VOY: Protectors by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jan 19, 2014.

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Rate Protectors.

  1. Outstanding

    36 vote(s)
    40.9%
  2. Above Average

    44 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm only about 2/3 through the book, so I don't know what will happen in the last 1/3. But Julia has issues with Tom and B'Elanna - so isn't her attempt at taking away Miral a bit misdirected? Lying to their mother (in law) doesn't necessarily make bad parents. Question is if Julia doesn't disqualify herself as a grandparent by that overreaction...
     
  2. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Keep in mind she just lost her husband. For us, the events of Destiny a years old, but in the current VOY continuity only a few months have passed. For the characters it's still raw. Julia might suffer some sort of breakdown after everything that's happened in '81.
     
  3. stormy

    stormy Ensign Red Shirt

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    I warn you: this is going to be long.

    Let me begin by pointing out that I’m one of those people who’s generally content to simply read comments by others rather than giving my own. But after waiting for Protectors to be released and then finally having a chance to read it, I just really wanted to share some of my thoughts. Not that it’s anything profound or new or special… just wanted to share in the positive feedback. That’s how good Kirsten Beyer’s books are.

    Allow me to provide some background. I am one of the apparent few who loves Voyager as a series. Was it a perfect series? No, of course not. And yes, there are things I wish had been handled differently. But all things considered, I see it as a very enjoyable show to watch and not nearly as much of a disaster as many claim it to have been. Not going to defend it, that’s just my opinion and certainly others are entitled to their opinion as well so we’ll leave it at that.

    Anyhow, like many others, when the series ended, I was curious to know what happened after they returned to the Alpha Quadrant, so I was anxious to read Christie Golden’s relaunch novels. Unlike many, I enjoyed those books. I enjoyed Christie’s other books (I’m particularly fond of the Dark Matters trilogy) and I thought she did good things with the relaunch. I enjoyed seeing where the characters went after getting home and how things changed for them and I think some really good things came from what she started. Her occasional weakness was that she didn’t really explore the story and characters to their full potential. But the potential is there, so I am willing to take what she gave and enjoy it for what it is and what it contributes.

    After Christie’s books finished up and there was a break for several years before Kirsten took over, I moved on and didn’t keep track of the Voyager books. Years later, I happened to come across a copy of Unworthy at the bookstore and I read the back of the book and was completely unprepared for what I found there. Keep in mind, I only read Voyager books and I hadn’t yet read Full Circle. The first thing I read on the back of the book is that the Borg are gone. Wait, what? The Borg are a huge part of Star Trek… how do you suddenly get rid of the Borg? Next, I find out Voyager is going back to the Delta Quadrant. They just got home and now you’re telling me that they’re going back to the Delta Quadrant? And it’s a whole fleet? How is one story supposed to keep up with a whole fleet of ships? And who in the world is this Captain Eden and how did she become captain of Voyager? And where’s Janeway while all this is happening? Obviously, I could have read other books to address these matters, but I really just wasn’t interested. If this was where Voyager was headed – back to the Delta Quadrant and full of new characters I wasn’t invested in – then it didn’t matter to me anymore. It wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to give these new books a chance, I just didn’t care enough to read books that appeared to be “loosely” connected to the series that I was familiar with. Everything about the premise of the new relaunch just didn’t feel like it was the Voyager I knew and had come to care for. There were new characters and going back to the Delta Quadrant felt like a step backwards. It felt like more of a spin off of Voyager than a continuation of Voyager.

    Consequently, I didn’t read the new books for years. And I don’t even remember why I ultimately decided to give it a chance. But I did. And I’m so glad because my initial impression of what it would do for the series was completely wrong! Kirsten’s books have taken Voyager to a whole new level. As I’ve said, it was always a good show in my opinion, but her books have made it that much better. She highlighted the positive things about the show and took the weaknesses and improved on them. Each book brings new progression and I eagerly await finding out what will happen next.

    Since then, I have read all of Kirsten’s books multiple times and I have been awaiting the release of Protectors ever since it was announced. I wasn’t really worried that it would be disappointing at all – I think Kirsten’s proven herself by now. For me, it was more a matter of how good would it be? And it was really good. Leading up to it, I had a small list of things in my mind that I hoped would be addressed in the next book, and it delivered in every aspect that really mattered to me and then some.

