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

View Poll Results: Rate To Brave the Storm.
Outstanding 8 11.11%
Above Average 24 33.33%
Average 26 36.11%
Below Average 9 12.50%
Poor 5 6.94%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 26 2011, 05:31 AM   #31
JD
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

TerraUnam wrote: View Post
Andy Mangels said in this forum that Michael Martin is simply not a character writer. He is however a plot and politics writer.
Which is also part of why I've been hesitant to read his solo stuff. Because I tend to consider characters to be #1 slightly ahead of plot.
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Old October 26 2011, 03:54 PM   #32
Andy Mangels
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

TerraUnam wrote: View Post
Andy Mangels said in this forum that Michael Martin is simply not a character writer. He is however a plot and politics writer.
A bit of a simplification/misquote...

I actually said (as I recall) that I wrote the majority of the character-based material and scenes, and Mike wrote more of the continuity-based and political material. Both of us had our strengths, and in rewrites, would strengthen scenes each other had written in ways that made them mesh well.

We definitely plotted the books together, sometimes with the bones of a plot from the editor.

A lot of the Romulan politics in Enterprise was pure Mike, but in other books, that might be different. I handled many of the Vulcan scenes, for instance.

I wrote almost all of the Bajoran stuff (as I recall) in DS9 Cathedral, and all of the Trill politics in Worlds of DS9: Trill - Unjoined, while Mike did more of the Gamma Quadrant segments and history of the Trill species in those books (respectively).

In The Sundered and Titan books, Mike wrote almost all of the Neyel material, while I did more of the Federation material. On the SCE books, because there was so little politics or continuity stuff, we balanced out very closely. So, it really all changed, depending on the project.

Hope that helps clear it up.
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Old October 26 2011, 06:16 PM   #33
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

I've read it, and I echo some of the concerns raised in ex Zane Grey's review. This was a good book in the majority of places, but it really needed to be fleshed out and expanded (or more likely allowed to be the full story it was originally intended to be). There were probably two books' potential plot in here, if not three, and after the measured pace of Beneath the Raptor's Wing it's rather breathtaking how much unfolds in so relatively few pages. Raptor's Wing was a great success in my eyes due to the time it took in establishing every player and teasing out the "big picture". It gave me all I could want as a "historical overview" of the war's first year. To Brave the Storm, on the other hand, had disappointing gaps in that "big picture" because the ratio of time passing-to-scenes featured was so different. The picture is still a good one - I enjoyed Martin's vision of the war immensely - but the full satisfaction of Raptor's Wing was missing. And it's a shame because what we got in Brave the Storm was of good quality.

Since we know the Romulan War miniseries was going to be longer at one point, and since the writing in most individual scenes doesn't feel particularly rushed, I'm not putting any real blame on Michael Martin for the disappointingly rapid pace of progression. He should have been given a trilogy, not a duology. While most individual scenes in To Brave the Storm felt solid, the compressed timespan of the book detracted from their power. So many events were handled in a manner that rang true on an emotional level, or at least felt genuinely meaningful, only for the book to skip along to the next without giving us the time to let it sink in, or to watch it sinking into the characters. We were often left wanting when it came to their mid-to-long-term response. Basically, To Brave the Storm often left me no time to digest the meal, although what it was feeding me was usually good. A list of some of the events/plots that genuinely felt significant or had emotional weight but were diminished somewhat by the lack of time to process them as part of the unfolding story:
All of these, I must emphasise, were aspects of the plot that were generally handled well; I'm not complaining about any lack of quality or gravity in the writing. But it all happened so quickly!


Again, it seems to me that the fault lies not with Martin (whose writing I enjoyed throughout) but with the decision to have this book conclude the war, when the story really needed to unfold at a slower pace. Martin should have been given a trilogy - this is a good book undercut somewhat by (presumably) editorial decisions.
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Old October 26 2011, 10:43 PM   #34
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I've read it, and I echo some of the concerns raised in ex Zane Grey's review. This was a good book in the majority of places, but it really needed to be fleshed out and expanded (or more likely allowed to be the full story it was originally intended to be). There were probably two books' potential plot in here, if not three, and after the measured pace of Beneath the Raptor's Wing it's rather breathtaking how much unfolds in so relatively few pages. Raptor's Wing was a great success in my eyes due to the time it took in establishing every player and teasing out the "big picture". It gave me all I could want as a "historical overview" of the war's first year. To Brave the Storm, on the other hand, had disappointing gaps in that "big picture" because the ratio of time passing-to-scenes featured was so different. The picture is still a good one - I enjoyed Martin's vision of the war immensely - but the full satisfaction of Raptor's Wing was missing. And it's a shame because what we got in Brave the Storm was of good quality.

