Spoilers DSC: Wonderlands by Una McCormack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Markonian, May 18, 2021.

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Rate DSC: Wonderlands

  1. Outstanding

    13 vote(s)
    59.1%
  2. Above Average

    7 vote(s)
    31.8%
  3. Average

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    Not just retaliation, but there maybe someone out there who upon learning Su'kal was the cause of the Burn and that he could trigger another Burn should he ever return to the planet will then take it upon themselves to make sure he never can return by killing him. Or capture him so they can take him back to the planet to engineer another Burn for their own purposes.

    Yeah, Starfleet would be wise to keep the truth of the Burn's cause Top Secret.
     
  2. Serin117

    Serin117 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, this book supplanted The Way to the Stars as my fave DISCO entry.
    *smashes cup* MORE!
     
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  3. GaryH

    GaryH Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is the first Una book that felt like a chore to read to me. It was a good character study but it felt rambly and low stakes plot wise. I’m getting tired of these “here’s how a character ended up where we started” books. I know it is hard for writers to set stories during seasons as they are all usually one long story, but I would like more leeway for two days adventures between the rain drops, or even at the end of season 3 after Michael becomes captain as a time jump of a few months is likely before season 4 starts. I want to read a Discovery novel, not another backstory solo character novel.
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Deva Loka!
     
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  5. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    I just noticed that, too. That can't be an accident, can it? It's Kinda a pretty cool little nod.
     
  6. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt it given Una's own interests! My favorite nod was one from later in the book, when all the Starfleet officers at 906 are named after early women writers of Trek fiction: Marshak, Crispin, and Lorrah.
     
  7. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

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    Between this and Triangle getting an Ebook discount, Sondra Marshak is really having a moment...it's just unfortunate that her (reported) lack of online presence makes her awareness of that unlikely.
     
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  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not following... :confused:
     
  9. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Captain Captain

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    I was joking about a Doctor Who story called Kinda. Although the story is pronounced Kin-da, I was playing with the how the wording looks like an English word (kind of, kinda). The DW story Kinda takes place on a planet Deva Loka, and the title is in reference to the native intelligent life, the Kinda tribe. So I was joking about how it's kind of a cool Easter egg, but spelled with a capitol letter: It's Kinda a cool Easter egg. Most people probably didn't notice...or thought it was Kinda a terrible pun...
     
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  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    I saw the Marshak shout-out (it fairly jumped out at me), but not Culbreath. I'm not quite halfway through (this is a very slow read, compared to CLB's Living Memory, which I devoured in a weekend); did I miss Culbreath, or haven't I gotten to her yet?

    The whole Ikasu story reminds me a lot of some early ENT episodes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  11. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's not a Culbreath mention as far as I noticed.
     
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe "Markonian" counted the Marshak name-drop as including Culbreath by implication. In any event, I've edited my 8:42 post to include the quote to which I was referring. (That makes the second time I referenced that post: the first time, I said on being controversial, they "left Carey in the dust.")
     
  13. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Culbreath does indeed show up, on Page 298.

    Jean ("The Vulcan Academy Murders") Lorrah shows up on 304. Obviously coming up in the world. By a considerable margin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
  14. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, good catch!
     
  15. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Followed shortly by Vonda McIntyre and Barbara Hambly. And an encore of Marshak. And of course, a starbase called Vanguard. Happy Easter.

    I'm giving the book an "Above Average." I will note that up until the final 2-3 chapters, it was a very slow read (it kind of felt a bit stretched), and difficult to stick with for an entire chapter at once.

    while I'd already encountered a spoiler about Vanguard being the home base of the White Palm raiders, the final chapters did carry a few other surprises. Like Jeremiah turning traitor. And the supposed traitor Pa'Dan turning out to be an infiltrator (wordplay intentional).
     
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  16. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am finally starting this! Took a long break from Treklit but I just finished up The Dark Veil and have been looking forward to get back to the 32nd. I'm only a bit into the beginning and I haven't read through this thread yet, but I'm really enjoying it so far! Una writes about Burnham the way the show portrays her, as like...this beautiful beam of light overflowing with goodness and warmth. I can imagine anyone that isn't a big Michael fan would find this over the top and obnoxious, but I'm eating it up.
     
  17. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I just finished this book and gave it average (unusual for me when it comes to an Una McCormack novel--usually I really enjoy her books).

    It took me a long time to finish it. Part of that is because I have some personal stuff going on. But there were times I didn't feel a great need to go back to it. Now, to be clear, I haven't seen season 3 yet (waiting to get the Blu-Ray since I don't stream), but I gather this novel is sort of a prequel to season 3 and sets up things for Burnham for where she will be there. While I knew she had jumped to the 32nd century, there were some things I was unaware of like the 'Burn' and the apparent fall of the Federation (though that's a bit vague--on purpose I imagine).

    The things I liked about the book include the character development, not surprising as one of McCormack's strengths as a writer always seemed to be character development. I felt I knew Sahil, Book, Pa'Dar, and others pretty well in the book. Another positive about the book is it was written in such a way that I felt like she set things up well for when I do watch season 3, yet I don't feel like she gave away any major spoilers that will ruin season 3 for someone who has not seen it yet. Except maybe for the 'Burn.' But there was no way around that since it basically eliminated warp drive (and I imagine season 3 brings that up pretty quickly so it's hardly a big giveaway regardless). But there are hints of something more going on with a lot of that. I got the sense the show will address the cause of the Burn, if there is a way to undo it, and the current status, if any, of the Federation, and if it could indeed come back. The book hints at some of that without giving anything away, so that gave me some clues that will come up in season 3. I was curious about how the ships were travelling around without apparent warp drive (or did they have limited warp). I was never clear in the novel, other than the transwarp tunnels, how they travelled so quick. I would think impulse drive only would take years to get from one system to another.

    So what dragged the book down for me. I hate to say this but at times it was a slog. There were a couple storylines going on, which doesn't always hurt. I enjoyed Greg Cox' A Choice of Catastrophes which had 3 major story lines but they were well balanced and each interesting in their own right. But with Wonderlands, there were some story threads I liked, and some that just weren't very interesting. There were some chapters I got through pretty quickly, and one or two that actually took me 2 or 3 weeks to get through.

    So not a bad book, but not great. But still, I think it'll help build on season 3 so I'd still recommend it to fans of the show who want more on how Burnham adapted to her new circumstances and what is going on.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not sure if you want the answer, so I'll code it, though it's nothing that wasn't revealed in episode 1 of the season.
    Warp drive still exists, but dilithium is rare now since most of it blew up in the Burn. So its availability and use is heavily rationed, and warp drive use is thus kept to a minimum. Also, the Burn only destroyed ships that were in warp at the time, so while they never overtly said so in the show, there may be reluctance to risk using warp drive except when strictly necessary, in case there's ever another Burn.
     
  19. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Ok, thanks. That makes sense. I kind of figured that was likely the deal, but unless I missed it the book wasn't exactly clear on that point.
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The show was a bit sloppy about that. They say it was only ships travelling at warp which were destroyed by the Burn, yet when we see footage of when the Burn happened, none of the ships shown were at warp and were in fact just standing still.