SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Aug 16, 2014.

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Rate Point of Divergence.

  1. Outstanding

    4 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Above Average

    13 vote(s)
    36.1%
  3. Average

    15 vote(s)
    41.7%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    8.3%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    2.8%
  1. starri

    starri Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    What happened with Khatami not drinking? That sort of blunts the idea of her being a practicing Muslim, which was one of the more unique and appealing aspects of her character.
     
  2. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I really like the story so far it's a nice continuation of the story from part 1. and it's nice to see storylines mentioned in previous Vanguard books appearing in the Seeker books.
     
  3. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I must admit I've found both Seekers books to not be as engaging or successful as I hoped they would be. Second Nature was fun, but ultimately ok. Points of Divergence is more problematic. In particular I really am tired of the trademark Ward & Dilmore expository narration. It feels so repetitive and stiltifying - it stops dead my engagement with the book. Some times it repeats what we have learned already reading even this novel, not what occurred in Second Nature. Perhaps it is meant to be the characters thinking through their own understanding of what has happened, but it's - as always - rather awkward, I just wish that for this specific second part there had been an bar on expository narration (or, telling). Another thing is the 'everyone must be friends (or as Khatami apparently suggested in the past, as some narration tells us, familial)' kind of trek. These people are colleagues ... I want to see more work-like stress and reality.

    There were nice touches in it - Kang's old-friend-archetype engineer, for example - and Vanguard-lite dubious actions ('glassing' the downed Bird-of-Prey and the Tomol beside it). But overall, I'm struggling to continue the book (reminding me of reading Peaceable Kingdoms) - but I'll see.
     
  4. WarsTrek1993

    WarsTrek1993 Captain Captain

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    So far, so good, guys. The Tomol continue to be some of the most interesting new species we've encountered yet. I'm also quite a fan of how the crew are adjusting post-Vanguard.

    Also (minor spoiler).

    I spotted a Fight Club reference on page 214.

    Well-played, gentlemen. :P
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Just got my copy and only about 40 pages into it,
     
  6. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Without getting too spoilery, are the aliens in this one intended to be offshoots of the aliens in a certain TNG episode?
     
  7. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    ^ No.
     
  8. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Haha. I was thinking that for a moment too!
     
  9. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I just finished this book last night'What a great wrap up to the Tomol storyline . It certainly had some good story arcs for the Sagitarius and Endeavour crew members. I really like Dr. Leoene he's a character.
     
  10. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Because space reasons. Moderator

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Generally I liked this book, but this was my biggest issue with it. OK, we need to recap book one from time to time, sure, just in case someone is reading book two without reading book one. And we need to have a multi-page recap of the Vanguard story line in case someone is reading Seekers without reading Vanguard. But it got to the point that we were getting recaps of things that happened in earlier chapters of this very book. Maybe it's necessary, but since I read the book in two sittings, it just seemed tedious to me. And c'mon, did we really need to go over how Seta got her current position every time she was in a scene? (Maybe this is an exaggeration, but it didn't feel like it.) And at one point, while talking to Khatami, Kang's features softened and he actually smiled for the first time *twice*! (I'm guessing this was due to some text being moved around, and it was missed that it appeared twice during proofreading?)

    Anyway, I guess that sounds really harsh... sorry. I really did like the book, but this one aspect got to me. Suffice it to say, I didn't enjoy book 2 as much as I did book 1. That being said... I will be back for more Seekers whenever book 3 comes out!

    Interestingly, it sounds like they're setting up Kang to be a recurring foil, so that could be fun.

    I'm torn between "Average" and "Above Average" on this one, so I will ponder it for a bit, and then probably forget to vote later. ;)

    The text was pretty explicit about that, so I'm guessing we're sure! ;)
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Maybe if the two books make it to a trade paperback some of the "redundant" explanations could be edited out?
     
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    My comment was, of course, tongue-in-cheek, but we've never really been given anything on how to tell the two species apart (other than the statement that one is more "animated" than the other, pun no doubt intended), or on why they're supposedly so difficult to tell apart.
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I assume one of the two races is an offshoot population of the other, probably a very old one. So they're probably actually the same species, only they identify by culture and maybe stress the existing differences. "Me? An Edoan? Any fool can see that as a proud Triexian I dance left-right-middle-middle-right-right and not left-right-middle-middle-right-left! Are you blind as well as ignorant?"
     
  14. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Because space reasons. Moderator

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    And if Peter David had just gone with the species name used by Alan Dean Foster, which was derived from the homeworld mentioned in the Lincoln Enterprises biography, and which had been used in pretty much every other tie-in since then, instead of going off and creating a new name, we wouldn't be having this discussion now! ;)

    (Sorry, using a name with 'tri' in it for a character with three arms and three legs always kinda bugged me a little! :lol:)

    But yeah, take your pick, there's any number of explanations for different humanoid populations, Vulcanoid populations, etc, so I'm sure any of them could apply equally to, um, Edoanoids? :)
     
  15. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    This second Seeker's book was rather a let-down after the very good start we were given with "Second Nature".

    All those re-caps in the first few chapters that stated again and again and again what's happened before felt like they were inserted to get the book up to a certain page-count: filler.
    Then there were re-caps of thing that happened between chapters... that made the book feel unstructured. And even though the story is told from the point of view from the many different characters like in the first book, this felt here unfocused.

    All in all quite a disappointing outing for two authors who are otherwise the best among the best trek-lit has to offer.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I rather liked it, but I agree that the re-caps were a bit excessive, and slowed the book down.

    Padding a book is a lose-lose strategy. It slows down the book, and wastes paper.

    Consider Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land is 448 pages in mass market paperback. Double Star is 243. Both won Hugo awards for Best Novel. A book doesn't have to be long in order to be good, and indeed, long can be a liability. Certainly, I thought twice before reading Isaacson's bio of Steve Jobs (656 pages hardcover), and more than twice before reading Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit (a whopping 928 pages!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  17. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I wouldn't say it's deliberate padding. The explanation device has been part of the authors' particular style as far back as Summon the Thunder. Maybe it just feels more overt nowadays - something I felt too with Peaceable Kingdoms.
     
  18. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    I think it depends on what role their books play in the series they're a part of. Ward and Dilmore do have a rather slow, recap-heavy, reflective style, and sometimes it works very well. I really like A Time to Sow and A Time to Harvest, for instance, because a quieter story exploring character in the aftermath of the opening two books (and prior to the big events of the latter books) fits perfectly. Similarly, Vanguard's structure works well for having a Mack novel featuring big, explosive events followed by a quieter, more sedate Ward/Dilmore book. On the other hand, it doesn't work quite so well when their novel is the conclusion/climax (Peaceable Kingdoms) or a direct part two rather than a reflective "breather" followup, like here.

    I like Ward and Dilmore and I think they definitely enrich the Lit 'Verse, but they need to be applied in certain ways if they're to work at their most effective.
     
  19. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Well, with the last 25 pages of my copy missing, I sent it back to my online-retailer and waiting for a new one to show up. :(
     
  20. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: SKRS #2: Point of Divergence by Ward&Dilmore Review Thread (Spoile

    Fair points!