I just finished this book in the Typhon Pact and am writing up my review of it on my website. Overall, I have a very positive opinion of the novel and its contents. David R. George III has an excellent grasp of characterization and I very much enjoyed his ability to get into the heads of my favorite characters. I also give him kudos for his depiction of depression, which has afflicted several family members over the years and which Sisko's depiction of suffering seems to be very spot-on. I was really moved by a lot of the scenes.
Qualities I really liked
* Spock achieving the Reunification Movement's legalization is quite impressive. It's been a long time of basically being "Christians under Rome" and seeing it decriminalized is wonderful. Sadly, the very fact they're part of the Typhon Pact more or less renders it a paper tiger.
* The treatment of Donatra is amongst my favorite in her many depictions. You managed to capture the "Golden Girl" image I think the various books have given her and the idea she was much more approachable, likable, as well as charismatic than the majority of Romulan leaders. In a subtle way, I felt people would WANT to follow Donatra in a way that they wouldn't other characters.
* As mentioned, Ben Sisko's grief and melancholy are poignant. I wouldn't be surprised if half of the Federation is feeling what he's feeling after the events of Star Trek: Destiny. As much as I'd like "The Old Sisko" to be able to rise above all this, after the Dominion War and so on, it's seemingly the case of the *two ton bricks which landed on the already two ton pile that broke the camel's back."
* I'm glad you inserted a scene I've been DYING FOR in Star Trek for literal decades
. Basically, a Captain tells one of their First Officers "no, you may NOT speak freely." It was about time someone took a stand against disrespect and insubordination. I'm glad it was the Sisko. I just wish it had ended with said person in the brig.
As Reed would say, you respect the office.
* Kira's brief appearance was a wholly welcome one and I need to research where I can find out how she ended up in the clergy (there's a lot of books in the Novelverse). Her attempts to reach out to Sisko during his loss of faith are very true to life how I've felt about a lot of people in my own life. That there simply isn't the words to help, be they reassurances about God or the fact people love you, to comfort those you care about in pain. Sometimes it just isn't enough.
* I wanted to reach in and strangle the Tzenkethi, which is a strong emotional reaction to their manipulations to say the least. As much as I hate what they've done, it's also nice to see badness and duplicity prevail. The fact they've installed a friendly Praetor to the Federation doesn't mitigate their crimes or effect. Also, having killed an Empress and a Praetor, why stop there? As stated in "License to Kill" by Sanchez, "You're only President for life, my friend."
* Mrs. Sisko, now Ms. Yates reacted exactly the way she should have. Glad she didn't take Sisko's rationalizations.
Things I didn't like
This isn't a reflection on DRGIII as an author, just a reaction to the events involved. Basically, I don't dislike the way it was done, just am unhappy it happened. Ned Stark getting decapitated is great storytelling but I feel awful about it.
* I'm really saddened by the end of the Imperial Romulan State. I was keeping my fingers crossed we'd see the IRS join the Khitomer Accords and suddenly have permanently allied Romulans to the Federation. It seemed perfect as a way to give us Romulans working on our side and a natural extension of events given Donatra's friendly nature to the Feddies. Watching the Romulan Empire get reborn is just depressing
, especially since I mentally associate with a slave-holding state (poor Remans) and consider any such government innately vile. There's no evidence the IRS *ISN'T* a slave-holding state but I guess I hoped that better ties with the Feddies would help remove that problem.
From my perspective, the IRS was the last best hope for the Romulans and I'm unmoved by its new friendly Praetor versus Donatra.
* Obviously, I'm saddened by Donatra's death. A great light has gone out from the Romulan race and with it, hope for their people. Romulus died this book.
Hobus will just finish the job.
(Hyperbole much? Yes, I'm a fanboy. We are a race of sound and fury, signifying nothing)
* I was hoping Sisko would be able to come terms with his depression and loss of faith. This may surprise people but I grew up in a very religious area but fell into some bad influences (people who are the kinds of folk who give Kai Winn a bad name). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
simultaneously helped me question a lot of the assumptions I'd been leading while helping me come to terms with questions of faith vs. science.
Seeing such a good and strong man lose everything which gave his life meaning is heartbreaking and you captured every bit of that.
Anyway, I look forward to reading more books in the series as well as those by the author.