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

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Old September 1 2012, 01:20 AM   #1
PPatters
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Duane's Rihannsu Saga

In another thread, Christopher mentioned that he'd like to see Diane Duane write more Star Trek novels, but conceded that he thought some of her later work with Rihannsu was too political for his tastes. I've never read the novels, but they've seemed somewhat interesting to me.

Politics and war are quite my personal taste (My bachelor's degree was in political science, though I'll concede I've never once utilized it.) I'm interested in reading them, but they're both expensive and I'm the kind of person that likes to really invest (i.e. read all five) and don't have a ton of time to do it (I join the US Navy soon and will be gone and without the ability to do much reading in a couple of months).

I've read through a couple of different threads on here about the books and tried to get a sense of them from Amazon and the sort, but wanted to gauge what people thought of them overall. Namely, I was wondering if people like how they dealt with the issues of politics and the Romulans post-TOS, etc... and if those aspects are overall handled intriguingly or are more haphazard.

Any thoughts are appreciated, of course
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Old September 1 2012, 01:51 AM   #2
teacake
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

I thought the first one was completely unreadable. I recall a few WTF moments where the Romulan female was straight out of the soft focus 60's in how she interacted with McCoy. I never read past the first.
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Old September 1 2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

teacake wrote: View Post
I thought the first one was completely unreadable. I recall a few WTF moments where the Romulan female was straight out of the soft focus 60's in how she interacted with McCoy. I never read past the first.
Okay, I have no idea what you're talking about here. I don't remember anything like that in My Enemy, My Ally. Your mention of McCoy suggests that you might be thinking of Arrhae in The Romulan Way, the second Rihannsu book, but I still don't know what you mean. If ever there was a Trek novel that was not like a typical Trek episode, it was that one. Heck, half of it was a monograph about Romulan history.
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Old September 1 2012, 02:08 AM   #4
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

teacake wrote: View Post
I thought the first one was completely unreadable. I recall a few WTF moments where the Romulan female was straight out of the soft focus 60's in how she interacted with McCoy. I never read past the first.
I haven't read "My Enemy, My Ally" since it first came out, but I recall enjoying it. The Romulan female was supposed to be "straight out of the soft focus 60s". It's a Star Trek tie-in, after all. Ael is the aunt of the Romulan Commander featured in "The Enterprise Incident".

I really enjoyed Duane's supporting characters, some of whom are alien crewmembers of the Enterprise. Several were introduced in "The Wounded Sky", and they pop up in the Rihannsu installments (and "Spock's World").

The Romulan politics/war talk was my least favourite aspect of the "Rihannsu" series, and TNG felt no need to even notice her world-building. I recall Richard Arnold scoffing at liberties she'd taken, and he put the brakes on similar extrapolations of TOS aliens in novels being written in the late 80s/early 90s.
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Old September 1 2012, 02:13 AM   #5
teacake
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

Christopher wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
I thought the first one was completely unreadable. I recall a few WTF moments where the Romulan female was straight out of the soft focus 60's in how she interacted with McCoy. I never read past the first.
Okay, I have no idea what you're talking about here. I don't remember anything like that in My Enemy, My Ally. Your mention of McCoy suggests that you might be thinking of Arrhae in The Romulan Way, the second Rihannsu book, but I still don't know what you mean. If ever there was a Trek novel that was not like a typical Trek episode, it was that one. Heck, half of it was a monograph about Romulan history.
Yes it might have been that one. I'm pretty sure I read both.
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Old September 1 2012, 02:21 AM   #6
Therin of Andor
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

teacake wrote: View Post
Yes it might have been that one.
In that case, the main Romulan character in "The Romulan Way" is meant to be an atypical Romulan.
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Old September 1 2012, 02:46 AM   #7
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

I just remember throwing the book across the room. I did finish it though.. but it was hard work. I suppose it's of its time , I'd been reading DS9 relaunch when I took a break and read that one.
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Old September 1 2012, 03:13 AM   #8
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

I personally didn't enjoy My Enemy, My Ally, and it was a chore for me to get through it. Mostly, I felt that the characterizations of the main crew were off somehow, and I didn't find the Romulan crew to be particularly interesting to counteract that.