    One of Kirsten’s many strengths is that she fully explores any given story line. She doesn’t back away from anything, rather she takes it and runs with it full speed ahead, even when it would be easier to keep it superficial. It’s not some passing story but she fully explores the implications of everything that happens. I love that. And this book was no different. We got to see consequences of Janeway’s unexpected return to active duty. We got to see consequences of Tom and B’Elanna’s choice to fake B’Elanna and Miral’s deaths (a story that I think many readers, including myself, believed was completely finished and wrapped up). We got to see the return of many past Delta Quadrant species and story lines. I love the continuity that exists in her stories.

    It’s the little things that made this book such a great success for me. I loved the memorial service. It was a significant event for the Full Circle Fleet, yet something that easily could have been nothing more than a passing mention that it had happened, given where the last book left off. I loved that Kirsten took the time to actually focus on that event and the thoughts that were shared and the impact it had on those present. I loved seeing Janeway confront her own memorial. How surreal would that be? I loved seeing Commander Glenn exercise her skills as a doctor along with her command abilities. I loved seeing Voyager and Demeter as they tried to make sense of the wave forms and how they helped them to help themselves rather than doing it for them. I loved the return of several characters and species from the series. I loved Janeway meeting up with Picard and seeing those two great captains interact. I loved Tom encountering Cambridge in the holodec at Sandrine’s. I loved seeing Janeway take some time to talk with Naomi and give her some much needed advice. I loved the solution to the fleet’s recent losses by bringing in the Vesta. I found all of it to be absolutely brilliant.

    Captain Farkas has become one of my very favorite characters in the books (quite an accomplishment, considering I was the one who didn’t want any new characters not from the series to be introduced – I just didn’t believe I could come to care about them and so they only served to take away time from the “real” characters). I think many “new” characters that are introduced are made out as “misfits” in one way or another. Sharak is a very different species that still struggles to communicate with and identify with humans. Cambridge is a bit abrasive and not exactly the most likeable of people. O’Donnell has a very unique perspective and approach to things that comes across as irresponsible. It is refreshing to see another of Starfleet’s finest who is capable, has years of experience, is respected, and has the heart of an explorer. But she’s also not some wooden, cookie-cutter sort of character, either – there’s depth and a richness to her character. One of my biggest concerns coming off of Eternal Tide was that she and the rest of the crew that had returned to the Alpha Quadrant would be brushed aside and forgotten. I should have known Kirsten Beyer better than that, but Eternal Tide just left the door wide open to close the chapter for many of those new characters and I think many authors would have gone that route. I was so delighted that she not only made a return in this book, but that she had a relatively significant role and that she has been set up so that she will continue to be a recurring character in upcoming books. I loved her interactions with Janeway. At first I was a bit unhappy that she had such a negative reaction towards Janeway. It seemed to me that she would have been one who supported Janeway. But then I quickly understood that her reaction made complete sense. I’ve seen some complain that her opposition to Janeway was resolved too quickly and easily. I disagree. It just wouldn’t make sense for her character to hold a grudge against Janeway after giving her a chance. It was good to have the initial opposition and uncertainty but it also makes sense that she has come to terms with that and now supports Janeway in her position as Fleet Commander. I agree that it would be an interesting dynamic for some characters to have reservations towards Janeway and I would like to see that explored, but not from Farkas. They’re too similar in their strengths.

    As for complaints, they are few and relatively minor.

    I’m not a huge fan of the relationship between Seven and Cambridge, but I’m willing to go along with it. But I really dislike the idea of any sort of “triangle” or competition now that Axum is in the picture. The Doctor’s opposition to the relationship had enough of that for me. It will be interesting to see how that develops in future books.

    My other complaint is in regards to Harry Kim becoming temporary first officer. Kirsten has done a fantastic job building up his character and getting him to the point where it is a reasonable next step… But I still just have a hard time envisioning Harry as first officer material. He’s certainly capable but he’s not quite that leader for me yet. I have been very pleased and impressed with Tom and how he has filled the role, but I’m just not sure I can see Harry step up to that level just yet. Right now, tactical officer is enough of a stretch for me. Time will tell, but right now I’m not enthusiastic about that development.

    In a nutshell, I consider Protectors to be another success in the Voyager series. To Kirsten, I would say thank you for bringing your many and considerable talents to Voyager and I look forward to seeing what else you have planned for future books. Here’s hoping you continue to write Voyager for many more years to come (and that you enjoy writing it as much as we enjoy reading it!)

