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Old October 27 2011, 01:59 AM   #36
ex Zane Gray
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I've read it, and I echo some of the concerns raised in ex Zane Grey's review. This was a good book in the majority of places, but it really needed to be fleshed out and expanded (or more likely allowed to be the full story it was originally intended to be). There were probably two books' potential plot in here, if not three, and after the measured pace of Beneath the Raptor's Wing it's rather breathtaking how much unfolds in so relatively few pages. Raptor's Wing was a great success in my eyes due to the time it took in establishing every player and teasing out the "big picture". It gave me all I could want as a "historical overview" of the war's first year. To Brave the Storm, on the other hand, had disappointing gaps in that "big picture" because the ratio of time passing-to-scenes featured was so different. The picture is still a good one - I enjoyed Martin's vision of the war immensely - but the full satisfaction of Raptor's Wing was missing. And it's a shame because what we got in Brave the Storm was of good quality.

Since we know the Romulan War miniseries was going to be longer at one point, and since the writing in most individual scenes doesn't feel particularly rushed, I'm not putting any real blame on Michael Martin for the disappointingly rapid pace of progression. He should have been given a trilogy, not a duology. While most individual scenes in To Brave the Storm felt solid, the compressed timespan of the book detracted from their power. So many events were handled in a manner that rang true on an emotional level, or at least felt genuinely meaningful, only for the book to skip along to the next without giving us the time to let it sink in, or to watch it sinking into the characters. We were often left wanting when it came to their mid-to-long-term response. Basically, To Brave the Storm often left me no time to digest the meal, although what it was feeding me was usually good. A list of some of the events/plots that genuinely felt significant or had emotional weight but were diminished somewhat by the lack of time to process them as part of the unfolding story:
All of these, I must emphasise, were aspects of the plot that were generally handled well; I'm not complaining about any lack of quality or gravity in the writing. But it all happened so quickly!


Again, it seems to me that the fault lies not with Martin (whose writing I enjoyed throughout) but with the decision to have this book conclude the war, when the story really needed to unfold at a slower pace. Martin should have been given a trilogy - this is a good book undercut somewhat by (presumably) editorial decisions.
Yes, that's how I felt too. You put some of it in better words that I did. I like what the book does offer a lot, but it just kept jumping so much in time out of need to cover the whole rest of the war, that the material doesn't have anywhere near the heft and resonance Beneath the Raptor's Wing did. That sheer, satisfying scope. Another example...



I still really enjoyed the book but I was hoping for so much more, especially after another year-long wait.
ex Zane Gray is offline   Reply With Quote