LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, May 17, 2014.

?

Rate One Constant Star.

  1. Outstanding

    13 vote(s)
    25.5%
  2. Above Average

    14 vote(s)
    27.5%
  3. Average

    18 vote(s)
    35.3%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    2.0%
  5. Poor

    5 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    There's the one novel (The Captain's Daughter) and an Enterprise Logs short story ("Shakedown") set during those first few years post-GEN, but that time period is still largely, pardon pun, an open book as far as Harriman's early command-career goes.

    Wouldn't mind eventually getting a novel covering the Enterprise-B's last days under its last captain, and its eventual loss, bridging into other TLE novels like Art of the Impossible and Well of Souls. We know that the starship also involved itself in the Cardassian annexation of Bajor the year immediately prior to this, which would be another point of connection to later ST canon.
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    My copy arrived literally a minute ago. I'm off to start reading. :)
     
  3. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    My ePub eBook edition is on the computer. I'll start it sometime soon.
     
  4. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    London UK
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I read this all in one sitting last night and though I mainly enjoyed it I thought there were issues.

    One is that it kind of meanders to a conclusion, I actually thought there was a problem with my copy as it just kind of stops - I may have missed something as it was getting late but it doesn't really address the central mystery at the end either.

    There's some nice character work in it but in some ways I think George tries to focus on too many characters with most of his interesting work with the Enterprise crew being dropped when other major characters are brought in towards the end.

    It doesn't help that the blurb massively overstates the involvement of the Tzenkethi and the whole thing hinges on a big coincidence.

    So a nice book, with a more introspective feel than usual for Trek but feels like it needed a few more months of work.
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I just started today. It is slow going
     
  6. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    If this is like Alligence in Exile then I doubt I'll get through the first few chapters (I never could finish the other. Chapters were too long and boring)
     
  7. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I'm restrained on buying this one. I have read none of the older Lost Era books, other than the Buried Age. So it deals with a crew I know nothing about. I hate to pass on a star trek book. Is this easy to jump into on its own? I know each book should be designed to do that, but not all authors are good at doing that.
     
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I haven't read this one yet, but even if this does stand alone well, you should still read the previous Enterprise B novel Serpents Among the Ruins before you read this because it is stunningly phenomenal. It's a slow build, but the climax of that novel and the intricate and careful way DRG3 builds to it create one of the best endings to a Star Trek novel ever written. Top 5 easy.
     
  9. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Room 303, The Heart O' The City Hotel
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Wow...for myself, Allegiance in Exile was one of the most compulsively-readable ST novels in ages. Think I burned through almost half of it the very first night I got it.


    Quoted for truth.

    I'm reading One Constant Star right now, and it benefits immensely from familarity with Serpents, although that's still by no means a requirement for full enjoyment. It does add a whole additional layer to things, however.
     
  10. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Location:
    I'm here. Where are you?
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I voted Above Average. I greatly enjoyed this book - good character work, a surprising appearance from the other Captain Sulu. The thing keeping it back from an Outstanding for me was the ending - I would have liked a little more resolution.
     
  11. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    London
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    This was not written to DRG3's normal standards, unfortunately. The ending was kind of abrupt, considering it took place over many months; I'd have liked to see more on the psychological impact of the last chapters and more of Sulu Senior's crew's life on the planet, with less repetition of stuff the reader just found out a few pages back. (A simple 'X outlined the situation for Y' instead of a multi-page recap of the adventure so far, for example. The explanation to Harriman was not needed - just knowing Linojj was on screen would tell us that she explains what's happened.)

    The central mystery was never solved - what did happen to the original inhabitants? Also, Tzenkethi were over-hyped. They're in the background but only really have one major scene.
     
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I was coming in to post a review and saw you'd already hit most of the points I was planning to.

    I really like DRG3, he's one of my favorites. His writing style is so meticulous and introspective, and he so often is aiming for deeper themes or well-constructed endings that completely change the meaning of the plots so far, that I start each of his books already trying to think deeper, to see what message or surprise he's going for. It was a little disappointing for that not to happen this time; I expected with "Odyssey solution" that we'd get some twist that changed what we thought happened in the prologue, but no.

