Reviews For Star Crossed
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Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 20 Oct 2014 00:01 Title: Chapter 15

Poor Taz! Newheiser looks almost loveable compared to Mahoney. She will have a rough time ahead her, but I guess what the doctor has promised her will be kept. It is understandable that she feels very embarrassed at her decisions but still they were the correct decisions. Not the right ones, but correct under the circumstances. She got entangled in a vicious cycle she could not break. In a way, this development, though harsh, gives her an opportunity to start again without being pressed by shady organizations inside or outside Starfleet.
It is a great story, with interesting and credible characters who have their ups and downs and fight their predicaments to the best of their ability. They have depth and background and the story breaks away from the Scotty-beam-me-up cliché where Starfleet is glorious, captains are wise and they generously heap humanity and proton torpedoes on nasty aliens who fall out of step. I have to admit that I got hooked on Taz so I am moving to “All the Sinners, Saints”.

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for reading and reviewing this story and I'm glad you enjoyed it and that you got hooked on Star. Admittedly this story didn't help to create many fans of hers. She still has a long way to go from here to become a balanced person again. One story I'd recommend you check out if you enjoy reading of Star is 'One Toke Over the Line' which is part of the Vignette Series 'Crossing Over' and available to download at, along with 'All the Sinners, Saints'. The latter is a long read but naturally I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you get a chance to finish it. In the meantime they'll also be a lot of Star in 'Semper Fidelis' as she will have to face some of the fallout from this very story. Thanks once more for your reviews. They are greatly appreciated.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Oct 2014 21:32 Title: Chapter 14

That was close, the shock wave was very strong. It makes sense, it wasn’t an ordinary freighter but a firebomb. Unfortunately, Akinola lost his nephew without being able to make it up to him. It is terrible when the last thing you remember is an argument and harsh words and then you realize that you will never be able to tell the other person that you did not really mean it. Still, he managed to suppress his bereavement with no small help from Baxter who kept his cool. I wonder what the situation on Heracles is. Probably not better.

Author's Response: It's a terribly awful thing to happen to anybody. And it is a pain Akinola won't soon forget. Definitely not by the time he meets Schwarzkopf again.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 11 Oct 2014 17:17 Title: Chapter 13

This was a dramatic chapter loaded with action and losses. First, the battle in the dark, then the explosive decompression. Too bad that N’ek’too was killed. I refused to believe it was only loyalty. Loyalty is such a rare commodity that I see conspiracies everywhere. Still, Shuun knows better than being captured by an angry interstellar criminal who is likely to make an example of him. Star really had a tough choice “ a former lover against a current dependence. She did her best given the circumstances. I hope her injured arm can be healed.
I respect her choices “ whatever she did, she paid the price for it, in fact, she paid it twice. And it will be with her forever. It has never been about how good or how bad someone is “ you either have the guts to do what has to be done and face the consequences or not. You are either a survivor or a victim. Everything else is a matter of vantage point. I really like the way you present her actions and decisions “ she never gives up fighting no matter how slim her chances are.

Author's Response: It's a big turning point for Star, I think that much is clear. She made her choices here and now she will have to live with them. What that means for her future we'll find out in the following stories.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Oct 2014 23:34 Title: Chapter 12

A great space battle! The details about the torpedo loading are interesting. The reverse maneuver and the tractor beam strategy can help them to keep the firebomb vessel at bay. Schwarzkopf paid a heavy price for underestimating the tactics of the border criminals. They may not have big impressive ships but have the brains to conceive devious plans. Akinola behaves very professionally and his crew acts quickly and efficiently.

Author's Response: Yep, Akinola has been around the block a few times, and it shows.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 09 Oct 2014 22:34 Title: Chapter 11

Now I feel like a kid in a candy store “ baddies and anti-heroes all around. I just can’t make my mind who to relate to first. I like Shuun very much “ a charming gangster and a former Starfleet officer who got tired of playing by the rules. N’ek’too is an enigma too. He disapproves of Star’s actions but keeps following her. The description of Eteron and its history is gripping “ a real gangster paradise and no man’s land.

Author's Response: If you like your morally ambiguous characters, this is the place for you, no doubt.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Oct 2014 22:49 Title: Chapter 10

The situation is going from bad to worse, even without the Orion Syndicate around. As though Schwarzkopf’s pompous stupidity wasn’t bad enough. Now the semi-stoned Commander Mahoney can’t make head and tail of what has happened let alone to act upon it. On top of that, Akinola decides to join the party and since nepotism does not exist in Starfleet, he keeps scaring his nephew.

