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)
    15.0%
  2. Above Average

    18 vote(s)
    45.0%
  3. Average

    12 vote(s)
    30.0%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    7.5%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    2.5%
  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Complaining about non-linear plots is awfully silly. That's a basic literary device. You might as well complain about the use of third-person point of view.
     
  2. stardream

    stardream Commodore Commodore

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    If someone doesn't like a certain style of storytelling, then they just don't like it. It's their personal opinion and taste, which they are allowed to have. It's not necessarily silly or childish.
     
  3. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    No one has said it is childish,
     
  4. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    It was ok, but it didn't really feel complete to me. Neither piece of the story really felt like it was fleshed out enough. The Present stuff was actually really short if you string everything that happened into a single narrative. Could have been a lot more there, but never really happened. It was set up that Starfleet had more info, or had been more involved in the whole thing, but it never really felt paid off. There are implications, but it didn't feel like we got enough of the real story behind what happened on the planet, either. That definitely could have used more exploration, and maybe a better spot for more of the time jumps. It's implied some of what happened, but finished as somewhat of an open mystery for the details. Which is ok, but just didn't feel paid off.

    The Past stuff was ok, but probably took up too big a chunk without going as far as needed to justify the pages. And when we got to the 'juicy' stuff with the astronauts showing up at the planet, we got about 2 pages implying they didn't go through with it, and then that was it.

    It wasn't BAD, just didn't really feel as complete as it should have to me. Or could have had a lot more weight had it spent more time on the new planet and less on Earth I guess. I liked the Present stuff, Picard, some payoff from Control to an extent, but a lot of that is more To Be Continued for the next book to pick up the thread.
     
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that the interweaving of eras is recently overused. And could use a hiatus. YMMV.
     
  6. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I ordered this book I hope to read this novel soon.
     
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Let people think that I rate the story poorly, that is not do, as of 2/3. I found it interesting to have agents after Seven and Lincoln mentioned. I did not expect to see Robinson.
     
  8. Insane Genis-Vell

    Insane Genis-Vell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She was teased at the end of Elusive Salvation, right?
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I not recall as the story did not get into the 1990's. AFAIR.
     
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  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just finished it. A little uncomfortable with the first Human interstellar trip not to Alpha Centauri , etc.
    More critical: Picard is now barred from promotion, but that also implies he would not become an Ambassador in a year or so?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    1) The novels are under no obligation to make Picard an ambassador.
    2) Being barred from a promotion in Starfleet does not prevent him from resigning and entering diplomatic service.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    An ambassadorship is a civilian office in the government's diplomatic service, not a promotion. One might argue that the ambassadorship is more powerful and prestigious, but it's not part of the Starfleet chain of command and so is not a promotion. Same way, for instance, the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Court of St. James's is part of the United States Foreign Service within the Department of State, and would not be a promotion within the United States Navy for the commanding officer of the USS George H.W. Bush.
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All true, but if Picard is painted in such an unfavorable light due to released documents, why give him an Ambassador post?
     
  14. Procutus

    Procutus Admiral Admiral

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    I'm about 125 pages in, and it seems that I'm enjoying it a bit more than others who have posted here. To be honest, I rather enjoy non-linear storytelling, having made use of it myself. Thus far, I don't feel either era to be lacking, though since I haven't followed Trek Lit in recent years, it's taking me a while to get used to the newer characters in Picard's crew.
     
  15. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I enjoyed the book quite a bit. The happy ending was pretty welcome (halfway through, when it looked like the story was proceeding in an especially grim direction, I was peeking at the schedule to check if, after this and "Control," we were likely to get a fun one soon). In addition to flipping the script without a lot of angst, I liked how the chapter of the astronauts arriving had a lot of uncommented-on dramatic irony. With the ever-present criticism of recappyness, I really appreciated how it had a lot of extra levels to it that were left to the reader to provide just based on recognizing what happened in April of 2063 in Star Trek. I feel like any comment in the narration would've ruining the cringing dread I felt when the viewpoint character was musing on what had happened on Earth since they left. Well, do you want to start with the good news, or the bad news? Same thing, though not as effecting, with the epilogue, and the contrast between Friendship One and Peacemaker One, knowing Friendship One ended up being far more catastrophic than its intentionally-genocidal counterpart.

