Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido
kradical

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another Singular Destiny review

steve_roby has reviewed Star Trek: A Singular Destiny on his Complete Starfleet Library blog.

Money quote (a big one, but I wanted to include all of it):
So, back to Sonek Pran. I think in a couple of respects he wasn't quite 100% successful as a character. He seems a bit too perfect, and some things come a bit too easy to him. The business with him being a great communicator who can't talk to his own son also seemed a bit cliched. On the other hand, he's a new-to-us character in a novel with a hell of a lot to do; there's no time to really build him up. From an in-story perspective, there's no time for him to learn his skills because the Federation needs him to do his thing, do it right, and do it right now. From an out-of-story perspective, he's not going to be a lead character in a series of books, so we don't have the luxury of a few stories to see him become the perfect communicator he is. (Not that I'd mind if he reappears occasionally in future books.)

After all, the importance of communication is what this book is about. Part of the mysterious plan going on in the book proves to revolve around false information, others on diplomacy, others on withheld information. Sonek Pran is needed to get people talking again after the disruptive catastrophe of the Borg invasion. Sonek talking to his son near the end of the book reinforces the message. In a more sinister development, we learn that the catastrophe has led to other people communicating, too -- and forming a new alliance, one that's set to play a key role in many future novels.

Writing a book like this is a bit of a thankless task, I suspect. It isn't all about action. It's about what happens afterwards: trying to make sense of the new world you find yourself in, and only starting to realize that the end of one problem is just the beginning of a new set of a problems. KRAD takes on the challenge of telling that story -- and of using some new characters to do it -- and meets it, crafting a story that kept me reading, eager to learn what would happen next; a story that puts pieces in motion for what comes next, and raises whole sets of new questions for readers paying attention (hope you didn't just skim through that casualty report). It's a big satisfying read that takes care of your first set of "what happens next?" questions and gives you some new ones.
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