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Old January 24 2013, 06:33 AM   #1666
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

I finished Raise the Dawn the other day, and since I promised a couple comments...

I found all the recapping rather frustrating, and this is something I'm starting to notice in the current batch of Trek novels in general. Authors seem to feel the need to give a paragraph synopsis of two or three episodes at least per novel, and then throw in "by the way, this happened in the last novel to feature this character" bits as well. I would much prefer content like this be either a preface or just left out entirely. Sometimes I felt like I was revisiting old stories every other chapter. If I'm reading new Trek books at this point in the franchise's life, I know all this stuff already.

Now I'm reading Fallen Gods, which in addition to the recapping disease also suffers from "look I have a thesaurus and I know how to use it" syndrome. As a word nut myself, I understand the desire to broaden vocabulary and use interesting words, but the ones I'm encountering always seem to pull me out of the narrative. I get it. The author knows a lot of neat words. The meaning is usually at least implied by context. It just feels forced, like the author is reaching for variety for its own sake instead of to serve the storytelling.

While I'm on a bit of a rant, I get it. Keru is a "hulking" unjoined Trill. Ree has sharp teeth. Troi is an empath. People, at book number 7 in the series, you don't need to tell us these things every single time the characters appear in a scene. Titan suffers the most from this need to define each character's species and/or appearance nearly every time they appear.

One more thing, and I'll quit. This alien culture is written really annoyingly. There has to be a better way to communicate alien-ness than merged pronouns and thesaurus-izing body parts and other general terms. The whole "they're alien because they use different words for things than we do" approach gets tiresome quickly. Every "hir" or "s/he" I hit is like a speed bump for my brain. And "heartlaps" for years? Really? "Grandbegetter"??? Insect cultures are hard to make relateable. Stuff like this doesn't help, at least it doesn't help me.

I'm sorry, I know I'm being cranky. I just ... I felt the same way about the Gorn in Sieze the Fire. I liked the insight into the intricacies of the species, but the language and terminology used threw me right out of the rhythm of the story.
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