Full Circle Review Thread (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Kirsten Beyer, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    It's been over a month since I read it, so i'm not sure exactly, but did Chakotay tell Tom about Janeway, or did Tom just guess that something happened? And is Tom the only Voyager who knows by the end of the book?
     
  2. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    in their final conversation via comm panels as tom is prepping voyager for departure for the DQ, chakotay says some things to tom about his actions since janeway's death and tom sees that he looks and sounds better. he finally puts things together and says to chakotay, "you were in love with her, weren't you?" chakotay admits it and apologizes for not trusting tom. they say a few other things and then end the conversation.
     
  3. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Perfect! Thanks :)
     
  4. brcarthey

    brcarthey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    NP. if you care, the scene starts on p. 532.
     
  5. Kirks_Flying_Wig

    Kirks_Flying_Wig Commander Red Shirt

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    Finished reading Full Circle yesterday. Twas rather good. I've never been much of a Voyager fan. Although I watched it every week for the first four seasons, I never felt connected to the characters or the premise. I liked the Doctor and Kes, and was pissed off when Kes was unceremoniously dumped from the ship in favour of Boobies of Nine. My preconceptions of Seven changed throughout season 4 as she struggled to regain her humanity but that didn't stop me from giving up on watching the series a little way into season 6. I watched on and off until the end of the series but didn't really care about what happened to the characters or ship.

    I hadn't read any of the relaunch and only picked up Full Circle because of its relationship to Destiny. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself engrossed in the characters and the plot, particularly the first part which followed B'Elanna and Miral (judging by the comments in this thread, I'm in a minority). A lot of my enjoyment came from the fact that the dialogue wasn't been mutilated by crap actors; Chakotay's emotional state following Janeway's death and the Azure Nebula attack was exceptionally well written, and Kim's scenes with Libby were touching.

    The new characters were interesting but I'm worried about how their set-up will pay off: Eden's "where do I really come from?" plot reminds me of Odo and Data in the early TNG seasons, and Seven having a brief moment in paradise only to have it "ripped away" is similar to Guinan and Soran's experience in the Nexus. Cambridge's (who I couldn't help but read in Stephen Merchant's voice) attitude was calmed and rationalised a little too quickly for my liking (though I apprectiate that the character arc was presented over a number of years).

    I'm looking forward to Unworthy, especially to the plots of the characters already deemed "unworthy" for certain things: Why Seven was unworthy of being accepted by the gestalt and what Chakotay does now that he's unworthy of commanding Voyager.
     
  6. Baerbel Haddrell

    Baerbel Haddrell Commodore Commodore

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    This is my review of Full Circle. It contains spoilers:


    Voyager wasn`t very lucky in book form. Christie Golden`s Voyager Relaunch ended after four books although not because they were commercially unsuccessful. New plans needed to be made. During the writing of originally two Voyager books it was decided to combine both stories into one. On top of that editor Marco Palmieri lost his job and author Kirsten Beyer had to work with a different editor.

    If you would call it a problem or an interesting challenge is open to debate but fact is that the author had to work with the fact that Admiral Janeway died in book form. She died in the TNG novel “Before Dishonor” by Peter David but I want to point out again that killing her was not his decision. As least at present day there are no plans to bring her back: Janeway`s death is supposed to be permanent with no resurrection story or other tricks in sight

    My opinion is that you should not kill off “canon” main characters in book form but on the other hand I thought, better her than somebody else. I don`t like Janeway but I know that also this character has her fans and I feel bad for them. My favourite Star Trek character is Captain Calhoun of the New Frontier series and I know how I would feel if that character dies for good. I don`t like this decision at all and for some time I was tempted not to continue buying Voyager books.

    One reason for this decision was that Janeway`s death supposedly opened the door to new story ideas. (Author`s quote from the Trek BBS: “You keep thinking that if we'd just thought harder about it, we would never have chosen to go down this road. But we weren't looking for reasons not to. The choice was made...we're going to allow a major character to die and we're going to deal with the reality of that death and we're going to move on from there. Say what you will about death and resurrection in Trek, this is one we haven't done before. And the editors felt the time had come to eCambridgeplore this story. There is simply no connection in time or reality between the throught process that resulted in Before Dishonor and the birth of Admiral Willem Batiste.”)

    It certainly caused a lot of controversy and passionate discussions during which it was mentioned that killing off such a major main Star Trek character is making the books more realistic and thrilling for some fans. And there were arguments that it is much less attractive to write for Janeway the Admiral.

    Voyager has been a most frustrating Star Trek series: There is so much potential in it and that also applies to the characters but unfortunately a lot was wasted and twisted in ways that spoiled what could have been a brilliant series. In spite of Voyager`s flaws, a lot of these characters are very interesting and in spite of my strong misgivings about Janeway`s death, I was curious what this Voyager relaunch of a relaunch will offer. What finally got me to buy the book are the positive comments I have read so far and the thoughtful and interesting interaction of Kirsten Beyer with her readers as well as people who decided not to try this new direction of Voyager because of Janeway`s death. I wanted to find out myself what I will think.

