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

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.53%
Above Average 58 41.13%
Average 25 17.73%
Below Average 13 9.22%
Poor 9 6.38%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 20 2011, 10:58 PM   #196
Enterprise1981
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

It'll be quite a challenge updating chronological placement of this novel on Memory Beta. I'm at eight months after the events of Lost Souls (the end of the Borg threat). I'll have to go back and see how much time elapsed between Sisko having turned down a promotion to admiral and resigning and the events that spurred to rejoin Starfleet (one would think Jim Kirk gave him the same advice he gave Picard ).

Glancing at Memory Beta, I see that this changing of the guard in the Romulan Empire happened well before the main events of ZSG. Sorry, Rush Limborg. Hope that completely destroy your current story.
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Old January 21 2011, 12:10 AM   #197
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ Not sure why you think the chronological placement of this novel would be so challenging. I can identify the exact date on which every single page of the novel occurs.
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Old January 21 2011, 12:21 AM   #198
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I'm referring to charting each chapter in relation to other works taking place in 2381 and 2382. And probably if someone doing the editing of those pages doesn't have as good a memory.
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Old January 21 2011, 03:42 AM   #199
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
It'll be quite a challenge updating chronological placement of this novel on Memory Beta. I'm at eight months after the events of Lost Souls (the end of the Borg threat). I'll have to go back and see how much time elapsed between Sisko having turned down a promotion to admiral and resigning and the events that spurred to rejoin Starfleet (one would think Jim Kirk gave him the same advice he gave Picard ).

Glancing at Memory Beta, I see that this changing of the guard in the Romulan Empire happened well before the main events of ZSG. Sorry, Rush Limborg. Hope that completely destroy your current story.


Actually, revising the tale wasn't as difficult as I'd feared. (The villains are the Breen, now, and it ties into a decision Ezri made towards the end of ZSG--which had actually caused a controversy in that book's review thread!

Too bad, though, I had to remove a reference to the Tal Shiar, and a nice scene with Donatra, referring to her friendly cameraderie with Ezri...)

I should post it in about a month or so. Look for it.
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Old January 22 2011, 08:15 AM   #200
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I've finally finished reading the book and I have to say that I absolutely love certain aspects of the novel, but it's also not without its faults.

I see this more as a Romulan political thriller with tangential connections to the Typhon Pact instead of an outright Typhoon Pact story, and at the same time, acts as a wonderful bookend to Taking Wing which began the sundering of the Romulan Star Empire. On an odd note, I see Taking Wing in the same fashion with but replacing Typhon Pact with the Titan. Like Taking Wing, Rough Beasts of Empire delves into many Machiavellian dealings involving the state affairs of the Romulan people although the Reman aspect is smaller here.

I loved seeing the continued existence of Spock's Reunification Movement even though it was usurped by Tal'aura for her own purposes and taken advantage of by the Tzenkethi. Considering this and the degree of impracticability on cultural and political levels, I'm surprised how strong Spock remains in regards to this issue. Going into the book, I found myself asking the same questions Slask and Gell Kamenor ask of Spock but I wish Spock provided some answers. On individual and small group levels, I can see the benefits of sharing and bringing together cultural and ideological ideas from both the Vulcan and Romulan people, but how can it work on a large scale level?

Like Zero Sum Game did for the Breen, I loved the delving into the Tzenkethi culture and made me hunger to see more of what little we did see (and I was happy to see they weren't feline in nature). I wish the Tzenkethi had a larger visable role in the book considering it's advertised as a Typhon Pact book.

That being said, I found the two flashback chapters to Sisko's time during the Federation-Tzenkethi war to be a bit jarring because I felt they added very little to the overall narrative. Likewise, I found Sisko's involvement in the story to be unnecessary. While I enjoyed the natural progression of his character since his return from the Celestial Temple (despite disagreeing with Sisko on his motives), I found his role in the story to be tangential at best. I felt his mission to visit Donatra was merely there so he could have a direct connection to the main narrative (and have an excuse for his presence in the book) but I found it unbelievable that he happened to be the second most knowledge person of the Romulans after Spock within the Federation. Sure his dealings with them during the Dominion War and his time at the embassy (was that fact known prior to this book?) gives great insight in the way they work, but of all the captains, admirals, ambassadors, diplomats, and dignitaries in the Federation, Sisko is the best person Akaar and Bacco can come up with?

