TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic by McIntee Review Thread (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Mar 22, 2011.

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Rate Indistinguishable From Magic

  1. Outstanding

    48 vote(s)
    27.7%
  2. Above Average

    67 vote(s)
    38.7%
  3. Average

    27 vote(s)
    15.6%
  4. Below Average

    16 vote(s)
    9.2%
  5. Poor

    15 vote(s)
    8.7%
  1. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    "Can't anyone die of old age in Trek?"

    I understand that sentiment. I had no issue with how Scotty went out (if he went out . . .). Granted, it is comforting to think our heros died peacefully surrounded by loved ones and surely some will/did. But many who refuse to retire don't go down entirely peacefully. Most of our past explorers during the heroic age of exploration died on the job: Magellon, Cook, Scott, Shackleton. Though I wouldn't kill everyone off during an eventful story, it is likely many explorers into the unknown will not die at home in bed, even in the future.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  2. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Speaking of Scotty ...

    My understanding was that he set the transporter to beam himself down to the living planetoid
    seconds before the Challenger self destructed.
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    He set the transporter to beam himself somewhere, but it's left open as to where, or on which side of the Fold.
     
  4. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    I'm really like how this story was unfolding alot of unexpected suprises and mystery.I keep reading the next chapter to find what's going to happen next and tell my self I.m to stop at the end of the chapter and read this story later. I can't put this book down and work on other projects today.:rommie: I like the longer length stories in the novels.When there well written like this you want how the characters are going to get out of the jam they're in right now.
     
  5. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    i really enjoyed this. a cracking book, i could barely put it down. i LOVE all the britishisms, though i was intrigued at Vol using British slang so much. i guess he must've learned standard from Brits, like Janos in NF.

    my favourite bit was Geordi and Leah going to Engineering with the power off and Vol "greeted them with a hearty cheer of 'move that bloody light out my face you donut!'" (or similar). made me LOL. i also loved Vol saying everything was Cushti. i guess he's an 'only fools and horses' fan!

    nice work, DAM. hope you get to do another Trek book soon!
     
  6. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    So do I!

    It seems to be some kind of problem with Voloczin universal translators, that...

    Vol is actually kind of supposed to be voiced by probably Jeremy Clarkson, or possibly (since Tyler Hunt is meant to be John Simm) Philip Glenister. As opposed to the previous Voloczin, in Reservoir Ferengi, who's supposed to be voiced by Ade Edmonson...
     
  7. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Wow. I didn't think a book could out do DTI: Watching the clock. But this one is close on my lists of favorite Trek novels. It's a shame that...

    Challenger was destroyed

    It would have been great to see you write more stories with those characters. And I while some think that it had a case of small universe syndrome I disagree. I think in this case it works. It was awesome having three different stories in one book. For me it's like getting more for your money, especially since this book and Watching The Clock were page turners you didn't want to put down.

    Loved the old characters, loved the new and would love to see them again some day. I think that this crew was more readable than those on Aventine.

    Thanks for getting us back to what made the Star Trek novels so great. I've bought every book that's come out since 2001. And I think this one is in my top ten list.
     
  8. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    No reason a Challenger-A can't be built. Maybe a Galaxy class modified from the ground up by the SCE? ^___^
     
  9. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    I'd vote for Challenger-A being Sovereign Class, personally...
     
  10. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Glad you liked them- I'd certainly like do more with them

    Wow. Thanks for that!
     
  11. dukesman

    dukesman Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Ok, so I'm a little late to the game on this one, so here goes...

    Going to try to keep this short and simple as there are several well written reviews here already that mirror most of my thoughts on this great read. I gave it an above average, teetering on outstanding...

    Didn't mind all the "popular" characters showing up on one ship, I chalked it up to Starfleet needing several key individuals for a special mission and thus, they were the best personnel for the job.:techman:

    I have read a few nitpicks/complaints/etc about the book being condensed into one giant novel down from the intended two. This did not occur to me nor did it hinder my enjoyment of the novel. It seemed like one giant tale with many interesting parts. It gave it an almost epic feel, if you will...

