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Old October 1 2012, 07:37 AM   #4
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Re: Typhon Pact: Should I keep going?

Well, Losing the Peace is only peripherally connected to the Typhon Pact series.

Each of the first four Typhon Pact novels focused on a different Pact member. Zero Sum Game focused on the Breen; Seize the Fire on the Gorn; Rough Beasts of Empire on the Romulans and the Tzenkethi; and Paths of Disharmony focused on the Andorians (not a Pact member, obviously) and how they were impacted by something the Tholians did.

After those four, there's the eBook short novel The Struggle Within, which focuses on the Kinshaya and the Talarians (whom the Federation is courting as an ally).

From there, the duology Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn is essentially a political thriller about the Romulans, internal divisions within the Pact, and how those divisions cause a flare-up with the Federation. Brinksmanship, the most recent Typhon Pact novel, focuses on the Tzenkethi, and is a sort of "Cuban Missile Crisis"-style political thriller about, well, escalation and political brinksmanship.

These novels are all intensely political. They tend to focus on thematic concerns related to moral ambiguity, espionage, black ops, political manipulation, the struggle for the upper hand, and the ways in which attempts to seize a military advantage without provoking the other side to all-out war can spiral out of everyone's control.

Of these novels, Rough Beasts was controversial when it came out but has been more positively re-evaluated since Plagues/Raise, its nearly direct sequels, came out. Paths of Disharmony was generally well-received except for its finale, which caused some controversy. The Struggle Within and Plagues/Raise were very well-received, and Brinksmanship seems to be getting good reviews. Really, the only Typhon Pact novels that's generally seen as mediocre was Seize the Fire, which you can safely skip if you wish.

In general, I would say that if novels that focus on international relations and political thrillers, and/or are morally ambiguous, are not your thing, you may not enjoy the Typhon Pact series. Typhon Pact is very much a series about how a former hegemon that has been reduced from hyperpower status copes in a world with a powerful rival alliance, and about how that alliance's internal conflicts shape its relationship with the former hegemon. It's a very Cold-War-meets-post-Iraq-War-America-with-a-dash-of-John-le-Carre kind of series.
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