    And if anyone actually read this entire post, I most definitely applaud you!
     
  4. RapidoTrains

    RapidoTrains Ensign Red Shirt

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    I just finished it, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I'm glad the next one is coming out in only eight months. My memory is terrible - I could probably read the same 50 books over and over and never realize that I've read them already. I've read every 24th-century Trek novel published in the last 14 years but I can't remember much of any of them...

    Consequently, it was very handy to use Memory Beta as I had forgotten so much of what happened in Kirsten's previous novels. She must reread them all before starting each new one. I had a book published a few years ago and I'll be damned if I remember everything that went into that.

    I thought Janeway's "new age" counselling session was beautifully written, as were her times at home. My only concern about the counselling session is that the revelations happened too quickly... I suspect that Austen has some kind of empathic abilities to help bring such an immediate result but maybe that should have been made more obvious.

    But one thing: there were a TONNE of typos in the novel, and I don't blame Kirsten for that. I blame her copy editors - there were enough typos here that I think they actually sent the wrong draft to the production department. It wasn't just extra words or missing words, but some completely messed up words that even a basic spell check should have picked up.

    I notice almost every typo when I read a novel (I wish I could notice them in my own writing) and if a novel has a lot of them it detracts from an otherwise seamless fictional world experience.

    Kirsten should protest most vociferously! :hugegrin:

    -Jason
     
  5. Slyvon

    Slyvon Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You're on a Star Trek Forum, so there's lots of people here who love and appreciate Voyager and its characters. In fact I'm one of them! :)
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Don't worry, I've been softening them up for you. ;)

    Great post, by the way. Thanks for sharing, and welcome to full participation on the forum. :)
     
  7. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

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    Hey guys,

    For the last few weeks I have been meaning to get back here and respond to some of the comments on Protectors. The outline for the final book in this trilogy, which I just finished, ended up kicking my ass, so I've been unable to do that.

    But now that the outline is more or less done...


    Your 14 month old was sleeping? Well done. ;)

    Why? A fair number of readers have raised this point here and elsewhere, and the concern eludes me. The only rationale I can figure is that you worry Voyager is going to get so far behind everyone else that we will be forced by another Destiny-like event to jump forward and that current threads will be dropped.

    The next two books in this trilogy will bring Voyager roughly to the end of their first of three proposed years in the Delta Quadrant. Already, the rest of Trek-lit is beyond that three year mark. So in some ways, we are already too far behind for it to matter anymore.

    I have chosen to tell this group of stories essentially never missing a beat. We always pick up more or less right where we left off. Some cover more time than others. The only thing that ever matters to me is how much time does the story I want to tell take? By separating the fleet from the Alpha Quadrant, I gave myself the ability to do that. Now it's like I have a crystal ball. I already know everything major that is going to happen while Voyager is still out there and can decide what, if any, may be relevant to my stories.

    Yes, there are downsides. Not participating in some of the bigger crossover stuff is a bummer sometimes. But for now, at least, this kind of storytelling feels right for Voyager. It might not be for another series, but for this one, it works.

    All I can suggest is that you try not to worry. Should something come up that requires adjustments due to the rest of Trek-lit, I can promise you that if I am the author handling it, every effort will be made to make sure it feels like an organic development.


    In Tuvok's case, it is a direct result of the events of Destiny and Over a Torrent Sea. In both of those books, we saw him seriously knocked off his pins and taking a long time to come to terms with the loss of his son and daughter-in-law. I discussed with Mike Martin the realities of where Titan was at the time this story was set and although we agreed it would be possible to carve out some time to connect with Janeway, the more I looked at it, the more it felt appropriate to me for his character that he would need more time to process stuff before he was ready to speak with her. Even though I don't get to write much Tuvok anymore, I still think of him as very much a part of Voyager and can assure you that eventually, he and Janeway will re-connect.

    For Vorik, a similar dynamic was at play. His experiences during the Omega crisis, while only shown briefly in TET, were profound and horrible. It is possible I did not stress enough in the earlier books his devotion to Captain Itak and how that loss would have affected him. With my Vulcans in particular I am always conscious of the fact that there stoic presentation is not the result of a lack of feeling, but of a practiced mental discipline masking incredibly intense feelings. Also...Vorik always seemed kind of "young" to me. While he has aged along with everyone else, I don't think it's out of character to suggest that he, and probably several other officers who have been part of Voyager from the beginning would have challenges accepting Janeway's return. You'll get more of his thoughts on that in Acts of Contrition, and hopefully it will make more sense to you then.