    I felt like this was 80% of a great novel, a setup for something really surprising or powerful or transcendent, that just ended up calmly meandering to the obvious ending instead.

    I enjoyed the experience of reading it, and loved the characterization and the poetry of the writing, but it just didn't land well.
     
  13. 2of1million

    2of1million Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Location:
    Canada
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I finally got my copy on PAPER :eek: I will read it next.

    I don't often get paper books, but I thought I would this time so it can go with the rest of The Lost Era series. It sure looks nice on the shelf! I put it next to Serpents Among The Ruins.

    I would get paper books all the time, but I just don't have the space, so it's mostly ebooks for me. :(
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    Sorry to compound the error, so to speak, but Thrawn in turn has summed up many of my thoughts on the novel. It was wonderful to see these characters again, to have Sulu and Harriman's story continue (complete with unobtrusive but nicely overt references to Serpents... and The Captain's Daughter), and to gain insight into relatively underexplored crewmen like Linojj and Tenger. The story was well-told and always constructed in terms of character, so it was never anything other than engaging. I had a sense, though, that the matter hadn't quite paid off by the end, that the frame on which all of those subtle emotional drapes were hung wasn't entirely strong enough, leaving the overall shape sagging a bit. The conclusion, I believe, was fully intended to be understated and to skirt around the underwhelming - I seem to have in my head the idea of disturbing dreams dissolving into a calm awakening, or (more obviously) of tired satisfaction in homecoming that offers a chance to rest, but it did indeed leave me thinking something like "Oh. Is that it?". Which would be entirely an unfair reaction, I hasten to add, had it been my strongest, but I choose to think of it as a compliment of sorts - this could have been outstanding; as it is it's simply a strong Trek novel.

    Maybe it's simply because an unusual stellar phenomenon doesn't have the same significance as a key political flashpoint or atemporal alien deities, and so that extra iron needed to hold the poetry of it all in place was missing this time? Still, good to see Sulu, Harriman and crew again.

    Can I have a sequel to Well of Souls next? Pretty please? I actually think DRGIII would do quite well at that...
     
  15. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I finished it yesterday. I was hoping the E-B would end up in another universe until I remembered that Harriman was the head of the SCE before Scott took it over.
     
  16. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    It was nice, I'll add, to finally have answered the question: what finally happened to Excelsior? I guess a peaceful decommissioning was out of the question. ;)
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I think a large part of the problem was that the ending was a foregone conclusion from the moment the Ent-B flew through the portal. Which would then, dramatically, make the climax be the fight with the Tzenkethi, but that fight was very underplayed.

    EDIT: I just figured out what this novel felt like. This feels like a novelization of one of those two-part season cliffhanger episodes where the writer wrote the first part without thinking about the rest, like Time's Arrow or Descent, where the setup was amazing but the resolution was totally underwhelming. Add on some extra guest stars, a random return to the status quo for no particular reason, and a prologue tacked on by whoever was novelizing it to try and make the story seem coherent instead of a deus ex machina...
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  18. bfollowell

    bfollowell Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    I've never read any of the Lost Era novels. They're on my list but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. I'd like to read this but am wondering if I should, yet.

    I know there have been previous Enterprise-B novels and previous Sulu & Harriman novels. I'm curious if there are any of these that I need to read or if there are any of these that I should read before reading One Constant Star.

    Opinions?

    Thanks.

    - Byron
     
  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    So actually: One Constant Star isn't that awesome. You don't want to read previous novels so that you can read this one; you really want to read the previous novel, and then maybe this one if you're in the mood for a distinctly inferior follow-up.

    The only previous Enterprise-B novel is Serpents Among The Ruins, and it's spectacular. A classic.
     
  20. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky - Halliwell
    Re: LE: One Constant Star by David R. George III Review Thread (Spoile

    So far half way through it and agree with this assessment. This is the last straw with DRG III. I love most of his work but for some reason the last few years have been pretty bad. Bad enough to make me feel sorry for him. Just not enough to ever buy Trek with his name on it again.