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Old September 26 2008, 03:49 PM   #174
Bec
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Location: Dublin, Ireland.
Re: Greater Than The Sum Review *** POTENTIAL SPOILERS ***

I finished reading Greater Than The Sum the other day and I must say I was very pleased.

It's a thoroughly enjoyable book and I loved Christopher's writing style, easy to follow but yet still very descriptive, without being overly verbose for the sake of it, like a Ms. Jarman. No, it was just the right balance.

It soon became clear to me that this book wasn't about the Borg. No, the story is about family. It'd be hard to miss that point.. what with Picard's fears about starting a family, Chen's abandonment issues, the Liberator's desire to be able to procreate and so on. Family was certainly at the fore here, perhaps a bit too much at the end. It started to feel like that the whole book was connected to the issue. Everything tied in to family. But, then, I suppose you could say that's true of life too. Hmm, anyway, minor complaint.

Choudhory (sp?) would probably be my favourite of my new characters. She just seems so different to the norm. We didn't see enough of Elfiki for me to form an opinion yet.

As for T'rys, hmm... I'm not so sure. I noticed earlier on in the thread, someone said she seemed very Mary Sue-ish and I think I can understand that viewpoint. She was the only one out of everyone who was able to communicate with the creature, she obviously has no problem getting guys and making them fall hard for her judging by Konya's thought near the end, she's perfectly capable in social situations (although, she may have no discernible social boundaries and has a problem with the chain of command, she never seems to be shy or embarassed and is extremely outgoing), she has a sob story that allows her to connect with the one character who seemed to dislike her - Kadohata, she's funny...

In short, this girl is just too good. Everyone seems to love her. And she solves some of the main problems in the story. That's a Mary Sue in my book.

Sure, she's not perfect. But her problems with the chain of command seem only to make her more endearing to the crew by the end of the book.

And yeah, she's got family issues. I did like that scene with Kadohata actually, it showed there is actual real pain there and that she's had some problems in her life. Good. Everyone should have. I'd like to see her past explored more. Let's get to some dark stuff.

Does Chen feature in Destiny? I'd be interested to see what David Mack and other authors do with her.

Basically, I just can't decide whether I like her or not. She's an intriuging character to be sure but I didn't like to way everyone seemed to think she was the bee's knees by the end of the book.

The science portion of the plot wasn't even a huge problem for me. I was able to follow what was going on, more or less. There was one chapter that had a lot of scientific terms that just went completely over my head though. I don't have a science brain. I still don't think I know what a carbon world is.

The only other criticism I have isn't even a valid criticism. And that's Guinan. First of all, it was a great surprise to see she had a fair-sized role here. I didn't even realise she was going to be in the book so it was a very welcome treat!

But why, oh, why.. did she have to leave the Enterprise again at the end? I love Guinan. And I want her to stay on the ship. For good. I don't care if Choudhory can fill her shoes or not. They can both stay. Picard may not need her but I do. Bring Guinan back!!

Looking back on what I've said, it sounds very negative. But that wasn't my attitude to the book at all. I thought it was a great read and I really enjoyed it. In fact, I'd say it's my favourite of the TNG-R so far.

Great work, Christopher!!
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