Author's Response: Oh don't count out nepotism just yet. If you get a chance check out 'Paternal Instincts' which explores this quite a bit. Akinola just doesn't quite believe in it.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 05 Oct 2014 23:41 Title: Chapter 9

Yes, this chapter answers my doubts expressed in the review of Chapter 7. Still, I think there is something more than loyalty, something ulterior and more tangible. N’ek’too can be very loyal and I want to believe that this is the case, but he can also have some scores to settle, a revenge to seek, or he might be a double agent working against Taz. His desperate determination to prove his loyalty flashes a red light.

Author's Response: Everyone on this ship seemed to have another agenda, it's not too difficult to believe that N'ek'too had one as well.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 03 Oct 2014 23:02 Title: Chapter 8

Akinola is a great captain but it seems to me that all great captains are sidetracked so that ambitious idiots like Schwarzkopf can show off their incompetence. Having in mind Solly Brin’s comment, I would rename this nuisance “Scheisskopf”.

Author's Response: Yeah, I know, it's a little cliched. But it does set up quite a bit of the story which follows this one in All The Sinners, Saints (sorry, not yet on Ad Astra, but you can find it at Many of these characters return in that one and as you can imagine, it won't be the prettiest reunion.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 01 Oct 2014 23:29 Title: Chapter 7

Taz is very cunning, but still I can’t figure out how she managed to secure the Ariolo’s unquestionable assistance in stealing and incapacitating Starfleet vessels and stunning a civilian crew. He is much more loyal and reliable than the rest of her crew but if they were captured, his “I was following my captain’s orders” would hardly suffice. Unless he knows about her dealings with the Starfleet Intelligence and considers it a legitimate covert operation.

Author's Response: How did she N'ek'to on her side? All will be revealed.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Sep 2014 17:18 Title: Chapter 6

No sex, please. We are Starfleet. Taz is great, the more I read about her, the more I love her. Great chapter!

Author's Response: LOL. Certainly no sex on screen. But they're getting pretty close to it. But no, all that is in the past as far as Star is concerned.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 28 Sep 2014 20:56 Title: Chapter 5

Wow! That was embarrassing. Newhesier of all people. But no matter how slimy and creepy he might be, he is right “ the skeletons in your closet happily grin at you. Reading Taz’ inner thoughts and reactions was definitely a treat.

Author's Response: Newheiser is a creep, isn't he? A few of the things he says make a certain kinds sense, I guess.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Sep 2014 16:52 Title: Chapter 4

Poor Taz! I can stop any time, this is what all junkies say. The fact that she is a joint Trill does not make it any easier for her. Quite a schizophrenic experience. The redbird allegory is great. Once you open the Pandora box, you can’t slam the lid down. Still, it seems to me that she has the guts to face the consequences.

Author's Response: You would think that Trill would know better, wouldn't you? No, not this one. She just made one too many bad choices and ended up where she is now. We shall see if she can handle those consequences. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Sep 2014 15:34 Title: Chapter 3

This is getting better and better. An insight into Starfleet high-level bickering for sway and career enhancement. It is difficult to tell who is more hated “ the Galaxy hot shot or the gangsters from the Orion Syndicate. The Border Service crew seems very uncompromising and united, they hardly tolerate sissies and ambitious career seekers. Captain Akinola is amazing “ the type of captain that eats ensigns for breakfast and asks for more.

Author's Response: Akinola has seen it all and done it all. He's not really a badass in the true sense of the word. But the situation here has him truly riled up and understandably so.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 25 Sep 2014 16:16 Title: Chapter 2

Taz is a naughty, tough lady. The universe is full of interesting men and you have but one life. Now I begin to grasp her choices “ she definitely wants to make the most of everything she bumps into. Decorum “ who needs that if you can have a cute Border Dog? I like the way you describe the mutual disdain displayed by the regular fleet and the Border Service, it is so typical.

Author's Response: Taz gets a rare moment here, one in which she drops her guard for a brief moment and allows herself to be ... herself. It doesn't last but it gives us a glimpse at the person, I think, she wants to be.

Reviewer: Shada Dukal Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Sep 2014 21:23 Title: Chapter 1

Oh, with a crew like this you don’t need enemies. I like that you didn’t make Star perfect “ a bad girl with quite a checkered past and questionable decisions. Her contempt for the Galaxy hot shot and irreverent attitude bode for trouble. And the Ariolo is great!

