Spoilers Coda: Book 1: Moments Asunder by Dayton Ward Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, Sep 25, 2021.


Rate Coda: Book 1: Moments Asunder

  1. Outstanding

    21 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    27 vote(s)
  3. Average

    14 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    7 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
  1. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 3, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think you mean Armageddon's Arrow. Headlong flight was the one with the alternate Enterprise D.

    But yes the implication is that the timeship was from the prime tv-verse.
  2. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 3, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Because people from the indian subcontinent don't approve of time travel.

    It's devidians. Dravidians are an actual group of people.
  3. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

    Jul 15, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    I felt nothing from Ezri's "death". I kind of felt something with Wesley, but then it was, again, Picard's POV, which was bland (there's no Patrick Stewart here to convey emotions after all), and then it was undone. So at least so far, the deaths of the canon leads have felt pretty ho-hum.

    WHO WILL DIE?! is just inherently cynical to me. I find the whole thing pretty off-putting. Not because I am going to be too upset because a character is 'dead' (by the very nature of being fictional characters, they were never truly alive, and they 'live' whenever someone experiences their stories), but because it comes off as obvious. You can kill anyone here because there is no future, and it doesn't matter. It removes the tension that might be there because it's all, 'Look, we can kill everyone you care about. Aren't you worried about Character A?' No, I'm not, because you've made Character A so much more obviously a character and not a person.

    I remember when, back in the days of the SCE eBooks, Mack killed off a bunch of minor characters and a main character, Kieran Duffy. That was superbly written, and I remember it as such, not because I was told someone would die (I can't remember if that was part of the blurb or anything; I don't think I read SCE blurbs), but because I had a sense of him being a person that thought, and felt, and loved, and was loved. And we knew that his death would be felt for a long time, with the other ongoing characters feeling his absence. Here we are told to expect it. And now I will go in with, oh, is this where Dr. Ree dies? Who's gonna die here? Is Pazlar important enough to make it? It's immersion-breaking.

    Not to toot David Mack's horn too much more, but he once wrote a 'massacre' with a bunch of minor characters where I felt each loss painfully. It was in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal. I can't remember most of the characters, but I remember all these lieutenants and ensigns, fighting intensely, most of whom, if they had appeared before, were in very minor roles. It was suspenseful and intense. Would I have been able to appreciate it if I had been told 'massacre coming up!' Maybe, but probably not.

    I guess I am just a lot less excited now than I was. But whatever. I'll still get the books. And I'm sure I will enjoy at least part of them.
    tgiokdi, Jarvisimo, Thrawn and 2 others like this.
  4. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    At this point, my favorite character is already dead, so unless y'all do something like bring people back just to kill them over again in progressively worse manners....
  5. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Never forget that the Picard/Prime universe is destined to have Janeway die and eventually be overrun by the Borg, as per The Eternal Tide and Watching the Clock.:p

    And yes, I meant Armageddon's Arrow. Got my TNG novels mixed up.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
    ryan123450 and Jinn like this.
  6. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    Kirk I assume? :)
    I know who you mean. With this being the end it’s hard to care who they kill off. It’s not like there will be another story afterwards.

    speaking of which, the ShatnerVerse is another timeline they could visit. They haven’t touched that one in years. Would be cool to see it again.
    seigezunt, Ketrick and Markonian like this.
  7. Mike Doyle

    Mike Doyle Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 11, 2019
    Not necessarily, at least two Janeways survived if I remember correctly. The resurreted main one and the one who thought she was someone else who was taken away by Q.

    As for the borg, taken from Christopher's annotations:

    "“In virtually every known branch of the future where the Borg threat isn’t ended in this century, they become too big to defeat”: ... (For what it’s worth, she only says “virtually every known branch,” which does leave some wiggle room.)"

    (I removed a bit about STO in the middle that wasn't relevant.
  8. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

    Mar 9, 2004
    Speaking as someone who contributed several works to the Horus Heresy saga, I have to say I don't reckon Simon & Schuster would have let us take 50+ novels to tell this story!
  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 17, 2011
    Well that's on them isn't it! :)
    James Swallow likes this.
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I read a review of the recent (abysmal) Rise of Skywalker that said “the worst thing a franchise can do isn’t make you angry; the worst thing it can do is make you faintly embarrassed to have ever been a fan in the first place.” I felt that way about that film, but I also haven’t been feeling especially connected to Star Wars for a while, so I mostly thought that atrocious mess was funny, and that line in the review made me laugh.

