A couple of weeks ago I promised I'd write more about this series, which I recently read. It's set after the last episode and the first book came out around the time I was finishing off my fic, which was set around the same time. It meant I was curious about the book, so I bought it and read it once I'd finished my story.
And it bored me.
It didn't help that I'd got more interested in the contents of my story, which dealt with completely different aspects, as I was more focused on bringing Elizabeth back from the dead than all the characters they had to deal with in the book. I haven't re-read it since, so I can't say what it was about it that I found boring. I do remember that it involved the Wraith and I just felt that it had been done. Here they were, writing books set after the last episodes, so they can do (almost) anything and they go with the Wraith.
I was content to leave it at that - I didn't even know there had been any more - until I was bored and reading just_ann_now's friends list. Someone on there is one of the writers of the series and they mentioned that in the next book they were bringing Elizabeth back. And given that it's going to be called Unascended, no guesses as to how.
So I poked around in their LJ and found where they were answering questions and said it won't make any sense if you haven't read the previous six. I was thinking that perhaps I'd not bother with this book or read this book and not bother with the previous five. And then I'd got back into Stargate for my Remix fic and wrote a Jack/Elizabeth fic, which meant I got back into Stargate Atlantis, so then the idea of reading the books sounded more appealing.
So I did. And they were still boring.
On the one hand I did enjoy them because they were more Stargate Atlantis. Once I got into them I got faster going through them, I don't know if that's because I got used to them or got more into Atlantis or they improved. I can't tell if me getting excited about the Stargate SG-1 characters being in it was just because I'd been writing them and watching episodes. And I did discover that I'd forgotten a lot about what happened in the series.
The first one, especially, I thought had a problem. Without wanting to spoil it, at the end of the first book there's a capture (which I had forgotten, but became clear as I read the second book). The second book deals with the rescue. Interminably. It involves lots of sitting round and people being really moody and anxious because they are not out there fighting bad guys. But what really got me was that right at the end there was a big reveal about what happened to this person in their captivity. And by reveal I mean the characters find out - we discover it in the very first chapter.
I can see that on TV it would have been an amazing thing to see and a great shock at the end of the first part of a two parter, for example. It's something that's not going to work the same in a book, which is fair enough. But to spend the whole book going "But..." at the characters because we know something they don't is really frustrating and made the book drag.
The other problem I had with the books is the shipping. It is a sore point in Stargate fandom, so probably something to be careful with. On this person's LJ she says that they had to go with the canon ships, which sounds like a good policy to me. Except that it starts with hints at John/Teyla and goes on to outright state it. Admittedly, as I mentioned before, I had forgotten quite a bit of the series, but I'm pretty sure Teyla was with an Athosian who she had a son with. Which I would have thought would be a canon ship. They also hint a lot at Sam/Jack, although since they don't state it, just that she's 'very involved' with someone, I imagine that's how they got it past the censors.
Despite my initial dislike at the Wraith being in the books, I did end up liking their exploration of the Wraith. I was less convinced about Teyla's part in that, although since that's because I can't back it up with anything in canon, it could well be that it was the series, I just don't remember it. I was also not 100% convinced at the origin story because it left no logical reason that I could see for the feeding hand.
In conclusion, I don't think I'll read them again. But I will read the next one - it does have Elizabeth in after all. And they have said there are only two more and reading two is a lot less work than reading five.
(I have more to say about books continuing the story after the series has ended, but I'll save that for a more general, less Stargate-specific post)
Mirrored from my blog.