Speaking of natural progression of characters, I have to say I was initially very shocked by the revelation that Kira left Starfleet and joined the Bajoran Religious Order, and is now a Vedek (although not a member of the Vedek Assembly thus hopefully never to become Kai). I had been very interested in Kira's progression in Starfleet and I didn't like the sudden change in career direction. I had thought the attack from Taran'tar and her initial encounter with Illiana Ghemor wasn't enough to push her in that direction, but I suppose the additional untold story of Kira's second encounter with Illiana along with the Ascendants is what pushed her over the edge. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how that encounter goes.

I unfortunately spoiled myself in two ways: I read about a month ago in this forum that someone had expressed disappointment that the Romulan sundering had been resolved so quickly, and I accidentally saw on Memory Beta (while reading up on praetors) that Gell Kamenor succeeded Tal'aura. I was a little surprised by both revelations but this gave me an interesting perspective on the book and made me wonder how these two events would unfold. Speaking of Gell Kamenor, I unfortunately forgot about her involvement in Serpents Among the Ruins until Spock commented on involvement with the Treaty of Algeron. Clearly I need to read that book again.

A few odds and ends: I didn't like the sudden appearance of Sela because her role in the book felt rather superflous and added little and could have been any random Romulan (plus we still don't know how she got out of a coma and Federation custody, but that's not George's fault). On the flip side, I loved Tomalak's role in the book and I especially loved his grandiose speech to the Romulan Senate which felt like Tomalak channeling G'Kar. Lastly, I liked seeing what happened to Vaughn even if I didn't find the inclusion of the events to the story necessary (it was necessary for Sisko's story but again I didn't feel like Sisko's story synced up well with the rest of the narrative).

Hmmm...after reading back at what I've written, I come off rather negative about the book. I want to state again that I loved the book with only a few quibbles. I look forward to Paths of Disharmony and future Typhon Pact stories.

One interesting observation on a personal note: I was amused by the inclusion of Ensign Orr on the bridge of the Okinawa. Not only is my surname Orr, but my grandfather and namesake was a Navy corpsman at the Battle of Okinawa. Probably a big coincidence, but one I had to point it out.

David R. George III wrote: View Post
As for the teardrop-shaped ships, they are not my invention, but that of James Swallow. Those ships first appeared in his excellent Day of the Vipers.
Interesting, I honestly can't remember that happening and I loved that book. Can you remind me what were the circumstances of their appearance?
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Old January 22 2011, 03:05 PM   #201
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Emh wrote: View Post
David R. George III wrote: View Post
As for the teardrop-shaped ships, they are not my invention, but that of James Swallow. Those ships first appeared in his excellent Day of the Vipers.
Interesting, I honestly can't remember that happening and I loved that book. Can you remind me what were the circumstances of their appearance?
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Old January 22 2011, 03:48 PM   #202
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Emh wrote: View Post
A few odds and ends: I didn't like the sudden appearance of Sela because her role in the book felt rather superflous and added little and could have been any random Romulan (plus we still don't know how she got out of a coma and Federation custody, but that's not George's fault).
We've already seen her subsequent to Double or Nothing - she was in Death in Winter (also with no explanation).
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Old January 22 2011, 05:37 PM   #203
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Emh wrote: View Post
I
That being said, I found the two flashback chapters to Sisko's time during the Federation-Tzenkethi war to be a bit jarring because I felt they added very little to the overall narrative. Likewise, I found Sisko's involvement in the story to be unnecessary. While I enjoyed the natural progression of his character since his return from the Celestial Temple (despite disagreeing with Sisko on his motives), I found his role in the story to be tangential at best. I felt his mission to visit Donatra was merely there so he could have a direct connection to the main narrative (and have an excuse for his presence in the book) but I found it unbelievable that he happened to be the second most knowledge person of the Romulans after Spock within the Federation. Sure his dealings with them during the Dominion War and his time at the embassy (was that fact known prior to this book?) gives great insight in the way they work, but of all the captains, admirals, ambassadors, diplomats, and dignitaries in the Federation, Sisko is the best person Akaar and Bacco can come up with?

Speaking of natural progression of characters, I have to say I was initially very shocked by the revelation that Kira left Starfleet and joined the Bajoran Religious Order, and is now a Vedek (although not a member of the Vedek Assembly thus hopefully never to become Kai). I had been very interested in Kira's progression in Starfleet and I didn't like the sudden change in career direction. I had thought the attack from Taran'tar and her initial encounter with Illiana Ghemor wasn't enough to push her in that direction, but I suppose the additional untold story of Kira's second encounter with Illiana along with the Ascendants is what pushed her over the edge. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how that encounter goes.
I agree with all of this. Sisko's involvement with this book felt very out of place. The primary plot of the novel revolves around the Romulans. Using Spock as the lead protagonist is appropriate and works fine, since we are aware of his unification movement on Romulus. While I was happy to see Sisko again, and I was really surprised by the direction that his story has gone in (losing contact with the prophets, abandoning his family, re-joining Starfleet), I felt like these events should have been handled in a separate novel of its own. Sisko's story and Spock's story were pretty independant from one another and they were just barely connected by sending Sisko to briefly meet with Donatra.

