Full Circle Review Thread (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Kirsten Beyer, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Really looking forward to that aspect of the book especially, then. Seven's growth and evolution as a character were one of the things I did like about Voyager.
     
  2. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Me too. I'll miss the robo-talk (kind of reminds me of Data...sigh), but I can't wait for her act and speak just like she did in Unimatrix Zero :)
     
  3. SStar

    SStar Ensign Newbie

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    5 hours, 40 minutes [time taken to read Full Circle which seems woefully short compared to how long it must have taken Kirsten to write it]

    I am pretty sure I raced through the book and will find much more to enjoy upon rereading it but after such a long gap since the last VOY-R book, I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. I was sad. Surprised. Intrigued. Uncomfortable. Satisfied. Happy.

    I’m sure many other people will be able to post more detailed and more informative reviews than mine. The storyline was fast paced, particularly in the second half of the book. Now, sometimes that can be to the detriment of the story but in this case, where the time span to cover was great and where, it worked well. The sudden changes in POVs in the narrative did take a little while to get used to but soon I was rolling with them and I thought that it worked combined with the pace of the narrative.

    Obviously, at 561 pages and with the back-story that is established from the previous VOY-R books and in the ST universe in the past four years, certain threads and characters took presidencies over others but I was happy with the balance that was struck (however I am probably biased since I am very partial to Tom and B’Elanna) ... and on that note:

    Is it mean of me to have cackled at the unfortunate demise of a particular young female lieutenant at the jaws of the targot? Perhaps ... but I never did care for the character.

    Hugh Cambridge – Firstly, I had a chuckle at the reference to Bristol (which is where I currently live) however I couldn’t quite imagine Cambridge sporting a West Country accent! While my initial reaction was clouded by Chakotay’s reaction, the next scene involving Cambridge waiting for Tom to lose patience had me do a full 180 turn. I do like my snarky characters with just a bit more than a hint of black humour. I think it was his scene with Tom and B’Elanna in their quarters that sealed the deal. I eagerly await learning much more about this complex character.

    Afsarah Eden – a mysterious origin and the breadcrumbs have been laid for the future books. As a character, I found nothing much to dislike but I had hoped to feel some more of a stronger emotion concerning her. However she comes across as capable, likeable, certainly not a replacement for Janeway and that is the most important point. She is definitely a character in her own right. Her relationship to Batiste was, in my opinion, the most interesting facet of her personality right now but I can feel as a character, there is much more to be explored.

    Chakotay – I will leave it to others to delve into his psyche but in my opinion, this is the first time I truly felt as though Chakotay was a three-dimensional character. His actions at the very end of the book did surprise me however.

    Tom Paris – my favourite character and I commend Kirsten for a wonderful characterisation. I particularly loved that scene with Martok but also those involving Owen and Julia. He has definitely come a long way and seems a natural in his role as first officer. I do have a question, did he get a promotion to full Commander at some point?

    My heart went out to him – to be away from B’Elanna and Miral for so long and then later, to lie to his family and friends about their separation and death. I suspect there is going to be backlash when everyone finds out the truth though I can hardly blame him or B’Elanna. I’m full of questions on what the future holds for Tom and his family once in the Delta Quadrant and I can only hope that the Paris family remain with Voyager.

    B’Elanna Torres – While I did not always agree with her choices and decisions, I couldn’t fault her since her priority was the safety of her daughter. She comes across as someone who is more comfortable with her heritage. The story thread surrounding the Klingon genetic time bomb was intriguing though I suspect will be put on the backburner for a while but I will eagerly await for its continuation.

    Miral Paris – what weight on such young shoulders? The sweetest moment in the book had to be when she shouted “Da!” at Tom.

    Kathryn Janeway – this was Janeway at her best. I won’t dwell on her characterisation except to say that I found it true. She died doing what she always did during the show, protecting her crew. The character was dealt with respect and that is all that I ever wanted for her.