    I've never been a huge La Forge fan - not that I don't like his character, just that I liked other characters more - but this kept my attention all the way through and I dare say, has me liking La Forge a little more after having read this!

    MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!
    (How does one do that nifty spoiler button thingie?)


    1.Can't wait to see where Rasmussen went. Surely we haven't seen the last of him...

    2. Scotty. No way he is done. He is the miracle worker - somehow he would have found a way, as Spock suggested at the end...with that being said, it was a fitting send off...at least for the time being.

    SPOILERS END.

    Thanks for the great read and look forward to more Trek from you, David. Congratulations on a fine piece of work!
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    If you want to do spoilers, just go the advanced post screen, and then highlight the spoiler and click the face with the X over the mouth on the control bar. Then type fill in what the spoiler is about and hit submit or whatever the button says.
     
  13. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    or do
    then type the spoiler and then [/spoiler ] without the spaces.

    this should work
     
  14. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    With whatyourspoilersabout in between "these"
     
  15. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    I'm really surprised how much I liked this book considering it is so LaForge-centric.Good to see this character finally get some forward momentum both into his career and his personal life.
    I also have to agree with an earlier poster on his views about how strained these TNGappearances by TOS characters like Scott and McCoy are.Personally these stories never feel right to me in a way that I can't explain.
    Finally,a small thing but I just loved the pulpy coolness of a pirate Bird of prey painted red and yellow.Badass.
     
  16. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    He's a fun character to leave around.

    If he comes back he comes back, if he doesn't he doesn't. All depends on whether anybody pitches a good story that needs him.

    Thanks - I'd definitely like to do more...
     
  17. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Just finished this last night, and I wanted to give my thoughts without others influencing them first. So, sorry if any questions I have have been answered. ETA: And I missed that it's a spoiler-free thread, so... I'm just gonna put the whole thing in spoilers. :devil:

    Geordi La Forge has always been one of my favorite Star Trek characters; I grew up watching The Next Generation with my parents, and while Picard was awesome in a Dad sort of way and Riker was the cool older brother type, La Forge was always my favorite character (we'll leave aside my... affection for Ensign Ro when I watched reruns, ahem...). Unfortunately, he never seems in my mind to get a whole lot of attention and from what I've read of the TNG relaunch it's been mostly "Oh, La Forge is doing something in engineering, hum drum." So this book was really exciting to me with Geordi as the central character, and since I really liked his cameo in Timeless having the book aboard Challenger was really intriguing too. Throw in Scotty, Nog, and Guinan (the characters I knew about going in) and I was looking forward to one of more unusual but fascinating collection of characters in awhile.

    Overall, I'd say the book really lived up to my expectations: kudos to Dave for a well-written book. There were parts I didn't really understand, but I figure that's just the science and science-y jargon going over my head.

    If I have one complaint about the book overall, I feel like the ending was too... permanent and reset-button-y. Everything was wrapped up and La Forge is back on Enterprise (granted with Leah) and I don't expect we'll see this cast together anymore. Which is a shame, because I thought they jelled really well and would've made for a cool group of miracle workers. Geordi as Captain of Challenger with Dr. Brahms, Nog, Guinan, Barclay, Doctor Ogawa, Qat'qa, and Vol? Sign me up! Sure, sure, maybe we don't need another starship getting its own titles, but the ocassional anthology starring Challenger, Aventine, and one or two other famous starships that don't get much attention (Excelsior?) would be a fun read.

    Kudos though for making me think about halfway through that hey, maybe this would be a permanent game-changing move for Geordi and company before Challenger got whisked away to the void.

    Some other more scattered thoughts:

    It feels like this book was a tale of two halves. Almost like two episodes even; episode 1, sort of a pilot, was the story of Intrepid, Bok, and Rasmussen, where we met all the players and their relationships. Episode 2 was following up on the mystery of the trans-slipstream wake and being stranded in intergalactic space with Romulan "guests." I kept wondering if Bok's flight to the Big Bang would have repercussions later, but obviously not. Overall Episode 1 wasn't as interesting as Episode 2, although the Split Infinite was a pretty awesome idea even if I didn't really understand it.