    I read that the author thought very thoroughly about what elements Christie Golden introduced in her books. I must admit, I only remember two of these new characters: Counsellor Astall because she is most definitely the most annoying character I ever met in any form and the Trill, Dr. Kaz, the only one I actually liked and cared about. Me personally, I would have done it the other way round: Kill off Astall and send Kaz on an open ended leave of absence. I understand that especially now with Captain DaCambridge being more prominent that another joined Trill might be limiting but I would have liked it to be able to meet him one day as a guest appearance. I certainly have no desire to ever meet or even hear from Astall again!

    I think it is a shame that Kim and Libby separated. I know that I am in a minority here but I liked how Christie Golden handled that couple in her books. At least it was well written and they separated as friends. That is at least something.

    I like Tuvok where he is: On the Titan where he has been allowed to develop into a very interesting complex character I enjoy reading about. I am glad that Kirsten Beyer did not mess with that and allowed Tuvok to be a guest character doing Janeway and the Paris family an important favour. What he did was thought provoking but not shocking to me. First of all, a large part of his action was self defense and at the end his mission was not just about saving a little girl but the future of the Klingon species could depend on the outcome. I liked that part very much.

    The first part of the book deals with the Paris family and the Klingon prophecy concerning Miral. I think Cambridge, the new counsellor, nailed down precisely what the problem between Tom and B`Elanna is and I quickly warmed up to that character. His knowledge about Klingons and their history is impressive and I am looking forward to learn more about him. I have a weakness for smart rebels who keep testing the boundaries and found him to be very likeable.

    It helps that I never developed much of a respect for Chakotay on TV. He quickly degenerated in my eyes to Janeway`s faithful yes-man and assistant, someone lacking the strong back bone that was needed to keep Janeway in line sometimes. Chakotay immediately dismissed Cambridge because of appearances and his outspoken manner without ever finding out about what he has to offer, what his strengths are. I am sure, Cambridge was testing his captain this way and in my opinion Chakotay failed miserably. I was left with the feeling Cambridge also wanted to find out if Chakotay is a captain he would feel comfortable working with and the answer is obvious. This was a classic personality clash and from early on I was curious if Cambridge will really leave the series pretty quickly. But I hoped at the same time that he will stay, that some kind of compromise will be possible between Chakotay and Cambridge.

    For a long time I was torn: I could understand Chakotay to a certain degree but I often lost patience with him, thinking, come on – get your act together! It took time but I am pleased that he finally got up again after having fallen so badly. I am also glad that Chakotay and Cambridge came indeed to an understanding. He is the only new character I am very much looking forward to meet again.

    I like it that Chakotay left Starfleet not because he is weak but from a perspective of strength. I think he took what Cambridge said to heart and wants to find his own path, moving out of the shadow of Voyager and Janeway. I am glad that he also did this so that he can help Seven who really needs a friend right now. I am looking forward to the next book that will develop their stories further.

    I can`t say yet that I grew attached to any other new character in the new Voyager relaunch which are mainly Captain Eden and Admiral Batiste but that will hopefully change.

    I very much liked B`Elanna in this book. She is still a hothead but I could see that she grew as a person. Tom, on the other hand, is a different matter and I very much agreed with Counsellor Cambrdige`s opinion. What B`Elanna did in order to protect her child was understandable and her emotional struggle was well written and touching. I am a mother myself and there is very little I wouldn`t do in order to protect my daughter from harm.

    But in the second part of the book things changed and I found that very interesting. The worse Chakotay got, the more Tom Paris gained. I think he matured a lot in the second part of the book and it made a lot of sense to me.

    After having finished the book my opinion still is that killing off Janeway was a mistake but I think killing off any Star Trek “canon” main character is a mistake. I am kind of lucky because I have never been a Janeway fan and have no emotional attachments to her character whatsoever. I would even go so far and admit that I don`t see her as a good role model for my young daughter. Other fans, of course, think differently and I can understand that very well.

    At this moment in time I find Captain Eden completely uninteresting and bland. Janeway certainly had flaws but at least she was interesting. I still have to be convinced that Eden is indeed a good replacement for Janeway as the captain of the Voyager and probably the lead character of these new Voyager books in general.

    Nevertheless, I liked the book and I am curious enough to read more.
     
  7. JB2005

    JB2005 Commodore Commodore

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    Something that just occured to me as I read this...nowhere is it written that the Captain has to be the lead character in a ST series, it's just what has tended to happen in the past...maybe with Voyager (A show that was originally intended to play with the formula and reshuffle the cards) We'll be able to see a different perspective...
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Indeed. Given that there are nine ships in the fleet, it's not essential that the books conform to the traditional centralized, top-down structure in terms of character focus.
     
  9. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    you've got 2 weird things in there. eCambridgeplore and DaCambridge. is your X button a hot key to post 'Cambridge'?
     
  10. Capt_Piett

    Capt_Piett Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "One reason for this decision was that Janeway`s death supposedly opened the door to new story ideas."

    Feh. Just like Joe Quesada's "logic" in the Spider-Man books that you can't tell a good Spider-Man story with a married Peter Parker. If true in this case as Quesada said it was in Peter's, it just means the writers aren't trying hard enough. Killing a character off for the sake of writing something "new" is hack writing, IMO.

