TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Dec 16, 2012.

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Rate The Body Electric.

  1. Outstanding

    36 vote(s)
    33.6%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    26 vote(s)
    24.3%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.7%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But they were written for a certain audience - maybe modern Trek books are intended to signpost what's happening to the reader to the same level and have the same level of DO YOU GET WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT but I doubt it.
     
  2. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yorkshire, UK
    Last night, I finished reading The Body Electric. Generally, I found it grim. The introduction and farewell to the Istarral was touching and emotional. The "special effects" (vivid imagination of star systems smashed by a black hole) was beautiful from an aesthetic POV (wallpaper-material) but gruesome in its dimenions (so many suns and planets gone, plus civilisations).

    One nitpick: Why didn't the Enterprise hail the surviving alien starships from the early attack and what happened to them afterwards? :confused:

    Question: And did the Enterprise return to Federation space right away or was there some time for a little scanning and mapping of the galactic centre? After all, you don't happen to come there often.

    Wesley was a welcome return and the Travelers are a cool culture. I also liked the scenes between Chen and Taurik. Getting involved with a Vulcan is quite a challenge on its own and when the Vulcan response it's a fascinating read.

    What surprised me was Picard sudden change of heart, now wanting to remain in the captain's chair for some time to come. I had mentally steeled myself for his resignation, especially when Worf got the news from Nechayev.

    So, will the Body Electric's machine rebuild those other galaxies now, or did I get that wrong? It would be a fitting path for redemption and repair some of the damage. All those destroyed galaxies, it is very sad. :borg:
     
  3. Captain Atkin

    Captain Atkin Captain Captain

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    He-Man is awesome. I want to just make sure that everyone is on the same page here. Nobody better be dissing the Masters of the Universe! :cool:
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Jun 17, 2007
    Ordered it, now I've gotta wait untill delivery. :(
     
  5. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Finished.

    I would rate this third installment just Average.

    I liked the fact that Wesley was introduced and the fact that he witnessed and brought the problem in the beginning and was a main part of the solution in the end. I did find that the solution to the main problem was a little anti-climactic in comparison to the two earlier books in the trilogy. Chen's relationship troubles didn't feel real to me and there were no hints of her real problems until she blurted it out to Taurik. The Crusher family dynamic was handled well. I would've liked to have seen Picard also be more involved in that whole dynamic. I hope The Body Electric as a civilization returns in future novels.

    All-in-all a good show, but can do better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  6. Manisphere

    Manisphere Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't post often but when I do it's to gush about something. I loved all three books but was most taken with Body Electric. I just tend to love those larger than life galactic threats. The Immunity Syndrome was the first episode of Star Trek I'd ever seen and it had a huge impact. And I was the only kid I knew that actually loved Star Trek: The Motion Picture. So I read this one cover to cover. The whole trilogy was excellent but this last one, for me, was pure brain candy.
     
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished. Part of the problem may be the unfathomable amounts of sentients and systems destroyed for a work of art. The solution to the problem, at the last minute is keeping with Star Trek traditions. Only slightly surprised Flint did not die so Lal would be resurrected.
     
  8. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm about to finish Book Two (probably later today) and I stopped into the local bookstore yesterday, assuming that I could pick up the next installment. To my annoyance, they didn't have it out. Guess I'll order on Amazon instead.
     
  9. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Massachusetts, USA
  10. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Admiral

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    My copy came in the post just now so I've put aside what I was reading (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) and going to read this now!
     
  11. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    The original He-Man was OK. The new He-Man is garbage.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There have actually been three He-Man animated series, and the second one was the bad one.
     
  13. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    I think we need another poll option. I would like to have voted that it's not Outstanding, but it is better then above average. So can we have an option from here on out that says, better then above average, but not quite outstanding?
     
  14. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    JWolf, see my comment in my last paragraph which responds (slightly indirectly) to your post.

    For those who are reading this in an e-mail digest (where spoiler tags don’t work):

    MANY MANY MANY SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.






