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

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

?

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. Masiral

    Masiral Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I voted 'Above Average'. I'm liking the Endeavour crew, especially the relationship between Khatami and Leone - some hints of Kirk/McCoy, but, to me at least, a bit funnier.

    This was a problem I had as well, having too much narration repeated, but by the end the pace had picked up, so I didn't mind it too much.

    One question I have: Why is Lieutenant Kliesiewicz the second officer, when both the chief engineer and the assistant chief engineer have ranks of Lieutenant Commander? It just seems a bit odd to me for a Lieutenant to be higher in the hierarchy like that.
     
  2. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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

    In Summon the Thunder didn't Khatami even did consider the then-Ensign Kliesiewicz for upgrading to FO when she was really struggling, before asking Mog, before finding Stano by Reap the Whirlwind? He has always been presented as an exceptionally gifted officer, and maybe rank doesn't quite matter for order (as seems to have been the case on the other ships in Vanguard too).
     
  3. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    ^ Rank is not the same thing as billet. For instance, one could have a commander as one's chief engineer and a lieutenant commander as the XO. Within a department, two people might have the same rank, but one holds a senior billet and therefore has authority to give the other orders.
     
  4. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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

    This is really, really well put. You've put into words something I've been trying to put my finger on for a while, because some Wardilmore books knock me over and some I find so frustrating to read that I can barely finish them. Their semi-finale for Vanguard, What Judgments Come, was like the slowest most contemplative book in the whole series, and I loved all of it. All of the character work with everyone, their goodbyes, their emotional realizations. It anchored the series in a way that let Mack knock it over in the last book and make every single plot twist devastating. I think if only Mack had written Vanguard, it would've been lots of fun but way less meaningful.

    But any time they've been at the end of something - the first 4 Typhon Pact books, The Fall, this one - I feel like they take a whole bunch of momentum that's been building and just whiff it on a predictable plot with a lot of boring recap.

    I felt this one was underwhelming, but I'm really excited for their NEXT Seekers book because it won't have the pressure of a pilot story, and I bet they write a much more character-driven contemplative story, like That Which Divides (which I enjoyed a lot).
     
  5. Masiral

    Masiral Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I actually didn't mind the slowness of Paths of Disharmony - at least it was an interesting slow, not the boring slow of Seize the Fire.
     
  6. Jakks

    Jakks Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    I enjoyed the book. The pacing was good, the story kept me interested and I liked the crew interactions quite a bit for the most part. Kliesiewicz and his hidden (and illegal?) store of Project Vanguard/Shedai material will be an interesting arc to watch in future books.

    I noticed the re-cap issue, but figured 2 x the authors, twice as many re-caps LOL.

    Wasn't that big of a deal. looking forward to more.

    Gave it an 'Above Average' rating.
     
  7. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Commander Red Shirt

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

    This was a good conclusion volume. I particularly liked the twist with the nature of the Tomol and what Shedai were responsible for.

    I'd agree with Terrell's request to Khatami to bomb the site from orbit - it really was, at the time, the only way to be sure. Admittedly though, part of that is the fun of seeing a would-be god who thinks they're invulnerable getting an absolute kicking and then some. Call it a Trek version of the Puny God moment if you will.

    For some the final resolution may seem to be too miraculous - the petrified are all freed, even the villains of the piece get offered a second chance - but then, that is very Trek. I really liked how it all concluded and look forward to more books in the series.
     
  8. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Posted my review! I rather enjoyed this. Looking forward to more Seekers!
     
  9. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Liked it, good conclussion, nice character work. But I agree with the re-cap issues.

    Nothing else to say really. Not the best of TrekLit, but not bad either.
     
  10. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Commander Red Shirt

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

    Good review, but I would not agree with the idea that the Changed could be reasoned with.

    To me, the story wants to demonstrate - and does it well - that even when faced with a deranged group of superhuman psychopaths possessing powers with little to no limits, there are other options besides 'nuke it from orbit'.

    As, once the adjustment takes effect, matters can indeed be resolved far more reasonably, but before then, wouldn't say the Changed were inclined to listen, power was all to them.
     
  11. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Yeah, I agree, and that's a much better way to put it. I didn't want to completely give away the ending, and the language I used was kind of a compromise. Not exactly accurate, however.
     
  12. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    This was a very average wrap-up. I don't feel we learned anything new about the
    Tomol, Klingons, or much of anything else in this novel. The character interactions were the best part. The Endeavor crew are worth following, and I'm interested to see how they will fare on their own in #4. I also would like to read more Kang stories; he could anchor a book as far as I'm concerned, but slots are limited, so that is unrealistic.
     