    While I may be wrong, the only significant character introduced in the VOY-R that is still part of the Voyager crew is Devi Patel, which I am chuffed about. I would love to learn more about her. I am already intrigued by the new crew members and cannot wait to learn more about Dr Sharak. I would love to write about Seven, the Doctor etc but I have gone on too long already!

    A longer (and possibly pointlessly rambling) review than I thought I would be capable of but really, I really enjoyed Full Circle. Well done Kirsten and thank you! You have really set the bar high for the VOY-R and I cannot wait for Unworthy later this year.
     
  4. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    I also finished it in one night. It was good, and at times very good. Some things were less than perfect, and while I understand that Golden's new crew was not particularly popular, I felt that there was a rather transparent move at getting rid of them as quickly as possible. The aforementioned death of
    Lyssa Campbell
    at the jaws of the creature was not funny to me at all, and kind of monstrous in a way, especially in the almost nonchalant way it was accepted. The fact that the one Golden crewmember that remained on the ship at the end
    (Patel)
    was never referred to by full name, rank, or position, and wasn't even at most of the senior crew meetings was extremely irksome. I say this from someone who thought her books were fairly mediocre. (On a similar note, the introduction of the first name-less Lasren was pretty weak, too.)

    Otherwise, the book was really good, and the TV characters were perfectly written. While some of the events were a little too choreographed, I still managed to be surprised at many elements. And I must say, after this, I regret Janeway's death more than I did before. This was a good book, and dealt with it well, but it still seems like a waste. Oh, well.
     
  5. CommanderTroi

    CommanderTroi Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Wow. This is a joke, right? I can only say ridiculous to such poor treatment of a character and then doing something like this.
    I absoluely agree that Janeway fans (I am a mild one) are really upset by this!:(
     
  6. PaulSimpson

    PaulSimpson Writer/Editor Captain

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    Kirsten has answered this point in the other threads.
     
  7. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have linked to her comment regarding this somewhere in this very thread, too.
     
  8. CommanderTroi

    CommanderTroi Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Thanks for posting this link. I still do disagree with this development very strongly, however I do fully understand that Ms Beyer was dealt the cards the way they were and that she probably made the best out of it:)
    I see it more as a very strange editotrial decision, because regardless of the intentions behind and the utilization of Batiste, it does leave a sour taste in my mouth afterwards. Please, I don't mean to insult the editors nor Ms Beyer, but this whole 'affair' seems odd to me. At least for me recent decisions regarding Voyager are hard to understand...:rolleyes:
     
  9. AuntKate

    AuntKate Commodore Commodore

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    The first review is up at amazon.com and guess what? The reviewer wishes Janeway and Chakotay were still in command, adding to the ever-growing chorus of dismay that the poster above (Commander Troi) has joined.

    Kirsten, if you want to sell a ton of books, then I suggest you kick, scream, and whine until Janeway is revived. If you are successful in convincing TPTB to do so, the Voyager relaunch could put all the others to shame! ;)
     
  10. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    OMFG.

    What our advocate of whining neglects to mention is that this first reviewer gives Full Circle five stars, and headlines the review, "An exhilarating, delicious, fan awaited treat." The reviewer goes on to say, "...Beyer does a great job at finishing up Golden's ideas and she greatly improves upon it. This is the re-launch novel that Voyager fans have REALLY been waiting for. [...] Beyer did a great job at restoring Voyager back to it's roots[...] Beyer does a great job at showing Voyager's role in the Desinty series [...] Overall Beyer made a masterpiece. I hope that Unworthy is certainly just as good- this has to be one of Voyager's best novels, if not the best."

    And yes, as our kicking and screaming friend notes, this reviewer didn't like Janeway's death... yet still gave Full Circle a glowing review, and has more or less committed to buying Unworthy. From this, I can see no reason for Kirsten to start behaving like an overgrown, spoiled-rotten infant throwing a fit.
     
  11. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can't we keeping this thread about the actual book and not the usual whining and crying about Janeway? Don't you people already have two active threads for that?