    Although some folks have rightly pointed out that the flight accident is mentioned in Caretaker, I actually took my reference from the re-read I did of Pathways, by Jeri Taylor before starting Protectors. She spells out the whole story there.

    FWIW, this is also where the inspiration for Julia's reaction to Tom's lie came from. Tom has had some serious lapses in judgment over the years. Through all of them, Julia was the one to stand by him and love him anyway (at least per Jeri Taylor). What occurred to me as I re-visited this material was that this time, he might have gone to far with regard to his mother. She has given him the benefit of the doubt too many times. She believed she knew who he was and who he had become during his time in the Delta Quadrant. And then he lied about something so huge. She was already grieving for her husband and then she is also asked to grieve for her granddaughter? Which is a special kind of awful hell, thinking about this baby who had her whole in front of her? But that was a lie?

    I don' t know. Enough people have suggested that this plot felt contrived for it to be impossible to ignore. And it is likely that for most, Julia is a less well-developed character so this feels like it's coming out of the blue. For me, she's a whole person with her own story that we only get to see glimpses of, but this choice absolutely tracks with what I know of her. I'm not saying she is right, only that I understand why she would feel this way and act this way. After Acts, you guys will tell me if I was right or not.

    :guffaw:

    Gosh...no...I should really get on that, right?

    Ummmm....do you honestly think I would ever do something like that without knowing exactly how and why this was happening?

    The only thing that has surprised me so far is that no one seems to even have a clue where I'm going with this. (Insert evil laugh.)

    As usual, I was intentionally vague, figuring travel time, time spent exploring, etc. I don't want to try and get more specific about it now. Suffice it to say that the first time we see Janeway before the memorial service we are in September and by the time we are about to return to the Confederacy it is early January.

    How interesting. I'm glad it hooked you enough to keep you reading, and now I'm even more interested to know how you will react to the predecessors, knowing where we are now.

    Anyway, if I'm going to be damned for something, making it hard for you to stop reading is a worthy sin in my mind.

    Damn it. Damn it all. I try so frigging hard, you know? Between this and all the notes I'm seeing on typos, I almost don't know what to think. Obviously, sometimes I just get stuff wrong. But every time one of these things is published and someone else points it out, it makes me want to re-read everything ten more times and there is never enough time for that. The typo complaint I find most interesting now. I re-read the finished book not that long ago and while I saw a couple, not nearly enough for the ferocity with which this complaint is being leveled. Hmmm....


    In general, I'm pleased that the book is working for most of the readers here. I have been particularly gratified to read praise of the Janeway/Picard scene as it was equal parts terrifying and insanely fun to write. Other things that gave me joy..."Monster", the scene with Naomi, Sharak's development, have been noted by a few as well, and that's nice for me.

    A few people have also mentioned the memorial service...or overly-long memorial service in some cases...and I did want to shed a little light for you all there.

    I had always planned to write that scene if I got the chance after TET. To my mind, we had lost too many ships and too many people for it to be glossed over in a few sentences.

    What I had not planned was that a few weeks before I began writing that scene, Sandy Hook would happen. I always try as a writer to keep my stuff separate from my characters. You don't need to know or see my challenges unless they track directly with those I am exploring in my characters' lives. But Sandy Hook shook me to my core. I was taking my daughter to school as the first news reports were coming in and it was all I could do to leave her and I could not return to her soon enough. There is darkness in the world and then there are the demons I have to face daily. This one hurt me and changed me and I'm still not okay about it.

    So if I took a little more time than I otherwise might have exploring everyone's feelings about their tragedy, that probably had something to do with it. I won't apologize for spending a few extra pages meditating on something so massively wrong and trying to make a little sense of it, if only for myself. I don't personally know any of the people involved. I didn't write anything publicly about it because a long string of curse words wasn't going to add much to the conversation and that was about all I could muster for a long time. Part of me wanted to dedicate the novel to the twenty-six victims and their families, but ultimately I decided to reach for the light of my god-daughter's life rather than back into the darkness.

    But that scene is what it is because of Sandy Hook. And I'm okay with that. I guess every once in awhile, I'm going to have to ask for a little indulgence from my readers. This was one of them.

