ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jun 16, 2013.

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Rate A Choice of Futures.

  1. Outstanding

    54 vote(s)
    50.5%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    10 vote(s)
    9.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.9%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.9%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    As I see it, these aren't just ENT novels, they're novels about the history of the Federation. So filling in some family background for characters from later/earlier Trek series seems like fair game, if I can justify it. Tobin, as stated, is an established character from this period. We know the Paris family goes way back in Starfleet, hence Caroline. Commander Williams was named in honor of Shatner, suggesting to me the possibility that he was an ancestor of Kirk's. And so on.

    Plus, let's face it, TOS is more popular than ENT. The Rise of the Federation premise may draw in a number of readers who wouldn't otherwise pick up an ENT novel, so I feel it's appropriate to give the fans of other Trek series something they can recognize and connect to.

    But it's a matter of taste. When I wrote the outline, I sent it to both Kevin Dilmore and Kirsten Beyer to see what they thought of it. Kevin loved all the continuity nods, while Kirsten thought they were a bit much.
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I didn't have much of a problem with it, mostly because of (ironically) the Vanderbilt fact. That certain families in RL and fiction become involved in a specific trade and pass it down to their children who carry it on. It's not just for the super-rich either but also cops, soldiers, and others.

    The Kirks, Parises, and others are "Starfleet families"--which isn't at all unusual.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    "The Catwalk" established that Vulcan's first ambassador to Earth was Solkar, i.e Sarek's grandfather. Solkar had a minor role as an ambassador in the Romulan War novels as well. So there's another family legacy that's already established.
     
  4. jla1987

    jla1987 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I have not a single complaint about this book! Loved it! Loved all of the references to various series.

    Also really enjoyed a potential hint about Section 31's alternate Into Darkness future, even if unintentional.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ^Oh. I think I see what you mean. I'm not sure I agree with that reading, either of the book or the movie in question.
     
  6. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Enterprise: The Motion Picture

    That's the vibe I got from this book, like it's ST: Enterprise's version of TMP. Time has passed, characters are reunited and the budget is through the roof. Thankfully the story itself is in no way a xerox of TMP but a Christopher original.

    Admiral Archer is a different beast than Admiral Kirk. When Archer needs a ship for a mission, he uses the Endeavour but leaves the command structure in place and doesn't assume it's captaincy. We know Kirk would do things differently, but I like Archer's arrangement better and I like Archer more as a character for doing things this way.

    Speaking of Archer, huge thanks to Christopher for wrapping up the Archer/Mayweather animosity and moving them both beyond a disagreement that lasted WAY too long in the novels. The less said about this subplot, the better.

    The Enterprise crew is definitely all about the moving on and the moving up. Promotions to higher ranks, assignments to different ships -- all of this feels natural and fitting. Even the return of recurring characters (Cutler, Shran, etc.) feels right and true to the story.

    My two favorite parts of the novel:

    **Without a doubt, Shran. Christopher, you nailed his speech patterns ("That was bracing.") and mannerisms. Shran telling Archer to back off, that he was handling it, that he had grown and doing what Archer had urged him to do in the first place -- THE highlight of the book for me. A wonderful moment.

    **The USS Pioneer. This story arc in the book was a real gem. Dax, sky whales, an unexpected wormhole (TMP-ish), the seeding of a Starfleet legend and, best of all, a callback to one of my favorite ENT episodes, "The Catwalk." All of this and, for the first time ever, I actually liked the character of Malcolm Reed. Nicely done.

    My least favorite part of the book:

    **that sad-sack Archer on the cover. What a disservice to the story inside.

    Looking forward to the next book and reading the annotations for this one. Thanks, Christopher!
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I did think of that analogy, in fact. The idea of starting off after a time jump with the characters in a new situation -- but this time not resetting them to their old jobs.



    It helps that Jeffrey Combs's delivery and performance style are so memorable. I could just see and hear him in my head, and his "performance" in my mind would suggest lines or reactions that wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise.
     
  8. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Very good book, enjoyed this new phase of the ENT storyline a lot
     
  9. Titus Andronicus

    Titus Andronicus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Read the book this weekend, thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I can't believe what's happened to Trek Lit in recent years, but gosh, I LOVE IT. This was the kind of story I've always wanted to see, and frankly, I wish we'd seen in on television in an Enterprise season 5, 6, or 7. Mr. Bennett answered questions I forgot I even had (namely about the aliens that are more thoroughly fleshed out) and also about how the Federation's early days were, not surprisingly, very rocky.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Christopher how many more Federation books are you contracted to do and how far out have you done high level plotting?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    To date, I've only been contracted for the first two, one at a time. Pocket usually takes things one year at a time rather than having some sort of multiyear master plan.

    I do have some broad ideas for where I'd like to take the ROTF narrative and where I want it to end up, but no detailed outlines yet beyond the end of Book 2.
     
  12. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just finished this and Christopher has done it again. Far exceeding my already lofty expectations, I thought this was just brilliantly written. I could hear the actors voices when reading their dialogue. The pacing was very good...there wasn't really any moments where I felt compelled to stop or skip ahead. I loved all the little shout outs and cameos. The story itself was very good. The struggle of the newly established Federation attempting to discover it's identity post Romulan War. Starfleet still trying to find it's balance. Outside forces determined to bring down this new interstellar nation that has so proved themselves to be formidable. Also loved the stuff with Trip, and the other Enterprise crew members establishing themselves too as pioneers. The three Orion Sisters remind me of the Witches from "MacBeth" with their scheming and plotting. I am very much looking forward to Book Two next Spring!
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    If the next book is like this one I would want you to continue.
     
  14. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Voted outstanding...I can't wait to read the follow up.
     
  15. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just started the book today! 20% in and I am loving it:bolian:
     
  16. Killie

    Killie Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well I completed the book last week but finally got the review up on my site Here.

    I really enjoyed it and am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
     
  17. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Enjoyed the book, but have a physical question: what did the do differently when MAKING the book? Feels extremely cheap and floppy compared to the other books out lately. Dunno if it's different paper, thinner paper, not a stiff enough cover/spine, not sure, but the whole thing felt cheap and disposable, even compared to the regular MMPB.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ^I'm afraid I'm not in the loop about that end of the process.
     
  19. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Black Country, England
    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just had an email from Amazon UK - my copy is in the post at last !
     
  20. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I'm not crazy though or got a bad one, right? It DOES feel different than the other Trek books lately?

    Guess when the next book shows up, I can compare to see if it was a one-off or something they changed up in general.

    Read a little out of order, and picked up Shocks of Adversity after this book, and felt 'right', so we'll see.
     

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