Author's Response: Star is most definitely not a good girl, or anywhere near perfect. I like her for the same reasons. However you might change your mind about her before all is said and done here. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 01 Aug 2014 01:08 Title: Chapter 3

Ok, so things are not going to end up good for Akinola's nephew - just a gut feeling. Actually, things are not starting out so hot for the young man - he's ought to be on a sweet deal here. No one would ever expect Joseph to give the man a free ride but would might have thought he'd choose to mentor him, especially given he had difficulties in his own family. But no, his reaction is to give Lennox a harder time by dent of his heritage. Of course, Akinola has to be feeling a certain strain by having the onus on protecting his nephew and the old mustang officer knows more than most, that's a promise you can't keep.

And behind it all his worries about this upcoming operation with the bloody know it all fleeters. Joseph knows that they have their own agenda - an agenda that doesn't put getting justice front and centre. Dale calls it right when he says that's what is really eating at Akinola - Mel 'call me Mel' Schwarzkopf!

What I love here is there is a subtle tone shift, a more homely, cohesive crew unit feel aboard the Bluefin and something a bit more grounded that lends to the ship's character and to the Border Patrol Service, distinguishing it from the Starfleeters. Many another might not have hit that tone right in the use of another author's creation. You seem to find the voices of the Bluefin crew and the vibe of its Border Dog status. In addition, it's no mere imitation of TLR's work as you give an expansion to Joseph's family and put something front and centre at risk for the veteran captain in what is to come.

Author's Response: Stop with all this negative energy. Everything's going to be just fine. Tell you what, if something bad were to happen here, it's probably going to be your fault ... lol But I agree that a mentoring role would probably have worked better (not for my purpose, but hey). And something tells me that's what Akinola tough love approach would eventually translate to anyway. The differences between Bluefin and in particular Sacajawea are noticeable, aren't they? I've come out previously in saying that I'd prefer a Starfleet assignment over the Border Service but even I, if given the choice between Bluefin and Sacajawea or even Heracles, would pick the former in a heartbeat. Just tell me where to sign up for the Border Service please. I appreciate the kind words regarding TLR's characters. It was very important to me that they come across like the real deal. And of course it was fantastic practice for their reappearance in Saints where they played an even bigger role.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 28 Jul 2014 22:31 Title: Chapter 2

Hee, hee. I dunno, but I couldn't recall how these two came to get together. It seems they literally walked into one another. And from the off there's banter and flirtation in an easy manner that makes it no wonder that Star takes a punt on Nigel. The dialogue between them felt sparky and it brought a little smirk to me as I read it so was very well done. And given that Star has so many other issues, I think bumping into Nigel and the fact he's a Border Dog and not Fleet and not 'Mel' and not the creepiness of Shuun makes it easier and more tempting to get entangled with Nigel.

However, as you end it on that note too, the matter of Shuun hangs over this as does the very real fact that 'Call me Mel' is a douche likely to screw things up royally. But there does seem to be another agenda at work here, certainly, the fact that Star is dubious seems enough to make me dubious.

Author's Response: Yeah, Star and Bane started out right here. And as you can see it had rather innocent beginnings before it became something more .. complicated in Saints. It's almost a little bit like love on first running into each other, ain't it. Well, I wouldn't call it love but there's no doubt that Star has so much on her plate at this moment, she's desperate for a little distraction. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that things will go downhill from here. And fast.

Reviewer: Miranda Fave Signed [Report This]
Date: 23 Jul 2014 17:37 Title: Chapter 1

See now, that's an opener of a line. It tells quite a bit about how Star is going to come across because even if she has good cause to dislike the man her up in the face of the reader telling of it works to unnerve us and make us expect there's going to be a lot of drama, a lot of fire and a lot of attitude from this less than stellar Star. She's got a handful of issues on her own boat but atop of that she has Melvin to contend with interfering with the mission and now there appears to be some raggedy assed Border Patrol veseel and captain wanting in on the action?! Huh, this does not bode well.

It's a terrific introduction to Star as we see that she has quite a few rough edges and that despite having a command of her own she seems to have screwed that up on a number of levels. Not winning over your crew would be one of them! You also hint at some of the darker complexities and backstory to Star. Again, it all serves to demonstrate just why she's among my favourite to read. This is going to be a messy, messy affair and it looks from the outset that no matter who might have been given this task, they'd manage to get into trouble given the cross purposes and agendas of having too many chiefs not enough indians. The delight will be in following just how this all ends up going south.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review and I'm glad you're still a Star fan, even though we have to see if this remains true after this story. This woman does have a few issues and most of them will come haunting her in this tale.

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