    DON’T SCROLL DOWN!


















    My first thought after finishing the book: RHEA!!!!!!

    I was very sorry to see Rhea go. I really liked her in Immortal Coil, particularly in what she did for Data’s character evolution.

    So I was very glad to see her here, but I also felt that her character was a bit underused here. As I said, Rhea is herself an interesting character, but I believe she is more interesting for what she did for Data (ie. their interactions), and we didn’t see too much of that. Were she a TV character, I’d say she was better suited for “character episodes” than “action/plot episodes,” and The Body Electric was definitely of the latter.

    But boy, was that story a helluva thing. I sometimes had a little trouble buying that the Enterprise crew would take on a mission to save the entire galaxy against impossible odds with such aplomb: no shock or disbelief. On the other hand, they have done it before. Multiple times.

    And I found the foe very elegant. The Body Electric was certainly a good ol’ fashioned sci-fi adversary. And nice to have a break from the political machinations of the Typhon Pact. And The Body Electric’s final goal of an intergalactic art piece for the ages: very very cool. As was Wesley’s proposed solution. I’m wondering what the long-term repercussions of intergalactic travel will be on the Milky Way. Wow. Very very cool.

    Glad to see that Worf is getting the recognition he deserves. I hope he’ll change his mind regarding command some day, though.

    Was not surprised by the epilogue. For all the trouble Data went to find Akharin, I was a little surprised that we never saw him resurrect Lal, though I realized right away that it didn’t actually matter whether or not we saw it; it just mattered that he did.

    Honestly was not that excited about the T’Ryssa/Taurik storyline. It was interesting, but I found it hard to get invested in, for whatever reason.

    The story on the (pseudo-)Fellowship of Artificial Intelligence ship was pretty cool. I felt I was missing out on some sci-fi in-jokes with the different AIs, but I really enjoyed the imaginative descriptions. The range of views represented was a nice world-building touch that reflects the range of possibilities regarding AI.

    Going back to Rhea for a moment: while I understand that the point of this trilogy was to have the crew of the Enterprise face impossible decisions, I feel it would have been a more interesting story long-term if Rhea and Akharin had survived and Data had had to learn to be a family man. Raising a child as a single parent is not exactly an underused story in Star Trek.

    If it were me designing the poll, I would rename “Above Average” to “Well-Done.” (I’d relegate “Above Average” to a score of 3.5 and call 4.5 “Very Well-Done.”) As such, I feel TBE was very well-done. Not outstanding, like Silent Weapons or RtD, but very well-done. Solid. Voted “Above Average” for the purposes of Sho’s analysis.

    EDIT: Yeah, I agree with a lot of what has been said so far in the thread, good and bad. Loved "go bother Picard"; that was great. I didn't have much issue with the scale of the threat; these days, there's rarely much question that they'll survive, the interest arises from how the characters react. I too was a bit taken aback by Gatt's aboutface at the end, and I do wish we had seen more with Lal at the end. But I realize that Mack was going for something particular with that scene and I can deal with that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  15. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    The only thing I don't like about The Body Electric is that the originating species of the Body Electric is never revealed. I dislike it when doomsday machines are used in fiction and their origins not fully revealed.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Anyone else having trouble finishing this book? I'm about three-quarters of the way through and am completely bored...
     
  17. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does it really matter? They came from a now-collapsed galaxy 10^many lightyears away, millions or more years ago. They're, well, moot (short of a time travel story).
     
  18. jla1987

    jla1987 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Like the first book in the trilogy, I could not put this one down. Stayed up late last night finishing it. Job well done, Mr. Mack :bolian:
     
  19. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    Location:
    London UK
    Yep - found it a struggle to get through. The ending isn't any better unfortunately.
     
  20. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Brooklyn NY
    Just finished the book today. I liked it, but I enjoyed the other two more. Appreciated the Pulp Fiction inspired quote by Wesley "Check out the big brain on Gatt!", Samuel L Jackson style:D