    As always,
    Kirsten
     
  8. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    This would bring Voyager to early 2384, and as they are in early 2382 right now, that would mean the next two books cover about two years. Sounds ambitious. Can't wait :techman:
     
  9. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    You misread - she said the end of the first of three years, not the end of three years.
     
  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You've misread. 2384 would be the 3rd year of the mission. Don't forget "Full Circle" (the novel) jumped the series up to May 2381, with "The Eternal Tide occurring between August and September 2381 ("Unworthy" and "Children Of The Storm" took place between May and August 2381). So, technically, the Full Circle mission is still within it's first 7-8 months in November-December 2381
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Right. I know. And the next two books will bring them to the end of THAT FIRST YEAR, of which we've read about 8 months so far, not to the end of THE THIRD YEAR, which is what Paris thought.
     
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For some reason I was taking Kirsten Beyer's comments to mean that we were going to see something on the order of Enterprise's "Romulan War" books where the story over the next two books would take place over the next 28 months.
     
  13. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Oops. My bad. I re-read it, and you are absolutely right. Thanks for the catch :)
     
  14. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    Hey Kirsten thanks for the reply. I was talking about the widely traveled races we saw in the show itself. I have definite faith not only that you have your own plots planned out, but that they will be awesome. Count me as one who doesn't yet know where you are going with that plot element, but I'm excited to find out. Maybe it will even explain some of the widely traveled species I was asking about from the show like the Talaxian, Devore, and Malon.

    Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I will just go with it then.
     
  15. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just finished this yesterday. Quick thoughts - very nice, a pleasant quiet rest and recovery period as everyone gets over the apocalyptic last entry and reaffirms their worldviews and priorities.

    But it seemed oddly... scattered. Not one big story but lots of little stories weaving in and out of each other, thematically linked but not plot-linked necessarily. And unbalanced too - storylines seemed to climax at only half-way or two-thirds through the book, and then something new would start. And many bits and pieces left deliberately unfinished too. So lots of little stories, but at the same time very clearly 'part one' of a much larger story. It's a good job we know this was planned as part of an ongoing series or else that would be quite frustrating.

    This really seemed to get back to the raison d'etre of the nu-Voyager series in a way, by following up on whatever happened to the Borg, the Caeliar and the other DQ races we only saw once. I was struck by how every time they bumped into somebody they knew, they said "They won't be very happy to see us" or "We ended things badly" or some such. That's kind of a sad comment on TV Voyager's hard-headed-alien-of-the-week trope, really. How many times in seven years did they actually meet someone they got along with? Not too many.

    The business with the Ark Planet felt like Voyager was doing what Titan is supposed to do (now that Titan isn't doing what Titan is supposed to do anymore). A lovely strange new worlds story that served to give everybody a chance to be a good guy, do something they could feel proud of, help people (or things). And character development for Harry! Wonder of wonders.

    Oh... my heart broke for The Doctor. I didn't need the actual text of Zimmerman's letter - I realised what had happened when Barclay told Janeway the letter existed. The poor guy, he was so upset and twisted around that he had to go and voluntarily get his heart ripped out of himself to be able to cope. That's just... horrible. :wah:

    Okay, going to read the rest of the thread now.

    .
     
  16. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Finished the novel yesterday. Overall I enjoyed it, but it felt a bit unfinished - which is okay, given that it's apparently the first in a trilogy from what I understand.

    the Doctor: Hm, another "The Swarm"-like situation looming ahead by trying to avoid a "Latent Image"-problem? I can't reread Zimmerman's letter right now, but was the Doctor aware of all ramifications (I mean the planned ones right now: his love for Seven fading into the background) or did he just ask for a quick fix? And I felt Seven's observation of the Doctor's behaviour being reminiscent of... was it Equinox, part 2? ... well, in any way, of the time where his moral subroutines were damaged quite disastrous. So I'm really looking forward to learning more.