    I've worked my way through the book and although I'm not a Voyager fan I was impressed with what I saw. I can't say I'm particular fussed with the new direction that we will get to see fully realised in the next book but I can understand why they went that way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  12. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Yeah. Not that it has any relationship to quality, but in case you're curious, you just devoured what took over fifteen hundred hours and three years of development - though something like six months or a thousand plus hours of actual writing.

    I'm really glad to hear that. Sounds like you hit all of the notes I was going for.

    Yes. I'm officially giving you a time-out for heartlessness. More on this subject below....

    Glad to hear it. You're going to get your wish, at least in Unworthy.

    Absolutely right. She is not and will never be Janeway and that was very intentional on my part. She has a long way to go on her journey and hopefully you'll grow more attached to her as things progress.

    This book had to go deep with Chakotay, largely because I suspect many people felt, as you did, that his character up to this point was somewhat flat. I'm so pleased that this worked for you and you were supposed to be surprised at the end.

    He was promoted from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander during Homecoming. Pretty much everyone got at least one bump in rank. But when he is directly addressed, the convention is to refer to him as Commander Paris rather than Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander.

    I know if I was one of his friends, I'd be pissed. Indeed, more to come there as well.

    And her friends. Remember it's not just about what happens to Miral, though that's paramount. It's also about putting the lives of the rest of the people she loves in danger because of Miral.

    :)

    As I've said many times before, I loved Kathryn Janeway. And I did the best and most I could by her. I'm glad you felt her characterization was on.

    Patience. Devi Patel is indeed continuing on with us and in time, she'll get more development as will Sharak.

    Thank you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Unworthy.

    First, I'm glad that on the whole, it worked for you and thank you for your kind words.

    While I'm kidding with SStar above, there wasn't supposed to be anything funny about it. It was supposed to be unexpected, grisly and horrible. This happens sometimes...and not just to captains. And I don't think the acceptance of it by her crewmates was nonchalant. The clock was ticking. They had a job to do and no doubt, grieved later. Also...it's fair to ask how close Janeway, Seven and the others were to Lyssa and how would their respective relationships affect their reaction to her death. She was established as having served in the DQ but most of her face time was with Tom and Harry. Also, if you'll recall, her death still weighs on Chakotay's heart years later.


    She's a science specialist. And she was in attendance at the full staff meetings between August of 2380 and February of 2381, though I'm not sure she spoke at all of them. I do recall Chakotay assigning her a specific task when they were planning to assemble the "Voyager Collective." Beyond that...we can only focus on so many people at any given time and when we need a science specialist, she'll be there.


    I know I'm not going to change your mind or anyone else's about this, and I take no offense at your opinion or the way you have expressed it.

    Here's the thing...

    Some people are always going to believe that killing Janeway was a mistake because obviously we could have used her as the Admiral of the new fleet and isn't it a shame we didn't think more about what was going to happen in Full Circle before we decided to write Before Dishonor. But this premise is false.

    Here's what you should know. The choice to kill Janeway was made probably two years before Full Circle was in its earliest stages. Before Dishonor was completed almost a year before the outlines for Full Circle were finalized. Batiste became the character he is and was added to the list of those who would accompany the fleet for story reasons that were only first imagined during the finalization of those outlines.

    In your mind, these things seem to have happened simultaneously and that's why it strikes you as odd. You are assuming either that we knew we could use an admiral for the ongoing stories over two years ago (we didn't), that all admirals serve the same purpose in terms of story (they don't) and that even if we didn't anticipate the creation of Batiste, we should have made damn sure we did before the choice was made to kill Janeway. (Not possible.)

    You keep thinking that if we'd just thought harder about it, we would never have chosen to go down this road. But we weren't looking for reasons not to. The choice was made...we're going to allow a major character to die and we're going to deal with the reality of that death and we're going to move on from there. Say what you will about death and resurrection in Trek, this is one we haven't done before. And the editors felt the time had come to explore this story. There is simply no connection in time or reality between the throught process that resulted in Before Dishonor and the birth of Admiral Willem Batiste.