Since we know the Romulan War miniseries was going to be longer at one point, and since the writing in most individual scenes doesn't feel particularly rushed, I'm not putting any real blame on Michael Martin for the disappointingly rapid pace of progression. He should have been given a trilogy, not a duology. While most individual scenes in To Brave the Storm felt solid, the compressed timespan of the book detracted from their power. So many events were handled in a manner that rang true on an emotional level, or at least felt genuinely meaningful, only for the book to skip along to the next without giving us the time to let it sink in, or to watch it sinking into the characters. We were often left wanting when it came to their mid-to-long-term response. Basically, To Brave the Storm often left me no time to digest the meal, although what it was feeding me was usually good. A list of some of the events/plots that genuinely felt significant or had emotional weight but were diminished somewhat by the lack of time to process them as part of the unfolding story:
All of these, I must emphasise, were aspects of the plot that were generally handled well; I'm not complaining about any lack of quality or gravity in the writing. But it all happened so quickly!


Again, it seems to me that the fault lies not with Martin (whose writing I enjoyed throughout) but with the decision to have this book conclude the war, when the story really needed to unfold at a slower pace. Martin should have been given a trilogy - this is a good book undercut somewhat by (presumably) editorial decisions.
Yes there are alot of unanasweerd questions that you wonder about in To Brave the storm. In part one of Micheal's interview he mentions not being able to write in Shariel's jawsas the middle book of the original trilogy. And that he mentions what would've been the unfolding storyline of what happened with the aftermath on Vulcan with Trip still being on Vulcan that had to be cut out of the book.It was an editorial choice to merge what was left of In shariel's jaws story line and TO brave the storm into two books in one I think it's areal shame he wasn't able to write the novels as he originally intended them to be a longer length series of Enterprise novels.
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Old October 26 2011, 11:32 PM   #35
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Not quite finished yet but I do like it, just that at times things seem rushed. Would have liked to have seen this as a trilogy as planned & I really hope this isn't the end for the series.
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Old October 27 2011, 01:59 AM   #36
ex Zane Gray
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I've read it, and I echo some of the concerns raised in ex Zane Grey's review. This was a good book in the majority of places, but it really needed to be fleshed out and expanded (or more likely allowed to be the full story it was originally intended to be). There were probably two books' potential plot in here, if not three, and after the measured pace of Beneath the Raptor's Wing it's rather breathtaking how much unfolds in so relatively few pages. Raptor's Wing was a great success in my eyes due to the time it took in establishing every player and teasing out the "big picture". It gave me all I could want as a "historical overview" of the war's first year. To Brave the Storm, on the other hand, had disappointing gaps in that "big picture" because the ratio of time passing-to-scenes featured was so different. The picture is still a good one - I enjoyed Martin's vision of the war immensely - but the full satisfaction of Raptor's Wing was missing. And it's a shame because what we got in Brave the Storm was of good quality.

Since we know the Romulan War miniseries was going to be longer at one point, and since the writing in most individual scenes doesn't feel particularly rushed, I'm not putting any real blame on Michael Martin for the disappointingly rapid pace of progression. He should have been given a trilogy, not a duology. While most individual scenes in To Brave the Storm felt solid, the compressed timespan of the book detracted from their power. So many events were handled in a manner that rang true on an emotional level, or at least felt genuinely meaningful, only for the book to skip along to the next without giving us the time to let it sink in, or to watch it sinking into the characters. We were often left wanting when it came to their mid-to-long-term response. Basically, To Brave the Storm often left me no time to digest the meal, although what it was feeding me was usually good. A list of some of the events/plots that genuinely felt significant or had emotional weight but were diminished somewhat by the lack of time to process them as part of the unfolding story:
All of these, I must emphasise, were aspects of the plot that were generally handled well; I'm not complaining about any lack of quality or gravity in the writing. But it all happened so quickly!