    But TrekLit means something different to me. Reading Avatar, Book 1 was a legitimate revelation when I was a kid, to the point that just looking at the cover image still makes me emotional. I have, at my desk in my classroom where I teach, a poster I made for myself of the quote “this work can only be done by those who maintain a spirit of optimism about our future”, from Afsareh Eden’s speech at the end of Kirsten Beyer’s Children of the Storm. Heck, I’m the coauthor of the almighty TrekLit flowchart; I have a version of it printed out signed by almost every author who appears on it. I love TrekLit. It’s been a companion through two decades of my life.

    In short, I was excited for this book in a way I don’t get excited for much of anything, entertainment-wise. And having read it, I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more disappointed. That line in that Rise of Skywalker review is hitting me hard right now; if someone else read this book because I’d told them TrekLit was so good, I would indeed be faintly embarrassed to have ever been a fan in the first place.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are compelling elements; Dayton’s novels always have compelling elements. The cosmic horror kind of vibe is a worthy goal, the choice of villains is interesting, and Dayton always writes good scenes of Star Trek characters being good at Star Trek jobs. I also don’t mind all the deaths, per se; way back in ’08 and ’09 (wow that’s a long time ago now) I was one of the staunchest defenders of Destiny’s tone, of Janeway’s death, and even now a lot of what people complain about with Picard or Discovery’s gloomier tone doesn’t bother me at all. What always inspired me about TrekLit specifically (as opposed to onscreen Trek, which often, DS9/Sisko/Garak aside, had a rosier view of the future in general) was how many stories there have been about choosing optimism and hope, and making things better, even when confronted with, eg, cosmic horror. So this trilogy felt like it’d be right up my alley, playing with the very themes that I’ve found most compelling. That quote I have printed off, from Eden, comes from a speech eulogizing an entire Full Circle fleet ship that fell uselessly – a tragedy with no meaning, except that which we assign to it. And this work can only be done by those who maintain a spirit of optimism about our future. So we assign an optimistic meaning to it, and move on to the next dangerous but beautiful thing that the universe has to offer, and keep doing our jobs. As a teacher who, at the time, was in a rough inner-city school, confronted by soul-rending awfulness of many kinds on a daily basis, I needed that reminder. Now, with so many existential worries confronting humanity itself, those 20 years of TrekLit maybe matter to me even more.

    But THIS book?

    I guess the clearest way I can put it is this – in order for any story to mean something, in order for there to be thematic resonance or characters whose perspectives are worth contemplating, a story needs to have a theme, or characters, in the first place. And I can’t find any here. Everyone I know and love from 20 years of TrekLit (at least, the ones that appear in this story) have been replaced with cardboard cutouts who all act exactly the same as each other, generic competent Star Trek, and have no perspective or thoughts of any kind about any event that happens. Or, perhaps even more accurately, all these previously beloved characters have just become bowling pins – everyone’s just there so they can fall over, so that Dayton can write the 13th scene that has no purpose other than telling me THIS IS REALLY SCARY! REALLY IT IS! I PROMISE! LOOK ANOTHER CHARACTER YOU LOVE IS DYING! ISN’T THIS SCARY! AREN’T WE ALL IMPRESSED BY HOW SCARY THIS IS! LOOK THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE!

    That’s it. That’s the whole fucking book.

    I challenge you: name three character arcs that occurred in this story, on any level. Hell, name one. Name one character aside from Wesley Crusher who couldn’t have been find/replaced with another and had no impact on the story.

    I suppose in hindsight it shouldn’t be so disappointing; I don’t actually think I can name three character arcs that occurred in Dayton’s entire TNG run from Armageddon’s Arrow through Available Light either. I should’ve known at this point that Dayton is interested in stories that 1) feel plausible and 2) feel like Star Trek, and then that’s it, that’s mission accomplished, and there’s nothing else but that. He hasn’t shown any awareness of dramatic structure in the last several years’ worth of books; why would he start now? But I hoped that with the other authors, the heightened stakes, etc that Dayton would remember how to tell a story. Just this once.