    Cambridge/Seven/Axum: I always wanted to know what happened to Axum after Unimatrix Zero - so I was glad to see that realized. I found the behaviour of SF Medical very disturbing when they dealt with (= got rid off) the Doctor and how they perceived Axum as nothing but an enemy combatant and therefore a test subject (or rather object) without any rights. What Seven felt through their connection (and the epilogue) only confirmed that unease. Janeway's attitude, though, bothered me the most. Her point of view that SFM knows what they are doing and her belief that Axum will be handled correctly appeared very naive and even disinterested - especially considering the fact that a former Borg/enemy and a technology much more sophisticated than the Federation's are involved. She should have pushed for more information here. But back to Seven, or rather Cambridge: This guy is a counselor? Granted, the relationship between Seven and Axum was never really resolved, so it's okay for him to feel a bit insecure, but the way he practically ended the relationship (not yet overtly but at least interally) screamed immaturity and insecurity even towards his own feelings for Seven because she certainly didn't give him any reason to doubt her. Just the fact that she wants to meet Axum doesn't endanger her relationship with Cambridge - even further, I'd say it shows her level of maturity to want to confront and resolve a past relationship.

    the Ark-planet-plot: I really liked the idea of VOY and Demeter for once not having to fight for their lives - and I enjoyed having them teach the proctors how to save the planet. And I love O'Donnell - to see Chakotay very slowly come to terms with how things work on Demeter was quite fun to read. *g* I'm looking forward to seeing where the Confederacy business is heading.

    Paris: As said before, I think Julia's way out of line, grieving or not. I understand where Beyer's coming from having read her recent post here, but honestly, shouldn't Miral's welfare be the main focus? And what kind of court should react to a contention of the parents' fitness just because the grandmother was lied to - where is the relevance to the child's welfare? And even the suggestion that every further child would be taken away as well - what kind of legal system/interpretation is that?!? Of course, Tom and B'Elanna didn't handle the whole matter correctly. They acted out of panic, and of course have to face the consequences of lying. But grief is one thing, trying to take away a child quite a different thing. And I hope this whole (legal) process will resolve quickly - because if not, I'd have to doubt the Federation's legal system. On another note, I could have done without B'Elanna's nesting habits, though. I realize that she didn't have much to contribute to the overall plot but her attempts at renovating seemed a bit over the top.

    Janeway: I have never been a fan of hers and I really hope that she won't take over the book series as she did with the TV-series especially given the way the other characters finally had air to breathe again. I liked her conversation with Picard, her dealings with her mother and that Vulcan secretary. *g* But her breakdown and change of heart came a bit too sudden - and left me with a stale taste in my mouth. As said above her belief in the system, when she herself manipulated and sometimes ignored it whenever *she* felt necessary, annoyed me - be it Axum, be it Tom and B'Elanna, be it The Doctor. I don't know if I like the person she has become after her breakdown because she seems aloof and not as involved (and placing Icheb in SFM doesn't really change that because honestly, what's a cadet going to do?). Her reaction to Chakotay's not being willing to tell her where B'Elanna is awfully reminded me of Scorpion, part I, and Janeway and Chakotay's discussion there, which is, IMO, where the TV-series descended from being about 2 crews to being a show about absolute leader!Janeway. I really hope this will work out differently this time. I guess we'll see in just another 8 months. *g*
     
  17. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    They didn't just lie to Julia - they falsified records and told everyone that B'Elanna and Miral had died in the Borg Invasion, with the intent of taking Miral to the Delta Quadrant. Add to that B'Elanna's questionably legal creation of a quantum slipstream drive, and Julia might have a strong case against them.
     
  18. stormy

    stormy Ensign Red Shirt

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    Feb 21, 2014
    Claudia - Interesting review. I really enjoyed reading your take on different plot developments. Here are some of my thoughts in response to a couple of things you pointed out.

    The way I see the situation, it’s not so much that lying to his mother casts doubt on Miral's welfare. It’s more a matter that this is nothing new to Tom. Tom has always been a bit of a “wayward child”. It’s been awhile since I last read Pathways, but from what I remember, he is portrayed as incredibly rebellious and only thinking of himself. He had many times in his youth where he ignored what was best in order to “save” himself. Julia stood by him through all that. She believed in the person he could be. And after he returned from the Delta Quadrant, she believed he had achieved that. He had put his demons behind him and learned to think of others, be reliable, do what was right. By lying to her about something so serious and personal, from her perspective, he has shown that he hasn’t really changed at all. He is still irresponsible and immature and reckless. And with that, a case could be made that he is not a fit parent.

