Spoilers VOY: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Aug 7, 2015.


Rate Atonement

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  1. stardream

    stardream Commodore Commodore

    Jul 13, 2015
    in the Time Wave
    There is a little bit of me that wants people to be reunited with family members who were assimilated (or to at least know they are ok) but I have no idea how that could happen.
  2. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

    Apr 17, 2011
    Is there a mystery to where the Caeliar are? I just thought they ascended, like V'Ger; am I forgetting something?
  3. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    The Republic of Ireland
    I'd prefer if they were never seen again.
  4. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 6, 2010
    United Earth
    No, they just disappeared through a subspace tunnel to Parts Unknown.
  5. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

    Apr 17, 2011
    I just checked the end of Destiny, and it still sounds like a standard "ascend to a higher plane of existence" situation to me; they disappeared in a flare of light the same way V'Ger did, or the way the guy from Transfigurations did. Hernandez's last comments are a little odd for that, I suppose, but I still don't think it was meant to be a "they'll be back some day" thing.
  6. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

    May 25, 2011
    Hurricane Alley
    I agree. They were useful for the purposes of the Destiny trilogy, but beyond that they don't have much of a role to play.
  7. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    I'm still reading, but it gets on my "professional nerves" to see that Ratham is referred to as Ambassador Jarral's translator. No, she's not! She's an interpreter, dammit! :klingon:
  8. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    What I love about Kirsten's books is that I never worry about not liking it. I've loved them all.
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    I interpreted that the same way, so I was a little confused when they started talking about looking for them.
  10. dansigal

    dansigal Captain Captain

    Feb 12, 2013
    I always saw that as just the effect of their technology. Similar to how someone disappears in a shimmering light when they beam away. Basically the Caeliar went far far far far away to continue their great project.

    And Voyager wasn't sent to the Delta quadrant to find the Caeliar, they were basically sent for the opposite, to confirm that they and the Borg were gone. The most successful version of their mission is not finding the Caeliar.
  11. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2005
    Woodward, OK
    I just finished this book and wanted to give my few thoughts before I read through this whole thread. Another great entry from Kirsten. There were four moments that really made me smile and that was really enough to make the book very worthwhile for me. When I realized that Tom was taking his troubles directly to the Federation President, exactly like he threatened the Starfleet Medical people he would do in the previous novel, it just made my day. What a ballsy move! Seeing Bacco again and watching her set everything to rights was amazing too. What a great character and a great leader.

    Then the rest of the highlights of the book for me were in the final few chapters. Tom and B'Ellanna's reunion was very well written. B'Elanna's joke about Harry only being first officer for a few more hours made me laugh out loud. Kirsten really gets their relationship and I love the direction she has taken both characters in this series. Akaar's meeting with Icheb was another highlight. It was funny and at the same time made me realize again how great a leader Akaar is. It's very good that the fleet is finally in his hands.

    Another thing I want to mention is how at the start of the book, and even before I started reading it, I was afraid Tom's mom was going to commit suicide. I was very grateful for the direction her story went in.

    Though I didn't feel as blown away by the book as I was by Full Circle and The Eternal Tide, this was (as all Kirsten's novels are) some of the best Treklit there is. I really want it to be February so I can read the next one, but I'm grateful for the short wait.

    Don't stop writing Kirsten! No one else could do as great a job with this saga as you have done!

  12. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

    Jun 10, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Hello friends,

    I really have to get back here more often. These response posts are becoming little mini epics.

    Before we do this, however, just a note to say that I have finally finished outlining (she said hopefully) the novel that will follow PFoLl and the contracts for that one and one more are signed, so you guys are stuck with me for at least two more books.

    And I couldn't possibly be more excited about that.

    Really, it's just so impressive to me that folks are reading these in languages that are not their first. Makes me wish I had managed to hold onto what little Spanish and Russian I learned back in the day. Alas...

    That comment about the Garak scene made me sooo happy!

    Thank you, as always Jedi, for your kind words. You had me worried there at first, so thanks for returning the favor.:)

    Re charts/maps, etc...yeah...I do tend to take notes and I have a few important files I started a few years ago. Once the fleet became smaller it also became a lot easier, however, for me to just hold most of it in my head. From time to time I have to go back and check a few details in previous texts, but not that often. I imagine if I took a break for any length of time the first order of business might be a re-read. That's a daunting thought, now that I mention it, however.

    Re: the Commander....I get that. I think I mentioned on the Literary Treks podcast that I wasn't totally thrilled that his motivations/story had to conclude with the big expo dump at the end. There just wasn't another way to get it done this time, but I will always remain a little unsatisfied. I just have to remind myself that these stories are never really finished...just abandoned.

