VOY: Protectors by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jan 19, 2014.

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Rate Protectors.

  1. Outstanding

    36 vote(s)
    40.9%
  2. Above Average

    44 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Cool. I still need to finish Eternal Tide, but by October I should be all caught up. I think this will probably be the first time I've been up to date on a TrekLit series since the end of the Avatar-The Soul Key DS9R cycle.
     
  2. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok, it's here! Now the trick is to not open this thread again until I'm finished...
     
  3. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Just got mine downloaded last night and it's a beast in length, I love it!
     
  4. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Down loaded to my kindle last night. Very excited to start a new Voyager book written by Kirsten:bolian:
     
  5. Anika Hanson

    Anika Hanson Captain Captain

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    It downloaded on my kindle last night. I had to read a chapter before I went to sleep!
     
  6. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    I bought my book today .I'm looking forward to reading it .And also finding out what happens next with Katherine Janeway having to return to Earth to be interviewed by Starfleet admirals.I really liked the Voyager that came out last year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just got mine and will start it tomorrow.
     
  8. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Started yesterday and am already loving what Beyer is doing with Janeway. It's like she completely understands every criticism of Voyager that fans had and is able in her stories to correct them, and have them make sense. Fantastic writing!
     
  9. timothy

    timothy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Got it on my nook yeterday but it will be a while till I get to it :)
     
  10. Will Lucky

    Will Lucky Ensign Newbie

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    Finished the book, enjoyed it a lot and look forward to the conclusion of the many strings left.

    As usual with the Beyer books, I tended to enjoy the character development across the board. No real problems at all in that department.
     
  11. roseake

    roseake Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I bought the ebook yesterday morning, and finished it lunch today. My family have been steering clear of me because they know how Beyer's writing affects me! This one was a rollercoaster from start to finish, let me tell you!
    (Long spoilers ahead)

    The biggest shocker for me was Julia Paris deciding to take legal action against B'Elanna and Tom. I haven't felt my stomach drop like that in a long time. That can't happen, it simply can't. I sincerely hope that their relationship can weather this particular storm.

    Axum was a surprise, but I'm looking forward to seeing how his character is rounded out now that he's out of the Collective.

    I feel bad for Cambridge, I really warmed to him in TET and I enjoyed how his and Seven's relationship developed. Personally, I'm hoping he won't get his heart broken and it would be a real disservice to her character development if Seven just jumped back into Axum's arms.

    Kathryn's plot had me gesticulating wildly and stomping around the kitchen clutching a bar of chocolate. While scenes with Picard are always a pleasure, I thought this was a fantastic way of demonstrating that the 'traditional' stubborn and unflinching tactics of previous Starfleet captains isn't necessarily the best way to do things. Following orders has always been a grey area in Star Trek, and as an audience we often forget that the orders given out by Starfleet are actually supposed to be obeyed - they aren't suggestions that are to be taken with a pinch of salt and ignored when another option presents itself (as many previous situations would lead us to believe).

    There was a terrifying hour where I honestly believed that Kathryn had given up on the fleet and was resigned to live with her mother! It was refreshing to witness a prominent Starfleet officer such as herself actually take some respite before taking on a mammoth task, instead of miraculously charging through and coming out alright at the other end! Hearing that they'd given her the fleet back was made that bit more satisfying by knowing that she had proven her capability to lead and not just beaten Montgomery and Akaar into submission or ignored them completely. I have only minor concerns over her and Chakotay's personal relationship, I'm sure they can work out whatever problems they may face.

    And the poor Doctor! Beyer really leaves no stones unturned here!
    I didn't mean to write all that in the back of my mom's car. All in all, a truly fantastic piece of work once again, and I cannot wait until September. I plan on spending the time until then reading from Death in Winter onwards.
    So here's my two cents on the recent developments of our Delta Quadrant family! Has anyone else finished it yet? What did you think?
     
