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

View Poll Results: Rate Fallen Gods.
Outstanding 1 1.12%
Above Average 14 15.73%
Average 40 44.94%
Below Average 23 25.84%
Poor 11 12.36%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 11 2012, 08:25 PM   #271
Pigboy
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Been awhile since I've been here but I had to post. I brought five trek books with me while on vacation at the beach. I like to read on the beach and I began to worry that those five books wouldn't be enough. Until Fallen Gods.

Storming Heaven - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Plagues of Night - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Raise the Dawn - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Forgotten History - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fallen Gods - Took me days to read. It was a struggle not to skip whole chapters.

Very disappointed in Fallen Gods. I have read Seize the Fire but can't really remember what happened in it, which goes to show how uninteresting I found it. I don't understand. I really liked Cathedral and Trill:Unjoined. Taking Wing and Red King where also 'meh' for me so maybe it's hit or miss.

I may add Michael A. Martin to the list of authors I avoid (like Christie Golden).
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Old September 11 2012, 11:38 PM   #272
JD
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterpriserules wrote: View Post
I feel like we must have read different books!
Yeah, I was kind of shocked how much their reviewer loved it, since the majority of people here seemed to have the exact opposite reaction.
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Old September 12 2012, 12:49 AM   #273
tomswift2002
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterpriserules wrote: View Post
I feel like we must have read different books!
Agreed.
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Old September 12 2012, 03:13 AM   #274
Paper Moon
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Pigboy wrote: View Post
Been awhile since I've been here but I had to post. I brought five trek books with me while on vacation at the beach. I like to read on the beach and I began to worry that those five books wouldn't be enough. Until Fallen Gods.

Storming Heaven - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Plagues of Night - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Raise the Dawn - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Forgotten History - Blasted through it. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fallen Gods - Took me days to read. It was a struggle not to skip whole chapters.

Very disappointed in Fallen Gods. I have read Seize the Fire but can't really remember what happened in it, which goes to show how uninteresting I found it. I don't understand. I really liked Cathedral and Trill:Unjoined. Taking Wing and Red King where also 'meh' for me so maybe it's hit or miss.

I may add Michael A. Martin to the list of authors I avoid (like Christie Golden).
To be fair, the first three books you read (and to a lesser extent, the fourth) are widely acclaimed (as widely as a Trek novel can be acclaimed) as some of the best TrekLit out there. Even Forgotten History, which I was less excited about, is extremely well-regarded.

Technically speaking, the first four novels probably created an expectation bias for Fallen Gods, which might have had the effect of exaggerating its shortcomings. If I were you, I'd wait a month or two, and give it another shot. Who knows, maybe it'll seem better on reread with lowered expectations.

Or maybe it will still suck really badly to your tastes. In which case, I thoroughly apologize.
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Old September 15 2012, 01:03 AM   #275
CNash
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I finished reading Fallen Gods the other day.

First, I was very disappointed in the treatment of White-Blue. I enjoyed his characterisation in James Swallow's Synthesis and thought that he'd be a great addition to a diverse crew like Titan's. However it seemed like that Martin didn't really know what to do with him and quickly arranged to have him written out until he was needed as a plot device - for example, to join with the Ta'ithan AI and Tuvok to wrap up the Brahma-Shiva plotline from Seize the Fire here - and then send him right back into technological limbo when he was done. It's a real waste of potential - we've seen that sentient AIs can be written well, look at Data! - and here was a chance to explore issues outside of the usual "outsider strives to be more human" dynamic that tends to plague characters like his.

Like others in this thread, I found the scenes dealing with the Ta'ithan crisis somewhat difficult to digest. Opening the book with a chapter written from their POV, without giving the reader any concrete frame of reference as to what the Ta'ithans or their world really look like or how their society functions outside of the Keeper-Trasher conflict, was perhaps not the best of moves. Reusing the tired old "Titan is the cause of the problem, Riker feels guilty and must make amends" situation is just lazy at this point.

The lack of characterisation became apparent almost immediately; Titan's original crew members seemed to have no personalities other than their basic writers-bible descriptions. Ra-Havreii regresses back to his Luna accident agonising, and mention is made of his typical Efrosian promiscuousness; Melora is conflicted over her use of telepresence (again!); even Pava had no real character moments save from the established Andorian aggression and hot temper. Tuvok was handled better - he's clearly shown trying to regain his mental composure after his experience with Brahma-Shiva - but like White-Blue, he's relegated to a supporting role after the mind-meld with the Ta'ithan AI.