    The uplifting ending did help salve some of the uncomfortable aspects of the book dealing with two World Wars, in settings not too dissimilar for the president day (I noticed the spare description in the 21st century segments, which was as good a way as any to keep them from seeming dated as time goes on; it's usually a safe bet that the near future will be a lot like the present, only moreso). I'm definitely interested in a post-First Contact story; it's a tidbit-rich time period that's light on specifics, and the seismic shifts going on in early years of the Star Trek future seem ripe for worldbuilding. Likewise, I'm glad we'll be running straight into Picard being swept up in the 31 scandal (his musings about how things could shake up were fun in light of the discussion going on in the "Control" thread; yes, those are all definitely things that could happen to him now), which is good since it looks like it'll probably be sometime next year, at least. A decently-scaled cliffhanger to end the recent TNG-heavy period; tantalizing, but not BoBW-level maddening.
     
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  16. Insane Genis-Vell

    Insane Genis-Vell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, you're right, I was thinking of the second Eugenic Wars book.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Celebrity status? I imagine there are those who wouldn't overlook Picard's obvious diplomatic talents just because of his involvement in removing a corrupt President from power, even if it was without due process. And besides, Picard's hands are relatively clean in the matter since he wasn't involved in the murder of Zife.

    Regardless, the important fact to remember here is that Picard doesn't have to become an ambassador at all. True he was one in Countdown, but that's not connected to the novel continuity. Data's resurrection in the novels is irreconcilably different than Countdown presented, and even if Picard were removed from command of the Enterprise, I don't see Data returning to Starfleet and earning a promotion within a year. Likewise, Worf's not leaving Starfleet to become a General in the KDF within a year, neither does Geordi seem to be leaving for a civilian engineering life any time soon.
     
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  18. stardream

    stardream Commodore Commodore

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    Just finished this story and really liked it. I understand that since so many of these stories are interconnected these days sometimes a story leaves me feeling of angst or 'oh no!' or 'poor character x' but this one made me feel good, haven't felt that way about a Star Trek book in a while (not since reading some of the Beyer Voyager books). Thumbs up from me. Wish we had more like this. Not every single one mind you, just some happy endings sprinkled in amongst the death, death, destruction, angst, and betrayal. ;)

    The chapters alternating from the future to the past didn't bother me because they 'fit', close to the way the stories from the past merged with the main timeline in Destiny.

    I did not give it the highest marks because I have one tiny thing against it, and that's only because it messes with my personal head cannon. I always imagined Rain Robinson going on to lead a happy and successful life and here...she doesn't. A bit of a disappointment but then I always think of these books as alternate realities/timelines anyway so in my personal Star Trek reality, she did!
     
  19. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Captain Captain

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    Just finished, and I must say, it was enjoyable all the way through for me. This felt like it could have been a really good two-part episode of TNG and had good bits of the beauty of humanity that Star Trek sets out to portray. I was glad to see the younger officers interacting at the beginning, and the story did a good job balancing out the many characters that appear here, including the 21st century group. I was really surprised that I cared about those characters at all, as it is sometimes hard for me to grow attached to the one-off characters in general, especially when they're so temporally removed from the main characters or story.

    Overall, I am enjoying Ward's continuing TNG stories and look forward to the next.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, Star Trek being Star Trek, the most probable scenario would be, Picard undertakes some heroic mission that saves an alien world just as he is being drummed out of Starfleet, and ergo President zh'Tarash decides to reward him by appointing him ambassador to that world. This has the advantages of impressing the alien world he just saved, of keeping his impressive diplomatic skills at the Federation's disposal, of punishing him for his part in the plot against Zife -- and of keeping him far away from both the seat of Federation government and from the resources that come from being a starship captain.

    I mean, the man participated in a plot to force the legitimately-elected president out of office at gunpoint. He subverted Federation democracy because he thought he knew better than the people of the UFP. Let's not pretend his hands are all that clean just because they're not outright bloodstained.

    Quite true.
     
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