  12. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    I've bought my copy and it's on my 650 now. But I won't be getting to it until after I finish Glasshouse by Charles Stoss.
     
  13. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm waiting for the Caeliar threads to be cleared up.

    Axum could go either way, either he's being tortured, or he's mentally unstable and wants to die; living is a torture for him and he doesn't want to be on life support.

    Knowing Kirsten, I'd favour the second.

    And I'll wager the "Catom Plague" is catoms showing to fight an as-yet unidentified illness and being mistakes for the cause.
     
  14. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When I first started reading this book, I though that Kirsten M.F. Beyer might just be slipping a bit. The overly long memorial service, the pages spent with farewells and Janeway's issues and psychosis felt forced.
    But by time I finished my confidence in my favorite Star Trek writer (sorry David Mack) had been restored.

    Highlights

    Characters.

    Kirsten NAILS every single Voyager character. She just gets them. I wonder if she listens to just their dialogue before she starts writing, because if you read their words out loud, the pacing and diction is perfect. The Doctor in particular is well written. In addition to getting the characters right, she makes you care about them and their problems. As a father of a small child, the scenes between Tom and B'lanna were beautifully authentic and poignant. The "modification" to the Doctor was well conceived idea, and I look forward to seeing how she integrates the consequences of that modification in future novels. She even manages to give the blandest and hardest character to write - Harry Kim - some substance and life. In addition to THAT, she also has created some of the most interesting "new" characters, Commander O'Donnell, Hugh Cambridge, and the Tamarian Dr. Sharak and she does a fine job expanding on their characters here.
    I wish that TPTB could find some way to get Tuvok on Voyager as I would love to see KMFB incorporate him into her stories.

    Story

    Although this novel was in some ways a Part II of the Eternal Tide, the Ark planet, the wave form creatures, the subtle menace of the "villains of the Delta Quadrant" alliance, the story of Axum, all were well done, and highlighted another of KMFB's strengths: she can write an excellent serialized story. She weaves in various elements and gets you excited about the next novel, all while telling a complete and whole story within the current novel. That is very hard to do. There are so many very interesting threads in this novel that I am eager to see how they play out. It is obvious that KMFB has spent some time trying to contemplate what would happen to the Delta Quadrant and its balance of power once the Borg were no longer a threat, and I like the conclusions she seems to have made. Very, very cool.

    Lowlights

    Janeway's navel gazing.

    I know that it is appropriate and reasonable to discuss the life altering events that Janeway has experienced, and that Janeway needed to be able to find some way to process the events that no other Star Trek character could possibly understand, but the counseling sessions and emotional discovery seemed to drag on and on, and then be abruptly "fixed" by Counselor Jane Austen.

    Julia Paris' decision.
    The pending custody hearings creates dramatic tension, but I think that it unnecessarily complicates B'lanna and Tom's story, and it just feels wrong, almost contrived.

    The mysterious Starfleet bad guys.

    This is a minor quibble, but when bad guys are given names like "The Commander" and are revealed in an epilogue, it just feels a bit silly. I felt that the revelation of Axum's torture, the cold and clinical way that the "bad" doctors addressed Axum, and the "reporting to the superiors", along with other hints adequately revealed that something funky was going on. The epilogue was just a bit much.


    Overall, this book was another excellent addition to the KMFB collection, and I eagerly await her next novel. Thanks Kirsten for taking one of the weakest TV series and turning it into one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, novel series in the TrekLit universe.
     
  15. 2of1million

    2of1million Captain Captain

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    I bought the ebook last night and will start later today. Never thought I'd be so excited by a Voyager book of all things, but Kirsten Beyer is just that good! :cool:
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I started it and about 1/3 through it. Nothing seems to stand out extremely much.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I can't remember, have we gotten a conclusion to the Meegan story, or is she still out there somewhere?
     
  18. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    The book might suffer from starter-itis, it opens more than a few plot threads for future novels but doesn't finish them. The Caeliar, Seven's arc, the Paris family story, unfinished story lines can make a novel look weak and any book that has to carry that load can suffer.
     