    If this is in fact one of the main reasons Janeway was killed, then I have lost much of the respect I had for the Trek editors. of course, given how shoddily the DS9 relaunch has been handled lately with the HUGE gap between books.....I can't say i expect much from them.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No. It's completely different. The former is arguing that a particular decision opens up new doors, and the latter is arguing that a particular decision closes doors.

    Then you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

    1. There was a long delay between books in the DS9 relaunch because of problems that have yet been undisclosed, but we know part of the issue was that the writer initially hired to write Fearful Symmetry proved incapable of delivering a manuscript for some reason -- reasons, I hasten to add, that we do not know, but which could be entirely reasonable, including illness, death in the family, or trauma. After a new writer was hired, she, upon developing the story, realized that it had to be re-structured, with the conclusion to the story to be in the upcoming The Soul Key. It was not a matter of editorial incompetence, and to claim such is incredibly unfair. You ought to be ashamed.

    2. The books being delivered in the Trek Lit line these days are and have consistently been of incredibly high quality. Novels like Reap the Whirlwind or Day of the Vipers are so good that they qualify as genuine literature.

    3. You should read the damn book before you start pronouncing the quality of the decision to kill off Janeway. I can tell you, as someone who has read it, that the death is handled extremely well -- and made for a wonderful story.
     
  12. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not a major Janeway fan, but I didn't particularly enjoy the way she was "killed off", and the quotation marks are used on purpose, since she's still around in a "kinda sorta" way.

    Thinking back to the story, I have to admit that I like Captain Eden, based on the few appearances she's made.

    Admiral Batiste is a whole other story. I didn't and don't like him, and one thing from Full Circle that left me a little cold was the whole "Wow, we hate each other" schtick that the two had. The first few times it happened between them, I actually enjoyed it. But it got a little old, and that really was the only thing that defined them, in my mind. And, speaking about Batiste in general, I think he's a big prick.

    The thing that shocked me, in a good way, was the decision to return to the Delta Quadrant. I went "Holy shit..." I wasn't really expecting that.
     
  13. Tino

    Tino Captain Captain

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    I'm in the middle of the book and like it so far. The reunion of the VOY-characters (even though Kes and Neelix missing) was very pleasing, seeing them working together like in good old times. And since I'm already aware that it seems to be their last adventure in this constellation, it makes it even more fun to read. Good job there, Mrs. Beyer!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  14. Frazzled

    Frazzled Commander Red Shirt

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    I thought Eden was interesting and has a lot of potential. The fact that she's female is neither here nor there, she seemed very different to Janeway IMHO. Despite not liking Janeway being killed off, since she'd been promoted anyway I don't mind the idea of a new character Captaining Voyager.

    I still feel annoyed that the only time we get a really decent book about Voyager it has to involve Janeway, the most popular character amongst Voyager fans, being killed off. I'm never sure whether to recommend it to people or not - it is a cracking read and so it elevates the status of my favourite trek series, but it involves the death of my favourite character.
     
  15. KimMH

    KimMH Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It IS a cracking good read and very deftly picks up the pieces. I agree w/ Haddrell that Tom Paris got more interesting and I was pleased to see his development progress - I like him more with every Voyager book I read.

    I felt for Chakotay of course but don't revile his falling apart - unfortunately Janeway's death will lead him to a path no one foresaw.

    I hate Janeway gone but also felt her death in Before Dishonor was respectfully handled - it wasn't the gorefest I feared. Beyer did offer an explanation for Janeway going to the cube which I found believable - the need to pay her respects to fallen comrades. So many people have deplored her going to the cube and said it was an example of her hubris. I thought it was a comanding officer going to pay homage to the fallen.

    In spite of what some here wish I do hope Janeway will come back - even Calhoun did and he is not canon. I think Beyer quite up to the task to do so should she be assigned that happy task.
     
  16. Baerbel Haddrell

    Baerbel Haddrell Commodore Commodore

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    Something went wrong when I copied the text. I have no idea what. Unfortunately now it is too late to correct the hiccups.
     
  17. MargaretClark

    MargaretClark Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm going to add just one thing...Janeway is seen going off with a Q in Before Dishonor.

    The last person we "saw" doing this was Vash...and she's clearly not dead.

    Margaret
     
  18. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :vulcan: And I really hope that's not a hint for some miraculous resurrection... I thought the direction VOY was going in FC was a well rounded one - especially since Janeway and Seven tended to overshadow every other character in the TV-series.

    At least leave her "dead" for quite a few novels yet so that Chakotay can finally come into his own and really be Janeway's equal. :)
     
  19. KimMH

    KimMH Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Are you by any chance the Margaret Clark who would know if a resurrection is in store?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not quite the same thing, since Vash was a live woman who merely chose to travel with Q through the physical universe, while Janeway, when last we saw her, was a dead woman whose disembodied essence, consciousness, spirit, katra, whatever had been preserved by Lady Q. So bringing Vash back was simply a matter of dropping her off somewhere, while bringing Janeway back would entail a full-on resurrection. That is theoretically within the Q's powers, but presumably it's not as casual a thing.