Chris, I not trying to get in a pi$$ing match with you. I'm just sayin the Chen character really didn't work for me. And yeah, all of it is my opinion. And yeah, I know LOTS of people that she is a turn off for. And yeah, I know a lot of people who thinks she is really a plot device.
And you said...."Over the years, I've heard more praise for T'Ryssa Chen than criticism, although not overwhelmingly more"
So, YOU must know people who don't like her too...and no, I don't want another pi$$ing match on how many people ya know that like her or dislike her.
Thankfully, it appears unlikely that she'll ever have a major role in a story, so if she's given some throw away lines, well then, I'll speed read through it. And yeah, if she has some big scene, I'll set my the speed for my eyeballs to read at maximum warp.
Not trying to hurt your feelings Chris or get you worked up, she just didn't work for me.
For almost 50 years there have been Trek fans, both of filmed characters and novel only characters, who've had something to say good and bad, about every, single, character
. For all the hate you have for Chen, others have for had hate for, say, Archer or Kira. The authors and producers of Trek can't please every, single, watcher or reader out there.
While you may not like Chen, your example of her involvement in this story, is more than some simple plot device and in fact makes me think you only used it to hate on the Chen character. In fact, and this is not just because I love her character, she did something for me I couldn't wait to happen in this book, which was get rid of the Atlas
. If not for what she did while in command, there would have been a shooting war with the Gorn because Bateson left someone in command who decided to take an aggressive stand first instead of a peaceful one, like Chen did.
Back in the day, if I remember correctly, Gene Roddenberry once said that it was always meant for starship commanders to attempt diplomacy first, and if that fails defend his ship and the Federation second.
Having Mack make it Chen instead of, let's say, Geordi, gives us a unique way for this to be done instead of the same old same old we've had for 50 years. I found it entertaining and quite clever that Chen was the one who defused the situation by lying. And the fact she did made me love, love, love the fact she outsmarted both the Atlas
and the Gorn.
And for all the different jobs she's done in all the books, the whole point, and remind me if I read it wrong in one of the books, is that 40 percent of Starfleet and thousands of officers were killed by the Borg. Starfleet has had to make due with what it has, so it wouldn't just be a Picard
thing, sending her to so many sections of the ship to do work, it would have been a choice that any captain would have made with an overworked ship and crew and very little replacements.