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Old December 30 2012, 03:33 AM   #74
Paper Moon
Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

JWolf, see my comment in my last paragraph which responds (slightly indirectly) to your post.

For those who are reading this in an e-mail digest (where spoiler tags don’t work):


My first thought after finishing the book: RHEA!!!!!!

I was very sorry to see Rhea go. I really liked her in Immortal Coil, particularly in what she did for Data’s character evolution.

So I was very glad to see her here, but I also felt that her character was a bit underused here. As I said, Rhea is herself an interesting character, but I believe she is more interesting for what she did for Data (ie. their interactions), and we didn’t see too much of that. Were she a TV character, I’d say she was better suited for “character episodes” than “action/plot episodes,” and The Body Electric was definitely of the latter.

But boy, was that story a helluva thing. I sometimes had a little trouble buying that the Enterprise crew would take on a mission to save the entire galaxy against impossible odds with such aplomb: no shock or disbelief. On the other hand, they have done it before. Multiple times.

And I found the foe very elegant. The Body Electric was certainly a good ol’ fashioned sci-fi adversary. And nice to have a break from the political machinations of the Typhon Pact. And The Body Electric’s final goal of an intergalactic art piece for the ages: very very cool. As was Wesley’s proposed solution. I’m wondering what the long-term repercussions of intergalactic travel will be on the Milky Way. Wow. Very very cool.

Glad to see that Worf is getting the recognition he deserves. I hope he’ll change his mind regarding command some day, though.

Was not surprised by the epilogue. For all the trouble Data went to find Akharin, I was a little surprised that we never saw him resurrect Lal, though I realized right away that it didn’t actually matter whether or not we saw it; it just mattered that he did.

Honestly was not that excited about the T’Ryssa/Taurik storyline. It was interesting, but I found it hard to get invested in, for whatever reason.

The story on the (pseudo-)Fellowship of Artificial Intelligence ship was pretty cool. I felt I was missing out on some sci-fi in-jokes with the different AIs, but I really enjoyed the imaginative descriptions. The range of views represented was a nice world-building touch that reflects the range of possibilities regarding AI.

Going back to Rhea for a moment: while I understand that the point of this trilogy was to have the crew of the Enterprise face impossible decisions, I feel it would have been a more interesting story long-term if Rhea and Akharin had survived and Data had had to learn to be a family man. Raising a child as a single parent is not exactly an underused story in Star Trek.

If it were me designing the poll, I would rename “Above Average” to “Well-Done.” (I’d relegate “Above Average” to a score of 3.5 and call 4.5 “Very Well-Done.”) As such, I feel TBE was very well-done. Not outstanding, like Silent Weapons or RtD, but very well-done. Solid. Voted “Above Average” for the purposes of Sho’s analysis.

EDIT: Yeah, I agree with a lot of what has been said so far in the thread, good and bad. Loved "go bother Picard"; that was great. I didn't have much issue with the scale of the threat; these days, there's rarely much question that they'll survive, the interest arises from how the characters react. I too was a bit taken aback by Gatt's aboutface at the end, and I do wish we had seen more with Lal at the end. But I realize that Mack was going for something particular with that scene and I can deal with that.

Last edited by Paper Moon; December 30 2012 at 03:51 AM.
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