As for the Andorians: The timescale from the secession was far too slight for their appearance to make any sense, and their characterisation just seemed incongruous. I suppose we could accept that the crew is most likely brainwashed by the Tholians, but even that seems hollow somehow.

The transporter cloning thing sounds like an idea that might have been floated in an Andorian brainstorming session, then quickly shot down because it was terrible - even ignoring the huge moral and ethical problems, lack of genetic diversity is going to become an even bigger problem than it already is! The "big reveal" in the epilogue was anything but - even if the transporter chief hadn't coincidentally thought about the Tom Riker incident earlier in the book, it was fairly easy to work out what was going on, and the plotline would've benefitted from being revealed earlier on, saving potential confusion over which Pava was where.

While I didn't feel an urge to put down the book entirely, nonetheless I didn't really enjoy it either. It's a bad combination of an A-story (Ta'ith) that the reader isn't sufficiently persuaded to care enough about, with a B-story (Andorians) that's full of implausibilities and jarringly bad characterisation, and not enough time to really flesh either of them out.
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Old September 15 2012, 01:49 AM   #276
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^ Great review, CNash. I think it rather neatly covers most of the problems I had with this one. The book had its moments, certainly, but overall it just wasn't a comfortable read. I think you've rather effectively explained why.
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Old September 15 2012, 02:52 AM   #277
CNash
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Cheers

One other thing - I read Indistinguishable From Magic immediately before Fallen Gods, figuring that published order should stand me in good stead, but then realising that Fallen Gods takes place quite a bit before Indistinguishable due to the presence of Ogawa on Titan. Does this mean that the Titan series is going to have to "jump" to keep up with the TNG and/or Typhon Pact books, or will it stick to each book following closely behind the last, and having to be relatively self-contained, while allowing for the possibility that a future author could insert Titan into a TNG/Typhon Pact book and thereby dictate the characters' futures?
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Old September 15 2012, 04:22 AM   #278
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Actually IFM begins only about three months after Paths of Disharmony, and Fallen Gods is sometime after PoD. So it wouldn't take a very big jump to move TTN past IFM. Certainly nowhere as big as the jumps it's already made -- 8 months from Sword of Damocles to Destiny and a year from Synthesis to Seize the Fire.
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Old September 15 2012, 02:13 PM   #279
CNash
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

That makes sense, thanks! I'm not too great on the precise chronology of the novels beyond "this takes place after that"...
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Old September 28 2012, 02:39 PM   #280
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Hello all. Doing my usual thing of posting my thoughts without reading the rest of the thread, after which I will go back and see what the rest of you thought.

Basically, not too bad. I had been unsure whether to even buy this or not, given that from what spoiler-free rumours I had heard about the boards it wasn't especially well received and I hadn't particularly enjoyed Seize the Fire. But I didn't want to miss out on the next adventures of the Titan and her crew, who had been probably my favourite bunch of characters for a while there. So I decided to plump for it - less than 10 quid after all, hardly a big loss if I ended up not liking it.

And maybe it was just because my expectations were low, but it really wasn't all that bad. I mean, it'll never win any major literary awards, but it was a straightforward solid episodic adventure that didn't really try to be anything it wasn't. My problem with Seize the Fire had been mostly that the dialogue felt horrifically clumsy and unnatural, and that didn't seem to be a problem here, maybe because there was less focus on the scientific stuff and more on action and plot.

I didn't really feel like the two storylines had all that much to do with each other, and they both had their problems, but nothing that was an absolute dealbreaker.

The A-story - the Taithans. Pleasant enough, although there wasn't really a lot of ambiguity to their situation, given that one faction was so obviously "right" and the other so obviously "wrong." I didn't like that we got no suggestion of what happened to them after the AI repaired the Technocore. Yes, the planet was saved, but what about the people? They are what matters in a story, surely. Just because the Keepers were proven to be right doesn't mean that the Trashers will just step back and accept it. There's a lot more to be explored there that was just left half-finished. It was nice to get another non-humanoid civilization, but the idea of the Titan making it worse by interfering or even just by being there seemed like a re-run of themes we've had with this series before.

