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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Rate Seize The Fire.
Outstanding 6 5.31%
Above Average 24 21.24%
Average 32 28.32%
Below Average 33 29.20%
Poor 18 15.93%
Voters: 113. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 7 2010, 01:19 AM   #91
Technobuilder
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Technobuilder wrote: View Post
Well crap, I've been looking forward to reading the Typhon Pact series, and now come to find out we're not getting installments for two of the Pact members (Kinshaya & Tzenkethi)...
I think the Tzenkethi do play a role in Rough Beasts of Empire along with the Romulans.
Well that's good to know, I guess.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Technobuilder wrote: View Post
I miss Marco & Margaret. (No Offense to Jaime)
Well, the Typhon Pact books were developed and outlined under Margaret, so the choices of how many books to have and which species to focus on were hers, not Jaime's.
I wasn't trying to single out Jaime for any particular reason, I was just expressing how much I miss Marco & Margaret. I tried to avoid sounding like I was bashing her, but it looks like I failed.

William Leisner wrote: View Post
Technobuilder wrote: View Post
Well crap, I've been looking forward to reading the Typhon Pact series, and now come to find out we're not getting installments for two of the Pact members (Kinshaya & Tzenkethi) and even though I'm enjoying Zero Sum Game thus far, apparently Seize The Fire is going to be a bit of a slow burn...

Crap.

I miss Marco & Margaret. (No Offense to Jaime)
You understand it was under Margaret's editorship that this choice was made, and Jaime had nothing whatsoever to do with it, right?
Again, I've got to do a better job about separating my thoughts. I was disapointed to learn that Typhon Pact had been reduced from six books to four AND was also expressing sentiment for the "Good Ol' Days" or whatever you want to call it. No aspersions were intended.
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Old December 7 2010, 04:45 AM   #92
Keptin J D Reed
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post
MNM wrote: View Post
I dont normally post in review threads before I finish the book, but I have had it at least a week now and am still miles off finishing it, and there is a decent chance I will never get around to finishing it either.

It is slow, dull and not particularly interesting. the stuff about the Gorn might be interesting in the hands of a different writer, but so far I dont find it to be so in this book.
These are my thoughts exactly. I started it last Saturday, am about half way through and have decided that I don't care how the story ends so going to put it on my bookcase and read something else!
Same here - I got to about 150ish and thought "I'm not enjoying this in the slightest, why bother?" I'm currently reading Old Man's War and that is enjoyable.

Same again for me. Have managed to finish the book as I've been on nights for most of the last week, just babysitting a radar system, so haven't had anything to do but read it, but it was indeed a struggle. Found myself keep putting it down and playing on the internet, whereas most books I read from cover to cover pretty much in one go. Old mans war books were fantastic. Enjoy.
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Old December 8 2010, 01:00 AM   #93
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

I thought it was ok but not great and not a page turner. The concepts regarding the structure of Gorn society were interesting and I really liked the biotech of the Hranrar.
What didn't really work for me was the 'madmen as villains' aspect of the story, especially since usually there's method in madness and Gogressh's u-turn on what he thought he needed to do to make his mad vision true didn't make any sense in light of that. I didn't understand Riker's many turnarounds on what to do, either, especially the destruction of the ecosculptor after it had promised to be benevolent towards the Hranrarii.
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Old December 8 2010, 10:18 PM   #94
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

I hate to admit it, but this was the first Titan book I've actually disliked. And I enjoyed Mr. Martin's work every time previously, whether it was with Mr. Mangels or not. Honestly - the book feels like it was only half written. I don't know if Mr. Martin began it with his (former, apparently) writing partner and just finished it solo or what, but there's so much that's just not there. There are number of potentially important and interesting events that simply happen 'offscreen', and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Tuvok aboard the ecosculptor, Riker about the Gorn flagship at the end... a number of scenes like this really contribute to the feeling of only having read half a book.