    And for the record, I never think of any of my characters as villains. I just don't find that helpful. I try to imagine all of them as fully fleshed out folks with competing agendas.

    As always, you are most welcome.

    It's the damndest thing. This was written at least a year and a half ago, so none of the footage about the current crisis was anywhere near the top of my head. It's just horrible that you can choose an awfulness and it manages to still be with us years later.

    You know, I really like the point Christopher made in The Collectors about extinct species having had their shot. Bringing them back, just because we can doesn't seem to me to be a terribly good idea or use of resources, without some really really significant story purpose. YMMV.

    I'm glad most of the book worked for you!

    Not sure how much this will help but it was a situation where the house was on fire so doing anything other than putting out the flames was a secondary concern.

    There's this creature with the ability to carve massive tunnels through subspace, which is not the safest thing to do, especially considering its size. It has apparently been inert for a long time but just been awakened and if it follows the path intended by the Seriareen is about to head off on a very destructive course. Had our crew possessed the ability to communicate with it, settling the situation through rational discourse would, of course, have been their first choice. The moment just didn't unfold that way. It was about self-preservation and eliminating an imminent threat to more than the fleet.

    If that helps any.

    Well, you're going to see Tuvok again in PFoL, so there's that.

    Not sure I'm going to be getting back to Vorik or Phoebe any time soon. I was particularly satisfied with Phoebe's resolution with her sister at the end of this one.

    You know, I often feel that way when I'm writing them, too. It is not unusual at all for me to think "How the fuck are we going to get out of this one?"

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts about PFoL.

    I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Doctor's story. I, too, was very satisfied when I came upon the final resolution....just because he can't remember all of their relationship anymore, doesn't mean that she can't. That last little scene was pretty emotional to write.

    And you aren't wrong about the Doctor being one of the hardest characters to write. It's really the limits of the emotional vocabulary at my disposal during the scenes written from his POV. I'm constantly having to find ways to describe his internal process that are unique and appropriate to him and it is a daunting task.

    But writing Garak was no walk in the park, either. It was fun, but it was also work. The issues is familiarity with the characters. To capture their voices and their thought patterns, you have to really be able to put yourself in their heads and that requires a ton of information that will never be on the page but always informs each scene. I've watched all of DS9, but it has been awhile so nothing from it was fresh enough for me to draw upon it when I started this project. I read A Stitch in Time and a number of other things Una suggested in preparation for writing this scene. Put it this way....it took me one night of writing (so 3 or 4 hours) to write the scene and probably twenty hours of research to get ready to write the scene.

    Thanks so much! And I always love talking with the guys at Literary Treks. It's just fun to chat with people who are as interested in this stuff as I am. I hope you enjoy PFoL.

    Thanks, Jason. I swear I am doing my best to find the typos. So many comments about past books have pointed them out, I'm making myself a little crazy trying to catch every single thing, which as some point is a practical impossibility but we do what we can.

    And I never care how late anyone is. I'm just always happy that they bother to show up!

    Awww...many thanks!

    The last Seven/Hugh scene was one of those that played out very differently in my head before I wrote it. Initially, I thought they'd both have a lot more to say to each other. Then I got there and realized that no....not so much. Glad it worked for you!

    You're right. Sorry about that.


    Hi Ryan! Thanks, as always, for coming in to share your thoughts. It's always nice to know I've kept a long-time reader happy.

    Interesting thought about Julia. It never crossed my mind because I always knew where we were going with that, but now that you mention it, probably could have gone that way too. Sad. Glad I didn't.

    In general, for those who have commented on the current size of the fleet and the potential of the Caeliar's return...

    I'm pretty happy with the ships I have right now and could write for years going forward with just them and have more than enough story to tell. With every new project I start with a character list and how I might want to include them in a new story and that list is pretty long now...:)

    That said, should there be a good in-story reason to bring out a few more ships for some reason, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. It just has to come from the story....not an external desire to add more for the sake of there being more.

    With the Caeliar, I'm going to be honest. I haven't decided yet how that part of the fleet's mission is going to play out. When I do...you'll all get your answers about whether or not they are really gone.

    I know. I'm awful. Sorry. ;)

    Writing these books is a long process. I mean...really, really long. It is usually at least six months, if not more, from initial concept to the completion of a manuscript. During that time, each and every time, I go through predictable phases. Initially there is a ton of enthusiasm as I wrap my brain around a new idea. Then it is lots of painstaking work to create the outline or map of the story so that I can write it. Then comes the manuscript. Yes, there are always scenes that come along and surprise me but more often than not, I feel like I'm wrestling with a cranky bear every night and somehow just feel relieved to have survived it when a manuscript is done. By the time I have read everyone's notes and edits I am usually certain that I have completely messed this up and have no interest in ever seeing the thing again.