  13. nickyboy

    nickyboy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    The first half of the book was a struggle. Got better towards the end. I am finding it hard to even care about any of these characters.
     
  14. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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

    I liked it, but to be honest, aside from Khatami, Leone, and Klisiewicz (and the late Mog, may he rest in peace) I don't find the Endeavour crew particularly interesting. The crew of the Sagittarius is much more entertaining, I think, and that went a long way toward keeping me invested. Fortunately they still played a large role in this second part, but I imagine that future books will keep the two crews apart more often than not.
     
  15. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I think that this ^ will definitely be a problem going forward in the series because, as you said, future Endeavour novels will feature only Endeavour crew members and they (as a whole) aren't that engaging or distinctive enough to hold much reader interest. The Sagittarius crew was handled well in this book by the authors but that only served to make the Endeavour crew seem dour and lackluster by contrast.

    Hopefully the authors develop the existing crew or introduce new characters to make the dramatis personae more substantial and compelling but I'm less than optimistic about the Ward/Dilmore partnership's ability to deliver on this account. If changes aren't made, the next solely Endeavour Seekers novel will be a grim prospect for me to read.

    ***

    The second half of the book was pretty good, which included some nice bits of action writing and unique set pieces, but was still plagued by "telling" events far more than "showing" them play out for us to witness. Example: at one point, the Endeavour crew assists in repairing the Klingon ship. We are told that this happened but it would've been much more interesting to "see" this scene play out in detail, especially since the Kang's POV portions were some of the highlights of the book. A spectacularly missed opportunity.

    The first half was a real chore to read. The chore resulting from the endless, poorly written recaps that filled the first 150 or so pages of the novel. Recaps disguised as musings in the middle of scenes, recaps following recaps in a continuous sequence and, my least favorite of all, a recap of Ming's story on Vanguard TWO chapters after a longer recap of Ming's story on Vanguard -- by the same character (Klisiewicz) -- in case we needed a reminder. Yeesh, enough already.

    I question whether it was necessary to recap the entire Vanguard saga at all. The Shedai probably merit a little exposition for new readers since they do play a role in the history of the Tomol, same with the Preservers, but I think that off-hand allusions to Vanguard would've served the Seekers story better than any outright recap did. YMMV.

    On the subject of recaps, Robert and Michelle King (creators of the Good Wife) wrote: "We rewind stories slightly to avoid recaps. We hate recaps. They are the boil on the butt of the Golden Age of TV." :)

    Incorporating a rewind technique into the narrative of the second Seekers book at the start (instead of Kang "recollecting" the story internally in the first chapter) would have been pretty successful, if only to explain the tension between characters on the Endeavour's bridge that was suggested at the end of the first Seekers novel but seemed to be forgotten/dropped by this one.
     
  16. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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

    Finished today. The book was enjoyable but it took me many hours to read, which I spread across several days since the book's release.

    In that regard, I benefitted from the recaps.

    The story was engaging and fresh when introduced in #1 but by the second book it was continuous fighting against the Changed on various turfs, beaming staff up and down or sending shuttles around.

    I liked the characters and hope we'll see more of them outside of life-or-death situations. The book ended too quickly after the Tomol were cured. I would've liked to see the onset of the repairs at the starbase, and the crew(s) having a chat together.

    Bringing back the Lirin is great! Early Voyages isn't compatible with TrekLit aside from broad strokes. I wonder whether Yataro is pyrokinetic as well?

    Overall, I'm pleased with the new series, especially with the species diversity of the crews. Plus, it's great to have two ships of the Endeavour legacy active in TrekLit at the same time. We really need to glimpse an Endeavour in the 24th century to complete the set. ;)
     
  17. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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

    Just finished this today and wanted to get my thoughts down before I forgot them.

    • Really like the Endeavour crew (Khatami, Stano, Klisiewicz, Leone) and hope to see more them as the series progresses, although I thought Stano had better chemistry with Terrell than she did with Khatami.
    • Khatami kept the tricorder Klisiewicz gave her; why do I have the feeling that something bad's going to happen with it still in play?
    --Sran
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    The series will continue to rotate between the two crews, so we'll be seeing plenty of the Endevour crew.
     
  19. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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

    Do we know already when the next book is due?
     
  20. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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

    I think i remember reading somewhere, probably here, that #3 & #4 have been contracted, but there is no set release date yet that I've heard of..