    You're never going to read the book. You thoroughly disapprove of the new direction Voyager is taking. And yet you insist on continuing to make suggestions to me about material you haven't and will never read and now, about how I should conduct myself with my editor and publishing company. Every time there is so much as a hint of anything positive said about the book, you arrive to remind everyone that despite that, it just can't be that good because of x, y, or z.

    First, I find this fascinating.

    Second, I'm having a hard time understanding why you think I should be listening to you.

    You want to read the book and talk about it? I'm here.

    You're never going to read the book but want me to take your opinions seriously?

    Really?
     
  13. Semah

    Semah Commander Red Shirt

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Just finished. This is one of the more emotionally laden and complicated stories Trek has ever given us, and if nothing else, I highly commend the ambition and care on display here.

    There were two big problems I had with the book, though. First, one of my real annoyances with Golden's relaunch was how it took dramatic possibilities/plotlines from the end of the series and got rid of them as rapidly as possible. (Tuvok cured. J/C broken up. Janeway promoted instantly. Etc.) It felt like she had a story she wanted to tell, and wasn't much interested in dealing with the problems of how to get there. And then this book started the same way, but in reverse - Libby and Kim broken up. Changeling arrested. The counselor replaced. Montgomery's superiors introduced, writing him more or less out of the storyline. And almost all of Golden's Voyager crew, interesting or otherwise, killed off one by one. When Lyssa died it was shocking; by the time we got to Kaz, I was rolling my eyes. It's the same sort of tomfoolery that annoyed me about the TNG post-nemesis books: "Here's your new ship's counselor...NOT. Here's your new chief of security....NOT." I realize, as an author, given the opportunity to write characters you believe in and are fascinated by and no particular compunction to keep the others around, it's understandable to take that option, but it doesn't make it less annoying to read. Especially since none of the main characters from the series were killed, sort of blatantly reinstating the "TV show characters are invincible even though everyone else drops like flies!" stereotype that Janeway's death worked so hard to dispel.

    Second, the organization of this book was wacky. It felt like two separate novels, not only in timeline but also in manner of execution. The overall idea seemed rather nonlinear and pieced together from small moments and bits of story...except for one 300-page chunk at the beginning. Strange, to have a narrative composed of one linear, well-described adventure for half the book, then pieces of others for the rest. Not to mention things like getting introduced to a series of flashbacks as Chakotay recalling the events that led him to take his leave, only to have many of those flashbacks taken from different characters' perspectives, some of which contained further flashbacks within the flashbacks, and then have them continue well into when Chakotay was on leave. I felt like the first half should've either been its own novel or more clearly set apart from the rest; the whole thing should've been done linearly and more evenly paced; or the two narratives should've alternated by way of juxtaposition; or something. As it was, it didn't really cohere as a novel; just felt like a bunch of randomly sized, randomly arranged bits of story without a clear arc through them for the reader to take.

    There was also a lot of weirdness of flow in other ways. It always bugs me when there's a whole scene about one character telling another character something, but the author skips over what they're talking about, and we got that a fair amount in this book. The idea that Batiste wanted to send Voyager back to the Delta Quadrant wouldn't have been any less cool if we'd heard about it 100 pages earlier, when he was talking about it to everyone else except us. And there was also a lot of skipping time to start a scene, only to then narrate within that scene the events that had come to pass to get there (like when Torres showed up on Voyager towards the beginning, only to then describe her escape from the Klingon ship). In and of itself, it wouldn't have been a problem, but on top of the rapid pace of the novel and the general disjointedness of it all, it just added to the scatter.

    Now, that all said? Overall?

    This book was fantastic.

    Which surprises me to say, since usually if a book has problems that annoy me that much, it tends to be a dealbreaker. But even through the scattered and strangely paced narrative, the story of three full years of the lives of our characters shines through brilliantly realized from any possible perspective. Every character is given at least one moment to shine, and most of them explore fascinating and deeply compelling emotional territory the likes of which we never saw on the show. Chakotay's arc, in particular, was an absolute standout - from totally in command of himself and on top of the world to rock bottom and painstakingly back again, I believed every moment of it, and experienced his sudden reversal at the end as a total gutpunch. I'm shocked that his character was taken in that direction after the obvious conclusion to his arc was redemption and being reinstated as Captain; I can't wait to see what is in store for him and Seven.

