Having Trouble with McCoy: Provenance of Shadows

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Alter Ego, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Alter Ego

    Alter Ego Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    So I only recently picked up the trilogy and I have been plodding through the first volume which is based on McCoy's perspective. I have to say that I am 100 pages in and it took me a long time to get there because I find it too easy to put down. In short, I am disappointed. It seems like the author is just stretching out the City story far too much (adding too much water to the soup as it were). I generally make a point of getting through any Trek novel that I read as even the ones I liked the least can usually keep my attention well enough for me to want to read what happens next. Sadly, this has not been the case for PoS.

    Without giving anything away, do you think I should hang in there and keep reading? Does the story become more compelling? Up until now I find that just too much time is being spent on contextualizing the novel within City (superfluous information for someone like me who knows the episode well).

    Thanks
     
  2. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd encourage you to keep going - I (and many others) really enjoyed this one.

    Not sure what you mean about too much information for those who know City on the Edge of Forever well - if I remember right, in PoS the City-related plot is the alternate history of McCoy where Edith Keeler is saved. It's the Spock volume that contains a lengthy retelling of events from the episode itself.

    I do remember that I found the story about the real universe McCoy to be more interesting, and sometimes wished DRG3 had fleshed out some parts of that story more fully.
     
  3. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've got to disagree. I found the book quite riveting. There's so much gallivanting about in time in the Trek universe, I found it interesting to read the story of someone who's stuck and can't get home.

    Also, got to admire an author who gives a novel a title that will inevitably be abbreviated as "PoS".
     
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  4. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh, I didn't mean to suggest I didn't like the alternate McCoy parts - I loved the entire book. It's just that I think I enjoyed the prime timeline McCoy story a bit more than the alternate one.

    And I agree, it was fascinating to read a story from the perspective of a character who was unable to return to his own time.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    The McCoy book is the best of the three and it only took me a couple of days to get through it.
     
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  6. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's one of my all-time favorites. It may have its lengths, but it's worth to read it to the end.
     
  7. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    I love this one too. I agree it's the best of the trilogy, although I found them all enjoyable.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I read it while on a vacation, visiting with friends. I was relaxed and enjoying every word. My friends were impressed that a book had me so riveted. Three or four very contented days and nights. DRG3 also references every TAS episode. I was having a ball! (Many months later, I met David in person - and he inscribed my copy, noting that he had thought of me every time he added another TAS reference.)

    Stick with it. I didn't want it to end! I've seen reviews where they didn't care for the alternate timeline, but it was... fascinating!

    The "Spock" volume is almost as good, but I almost missed reading the final short chapter; I think I assumed it was an excerpt for "Kirk". A stray Internet comment about the end had me wondering what I'd missed.
     
  9. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Giving USA All My Many Oil Moderator

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    I agree with the others here... this was my favourite book of the Crucible trilogy, and I loved it. I should probably revisit it sometime soon...
     
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  10. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I liked this novel about McCoy it's the best book of the Crucible novels. I liked the other books about Kirk and Spock too.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The best way to look at Provenance of Shadows is to interpret it as a re-telling of all of TOS from McCoy's point of view, mixed in with the story of his "second life" in the alternate timeline where Edith Keeler lived. It's essentially the biography of Leonard McCoy.
     
  12. Emissary of the Prophets

    Emissary of the Prophets Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The best of the trilogy and one of the best Trek books I have read, and I have read a lt. Well worth sticking with. Shame De Kelley is no longer with us, as I would have loved to hear him read the audio book.
     
  13. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agree with the general sentiment here, the best of a fine trilogy...
     
  14. AN_D_K

    AN_D_K Commander Red Shirt

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    If it makes you feel better, this ST book is the only one I've ever given up on and stopped reading. Tedious.

    It's probably better than some books that I have finished, but they at least move along at a fair enough pace to power through. No such luck with this book.
     
  15. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only Star Trek novel I ever gave up reading after a few pages was John M. Ford's Final Reflection (Der letzte Schachzug).
    Some consider it a gem, though.

    I even finished Carey's Red Sector, which was a torture.......
     
  16. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    You're a brave person to say that publicly here. :p

    (Final Reflection was pretty good to me [not great, but pretty good], but I still can't stand How Much for Just the Planet; probably doesn't help that my musical theater knowledge is nearly nil, though.)
     
  17. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To each his own.

    I actually finished How Much for Just the Planet. I borrowed it from a friend. But I decided not to acquire it for myself, even though I'm a devoted collector.
     
  18. Quimby

    Quimby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Everyone has different tastes but this was actually one of my favorite Trek novels ever.
     
  19. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are fans of Carey's novels Red Sector and Ship of the line..... Diane Carey has been discussed endlessly here, so I don't want to start into doing it again...

    I tried to read Final Reflection when I was 16 or 17, some 20 years ago. Today I wouldn't put it aside, just to see if I like it or not. To tell that you have to finish it.
     
  20. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno about that. A few pages like you said, sure, but if you're not enjoying something by, say, the quarter point or halfway point or so, why continue just on the off chance that your experience'll improve? And I mean, I'm speaking from personal experience so I can't say it's universal. But I used to do that too, and then I noticed that I've never once had a book where I couldn't stand the first half and I really enjoyed the second, so I figured why keep at that? A slow improvement from the start onwards, yeah, I've had books that do that for me, but every time I've drudged through an entire first part, I've ended up drudging through the rest too.