    The total ignorance of dramatic structure and characterization that Dayton evinces in this book to me seems genuinely embarrassing; I can’t imagine how an editor didn’t absolutely rip this to shreds. I mean, I thought the same thing about the last few books he wrote, so again, shouldn’t have been surprised. But still. None of his decisions in plotting this story make any fucking sense.

    To be specific:
    • Why do Juel Ducane and the alt-Enterprise-D get so much time in this story? Just to convince us the enemy is scary? Is there some reason that the four other long, drawn out combat scenes later in the book that actually involve the actual main characters were insufficient to convey that information? The idea that alternate timelines are being destroyed could have been done in three 2-page scenes in a prologue. This was a complete waste of everyone’s time.
    • Why does Dayton spend so long at the beginning of the book with Crusher, Tropp, Harstad, Geordi, and Worf, but no time at all with Konya or Elfiki? If you’re going to kill off MAIN CHARACTERS and want those deaths to have an impact, perhaps they should … appear? In the book? Before that? Like, once? Seems like we’re trying to do a story about Chen, here; in addition to her two best friends, she loses her paramour! But where were they in their relationship? What specific things did they bring each other? We don’t know! Konya dying is supposed to have an emotional impact, and could have, but Dayton just didn’t think that was important, I guess. This is especially annoying because ALL of that shit in the first half of the book could’ve been done in one chapter! Imagine – Worf has already accepted his promotion, and he, T’Ryssa, and others are planning to depart, as well as Geordi considering his transfer. In one big party scene, we could celebrate Worf, have Picard contemplate his ship-family about to splinter and contrast that with his feelings towards Rene/Beverly, give T’Ryssa a chance to hang out with her friends who are going to die later so that has any emotional impact at all, and then BOOM Wesley appears out of nowhere. Maybe in the prologue some mysterious old dude kept showing up in those 2-page scenes, and so we’re already on the hook for “that’s WESLEY?! Oh shit!” And then the inciting event is taken care of and we’re into act 1, 13 entire chapters earlier than this book managed to eventually limp to that moment.
    • While we’re at it, once we do finally get to the inciting event, this story then has no act 1 at all. Once Wesley wakes up, he just tells everyone what to do next. Act 2 starts when they get to the Devidian homeworld – we get our downturn, setbacks, etc – but there’s no rising action in the first place. Hilariously, Dayton actually wrote a scene that could have been a crucial part of a legit Act 1 – the Aventine finding the signal back to Devidia 2 – but that scene comes AFTER Wesley already told us that’s who the baddies were. So we knew that already, and thus that scene has no purpose. (Aside from, y’know, telling us that the enemy is SO SCARY for the 5th time.) We spend half the book waiting for the story to intersect the main characters in any way, we have this weird fakeout with dead Wesley and then alive Wesley, and then with no actual investigation or impetus from anyone we’re already at the site of the crime.
    • Come to think of it, why is there an old dead Wesley and also a younger new one in the first place? What actual dramatic purpose does this serve? There isn’t actually any moment where we have to wait for any particular answers or solve any mysteries as a result. Wesley just answers the next question we have every time we have a question. Wesley is the only character in the whole damn book with any agency in the first place. Every time something new needs to happen, he’s like “I know where to go next” and we go there. How would this have been different if it was just an old, bitter Wesley in the first place? The only answer I can come up with is “then Dayton would’ve actually had to characterize someone in an interesting way, and that sounded hard, so he punted and got a younger Wesley so that Wesley could also just act like Generic Star Trek Competent Man like everyone else, and he wouldn’t have to think about it.

