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Old November 25 2013, 12:33 PM   #28
RTOlson
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Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

I do so love it when my local bookstore has a book in early. I powered through the book this weekend and generally enjoyed it. Perhaps the best part was that <spoiler>I was right about who directly killed Bacco.</spoiler>

The book is a good setup for the endgame. It was a rousing adventure, although the Federation/Starfleet that breathed down Bashir and Dax's backs in "A Ceremony of Losses" seem pretty lackadaisical in this one despite a decent amount of bluster. For example, Starfleet repeatedly attempts to recall Titan, but the request is simply ignored (such defiance would've been met with more deliberate action in the prior story).

Also, it's pretty obvious in one situation where the powers-that-be will need to kill everyone involved (their agents even say it repeatedly), but the characters are allowed to live long enough for the situation to change. That's some classic Bond-style supervillain plotting right there (but without the frickin' sharks with lazers on their frickin' heads).

There was also something that appeared to be an inconsistency between this novel and "The Crimson Shadow." IIRC, the new Cardassian castellan has already been elected by the time the events in this novel transpire, but the election appeared to have happened "After the Fall" in Crimson Shadow. I don't think things have fallen yet, but I could be wrong.

As the book concludes, we're presented with what appears to be two conspiracies. One centered around the people who killed Bacco and the other around our heroes. Our heroes make an argument that sounds good primarily because of their status as heroes and the fact we trust them to do what's right. However, I could also picture similar words coming from nefarious figures, like Admiral Leyton from "Paradise Lost."

I suppose such things reinforce the belief that actions speak louder than words and so far our heroes appear to be acting in the right. I guess we'll see what actions are taken when "The Fall" concludes next month.
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