    And then I come here and I read your kind words and thoughts and I get to fall in love with what I created all over again. You guys bring this process full circle for me. (Yes, I did that on purpose and I'm not going to take it back.)

    Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me.

  13. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 20, 2005
    Woodward, OK
    Great to hear from you, Kirsten, as always. I look forward to listening to your latest Literary Treks interview this afternoon. Wish I had thought to ask this question last night before you posted your lastest round of replies, but hopefully you'll be back again soon.

    Someone up thread mentioned where they visualized the Confederacy being geographically in the Delta Quadrant. It didn't match were I had in my head during the time spent reading this trilogy. I assumed it was quite a bit "off the beaten track" in the "southern" third and "eastern" third of the quadrant. Basically between Borg space and the farther reaches of the Beta Quadrant. Did you have a particular location on the map in mind when describing distances between the Confederacy and New Talax for example?

    I've also noticed the more vague timeline indications in the chapters themselves during the last several novels since the confusion surrounding Children of the Storm and Unworthy. Mostly all we have to go on are the historians notes, and in this novel the Federation Day chapters. I hope the vague timeline I ended up posting on my website is close enough to accurate. I found the overall time that passed in each book of this trilogy to be longer than it seemed. Each book seemed to only take place over a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months. For Atonement, I assumed a few weeks went by between the final confrontations in the two main storylines and the return of Tom and Seven to the fleet. Am I close?

    Thanks for interacting with our community Kirsten!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  14. Chrizmo

    Chrizmo Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 31, 2015
    Thanks Kirsten for your extensive answers to all of our questions. I don't have to wait too long for your next novel, because the German edition of Children of the Storm has been released recently....... I know the original, but I want to re-read it, especially with a new cover (with Seven on it :)).
  15. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Nah, don't mind me and my evil "professional deviation". :rommie:

    On a positive note, I finished the book yesterday and enjoyed it very very much. :) It was a quite satisfactory conclusion to many plots.

    Can't wait for the two more books that are coming in the future... and then some more...

    And hey! We, international readers, get a lot from reading Treklit. Well, I, at least. It broadened my vocab a lot :) I'm absolutely certain that it were Trek authors that taught me the word "herbivore". :)
  16. RogueVasad

    RogueVasad Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Oct 5, 2015
    I'm going to be very interested in seeing what happens when the Voyager books get into The Fall era.
  17. Poncho Anderson

    Poncho Anderson Ensign Newbie

    Jul 11, 2012
    As am I...it will be most interesting to get the fleets reaction to the death of the president. I confess, however, to eagerly anticipating what's coming up with Tuvok though.
  18. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

    Mar 24, 2014
    Sol III, Sector 001, 2063 C.E.
    Did you consider making any reference to TNG - The Buried Age's implication that Underspace was engineered by the Manraloth?
  19. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Understandable to an extent, but 'the house was on fire' earlier in the novels and earlier in Atonement as well, and still the fleet acted in accordance to the Federation's highest ideals (far more than the rest of SF exhibited in the latest novels)... but at the end, they suddenly turn around and act out of character, and it was Mattings that actually behaved the way they should have.
    I just found that part very odd, despite the circumstances... though they managed to settle the situation without a violent end.
    It would be nice to have the crew try and explain their actions to the protectors though so they wouldn't necessarily see them as 'corrupted'.

    Yes, but it was noted just as they got into the vicinity of the creature that it seemed to have 'settled' into a different function (as Mattings noted).
    I would have imagined that the crew of Voyager would have followed up on that regardless of the severity of the situation and tried to open a dialogue, or at the very least, disrupt subspace temporarily (their technology is capable of manipulating it to a great extent after all) to keep the creature there until they can find a way to try and reason with it.

    Space and subspace creatures are hardly a novelty for Starfleet.

    But, I guess that this one oddity in their behaviour can be 'overlooked'.

    I do like it that the DQ Fleet crews were written in a way that follow Federations ideals.
    Plus I also like it how you tried explaining why a lot of people in the AQ decided to 'de-evolve' in behaviour (though, realistically, these kinds of things would only prompt them to persevere and not 'de-evolve' because those types of behaviours would have been a thing of the past, and regression to that could easily be seen as an insult to them - which I think it was shown to be in some instances).
  20. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 8, 2000
    Terre Haute, IN. USA
    Kirsten, I just wanted to say that I too loved that last scene between the Doctor and Seven. Very poignant.