    But again, most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, no one has any character arcs. No one aside from Wesley even has any impact on the story at all. Let me give you a few examples of some low hanging fruit here that Dayton could have easily explored but just didn’t even bother to think about:
    • Picard sees his ship-family splintering again. Perhaps he thinks: do I really want to build a whole new senior staff for the third (arguably fourth) time? Maybe it’s time to focus on my other family. Hard to decide. Then Rene ages up, and Picard realizes – this is his calling now, it’s time to leave Starfleet and just focus on raising this damaged young man. He’s going to finish this mission and then leave. Growth! Change! Dramatic tension! Now there are real stakes if Picard dies on this mission; a whole different life he might otherwise have. Instead: Picard just does what Wesley tells him for the whole book, participating in scenes where anyone else could’ve been there and would’ve done the same thing. No growth, change, or dramatic tension.
    • Perhaps T’Ryssa is struggling about committing to Konya. And then he calls her on her shit; he says “yes I’m a security guard, but we can’t let possible bad things in the future effect our choices now. I want to be with you.” She commits to him. Then he dies, the very thing she was worried about. She thinks about whether she regrets her decision to commit to him or not. She decides she … doesn’t? Does? Interesting possibilities either way. Instead: her whole grieving scene is just about her becoming the next plot connection in the “Taurik knows something” plot, which ended up drawn out so long and for such meager payoff that the whole thing feels meaningless.
    • Perhaps Old Wesley arrives after fighting in a war (more or less) for hundreds of years and doesn’t immediately die (since that has no purpose in the story anyway). He’s broken and has trouble relating to other people. He won’t talk to his mother or Rene. He slowly comes out of his shell. Then Rene is attacked and ages, and he feels like he’s failed again, retreats into himself. Picard has to talk him into trying again, one last time; he refuses, not wanting to see the people he loves die. Perhaps Picard keeps pushing and eventually Wesley commits to the final mission to the future. Instead: Young Wesley just follows Old Wesley’s instructions for the whole book, and never really thinks about anything, worries about anything specific, or has any interesting interactions with anyone. It’s all just plot. Side benefit – this would build on the rich history these characters have, and give Picard something to do that actually affected the story in some way! Imagine that – the main character in some way impacting the plot!
    • How about anyone on the whole Aventine crew having a personality of any kind? That staff has now been together with no changes for six-plus years. That’s a long time! Even if it wasn’t worth the effort to try and find something interesting for even one of them to do or think, how about at least a scene before they charge off to the future where they all hang out and enjoy each other’s company – you know, like the whole first half of the book on the Enterprise – and realize that their remarkably stable senior staff might change; they might lose some friends. Maybe someone has something to say to the rest that they’ve been holding inside, but now seems like the right time? You can create a whole years-long character arc in retrospect with the right admission.
    • Specifically, perhaps Ezri has grown to love her crew, her own family. The first time Ezri has had that experience, but not the first time Dax has. She wonders – if what just happened to the Enterprise crew happens to hers, how will she feel if she loses them? Does that feel impossibly tragic, or does she take the long view? Interesting possibilities either way. Perhaps she’s wondering if she would be willing to sacrifice Dax’s long history and wisdom to save her crewmates, should the situation arise. She’s not sure. Then, in the final fight, perhaps the moment comes, and she surprises herself by not even hesitating – she gives her life for Bowers and Kedair and Mirren without a second thought. Instead, Ezri dies without even realizing it’s happening, random collateral damage. (And maybe the flash of white light means she’s with the Prophets or coming back next book or whatever, but that doesn’t change anything I said here. Even if she has a role to play in the future, she could still have had a character arc here.)

    So yeah. You know. Character arcs! Maybe you don’t like those character arcs I imagined, but could there have been any? At all?

    Stuff happens in this book, but it doesn’t change anything anyone thinks or does. (Seriously – how would a single character have acted differently if none of the deaths had happened?) No one hesitates; no one has second thoughts. No one does something that only they would/could do. Except Wesley, I guess, but only because of his abilities. Not because of the content of his character. Every drop of potential in this book’s characters is wasted.

    In the interest of saying something positive, at one point in this 12-hour slog I did encounter one (1) moment that I thought was fantastic. At one point, Picard muses about the Traveler abilities seeming like magic, and how he’s a man of science and he’s sure there’s a scientific explanation somehow, he just doesn’t know it, but he still lives with the reality that this is a thing. A CHARACTER ACTUALLY SHOWED UP! WITH PERSPECTIVE THAT COULDN’T HAVE BEEN COPY/PASTED FROM ANYONE ELSE IN THE BOOK! It was so exciting to finally – once – see someone I actually recognized in this novel that my nerdy self actually spontaneously applauded!