  19. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah; by necessity this wasn't as glamorous or mind-blowing as the last two - setup isn't going to be as satisfying as resolution. (Well, unless the resolution underwhelms, but she hasn't seemed to have that problem yet.)

    But this was still really strong. Voyager remains my favorite series running at this point, by some margin.

    Mostly I just keep coming back to how good she is at developing these people. Even in a book of lots of setup and very little payoff, there was so much depth and so many genuine character arcs.

    My particular favorite, at first reaction, is Harry Kim. There's always been something a little weird, there, buried, I think. Every alternate universe or future version if him is an emotionally dead, stone cold badass. This relationship with Conlon is starting to pry open that characterization for me, give some sense of the ambition and drive that's really buried there. Can't wait to see him as first officer next time around; feels like he's just about to really come out of his shell. Of course, Beyer writing it, I'm sure that coming out of his shell will be the most painful experience of his entire existence somehow. But anyway.

    Her handling of Janeway is masterful, too. I love the revelation that it was Janeway refusing to forgive herself her mistakes that led to the old Janeway's irrationality. That's genuinely deep, and gets at a truth about Janeway that feels real without ever having been stated before, while also acknowledging all the awkwardness about her choices and their consequences of late. No reset buttons here; this is a changed woman, for the better, and dealing with the demon of that future Janeway is no small thing.

    I remember in college, my first impression of one of my roommates was that he was distant and boring, until about a month into the school year we finally had a long conversation where a ton of new things tumbled out of him. He kept his same low-affect deadpan, but sort of showed me what was really going on behind it. He didn't change, but I understood him more, and it made all our earlier interactions make more sense suddenly. I feel like every time she writes a story focused on one of the Voyager characters, I get that same sense, like watching the show I always felt like things didn't add up or the character was boring or static, and then reading her analysis of them I look back on the show and realize that there was a really interesting person in there that just never quite let us see all of themselves. Chakotay was the big one, but Kim too now.

    If she has a blind spot at all, it's Paris, I think; the stories of him and Torres as parents are strong and pretty unique, as the parents in the TNG and Titan novels don't spend as much time thinking about that aspect of their lives as Paris and Torres do, but he's first officer and I've never really gotten why. That's one of Christie Golden's random, unjustified changes, and possibly the only one that Beyer hasn't worked out for me. I still don't quite believe he'd be good at that job, or really even want it.

    But really everyone else. Chakotay learning to work with O'Donnell (how cool is he, really?), The Doctor and Zimmerman, Seven and Cambridge, even a little bit with Icheb, the scene at the end with Naomi, B'Elanna's pregnancy insanity, Farkas's confrontation with Janeway and eventual reconciliation (I love that she's still around, she's one of my favorites)... she even adds complexity to Montgomery. So much awesome. So much.

    And, compared to the last mostly-setup-book (Unworthy), I think this is a huge improvement. I mentioned in my review of that one that Starfleet didn't come across looking too competent, and that the narrative got a little soap-opera-y; here, it's not out of balance at all. Her biggest strength is the character work, of course, but the catom plague, the new pseudo-Federation, the return of old antagonists, the literal Strange New World (and one of the strangest in recent memory)... all great. And I remember the opening of Children of the Storm completely shocking me with her facility with action sequences; it's nice to see that return in the fight at the end.

    She just ties this all together and balances it all so well. The whole book is about Protectors, of some variety; O'Donnell gets the perfect story to follow his introduction in Children; a half dozen throwaway stories from the show turn out to matter here, including Unimatrix Zero, but it also introduces wholly new situations; and every action has a consequence.

    Can't wait to see where she's going with all of this. I couldn't be happier that the wait is shorter than usual, and that she gets some space to really set up and pay off some long arcs. This is great stuff.
     
  20. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Sounds like you may need to interview this author;)