Spoilers TNG: Hearts and Minds by Dayton Ward Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, May 15, 2017.

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Rate Hearts and Minds

  1. Outstanding

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%
  2. Above Average

    18 vote(s)
    43.9%
  3. Average

    13 vote(s)
    31.7%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    This didn't work for me I'm afraid.

    It's not badly written but the 22nd Century stuff drags. I tend to avoid TOS books so I haven't come across the Aegis stuff before and nothing here makes me want to learn more. Just a lot of bland characters going through the motions. It's also unfortunately placed just after Control so we have two 21st Century conspiracy stories in a row and just as Control undermined the forming of a United Earth and Federation this does the same for First Contact and Zefram Cochrane and neither novel seems worth the damage it does.

    With so much time given over to the 21st Century the TNG characters get short shrift and are stuck in a Star Trek by the numbers run around that's predictable in the extreme. Ward's last two books have progressed the crew quite well, moving towards more integration between old and new but this just stands still with nothing of interest happening. The only character point being Picards weird hissy fit over Taurik. I can't even get excited about the ending leading on from Control as I'd rather forget that book ever happened.

    Also can Smrhova be given something interesting to do please. I know she had a lot to do in Cold Equations but she's barely appeared in the last few books.
     
  2. dispatcher812

    dispatcher812 Commander Red Shirt

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    Just finished and I am disappointed. As mentioned above I felt like more time was given to the 21st century and I am really starting to hate books that go back and forth in time. Have the authors run out of ideas for the franchise that they now have to rehash old history and old ideas? I had had enough of Aegis and Gary Seven while reading the Kahn books that having to go through that again was upsetting. Not that it was a bad story line but lets come up with something original? Especially the end where Mestral goes on the gantry to fix the rocket. REALLY?!?!? Also the story line that earth was visited by aliens long before the Vulcans does not sit well with me and is a slap in the face to my understanding of trek history. I am sorry Mr Ward, hopefully your next work will not leave me as disappointed as this did.
     
  3. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Captain Captain

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    I'd like to play the devil's advocate and point out that aliens have visited Earth before the Vulcans many times in Star Trek history.

    Although, to play the devil's devil's advocate, the government had only seemed to know about Quark, Rom, and Nog in on-screen canon.

    Either way, I'm 20% through and have never read the novels this story seems to reference (Eugenics Wars, From History's Shadow, and Elusive Salvation, nor have I seen ENT's Carbon Creek or TOS episodes featuring Gary Seven) so all of this is quite new for me and I am enjoying it so far. For once its nice to be reading the 'rehash' sections and actually have it be new information to fill in the blanks, as they are intended. However the downside to it is that I keep checking Memory Beta every now and then when I feel like, 'wait is this a reference or is this new.'
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  4. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    I have no problems with aliens having visited the Earth before First Contact but the book goes further than that.
     
  5. stardream

    stardream Commodore Commodore

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    This showed up on my Kindle but I think I'll probably finish the Vanguard series first.
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Oh come on. That particular example was likely meant to be a homage, meaning the similarity is intentional. Calling it an unoriginal rehash is not only missing the point, it's insulting and offensive.
    Earth was visited by aliens before the Vulcans, that's been documented plenty of times in Star Trek, even after First Contact came out. And a "slap in the face?" Really? Isn't that a bit too over the top?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  7. Jinn

    Jinn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's a really great 10 minute video about all pre-first contact encounters on Earth in canon.
     
  8. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Captain Captain

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    Briori Mission Planning Meeting

    General Briori: Let's travel across the galaxy to pick up a very small group of humans and use them as slaves. Maybe like 300. That seems like a logical use of resources.
    Major Briori: Can we also keep like... 10% of them on ice when we get back?
    General Briori: I don't see why not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  9. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Read it. Delighted.

    Wird showed remarkable restraint when Hilonu announced the abduction of the away team. My first instinct would've been to target a Coalition city a quantum torpedo, with a sufficient yield to include its suburbs.
    In the end, Worf's and Picard's approach created a potential new ally.

    What was Hilonu trying to achieve by putting Picard on trial? They alreasy tried the (presumed) culprits three centuries earlier - case closed. The Eizand are a primitive culture despite their hi-tech.

    Picard escapes with a slap on the wrist at the moment but I'm okay with that. TNG would be less enjoyable without Picard on the bridge.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    10 chapters in. Is the the usual Ward rehash style
    or is it due to Editorial direction?
    Was the historical Klingon language alluded to ever compared to Klingon spoken by the Empire?
     
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  11. dispatcher812

    dispatcher812 Commander Red Shirt

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    Sorry you do not like my review. That's how I felt about his book. I am tired of books that bounce between time periods and if I have insulted you then so be it. And no, not over the top.
     
  12. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have no problem with two time frames, but it would be better to have them in two blocks.
     
  13. dispatcher812

    dispatcher812 Commander Red Shirt

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    I think I would prefer that as well. Keep in in chronological order. None of that back and forth.
     
  14. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In principle, it should be no harder to write in Blocks versus interleafing the eras.
     
  15. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not the best Trek novel ever written, but certainly a very well put together and enjoyable piece of fiction. Above Average for me.

    Hopefully, the next TNG novel WILL do a detailed follow up to Control and the consequences for Jean Luc.
     
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  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I like non-linear storytelling, and find spreading little flashbacks throughout a story a lot more interesting than just doing one big one. That was one of my favorite things about Lost.
     
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  17. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Captain Captain

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    Just about a quarter left in the book and I must say that I am enjoying it. The back and forth flashbacks are becoming a staple in multigenerational Star Trek books, and while sometimes it can be a bore when one time period isn't as entertaining, I am liking both sides of this story. The 21st Century characters are fun and lively and while I normally can't wait to get back to the contemporary characters, I actually feel torn between the two here.
     
  18. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Call me sentimental but I always feel hopeful and positive after finishing Ward's recent books. Similar to other sentiments here, I was also not too familiar with all the details of pre TOS era. But I thought Ward did a good job of giving good background to a reader such as myself. He created an entertaining story that fit nicely in two eras.

    I also liked the presentation of the story going back and forth between the two time periods. Ward did it just enough where it wasn't distracting.

    And finally on a random note, I enjoyed the ground combat, action scenes. It's a welcome surprise to typical ship to ship combat which is more expected in these novels.
     
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  19. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. This is not elementary school level reading. Plots with multiple characters almost always switch perspective from chapter to chapter. In this case, there's an additional temporal dimension. No big deal.

    Actually, a German novel series that's ongoing since 2000 would frequently include two levels (2011-2012 and the 2510s). When they ran out of original material to tell about 2012, they main character suffered a time jump so we can have parallel stories in the 2510s and 2540s.
     
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  20. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    And I'll agree with you there, the complaints that cropped up because of the way the story is presented in a non-linear dynamic is just really silly. As you say, this book is aimed squarely at adults and not children.
     
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