    I know Rasmussen didn't actually kill the time-travelling professor whose pod he stole, but still... what a despicable move.

    The emotional stuff this book hit on for Geordi was pretty intense - closure for Hera's disappearance, confronting Sela, and of course revisiting his attraction to Leah Brahms - and kindling a real romance there. Does this mean Geordi finally gets to shed the "storyline" of always looking to hook up with a girl because he's incredibly awkward?

    Kudos to Captain Montgomery Scott for going out like a hero, and who knows, maybe there's a possibility of him returning. But I'd rather not - like Barry Allen, Scotty deserves to rest after dying to save the universe.

    With the exception of Transporter Chief/First Officer Carolan, who I never really got a handle on, this book features some great original characters - the highlights of course are Qat'qa and Vol. An octopoidal engineer with a Cockney accent? Brilliant! Well... maybe the Cockney wore a bit thin, but still overall brilliant. And Qat'qa... haha, that docking maneuver Challenger pulled and her mad joy flying the Romulan leviathan were fantastic.

    "Would you like hot chocolate?" :lol:

    The back half of the novel did a lot more with Sela than I would have expected - I don't recall this Half-Breed stuff coming up before? And the commander... Varaan?... is her half-brother?

    I was a bit... surprised... by the explanation for why Nog was tactical officer (and why La Forge was flight controller for Enterprise back in the day). Are Starfleet officers really cross-trained enough that they can simply sign on to an "empty slot" that isn't their "real interest" in hopes that a position in their "real interest" will open up later? I mean with Nog it makes some sense given his wartime experience and the fact that Challenger is a dedicated engineering ship... thought you'd think he'd be more likely to get the spot of Chief Engineer by spending more time as Chief Engineer maybe on other starships. But are we saying that Starfleet assigned La Forge - whose aspiration was engineering - to their brand new flagship as A-shift Flight Control officer rather than, I dunno, the best pilot in the fleet?

    Anyway, not to end on a nitpick, sorry. But this is getting rather long. So overall, fantastic, but I'd like it better if the ending wasn't apparently so cut and dried. So what happens now to Nog and Vol and Qat'qa? I'd hate to think we'll never see those latter two again. What happens to Barclay's, err... almost-beginnings-of-romance?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  18. Freman

    Freman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    So this book isn't considered part of the TNG relaunch series even though it takes place after the Typhon Pact book?
     
  19. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Yes it is.
     
  20. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: TNG: Indistinguishable From Magic Review Thread

    Well, all the spoilers are out now, but what the hell...


    I'd be up for that, but, TBH, just don't think CBS would let a first-timer (for a Trek novel, obviously I've done lots of Dr Who, and trek short-fiction) start a new series or anything like that.

    As I've said before, it was originally pitched as two books (about the same length as the old numbered books) published a few months apart. But the books are now big enough - and perhaps CBS are understandably wary enough of letting newbies launch apparent new spinoffs! - for it to be commissioned as one single book.

    That's also why there's a gap placed in between the two parts - at the very least, some short stories could be squeezed in there, if anybody wants to do something more with this crew in an anthology.

    That's definitely my intention - whether others will go with it, who knows?

    That's my thought too (he definitely died in the original approved outline) but who knows?

    I had fun with them! There's another Vol in Reservoir Ferengi, and I definitely want to do more with Kat - I mean, she's Kang's granddaughter, there's got to be more stories with her!

    I don't even remember that line...

    The half-breed stuff just seemed natural for me both from what we've seen of Romulans, and from the way Denise Crosby plays the part - especially in Unification.

    Yeah, Varaan's meant to be her half-brother (son of the Romulan general who took Tasha as a concubine.) He's supposed to be played by Daniel Craig, FWIW.

    Who knows