Another big problem was the characterization, in both actions and dialog. Certain characters seemed very off - neither Xin nor Dakal felt.. 'right'. Many of the familiar Titan characters don't appear at all, and some only get a few generic lines. (On the other hand, Sariel Raeger seemed to get more lines than she ever has before.) Troi seemed to have reverted to her season one TNG persona. Vale felt like a cheap Tasha Yar knockoff instead of the character she's always come across as. And Riker... I'm not even sure I know where to start. Most of his decisions seem completely absent any sort logic or reason to them. When he went to Gog'resssh's ship, there seemed to be no justification for it, or even purpose to it.

And then there's the so-called Prime Directive concerns raised here. This is exactly why I hate the Prime Directive. It's a stupidly arbitrary and asinine law, and I can't believe Riker would be so concerned about it in the face of saving a world from being destroyed by the Gorn. They're an alien, aggressor species, not a natural disaster. Starfleet can't go giving younger races advanced technology, okay, I get that. Starfleet can't go around just repairing planets and unobstrusively averting natural disasters like meteor impaces... okay. Stupid, (really, really stupid) but okay. I guess.

Starfleet can't stop a hostile foreign power from using an alien device to wipe out the biosphere of an entire planet? Why the hell not? Where's the interference? I don't get it, and plots like this make me wish for a throway line in the next Star Trek movie where Kirk says "I'm sure glad they did away with General Order One. That whole Prime Directive bit was nonsense."
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Old December 8 2010, 10:35 PM   #95
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

I had similar thoughts regarding the use of the Prime Directive in this book. I'm not in the camp of those who think the Prime Directive is stupid. I think in essence, it's a very good idea and I can even see why they wouldn't prevent meteor strikes - if someone had prevented the meteor strike that supposedly led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, there's no telling how the evolution of life on earth would have continued. It's similar to the problem Phlox and Cpt. Archer faced in Dear Doctor, I guess. Now, there are cases where it becomes borderline but in this case it seemed pretty clear that the Prime Directive shouldn't apply because it's another race destroying the planet. Isn't this one of the things the Federation and Starfleet is supposed to do? Watch out for those who can't and protect less developed peoples?

Maybe the Federation subscribes to the idea of 'macro evolution' as mentioned in the Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained duology by Hamilton where the Silfen, an elf-like race, say they won't interfere on humanity's behalf because their idea of evolution also includes more advanced species eradicating lesser ones. If you look at the development of wild life on earth ever since humanity grew large they sort of have a point that it's part of evolution, I suppose. But I think we can all agree that it shouldn't be like that. And we see Starfleet doing the opposite a number of times, especially in TOS.
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Old December 8 2010, 10:43 PM   #96
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

I haven't read that many novels featuring the Titan crew, so I have no real point of comparison. I don't know what it is about Martin's writing style that makes some of his stories hard to get into even if the story premise is appealing. ("The Good That Men Do" has been on my bookshelf collecting for two years.)

I don't why the Prime Directive would even be an issue when preventing the Gorn from committing genocide. That's part that always seems so idiotic. I would think the powers that be would have more of a realpolitik mindset when it comes to dealing with the Gorn and technology they had dibs on. The prologue make you feel bad for the Gorn's predicament. But in this post-Dominion War, post-Borg invasion, there's no such thing as "implied dibs."
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Old December 9 2010, 03:35 AM   #97
Andy Mangels
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

elaithin wrote: View Post
I hate to admit it, but this was the first Titan book I've actually disliked. And I enjoyed Mr. Martin's work every time previously, whether it was with Mr. Mangels or not. Honestly - the book feels like it was only half written. I don't know if Mr. Martin began it with his (former, apparently) writing partner and just finished it solo or what, but there's so much that's just not there. There are number of potentially important and interesting events that simply happen 'offscreen', and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Tuvok aboard the ecosculptor, Riker about the Gorn flagship at the end... a number of scenes like this really contribute to the feeling of only having read half a book.

Another big problem was the characterization, in both actions and dialog. Certain characters seemed very off - neither Xin nor Dakal felt.. 'right'. Many of the familiar Titan characters don't appear at all, and some only get a few generic lines. (On the other hand, Sariel Raeger seemed to get more lines than she ever has before.) Troi seemed to have reverted to her season one TNG persona. Vale felt like a cheap Tasha Yar knockoff instead of the character she's always come across as. And Riker... I'm not even sure I know where to start. Most of his decisions seem completely absent any sort logic or reason to them. When he went to Gog'resssh's ship, there seemed to be no justification for it, or even purpose to it.

