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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Grade "Unspoken Truth"
Excellent 3 9.38%
Above Average 11 34.38%
Average 14 43.75%
Below Average 3 9.38%
Poor 1 3.13%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 9 2010, 10:10 PM   #31
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

I actually like that aspect of her storytelling; I think the first couple chapters of the book are beautiful. My complaint is a little different - I think that following the main, present-day plot of the book for almost its whole length before learning why Saavik is doing what she's doing is annoying. The jumping into bits of backstory make sense, but the main narrative acts like a linear story, only to turn out not to be. And the story I thought she was telling was, in my opinion, better than what it was revealed to be.
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Old April 9 2010, 10:13 PM   #32
JoeZhang
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I actually like that aspect of her storytelling; I think the first couple chapters of the book are beautiful. My complaint is a little different - I think that following the main, present-day plot of the book for almost its whole length before learning why Saavik is doing what she's doing is annoying. The jumping into bits of backstory make sense, but the main narrative acts like a linear story, only to turn out not to be. And the story I thought she was telling was, in my opinion, better than what it was revealed to be.
Same here - having said that, a MWB story I have problems with is still a better read than most of the trek-lit output.
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Old April 9 2010, 10:18 PM   #33
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Yeah, in a lot of ways I agree. She certainly has an absolutely lovely writing style, and a real way with characterization. As I mentioned, I loved the captain Saavik served under for the first half. It was a great read, for sure. Just didn't really like where it ended up.
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Old April 10 2010, 03:00 AM   #34
Steve Roby
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

I was disappointed. I didn't buy the science, I didn't like the all questions, all the time prose style, I didn't like the way the time jumps killed the story's momentum, and I wanted the quirky, free-spirited hippie guy to get hit by a truck.

But my real problem is that the book is about the wrong Saavik.

There are two ways of interpreting Robin Curtis's Saavik in Star Trek III. Some people think she's a convincing and interestingly drawn character. As for me, well, I think she's a combination of weak writing, weak directing, and weak acting, and nowhere near as interesting as the Saavik of Star Trek II. MWB really has captured Curtis's Saavik, and to me, as someone who was really impressed by Saavik in 1982 and who doesn't get what she's been so underused in nearly thirty years of Trek novels, that's a hell of a lost opportunity.

I liked MWB's previous books to varying extents, from "that was okay" to "that was really good" to "that was damn near brilliant, but for this one flaw." This one just didn't work at all for me. Glad to see it made some people happy, even if I'm not one of them.
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Old April 10 2010, 02:25 PM   #35
Judith Sisko
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

I haven't finished the book yet, so I'm not ready to vote, but I'm to the point that every time I see the words "unspoken truth" in the story, I'm rolling my eyes.

I thought the night flowers on the planet was a nice image. I'd like to see an artist's rendition.

All in all, it's not wow-ing me (yet?) but it's an OK read. I'm not regretting buying the book ($6.65 on my nook with my B&N rebate,) but that's not much of an endorsement.

ETA: Before I started reading, I wondered if it was meant to be the Kristie Alley or Robin Curtis rendition of Saavik. As I'm reading, I see Robin Curtis, so I've got to agree with Steve Roby on this particular point.
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Old April 10 2010, 03:05 PM   #36
Christopher
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Yeah, the reference to Saavik's chestnut curls makes it clear it's meant to be Curtis.
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Old April 10 2010, 05:15 PM   #37
Judith Sisko
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yeah, the reference to Saavik's chestnut curls makes it clear it's meant to be Curtis.
That did clinch it, didn't it?
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Old April 11 2010, 09:18 PM   #38
KingstonTrekker
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

I was really looking forward to this book --MWB is one of my favourite Trek authors. However, I have given up on the book 100 pages from the end (I can't even remember the last time I gave up on a book).

I just can't force myself to read any further. I am an intelligent person with several university degrees, but I found this book (particulalry the second half) to be confusing and frustrating. When Saavik isn't collapsing and waking up on a different planet, she is engaged in activities which defy logic and are not adequately explained by the author. I couldn't even keep some of the characters straight!

This novel is a mess and a severe disappointment.
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Old April 11 2010, 09:27 PM   #39
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Well if it helps, if you keep going long enough the book eventually explains her motivation. Just doesn't happen until the end.
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Old April 12 2010, 02:24 AM   #40
Judith Sisko
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

KingstonTrekker wrote: View Post
I was really looking forward to this book --MWB is one of my favourite Trek authors. However, I have given up on the book 100 pages from the end (I can't even remember the last time I gave up on a book).