    Afsareh Eden, too, is someone I'm quite interested in following, both as a character and as Voyager's captain. Kim's thoughts about not being willing to follow her make me think that there are going to be some real growing pains there, and I'm fascinated by the new dynamic we'll get to see develop here.

    But back to the regulars; the one aspect of Golden's books that was followed up on well was, obviously, B'Elanna and Tom and Miral and the Klingon Empire etc. This...was...awesome, on so many levels. The ominous portent for the future of the Empire feeds in so well to all the work KRAD has done with them lately, and the tie-in with holo-Kahless totally made me break out into NerdLaughterOfAwesome when I realized the connection. The arcs of Torres and Paris were absolutely perfect too. I'm in a relationship right now that is flawless and wonderful and obviously forever, but we're in the midst of figuring out where to go after she finishes grad school and how that will impact our lives, and the sensitivity displayed in the writing of Paris and Torres, going from affection into huge arguments without ever losing respect or love, was so genuine and compelling. I'm certain that their impending reunion will continue to be handled in a complex and mature manner, and I couldn't be awaiting it more eagerly.

    Oh, and Janeway was Janeway, for damn sure, and it isn't for nothing that even after all the arguing I've done about her death and how Before Dishonor was worthwhile I'd still like to say, for the revelation that she was trying to help her crew by flying off to the Borg cube alone, a simple thank you. It brought a warmth to her death that was, while technically unnecessary in my view, greatly appreciated.

    And if nothing else, the last 80 pages of the mission being put together and the arcs tying themselves off was just perfect. Hopeful, complicated, absurdly full of storytelling potential, and with a spirit every bit as thrilling as Voyager at its very best.

    Full Circle indeed; despite the difficulties I had with the organization of the narrative, by the time we got to the end everyone really had made an enormous journey, back to where they once were in some ways but more mature and developed in others. Everyone in this book felt like a real person, realistic and compelling. This had the depth that Voyager the TV show almost never did, the guts to tell real stories and make the characters come apart and put themselves back together without mistreating or mischaracterizing anyone, and the dramatic sense to end things in a hopeful but also kind of unsettling place, again full circle from where we started.

    I can't wait for what's next.


    Oh, and PS? "Voyager will return to the Delta Quadrant over my dead body"? Feeling a little :devil: that day, huh?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  15. CommanderTroi

    CommanderTroi Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    First thank you for this detailed answer, it's so cool to actually be able to talk to you writers:)

    And now, I didn't realize that there were two years between the creation of BD and Full Circle....time flies by. So when I now think about it, the conclusion I drew for myself seems the one to be a bit odd:lol:
    I said what I said under the impression that the outline of Full Circle was present when BD was written.
    And despite my disappointed feelings concerning Janeway's vanishing and the direction Trek Lit has taken since BD and culminating in Destiny, I want to read Full Circle (it's not shipped to here yet) because I honestly think that you can't be upset or happy by things you don't or know only second hand. (You see, I'm still not happy that the time of the elves has ended, but I still re-read LotR frequently:lol:)
    And what I gathered so far from FC sounds interesting to me and it's really not Batiste (nor the plot of FC because I don't know yet) I found odd, just my wrongly assumed reason for creating this admiral.
    So anyway...can't wait to get my copy (and since Janeway apparently is with Lady Q, you can never know when she may drop by in a snip of her fingers;)).
     
  16. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Damn you all, you're making me want to read this now. I have never once said that about a Voyager novel before.
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Succumb to temptation!! ;)
     
  18. Trek

    Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I felt the same before I read all the "Bring Janeway back!" threads and these reviews (not wanting to read Voyager books I mean) and now I can't wait to get this book.
     
  19. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    There's too many "Owned" pictures on the internet to choose from!
     
  20. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Does any of the book take place during Destiny, or is it all just before and after?