    Experiencing the emotional rush of recognition / resonance at that moment crystallized for me why the whole rest of the book had been so goddamn boring, despite how scary – so scary – everything was (so scary, see? Someone else just died – SO SCARY, DAMMIT, DO YOU GET IT YET). The problem was that I didn’t recognize anyone. I didn’t care about anyone’s death, because there weren’t any people dying anyway. Just bowling pins falling over.

    I didn’t feel that sense of recognition again until the end, where Picard talked to Sam, and they reflected about how all three of them were promoted under adverse circumstances. That felt like a moment of resonance that meant something more about the kind of persistence that these characters take on as part of the job they choose.

    But if that’s the only payoff for all of this then, really: what the fuck are we doing here? Is the best tribute to 20 years of beloved stories they could think of just repeatedly having personality-stripped versions of people we’ve loved for decades show up and uselessly die? After reading this, I’m seeing all these posts from David Mack bragging about how heavy this is all going to get in a new light; I’m not sure “meticulously burning everything you love to the fucking ground” is really the selling point for a final tribute that these dudes seem to think, if this is what that means.

    Sigh. Maybe James Swallow will tell a story about someone – anyone – next time around, and there’ll be something in this story I can latch on to.

    At least with the interconnected TrekLit continuity ending, I never have to read another book by Dayton Ward again. I take him at his word that this was a work of sheer love; it would be impossible to deny his genuine enthusiasm for this work. He was lovely to me when we met in person, and by all accounts is a lovely human being to everyone else too. But evidently, what we each “love” about the last 20 years of work is not even remotely the same. Frankly, it would seem that everything I want in a story is completely invisible to him. I hope the other two are more on my wavelength. If not, if this is the best they can do, it’s better that it’s ending and we all move on. This isn’t the thing I loved anyway.
    David cgc, tgiokdi, JoeP and 10 others like this.
  11. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2005
    Woodward, OK
    Thanks for pouring your heart out, @Thrawn. The longer I set with the book, and hearing people’s legitimate gripes, the more I see its’ flaws, but I still have alot of hope for the next two books. But I appreciate getting to hear your honest, no holds barred opinion.
    Markonian, J.D., Jinn and 2 others like this.
  12. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Listening to it on audiobook, I had a lot of time to think about what I wished I was listening to! :lol: :shrug:
    Markonian and ryan123450 like this.
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    On the USS Sovereign
    Ooops! Typo not corrected by me.
    Still think the Krenim are involved, but only ~60% done.
  14. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    I can't really judge this book till we have the next 2. This really is a 3 part story arc so I'll reserve any judgement till they are all out. I liked this book and I think it sets up things for the other 2 books well, this was only the beginning.
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 17, 2011
    I have a lot of thoughts, Thrawn, but I think something to note here is that this does feel a bit like the 1st third of a book. This is all set up.
    SolarisOne and Campe like this.
  16. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I mean so was Destiny: Gods of Night, and characters had personalities and storylines in that book. Off the top of my head - Picard starting to lose it, Choudhury training with Worf, Ezri coming to terms with her new command, Riker and Troi trying to compromise about the baby, Hernandez feeling sympathetic towards the Caeliar while Foyle becomes cynical... I'm sure there's more, but I remember that without even looking it up. And I've only read that trilogy twice and the second time was actually ten (!) years ago. And I think the wordcount on that was substantially shorter, AND David Mack was introducing two whole new crews!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 17, 2011
    While I'm heading out the door, I think that you are kind of overlooking some of your own points when describing the lack of character arcs. You are saying there are no character arcs but I feel like Dayton Ward has very clearly set up that the book is dealing with the issue of endings and specifically the fact that they are inevitable but we shouldn't be too sad about them. This may be my Masters in Literature advisor's advice coming here (which is: "you can see anything if you look hard enough"--*sad trombone*) but what I saw was:

    1. The Enterprise crew is breaking up because the Litverse is acknowledging that the characters aging in real time means that they couldn't continue their stories indefinitely as much as we'd like them to be forever like Superman or Batman. They've all gotten older and should move on with their lives like Riker did. Geordi's reluctance to do so is a sign that he's missing out on opportunities.