I just can't force myself to read any further. I am an intelligent person with several university degrees, but I found this book (particulalry the second half) to be confusing and frustrating. When Saavik isn't collapsing and waking up on a different planet, she is engaged in activities which defy logic and are not adequately explained by the author. I couldn't even keep some of the characters straight!

This novel is a mess and a severe disappointment.
I did force myself to finish it, expecting all the threads to come together somehow at the end to my satisfaction.

She tried. They didn't.

I enjoyed Saavik's Starfleet mission, shipmates, captain, and the first contact. After that...

I was disappointed in this novel as well. A fellow TrekLit friend asked me in one word what I thought of the book. I said, "convoluted."

I could write my reasons for disliking the book in more detail, but Thrawn, Steve Roby, and KingstonTrekker summed it up pretty well.
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Old April 12 2010, 02:35 AM   #41
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Yeah, it was weird, wasn't it? How the first half was so awesome, and then it just got lost. Strange reading experience.
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Old April 12 2010, 03:34 PM   #42
Janeway4Prez
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

I've read 'Burning Dreams' and 'Catalyst of Sorrows' and so I had high expectations with 'Unspoken Truth'. I didn't like it at all. The moment it came out I came on here and saw that many were giving it great reviews and so thought this was going to be one of those 'must read' books of the year. To me, this just was beyond horrible. The writing and plot line disturbed me the most with this book. The plot is so generic and one that's been done to death - the hero/heroine is tempted by the bad guy to turn on his/her supporters and friends. What also got me about this book is that the two plots never really come together. There's the plot of Saavik seeking a routine, uncomplicated assignment following the events of Star Trek III and IV and that's exactly what the reader is treated for 200 pages of the novel. I was bored to absolute tears and had to force myself not to give up on the book 100 pages in. Then, awkwardly, the Romulan plot kicks in around page 208 ... and it is completely rushed through, contrived and predictable. What a waste of a book.

This has been my complaint about a lot of Trek lit over the past year or two. It feels like many books have gone from being episode/movie worthy with depth, emotion and true creativity springing forth from the pages to being nothing more than fan-fic with a $7.99 price tag attached to it. 'Unspoken Truth' feels like fan-fiction run amuck. The character of Saavik, though she only appeared in 2 movies and a millisecond of Star Trek IV seems ... off. She doesn't strike me at all as someone who'd make it to the Enterprise and would become Spock's protege. This book paints her as a pretty much rebellious, unstable, emotional and irrational character most of the time. One moment she's in angst over what she and Spock did on the Genesis planet, the next she's leaping into bed with someone she hardly knows. One moment she's trying to be a wise, patient, stoic science officer and the next she's going AWOL and being a mad woman. The constant appearance of the phrase 'unspoken truth' along with every thought and a majority of Saavik's dialogue ending with an exclamation point just killed what little was left with the book in terms of good material.

Say what you will but this is not even close to being a great novel. Years ago I can't see it having held up but in today's Trek lit market where authors seem to be given the green light to do whatever they want and churn out amateur fan-fiction disguised as professional, high-class lit it's all fine and accepted. As much as this book has been discussed and hyped over the years, sorry to say, it was a mostly wasted literary opportunity and horrible, dull, weak novel.
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Old April 12 2010, 09:30 PM   #43
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

By and large, I think Trek is the most professional and creative now that it's ever been. If you hate the recent books that much, I recommend you stop reading them!

This one wasn't great though, it's true.
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Old April 12 2010, 11:36 PM   #44
Janeway4Prez
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Thrawn wrote: View Post
By and large, I think Trek is the most professional and creative now that it's ever been. If you hate the recent books that much, I recommend you stop reading them!

This one wasn't great though, it's true.
Yes, this one wasn't good and a lot of the other books of the past year or two haven't really been all that creative. If we're considering fan-fiction with off-characterization, the Alpha Quadrant facing yet another Borg-invasion and watered-down recycled plots as creative then yeah, Trek lit has really been creative over the past year or so. But anyways, that's another debate and to each his/her/its own.

'Unspoken Truth' was weak and amateurish, something I wasn't expecting from the author that crafted books like 'Catalyst of Sorrows', 'Strangers from the Sky' and 'Burning Dreams'.
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Old April 12 2010, 11:54 PM   #45
Thrawn
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Re: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth - Discussion (Spoilers)

Yeah, Destiny is far and away my favorite TrekLit ever, so you aren't getting much agreement from me on the first part

Even if you feel like a Borg invasion was uncreative, you have to admit everything with Hernandez and the Caeliar was totally unique.
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