BreakdownsBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 4, 2003 - 11:26 AM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #28, Breakdowns
Author: Keith R. A. DeCandido
Publication Date: June, 2003
Breakdowns by Keith R.A. DeCandido is the twenty-eighth instalment of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series that in the past two years has developed an extremely loyal and ever-increasing following. This is the last of four 'spotlight' stories that explore the effects of the events of the critically acclaimed Wildfire on some of the major characters of the series. This poignant and delightful story features the captain of the USS da Vinci, David Gold, and the head of the S.C.E. team assigned to that ship, Commander Sonya Gomez. Displaying a surprisingly gentle touch and tremendous skill, Keith R.A. DeCandido, who also edits this series, has crafted the perfect tribute to the fallen heroes of the USS da Vinci.
Captain David Gold, officially cleared by Starfleet of all blame surrounding the consequences of the events at Galvan VI, has a harder time relieving himself of blame. Commander Sonya Gomez, perhaps the character who is the most personally effected by those tragic events, is torn between blaming herself and blaming her captain. In Breakdowns, they each take a different path on the road to forgiveness but they ultimately end up in the same place.
The blame game is often inevitable after a tragic event and the loss of someone significant in your life. The 'what ifs' and the self-doubts combined with the sorrow and the lingering shock can destroy an individual or a family. The crew of the USS da Vinci, while not related, are most definitely a family — and Breakdowns is all about family.
One of the things that make this series so exceptional and such a fan favourite is that it is never formalistic. There is no cookie cutter approach that so often detrimentally affects some media tie-in series. Breakdowns is a perfect example of this refreshing direction. This story is entirely character driven. There is no galactic or planetary crisis. There are no space battles and there is no horrific enemy to defeat. Instead, Breakdowns is a story about a family, and how the individuals who comprise that family try to come to terms with great loss and attempt to help each other to slowly begin to recover from that loss. After all isn't that what 'family' is for?
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.