Hello all. Doing my usual thing of posting my thoughts without reading the rest of the thread, after which I will go back and see what the rest of you thought.
Basically, not too bad. I had been unsure whether to even buy this or not, given that from what spoiler-free rumours I had heard about the boards it wasn't especially well received and I hadn't particularly enjoyed Seize the Fire
. But I didn't want to miss out on the next adventures of the Titan
and her crew, who had been probably my favourite bunch of characters for a while there. So I decided to plump for it - less than 10 quid after all, hardly a big loss if I ended up not liking it.
And maybe it was just because my expectations were low, but it really wasn't all that bad. I mean, it'll never win any major literary awards, but it was a straightforward solid episodic adventure that didn't really try to be anything it wasn't. My problem with Seize the Fire
had been mostly that the dialogue felt horrifically clumsy and unnatural, and that didn't seem to be a problem here, maybe because there was less focus on the scientific stuff and more on action and plot.
I didn't really feel like the two storylines had all that much to do with each other, and they both had their problems, but nothing that was an absolute dealbreaker.
-story - the Taithans. Pleasant enough, although there wasn't really a lot of ambiguity to their situation, given that one faction was so obviously "right" and the other so obviously "wrong." I didn't like that we got no suggestion of what happened to them after the AI repaired the Technocore. Yes, the planet was saved, but what about the people? They are what matters in a story, surely. Just because the Keepers were proven to be right doesn't mean that the Trashers will just step back and accept it. There's a lot more to be explored there that was just left half-finished. It was nice to get another non-humanoid civilization, but the idea of the Titan
making it worse by interfering or even just by being there seemed like a re-run of themes we've had with this series before.
-story - the Andorians. Not helped by the fact that we'd never heard of six out of the seven Andorian crewmembers before, but I guess that's a necessary evil. I figured out immediately that they were doing the transporter split thing, and I DID NOT like it. It seems like the worst kind of sci-fi shit - where some ludicrous hi-concept notion is used not to explore
the characters' problems but to erase
them altogether. "Oh look, because of this fantastic piece of technobabble, not only do we get to solve the characters' dilemma by literally splitting them in half, but we get twice as many Andorians too, which will solve the population problem! Aren't we clever?" I was very unhappy with this story idea, right until the end when an attempt was made to show that it doesn't actually solve all the problems at all, and the duplicated Andorians still don't actually want any of this to happen. They still consider themselves kidnapped, and I can only assume more is going to come of this in later books. That mitigated it somewhat, but I still think it's extremely dangerous ground to be walking on, and can easily be used to sidestep the problems instead of actually dealing with them. The Tholians were a nice surprise though.
Not a lot of room for character development, but then I suppose it just wasn't that kind of story. I've had enough of Tuvok now, thank you. I'd like to focus on somebody else for a change, as I feel like I've been getting Tuvok overload. I didn't like leaving White-Blue behind, as I thought there was a lot more that could be done with that character. I especially didn't like when somebody said he's been "missing a purpose in his life" - his move to the Titan at the end of Synthesis
was precisely so that he could have a new life, and I don't like the idea that he would suddenly decide, "no, that was boring, now I'm going to do this instead" after so little time actually being a member of the crew. To the extent that it actually felt like character assassination rather than even just character inconsistency. And the sudden focus on Pava was a little overwhelming too, though again obviously I can see that was required by the storyline, but then I don't find her to be a particularly compelling character. I do find it interesting though that Vale is seen swearing so much more often than any other Starfleet officer I can remember.
So, upshot is - not as bad as was fearing it was going to be, but I did have some issues with it, more as it went on than when it started.