Reviewer: Ln X Signed
28 May 2013
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
The mystery deepens, and for a man who wanted peace and an end to the war, Daren sure has a blinding hatred of the Cardassians as evidenced by his brutal attack on that fake Cardassian soldier.
Also I'm at the halfway point of the story, and since this is a big one, here is my midway review of it so far.
You have definitely got something good going on here, the main characters you introduced have some life to them and you've clearly put some careful thought into Hank and his strengths and weaknesses as a captain. You have not gone overboard with too many characters and each character has something distinctive, even if at times the story sort of forgets about them (take T'Kel for instance). T'Kel is one of the more interesting Vulcan characters I have seen but so far she has appeared in only one scene and I thought she complimented Paul's character rather well.
Another thing I have noticed is that some of the main characters seem too chirpy, cheerful, exuberant and they grin too much. I know you could explain that away as upbeat people who don't let bad situations get the better of them, but it sometimes feels a bit forced how sometimes -- take that conversation with Bethany, Nick and Hank for instance -- and the characters can talk about some very deep matters, and then sometimes in some of your scenes, they either laugh it off or let off a joke. So I'm not sure if it is a case of people unwilling to let adversity get the better of them, or if it is a case of the dialogue adding humour or upbeat moments where they are unwarranted. It's hard to tell.
Those minor shortcomings are more than compensated by an intriguing plot, some great political dimensions, especially that last conversation between Paul and Daren. In particular Daren's story is a harrowing one and it is made all the more worse in that his wife died days before the Dominion war ended, that's tough, that is really tough. So I'm glad you are adding some ethical dimensions to this story.
You also really examine the psyche of Starfleet captains, that to seems to be a big theme in this story. You have Hank's more informal and communicative style, and for the most part it works for crew morale and the crew feeling at ease with their captain. Though you also exposed some of the flaws to Hank's methods, so that is a nice bit of balancing. The flashback scenes with Hank and Kerling add some weight to the story and they do not feel like a diversion from the main story, so that is a one crafted route you explored with fleshing out Hank's past.
From reading this story I get a sense that the big three are Hank, Nick and Bethany and they all seem to know each other very well. Although Hank and Bethany feel like the more interesting of our 'big three', and I'm wondering when you will develop a romance between the two because I get that sense of such a possibility.
As for the dialogue, it appears to be rather devoid of clichés, you made a cliché of your own with Hank's 'go for it' command, while in general the interactions between the characters is smooth and I don't recall wincing at any time with the dialogue; which I gather is the driving point of your story.
Where you have used descriptive writing as worked each time and I got some images in my mind of what New Haven looks like, so if I can see this world you must be doing something right!
All in all this story is showing great promise and the set-up is developing very nicely. So I am very eager to see how well your pay-off works at the end!