Not thrilled with the notion of Kira leaving DS9 and Starfleet to become a Vedek. I just don't buy it. I know there's a huge gap in her story that will need to be filled in, to explain what went down with the Ascendants and Ghemor. Maybe I'll end up being fine with everything in the end, if and when the missing pieces of the DS9 relaunch are finally filled in. But right now, I'm not terribly happy with all of the shuffling that's taken place with regards to DS9 in the post Destiny time frame.

I felt like we didn't get much insight into the Tzenkethi in this novel, but what little we did get seemed interesting, at least. I understand the desire to tell Sisko's flashback story of the Tzenkethi war in order to help flesh out that missing piece of Trek history, as well as to help develop this alien culture. But again, it seemed out of place and it didn't contribute to the plot. In fact, did Sisko interact with the Tzenkethi at all in this novel? I don't remember him being connected to the Tzenkethi story aside from those flashback sequences. I kept expecting Sisko to get put into a sticky situation with the aliens, and that it would tie into his past encounter with them. But that didn't happen.
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Old January 22 2011, 08:51 PM   #204
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Does anybody know when the scenes with Sisko on the Okinawa were set? I seem to remember The Buried Age implied the Tzenkethi War was over by the time TNG began, so I imagine it was in the early 2360s.
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Old January 22 2011, 09:56 PM   #205
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

DS9forever wrote: View Post
Does anybody know when the scenes with Sisko on the Okinawa were set? I seem to remember The Buried Age implied the Tzenkethi War was over by the time TNG began, so I imagine it was in the early 2360s.
~ 2361/2, based on mention of Jake's pending seventh birthday in Chapter 23.
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Old January 22 2011, 10:08 PM   #206
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Emh wrote: View Post
David R. George III wrote: View Post
As for the teardrop-shaped ships, they are not my invention, but that of James Swallow. Those ships first appeared in his excellent Day of the Vipers.
Interesting, I honestly can't remember that happening and I loved that book. Can you remind me what were the circumstances of their appearance?
Thank you very much. I remember the scene now.

ATimson wrote: View Post
Emh wrote: View Post
A few odds and ends: I didn't like the sudden appearance of Sela because her role in the book felt rather superflous and added little and could have been any random Romulan (plus we still don't know how she got out of a coma and Federation custody, but that's not George's fault).
We've already seen her subsequent to Double or Nothing - she was in Death in Winter (also with no explanation).
Right, which is why I said we "still don't know" and how it wasn't George's fault (because MJF already brought her back without explanation).

Warp Coil wrote: View Post
In fact, did Sisko interact with the Tzenkethi at all in this novel? I don't remember him being connected to the Tzenkethi story aside from those flashback sequences. I kept expecting Sisko to get put into a sticky situation with the aliens, and that it would tie into his past encounter with them. But that didn't happen.
You're correct that Sisko and the Tzenkethi had no interaction in "present day" aside from Sisko briefly seeing the marauders on the Robinson viewscreen. I also kept expecting Sisko would have a nasty encounter with the Tzenkethi that would relate to his time during the war.
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Old January 24 2011, 01:31 AM   #207
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Here's my review:

I have been looking forward to learning more about the Tzenkethi since they were mentioned on DS9 and I've been yearning for a Sisko-Tzenkethi War story since I first heard of the now aborted Lost Era book. It's funny but these two parts I disliked to loathed about the book.

I enjoyed the Romulan machinations the most. I think DRG has a good feel for the Romulans. Of the current crop of Trek Lit. writers he's like the Romulan guy to KRAD's Klingon guy. I really enjoyed the Tal'Aura and Donatra scenes and felt that DRG made something good happen from Nemesis after all. I was shocked and saddened by both their demises, particularly Tal'Aura because she had become quite the formidable schemer. I was also surprised by the dissolution of the Imperial Romulan State because I saw it as a handy way to keep the Romulans a somewhat viable player after the Hobus supernova.

