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Old January 2 2008, 07:17 PM   #70
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

Okay, my review of SOD now.

Like others, I'd say good, not great. I really don't want to offend Geoffrey, but I didn't find myself getting along with it quite so much. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say "bad," nowhere near the loathing people are having for Before Dishonor.

Tech-wise, I was one of those who found it a little difficult to follow at times. I could kinda-mostly figure out what was going on, if I stopped to think about it, but I don't think I should have had to stop to think about it. Complex and scientific is all well and good as long as it's eventually boiled down to tesseracts-for-dummies.

Having said that, I saw echoes of many TNG and VOY plots in the tech aspects. Many of the concepts here have been used before - When the Bough Breaks, Meridian, Blink of an Eye, Parallax and quite a few others occurred to me. They're just all combined in new ways.

Character stuff was great. I thoroughly enjoyed the friction at the beginning and throughout. It was no mystery to me what Troi and Riker's argument was about - it was well written and presented, but it was no mystery. The baby was after all the very last character point the pair was left with at the end of Orion's Hounds, so it made sense that it would be the first point picked up on here. What I hadn't picked up on until it was pointed out was that Troi and Riker's friction was what was causing everyone else's friction by way of psychic bleed-out - or at least exacerbating it.

Jaza and Ra'Havreii - loved em. The bitching back and forth was good fun, especially as Ra-Havreii is becoming the love-to-hate character. Quite annoyed that Jaza has been effectively killed off - I thought he had a lot of potential as a character and was got rid of too soon in the series.

I got almost all of the un-named characters in the "found them" section, apart from one. Was Radowski making his move on Keru, at the end there? Because we know they caught each other's eye in Red King and I did notice that Radowski said "Keru and the others are back" when protocol should have had Vale first as the senior officer, which showed Radowski was worried about him.

What I did especially enjoy was, in amongst all the sound and fury, the fascinating treatise on the effects of religion, how belief in a benevolent (or otherwise) god affects the development of a culture for good or ill, and what happens when faith is shaken, and how it can be re-established. As a totally non-religious person, I found that insight quite intriguing.

I'm afraid I hit upon at least a dozen editing errors, mistakes the writer presumably made but the editor should have caught, and for some reason didn't.

* Torvig becoming an Ensign instead of a Cadet during his big Engineering scene.
* Jaza getting out of his chair on the shuttle, then getting out of his chair again in the very next line.
* Hriss being on the ghost-ship security team at beam-out, then Rriarr being there at arrival.
* Roakn's name spelled differently in two different places.
* Cethente's name spelled wrong in his one mention.
* Some others I'm forgetting at the moment.

Also, the POV character was muddled on many occasions. Half-way through a paragraph many times, the "inner dialogue" would suddenly be from a different character. We'd be in Tuvok's head at the beginning of the paragraph, then without any change suddenly we'd be in Riker's, for example. Or it simply wasn't clear whose head we were in at all.

So all in all, good but not great. On realizing you also wrote "Chiaroscurro" from Prophecy and Change, Geoffrey, I remembered that I didn't especially get along with that one either. I would never say it's because you're a bad writer, per se, because I don't think you are. Just that your style doesn't mesh with my own.
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