Reviews: The Unity Saga
Book 1 and beginning of Book 2: Interesting Ideas offset by Canon Defilement
Chuck is a better reviewer than he is a writer. (note, I read it a while back so some details may be off) There is a great deal of potential here. We see Picard react to 7 of 9 and face his prejudice to the Borg. The battles are epic and we see a huge cultural clash as both universes react to this massive change in the status qou. However this is off set by the canon defilement, poor characterization, and killing off characters in ways that seem mean spirited. All three can be summed up in one word: Data. Data is turned to the dark side (deleting his ethical program or not, it's quite a stretch). Data unceremoniously kills Troi. And most damning of all, Data calls 7 of 9 a "Borg bitch". Profanity is fine, in this case it's completely out of tone with both the Star Trek and Star Wars universes. I may be wrong, but I can't recall hearing the word "bitch" in any works of either franchise. Not only that, but the shear hatred that Data, of people, says it feels just wrong. Also Endor and the Ewoks were destroyed (along with DS 9, though it somehow gets better in book 2), but at least he stopped short of having Jar Jar and Neelix put in an Agony Booth by Wedge Antilles, who has been driven insane by PTSD and constantly yells "Fuck!"
Books 1 and 2: An Epic Story, as told by pro wrestling bookers.
All right, let's get one thing straight: This isn't a bad story. It holds the attention well and you want to read it to find out what's going on. But it's got some serious flaws. The author has a tendency to toss out some gratuitous Take Thats; see what happens to Corran Horn, or the portrayal of the Voyager crew as in general semidisciplined and semicompetent as a team (after five years on the line their teamwork should be superb even if their skills aren't) in comparison to that of the Enterprise, or killing Troi. He also tends to drop some bellwhistles for certain groups of fans (on both sides) that just clutter up the story for everyone else. Other flaws manifest in the use of shock deaths that lack either buildup or even much in the way of appropriate treatment. We've lost several members of the DS9 cast, pretty much the entire leadership of the New Republic excepting the Solos, Troi, and Tom Paris. The only one who got much of a sendoff was Mon Mothma, valiant to the end. The author tried to give one to Tom Paris but left too much to implications that can't actually be drawn unless he'd stated some basic facts first. Other aspects have been overcome by the progressing canon, such as when Mara Jade entered Imperial service and what she was like then, or her relationship with Vader. Finally there is the unsatisfying treatment of Seven of Nine's progress towards normality, which isn't so much a gradual process as a series of jumps, and even when it's over, it's really not over. Her and Luke's relationship is also poorly managed; excuses can be made for Seven but not for a Luke who's had the maturity to face Vader and the Emperor.