David, I second other posters when they ask you not to leave. Remember KRAD's comment, "don't mistake a few fans bitching on the internet as any kind of trend" or something to that effect.
This is very true. I, for one, don't post here very often (although I've been a member for longer than I care to recall) but I do frequently lurk on the boards, especially the TrekLit forum. I don't post much for a variety of reasons, although usually because I either don't feel I have much if anything to add to the discussion or because I tend to have catch up periods every few months of reading Trek books which have already been talked about to death on here, and resurrecting threads ain't my thing. Anyway now that tedious explanation is out of the way I just wanted to add my voice to those saying your contributions to the board will be missed David; I always enjoy reading the comments you and your fellow authors make and the insights you provide into the stories you write.
I very much enjoyed Rough Beasts of Empire
and although it is by no means my favourite book of yours, that prize goes to Provenance of Shadows
, it was certainly an interesting read. Definitely the best of the three Typhon Pact books I have read so far and I really liked Zero Sum Game
for the most part, although Seize the Fire
not so much.
The Spock half of the tale, all the Romulan twisted political machinations and the Tzenkethi stuff was excellent. I really liked the description of the Tzenkethi race, completely unexpected and far more intriguing than I thought they were going to be. The reveal at the end of the book actually made me a little frightened of them! I was saddened at the demise of Donatra but I did like the ambiguous way in which her death came about and am interested to see how the Romulan Empire will move forward from this point under new leadership. The Re-Unification Movement interests me and like other posters on here I should very much like a full in-depth explanation from Spock as to what exactly he envisions the future of a united Vulcan and Romulus to be (although perhaps I will get my answers in a future book some day).
As far as the Sisko half of the novel was concerned I was in two minds; I cartainly didn't have the vitriolic reaction some others appear to have had to it but at the same time I can't say I wasn't uneasy about it. I finished the book a couple of days ago now and over that time I have come to not only accept but like the direction his story has taken. Where he goes from here will of course determine my overall impression of his actions and I hope the next person who writes a novel focusing on either Deep Space Nine or Sisko does the story justice. I can understand why some people may think the prophecy the Prophets made about his marriage to Kasidy is a rather tenuous and flimsy explanation for his actions, and if looked at completely objectively without the investment Sisko has in the people he loves then I can see how it appears that way, but if looked at completely from Sisko's point of view and in his imagined frame of mind at the time then I can certainly understand why he does what he does even if I don't necessarily think he's doing the right thing.
I only really have two criticisms but they were enough to make me vote 'above average' rather than 'outstanding'. Firstly, I didn't really understand what the point of Sisko's flashback to the Tzenkethi war was. I mean, it was alright in and of itself and the section where Sisko is told to stick to command because he has the knack for it was interesting but overall it all just seemed pasted on to the rest of the novel. Secondly, I really thought the story could have done with being longer, (it's ironic that for me both RBoE and ZSG would have benefitted from being a 150 pages longer and yet STF would have actually been improved from being 150 pages shorter, but them's the breaks I guess) with these extra pages both the Tzenkethi war flashback and the time spent exploring the Tzenkethi species could have been expanded upon and pushed the novel up to 'outstanding'.
All that being said RBoE was still an excellent read and I look forward to more TrekLit from you in the future, David, even if you no longer choose to post on the Trek BBS.