The B-story - the Andorians. Not helped by the fact that we'd never heard of six out of the seven Andorian crewmembers before, but I guess that's a necessary evil. I figured out immediately that they were doing the transporter split thing, and I DID NOT like it. It seems like the worst kind of sci-fi shit - where some ludicrous hi-concept notion is used not to explore the characters' problems but to erase them altogether. "Oh look, because of this fantastic piece of technobabble, not only do we get to solve the characters' dilemma by literally splitting them in half, but we get twice as many Andorians too, which will solve the population problem! Aren't we clever?" I was very unhappy with this story idea, right until the end when an attempt was made to show that it doesn't actually solve all the problems at all, and the duplicated Andorians still don't actually want any of this to happen. They still consider themselves kidnapped, and I can only assume more is going to come of this in later books. That mitigated it somewhat, but I still think it's extremely dangerous ground to be walking on, and can easily be used to sidestep the problems instead of actually dealing with them. The Tholians were a nice surprise though.

Not a lot of room for character development, but then I suppose it just wasn't that kind of story. I've had enough of Tuvok now, thank you. I'd like to focus on somebody else for a change, as I feel like I've been getting Tuvok overload. I didn't like leaving White-Blue behind, as I thought there was a lot more that could be done with that character. I especially didn't like when somebody said he's been "missing a purpose in his life" - his move to the Titan at the end of Synthesis was precisely so that he could have a new life, and I don't like the idea that he would suddenly decide, "no, that was boring, now I'm going to do this instead" after so little time actually being a member of the crew. To the extent that it actually felt like character assassination rather than even just character inconsistency. And the sudden focus on Pava was a little overwhelming too, though again obviously I can see that was required by the storyline, but then I don't find her to be a particularly compelling character. I do find it interesting though that Vale is seen swearing so much more often than any other Starfleet officer I can remember.

So, upshot is - not as bad as was fearing it was going to be, but I did have some issues with it, more as it went on than when it started.

.
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Last edited by lvsxy808; September 28 2012 at 04:00 PM.
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Old September 28 2012, 03:58 PM   #281
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Read the thread now. Interesting how I'm in such total agreement with everyone else over this, but I was on a different page with almost everyone over Plagues/Dawn.

So it seems the general consensus is "Better than Seize the Fire, but that's not saying much." I find myself forced to agree.

I'm also afraid that I might have to agree with some of you in that this might be the end for me with Titan, unless someone else takes over the series. As much as I said before it's not a lot of money to take a risk over, there's no point throwing it away if you know you're not gonna enjoy the book. It's a real shame, especially since along with all of you I thought some of the earlier Titan books were some of the best TrekLit books there have been.

.
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Old September 29 2012, 12:36 AM   #282
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I haven't read the two Michael A. Martin solo Titan books yet, but I really think that if Titan really is becoming a one author series, then that author should be Christopher Bennett. So far his two Titan books have been some of the best entries in the series yet. He's also one of the best authors when it comes to world building, and IMO that really should be a big part of Titan, since the series is supposed to be focused on getting back to the exploration side of Starfleet.
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Old September 30 2012, 05:00 PM   #283
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I'm about half way through Fallen Gods. Is it better than Seize the Fire? Yes. It is compelling? Not particularly. So far I share the opinion of many posters that it's merely okay. I get the impression that Martin likes the science and world-building but kinda lacks depth when it comes to characters.
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Old December 4 2012, 03:21 PM   #284
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
The Taithans. Pleasant enough, although there wasn't really a lot of ambiguity to their situation, given that one faction was so obviously "right" and the other so obviously "wrong."
Just quoting myself here because I had some further thoughts on this just a few minutes ago.

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Hurricane Sandy, specifically the section about its connection to global warming. And I was sadly reminded of those idiots who believe (or claim to believe at least) that global warming is a hoax, and in fact blame the hurricane on gay marriage or something equally nonsensical.

These people are like the Trashers. People who are so married to their doctrine, who will utterly ignore all scientific facts if they disagree with their established world view, no matter how illogical that world view is. These right-wing whackjobs blame death and destruction on a massive scale on two people who love each other acknowledging such in public - something that any non-raging-moron can see has nothing to do with anything - while simultaneously refusing to accept what all evidence points towards actually is responsible, and in fact blocking any efforts to solve that root cause.

One would have hoped that seeing such monumentally, stunningly stupid people in fiction was bad enough. But today I was reminded that such people actually exist in the real world. And that paradoxically made me happier with this book, because what I had taken to be bad writing was actually a perfect representation of something real that I would just rather wasn't.

.
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Old December 11 2012, 07:48 PM   #285
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Re: TTN: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

The idea that Starfleet officers can turn down transfer orders just because they are not Federation citizens is just ridiculous.
Does that mean Nog can turn down transfer orders more easily than a human officer? Ridiculous.

That "resolution" was not very likely (in reality) or clever (for Riker to come up with). Anti-climatic.
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