Again, it seems to me that the fault lies not with Martin (whose writing I enjoyed throughout) but with the decision to have this book conclude the war, when the story really needed to unfold at a slower pace. Martin should have been given a trilogy - this is a good book undercut somewhat by (presumably) editorial decisions.
Yes, that's how I felt too. You put some of it in better words that I did. I like what the book does offer a lot, but it just kept jumping so much in time out of need to cover the whole rest of the war, that the material doesn't have anywhere near the heft and resonance Beneath the Raptor's Wing did. That sheer, satisfying scope. Another example...



I still really enjoyed the book but I was hoping for so much more, especially after another year-long wait.
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Old October 27 2011, 06:07 PM   #37
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

[QUOTE=ex Zane Gray;5310004]Yes, that's how I felt too. You put some of it in better words that I did. I like what the book does offer a lot, but it just kept jumping so much in time out of need to cover the whole rest of the war, that the material doesn't have anywhere near the heft and resonance Beneath the Raptor's Wing did. That sheer, satisfying scope.[/QUOTE]

On reflection, me three, too.

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Old October 27 2011, 06:48 PM   #38
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Indeed. The Romulans' conduct here was rather surprising for me in that the novel leans in the opposite direction to what is usually done with them in Trek lit. Where most novels, in my view, are concerned with the sympathetic or at least "honourable" aspects of Romulan culture (while ensuring the brutality and manipulation is still very much evident), this one highlighted their most disturbing behaviours (while ensuring their unique sense of honour and ethics were still notable). It was an inverted picture for me (which makes sense in that the Romulans as a nation are obviously straight-up antagonists here - no Ruanek, Charvanek, Cretak or Donatra this time).
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Old October 27 2011, 07:39 PM   #39
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

I just got my copy. I expect to start it tomorrow.
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Old October 28 2011, 12:09 AM   #40
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

^I haven't read the book yet, but when it comes to the characterization of the Romulans, I think it is worth keeping in mind that, other then when they were on our side in the Dominion War, we've never really seen then in a full on war. War does tend to bring out the worst in cultures.
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Old October 28 2011, 01:16 AM   #41
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
The Romulans' conduct here was rather surprising for me in that the novel leans in the opposite direction to what is usually done with them in Trek lit. Where most novels, in my view, are concerned with the sympathetic or at least "honourable" aspects of Romulan culture (while ensuring the brutality and manipulation is still very much evident), this one highlighted their most disturbing behaviours (while ensuring their unique sense of honour and ethics were still notable).
Duane's original version of the Rihannsu had the Earth-Romulan War be a defensive war from the Romulan side, with the Romulans' civilian populations being the one potentially at risk from a numerically and technologically superior opposing force. (Note that I said "potentially".) In FASA's RPG setting, the Romulan War was an expensive deep-space war, fought in a frontier region that seems to have lacked substantial Federation or Romulan civilian populations.





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Old October 28 2011, 01:49 AM   #42
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

^
Very good points. I really enjoy your insights on the Romulans, rfmcdpei. You're good at tying all the various portrayals together, giving a sense of their nation's history as one big tapestry.

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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; October 28 2011 at 02:01 AM.
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Old October 28 2011, 02:18 AM   #43
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
^
Very good points. I really enjoy your insights on the Romulans, rfmcdpei. You're good at tying all the various portrayals together, giving a sense of their nation's history as one big tapestry.
Thanks!

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Old October 28 2011, 05:59 AM   #44
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

I'm agreeing with general sentiment above.

I think a 3rd book would really have helped to flesh out the whole RW story.

Something I just noticed, Columbia goes missing at the end of the previous RW book, however, there is no mention of it in this sequel. For someone who was as (apparently) important to Archer as Erika Harnandez I would have thought it would have had SOME impact on Archer...
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Old October 28 2011, 06:57 AM   #45
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Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

It's too bad that the Romulan War books got cut short. Especially since The Kobayasi Maru entry seemed more like a pointless filler/lead-in book than anything else.
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