    I don’t think it’s that unreasonable. Janeway is a Starfleet officer and she believes in the ideals of Starfleet. While there will always be grey areas, or decisions a person doesn’t always agree with, the idea that Starfleet medical could be capable of treating a person as a science project is a huge step over that line, and quite unbelievable for someone who believes herself to be part of a civilized and advanced organization/society. You yourself said:

    I think that’s exactly how Janeway views the idea that Starfleet Medical could be capable of such behavior. Extremely disturbing and, equally, unlikely. There must be some misunderstanding. Starfleet would never go that far. It’s not necessarily her being naive as much it is her unable to accept that they would actually act so callously. And I don’t blame her for that. It’s the same reaction she had in Equinox when she found out that a Starfleet captain and crew could actually be using a sentient species to help them get home. She was furious. And if it’s confirmed that Starfleet Medical is treating Axum in an unacceptable way, I imagine she will be equally as furious. But for now, she wants to believe in the best of Starfleet, so she's giving them the benefit of the doubt.


    Additionally, I believe the “disinterest” you saw wasn’t so much her not caring about a potentially harmful situation as it was her showing some of the new perspective she gained from her time away. Janeway has always been very involved in the welfare of her crew. In some ways, she was micromanaging everything, taking matters into her own hands and not trusting that others were capable of taking care of themselves. While this is good, to a certain extent, she often seemed to take it to an extreme. Her experiences in this book have helped her to step back and allow others to take care of things themselves, which they are certainly capable of doing. In other words, it wasn't that she didn't care, but she was trusting those around her to handle the situation appropriately and that they didn’t need her to be interfering or rushing in to save the day once again. From what I understand of your views on Janeway, this is progress in the right direction rather than returning to Delta Quadrant Janeway.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're referring to here, but really, I had no problem with this. It wasn’t a question of a difference of opinion but a matter of honesty and deception. I thought her reaction was completely justified. It’s never a pleasant feeling when you know that someone is lying to you. More than that, she is an admiral and the person in charge of the fleet. She needs to be able to trust Chakotay, as captain, to be honest with her. If he refuses to give her accurate information for whatever reason, it could seriously damage the system. Janeway has people she needs to answer to, too, and she knows they’re watching her closely. She was also the one to interact with Julia and knows how she will react when Tom is the only one to return home. She was acting on what she knew of the situation to make it as smooth and successful as possible. By leaving Miral and B’Elanna in the Delta Quadrant, it automatically makes them look bad. Not a good way to start their mediation. Yes, ultimately, Chakotay knew an important piece of information that would have influenced her decision process. But the bottom line is that she reacted as anyone would when someone you know and supervise deliberately lies to you.
     
  19. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
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    But is that case really about Miral's welfare? It's about Tom and B'Elanna falsifying records and lying... honestly, that doesn't say anything about their fitness as parents. If so, then how many children should be removed from their parents?

    And @ stormy, I understand the point about Paris from Pathfinder etc - still that's a judgment about Tom, not about whether Miral's in an environment where she can't thrive. Because bluntly speaking, if it's solely about Tom's past behaviour they should have judged him unfit for procreation back at the NZL-penal colony and have him neutered. That amounts to the same thing as now stating he's unfit for parenthood because of his most recent behaviour (which is seen as continuation of his past behaviour).

    Honestly, I thought Tom was the only sane person in this whole affair at the end (except for Miral).

    Janeway/Chakotay: I get where Janeway is coming from, she's got a bigger picture to look at right now than just one ship - but OTOH she disappointed Chakotay as well by not revealing all the facts, by not listening, by IMO transfering their business dealings as admiral and captain to the personal level. I think as a captain who has to protect his crew Chakotay was right in not revealing where B'Elanna was as Janeway didn't have all the facts (i.e. B'Elanna's pregnancy) at that point. That was the point that bothered me in Scorpion, part I. Back then I had the impression that Janeway thought that standing with her means to always agree with her (sometimes harebrained) decisions. It doesn't.

    I'm really interested to see in how that relationship is going to be continued. Right now, though, I'm not sure that everything's going to work out...
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I skipped The Eternal Tide but picked up Protectors because I had some extra time on my hands and was bored.

    Overall, a solid effort by Beyer (I didn't expect any less). Though I just didn't buy the Julia Paris plot. Even with friends in high places, it seems more would be required than "my feelings are hurt" to even get to the point of mediation over custody being ordered. To order the family home with no evidence at all of Miral's mistreatment was just too much for me to buy.