I actually read The Romulan Way first, not even realizing that it was a sequel (for the most part, it's completely distinct until we see some familiar characters at the very end). I really enjoyed this one, both the exploration of Romulan history and the 'present' storyline - a good McCoy-centric tale. Definitely worth the read in my opinion; I've actually read it twice.

Swordhunt/Honor Blade was just plain boring, again in my opinion. I spent the whole book just waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever really materialized. It finally gets mildly interesting - at least in comparison to the rest of the book, not edge-of-your-seat type excitement - in the last chapter or two if you can make it that far, just in time for it to end for a lead-in to The Empty Chair.

I do own The Empty Chair, but I've never gotten around to reading it, and though I probably will someday, it's definitely toward the bottom of my to-read pile.

So, if it were me to do over again, I probably wouldn't shell out the money for five books (or two if you do the omnibus), and would just go for The Romulan Way. It's self-contained enough that you really don't need the rest of the series to enjoy it. I'm someone that likes to read a full series as well, and this may be the only one I'd recommend only reading part of it. Take from my two cents what you will.
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Old September 1 2012, 03:31 AM   #9
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

21Spike65 wrote: View Post
I actually read The Romulan Way first, not even realizing that it was a sequel (for the most part, it's completely distinct until we see some familiar characters at the very end). I really enjoyed this one, both the exploration of Romulan history and the 'present' storyline - a good McCoy-centric tale.
Ditto. Fun, fond memories of McCoy sitting on a "rock", talking to himself.
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Old September 1 2012, 03:46 AM   #10
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

21Spike65 wrote: View Post
I personally didn't enjoy My Enemy, My Ally, and it was a chore for me to get through it. Mostly, I felt that the characterizations of the main crew were off somehow, and I didn't find the Romulan crew to be particularly interesting to counteract that.
It's as if we'd read completely different books. I devoured Duane's Rihannsu books the second each found its way into my hands. One of the absolute high points of Treklit for me.

To each his own, I guess.
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Old September 1 2012, 04:20 AM   #11
T'Bonz
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
In that case, the main Romulan character in "The Romulan Way" is meant to be an atypical Romulan.
She was an altered human, that's why!

LOVED the Rihannsu series, with a strong preference for the first two books. Regrettably, Trek canon regarding Romulans kind of drove the last ones in a direction not quite as cool, imo.

The Romulan Way is one of my favorite Trek books.
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Old September 1 2012, 05:12 AM   #12
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

My Enemy, My Ally is one of my favorite Trek books. I've probably reread that and The Romulan Way more than any other Star Trek books.

I'm with T'Bonz- the later books were good too but the first ones were much better.
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Old September 1 2012, 05:21 AM   #13
Therin of Andor
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
She was an altered human, that's why!
Yep. I was saving myself doing spoiler code.

Trek canon regarding Romulans kind of drove the last ones in a direction not quite as cool, imo.
Mind you, it ended up helping with a resolution for the saga, although it probably wasn't part of the pre-TNG vision.
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Old September 1 2012, 05:48 AM   #14
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

It would have been cool if the last movie had been a reboot and the new Romulans were based on the Rihannsu and the Klingons based on The Final Reflection.
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Old September 1 2012, 06:37 AM   #15
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Re: Duane's Rihannsu Saga

Thank you everyone for the replies so far! (And please, keep them coming!) I should have expected a polarized response, but that's not a bad thing It seems at least a little interesting to me -- reading about space battles and the like aren't as much my liking, I'm usually into the more cerebral, so perhaps this is for me. But any more help would be appreciated

Thanks again!
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