions. There’s a great deal of truth on these pages, but irrationality is never far away, especially from Kirk.
The story is well researched in classicverse canon and this foundation helps provide a believable setting for the storyline to unfold as does the convincing command of navy rank & parlance and the fluency with medical terminology. I felt there.
I stumbled a bit on the reference to “Feinberger” in chapter three. For me, it refers to the props created by property master Irving Feinberg for TOS, so is a production universe reference inside a Trek universe story. Is that a nod to him, or has the term also been adopted by Navy medical personnel?
I had some difficulty with the telepathic link that connected Kirk and Spock. Even if the link was introduced in a previous story, I believe it would be helpful to add a short paragraph to chapter one that clarified the nature of this link. With such a link available would they not have wanted to use it in their discussions to try and close the gap that was growing between them? Should they not have wanted to use this for all their discussions if only because it was more convenient than speech? Your use of thought dialogue elsewhere in the story was very effective, very personal, and perhaps the link could have provided more such intimacy.
I love a story that leaves me wanting for more, or better, wishing I could see it acted out as an actual episode on screen. This story does that, in spades.
Cheers, Samuel.Author's Response:
Thank you, Sam. If you couldn't tell, this story was near and dear to my heart. I can still remember waiting breathlessly for TMP to come out in 1979, and went to see it, full of expectation. I left the theater feeling sad, and angry, and confused! This wasn't the
Trek I knew, and loved, and remembered. What on Earth could have happened to have split these three so profoundly, so completely, so irrevocably from one another? For many years, it remained an unanswered question for me, but a year and a half ago, Anna and Steff dared me to try my hand at writing fan fiction. So I did, and stumbled and stuttered and muddled my way through, learning as I went.
And that learning curve led me finally to this. I understand your confusion about the link, but I began that arc in 'His Last Breath,' continued it in 'Learning Curve,' and finally finish it with 'Shadows and Dust,' the sequel to this story. My fault - I should probably group these stories together as a series, so as not to unnecessarily confuse the readers.
*laughs* Ah, yes, Feinberger. A recollection of something I had read many years ago. I knew the props were created by a man named Feinberg, and that members of the crew referred to the medical 'props' as such. A little poetic license on my part, as I got tired of referring to the instrument in question as simply a medical scanner. Sorry if it was confusing. ;-)
Thank you again Sam for taking the time to leave such detailed, well-thought-out reviews. As a complete novice to this whole writing thing, these are the kinds of critiques I need to continue to grow, and learn. My hat's off to you, sir. :D