    2. The treatment of death in the book is meant to be something akin to Gene Roddenberry's insistence on Tasha Yar's death be anticlimatic because he (knowing plenty of people in actual wars) knows that it is sudden, violent, and not necessarily all that heroic. T'Ryssa and Konya deal with the fact they're people who can die horribly quickly but they have to live their lives to the fullest in the meantime.

    3. I honestly think Old Wesley and his death was meant to establish stakes but it is a nice bit of character building as to who Wesley Crusher is as an adult. For much of Star Trek history he's been a butt monkey of the fandom and the fact that he is someone who fought these guys this entire time trying to hold the line is a sign that, no, he learned his lesson and did the good fight. The fact he died is a sign that Wesley is willing to die for his family even though they're old now.

    4. I see Picard and Beverly having the most meta and horrifying plotline in the book that hangs over their work. Specifically, Rene is going to die. More likely he's never going to exist. He's a character who does not exist in PICARD and that hangs over every scene with the boy. As such, the story they're dealing with is Picard's anxiety that he cannot protect his son (and indeed cannot). I hope he'll end up like Supergirl's daughter from Peter David's run, living a happy life elsewhere somehow but we know a six year old is expendable and that should be horrifying.

    5. The Alt-Enterprise and its story is basically used to highlight the fear of being an "expendable" universe. Dayton Ward mentions that when a universe becomes unstable that its almost impossible to fix it. Our heroes already know that theirs is and they're struggling to deal with that.

    Much of this book is the fact it is a big confrontation with the characters confronting the fact that they can't just stay in their existing spots and the inevitability of change/loss, which is a bit metaphor for the bookverse dealing with the fact it is ending.
  18. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I realize trying to school someone with wikipedia is such an asshole move, but I'm not trying to have it be one, I'm really not. The wikipedia definition of character arc is "the transformation or inner journey of a character over the course of a story". So: something changes as the story progresses. Of the examples I gave of possible character arcs, only the Aventine crew one might imply a prior arc without showing it, the rest were examples of transformation / inner journey of a character that could occur during the novel itself.

    Take Geordi's option to leave the Enterprise and compare it with Riker's in The Best of Both Worlds. Yes, I know that there are two books to go; let's just consider part 1. Why did the writers choose THIS episode to emphasize Riker being promoted or not promoted? Because at the end of the episode he was going to make the hardest decision a leader possibly could - to sacrifice his own captain. Character arc! Was Riker ready? He wasn't sure, and neither were we. At the end of the episode, though, we both know the answer. Sure was! Geordi's possible promotion was brought up in this book because ... ?!?

    With all due respect - I always appreciate your thoughts - nothing that you actually wrote on that list is a character arc. And even granting that, again with all due respect, I have no idea where this is in the book I just finished - "T'Ryssa and Konya deal with the fact they're people who can die horribly quickly but they have to live their lives to the fullest in the meantime." Konya didn't even have a scene in the book at all, and I don't remember T'Ryssa having that thought in her single scene of processing grief. Though, the character arc I sketched in my review would have dealt with exactly that! That's the kind of thing that should obviously have been in this story but wasn't! I'm glad you agree it should have been!

    What you DO raise is the very good point that this book is actively engaging with its metatextual place. That's what this whole story is for; it's called Coda after all, it knows what it is. But even there - how was the Alt-Enterprise story highlighting the fear of being an expendable universe? Where in the text is that connection made? And our heroes don't find out that their universe is broken until the very end, literally the last scene. So, maybe that's a theme for the NEXT book, but again, it didn't happen here.

    You're right that you can draw a few connections between things that are implied here and a metatextual conversation about endings, but none of those themes are developed, or examined, or crafted into arcs. They might be sort of compelling ideas, but Dayton has never lacked for compelling ideas. He just plops them into his stories and then doesn't do anything with them.
    Markonian likes this.
  19. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Ensign Red Shirt

    Sep 20, 2021
    Perfect summary. Bravo.
  20. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    EDIT: Sorry, I was getting a little unnecessarily strident.

    I didn't see that in the book I read, but I'm glad it worked for you and you felt that resonance. I hope I get more of that in future books.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021