I'm neutral about Praetor Kamemor. It feels a little like Tal'Aura and Donatra were moved aside for a pet Trek Lit. character. Though it should be interesting to see how she contends with the newly installed Chairman Sela. I found the Spock parts well written but a bit boring. He didn't really do much, except be a willing dupe for Tal'Aura. She pretty much used him twice, or perhaps three times since his message to Bacco influenced Donatra to seek an accomodation with Tal'Aura. At the conclusion of the book leaves Spock on Romulus, perhaps as set up for the events of the Star Trek film.

Despite Spock being used as a dupe, I think DRG reserved his worst for Sisko. To me it felt like a character assassination. Sisko would not abandon his family like that (Avery Brooks made certain of that when he insisted on Sisko's promised return), especially for a prophecy that he had defied during the TV show.

The idea that he would just leave Kasidy and Rebecca, that he would cut himself off from Jake, that he would even leave the responsibilities of his father's funeral arrangements, etc. to others, felt like a slap in the face of the character. One of the important aspects of his character, heck one of the things that made him stand out the most in comparison to the other captains was that he was a family man. DRG stripped that away, and for what? To stick him on a ship with a bland crew? And if he wanted to be alone so damned much, why stay in Starfleet? Why not join a Bajoran monastery? Why not buy a ship and travel the stars alone?

DRG's Sisko was a fearful, uncertain, and impotent man, and that's not Sisko. It also pissed me off that Elias Vaughn is so lionized and Sisko is regressed. Elias is the better captain, Elias is the noble hero while Sisko seems to sit on his thumbs against the Borg. I had been also waiting a long time to see Sisko v. the Borg and he seemed so listless, lackluster, it sucked, and then when he abandoned his family it really lit my fire. In essence, DRG turned Sisko into an absentee father at best, a deadbeat father at worst. And also a horrible spouse to boot.

I also didn't care for the depiction of the Tzenkethi. It was unique, but it was hard for me to get my head around. If not for the end when Alizome's machinations are revealed I wouldn't have seen the need for their inclusion in this book at all. Also Sisko's Tzenkethi war memories felt out of place and did nothing to enhance the story. I was thinking they would be tied into the larger story somehow or at least the Robinson would confront a Tzenkethi ship.

Perhaps this book would've worked better if the Sisko and Spock stories had been separated into novellas, with Sisko focusing on the Tzenkethi and Spock on the Romulans. Despite the teases of what happened with the DS9 relaunch, I wish either this book had done a better job fleshing that out, a la Kristen Beyer's Full Circle, or saved it for another book.

Sorry DRG but I'm rating this one Below Average.

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Old January 24 2011, 10:52 AM   #208
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I'm not even a big fan of Spock and the Romulan stuff so I only read 1/3 of the book. And what I read, I didn't like. Here we have yet another character away from DS9, making that novel series more or less obsolete. Kira's off too ... oh really.

I know that change happens in life and naturally, you cannot expect to have the same crew on a starbase for ten years. However, it's Trekliterature and those characters are very dear to me. So I guess I just hoped that the DS9-crew would stay together - just like the Voyager-characters wound up together back on our beloved starship.

Mmh. So I can't really rate this novel in its entirety. But I'm giving the Sisko-plot a 2/5 'cause it felt rushed, he didn't have much to do with the Typhon Pact and I'm really not interested in reading about yet another starship crew.
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Old January 25 2011, 04:36 AM   #209
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I know I'm gonna get reamed for this, but at the moment I am getting ready for work and don't have time to wade through fourteen pages of posts in an attempt to find this information, so I'm just going to ask and hope you good people can answer it or direct me to where in the book I can find it (have the book, but am reading Seize The Fire first). I did, however, skim the first few chapters and read about the Borg battle.

(1) What was the situation in which the USS New York lost her captain and several important crew members, rendering Sisko in charge?

(2) What class of ship was the USS Cutlass?

Thanks folks, have a great evening.
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Old January 25 2011, 05:10 AM   #210
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I just finished the novel and also did a quick search through the forums before voicing my comments and question.

Like some other readers, I incorrectly assumed this would be a DS9 novel. I had to remind myself that in the end, it's not a DS9 novel but just one snippet of the larger and complex Typhon Pact saga.

To that end, I thought Mr. George did a terrific job in creating a very tangled web of interstellar deceit and murder.....otherwise known as politics .

I apologize if my questions were answered before but I did not find them in my cursory search.

1) Just to confirm, the kidnapping of was never mentioned in any other novel, correct? I just want to make sure I didn't forget reading a ST novel.

2) Just to confirm, Vaughn's change of command assignment was never mentioned in any other novel, correct?
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