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25961Re: [Star Trek Books] TOS Novel #79 'Crossroads' by Barbara Hambly - SPOILERS!

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  • Emily Regent
    Jul 29, 2014
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      Hey Andy (+ others)

      There were a lot of good things in this book - something Barbara Hambly delivers consistently, I feel. Sadly when I read some of the novels, I feel I'm reading glorified fan fiction and generally find the better authors to be names I recognise from elsewhere (such as Hambly herself, or Christie Golden, too - she's written another favourite series of mine). But it is a generality and not a rule :) I feel expanded experience stops any author being stale or from getting mundane and churning out stereotypes and formula stories.

      As you point out, her detail and knowledge of the ship give you a much better feel for what is going on and where; she doesn't balk at not knowing where something is so there's no jarring effect of vagueness. Many know the bridge of the ships like the back of their hand, but when the action moves to somewhere more obscure, like the sensor suite, they tend not to be so descriptive and the contrast makes it obvious they're trying not to create an inconsistency

      A more specific point was her turned-about approach to the time travel story - something I've only seen done this successfully in Torchwood. This was a group of time travellers coming to the TOS time period (which you pointed out). And I liked the way the crew were choosing whether to continue in Starfleet or take discharge - the personal side of military service isn't usually handled in this way; it's more often about promotions and honours, not career pathways. I like the way Hambly used this different perspective, too.

      I also liked how Chapel got more attention (although it might have been a *little* slushy, it didn't quite make me roll my eyes); and she dealt with a crewman in crisis really well. It took her out of her tradition roles - damsel in distress, Spock's crusher and McCoy's sidekick (don't get me wrong - I love McCoy, but sometimes it seemed that was all Chapel's presence on Enterprise boiled down to).

      However (having criticised Chapel's traditional roles and I am about to turn into a huge hypocrite) - there was a shiny original Vulcan character! I adore Vulcans and am always happy to see a writer create one besides the regular characters. Especially when done by skilled authors; they manage to create differences and personalities within the 'Vulcan' framework (and without actually violating it), proving IDIC to a very high standard. I am aware that this is a personal thing, though :)

      Aye, ever yours
      Emily




      On Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:28, "'scottishandy76 .' scottish.andy76@... [startrekbooks]" <startrekbooks@yahoogroups.com> wrote:




      Hi Emily! (and any others who want to discuss this)

      I guess we should start simply, and see how it goes from there.

      What was your favourite aspect of the book? Not necessarily which part or chapter, but what is about 'Crossroads' that you really like that places this book above the others?

      Andy




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