I can guarantee you that I had absolutely NOTHING to do with plotting or characterization in this book or ANY of Mike's solo books.

Reviews of previous collaborations that have singled out characterization have spoken of many scenes which I wrote. I consider characterization one of my strong suits, along with action and conflict scenes.

World-building and Trek politics are one of my weaker areas, which is why Mike handled many of those scenes, as he is very strong in those areas.
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Old December 9 2010, 09:35 AM   #98
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

^ That's why you two made such a splendid team.
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Old December 9 2010, 07:06 PM   #99
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Given that e now have Mike and Andy writing solo I'd take Andy with characterization over world building any day. In a perfect world we'd have both but characterization is core. Good world building is awesome but without people to populate it it's just stage decoration.

Come back Andy!
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Old December 9 2010, 09:18 PM   #100
Technobuilder
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

^I'm suddenly flashing back to Inception, which I just saw for the first time last night.

And about Seize the Fire, are their any Typhon Pact elements of note that contribute to the larger story of the four novels or can I skip this novel without suffering much of a lack of information? I hate to skip a Titan novel, but this one seems to be sub-par, and if they characterizations are off I'd rather just not read it to save myself from another Before Dishonor sort of feeling.

That said, I'm looking forward to the next entry Rough Beasts of Empire with an oddly nostalgic sense of "DS9-R anticipation" I haven't felt in years.
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Last edited by Technobuilder; December 10 2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old December 9 2010, 09:46 PM   #101
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Andy Mangels wrote: View Post
I can guarantee you that I had absolutely NOTHING to do with plotting or characterization in this book or ANY of Mike's solo books.

Reviews of previous collaborations that have singled out characterization have spoken of many scenes which I wrote. I consider characterization one of my strong suits, along with action and conflict scenes.

World-building and Trek politics are one of my weaker areas, which is why Mike handled many of those scenes, as he is very strong in those areas.
Fair enough - I didn't think you'd simply pulled out of the novel halfway through or anything. Granted, I don't really know you, but you don't strike me as the type.

No, to me, the book just really feels your lack, as though Mr. Martin was just.... expecting the other half of the story to come from somewhere else. I don't know. It's all very odd trying to get through it.
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Old December 9 2010, 10:01 PM   #102
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Just started reading the book. Seems slow going.
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Old December 10 2010, 07:40 PM   #103
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Télapó wrote: View Post
^ That's why you two made such a splendid team.
Agreed
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Old December 11 2010, 03:01 AM   #104
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Finished reading it and I gave it an ok rating. Good books make you want to read more ... this book didn't. Took me a few tries of picking it up and putting it down to finish it and felt more like a chore to finish. Like others I felt like a good opportunity was wasted with not depicting the Tuvok/ecosulptor and Riker/Karasrr scene. Other than that i have no other problems with this novel as a standalone book.

I do however, have a problem with the overall trend of these "Typhon Pact" novels. I was expecting a continuation of Zero Sum Game but Seize the Fire had next to nothing to do with it. in fact the Typhon Pact had very very little to do with Seize the Fire. Remove the words Typhon Pact from the novel, replace it with Gorn fleet and you instantly have a Titan standalone novel with little to no change in plot. The books appear to be episodic each featuring a specific Typhon Pact member and the Federation, which I feel is a terrible move. The writers should have gotten together and wrote an overall story arch spanning the entire Typhon Pact novels ... perhaps maybe something similar to its predecessor, the destiny novels, that drew us into wanting to read more on this Star trek universe.

I am disappointed. I had so much hope for these set of novels. ... I'll take it all back if the upcoming novels tie these books together
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Old December 11 2010, 05:16 AM   #105
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Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

Yeah, the authors have made it very clear from the beginning that these would all be standalone stories. Actually this is pretty much how most of the Trek Lit crossovers work out, as far as I know Destiny was the first big multi-series crossover were they crews all interacted. The closest we got before this was one scene in each of the Gateways books were the Captains all attended the same meeting via the holodeck.
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