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!
Just a minor example of not having time to process anything: Kolos presumably dies and we never see Archer have a reaction. Not even a "so long, Kolos
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.