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

View Poll Results: Rate Surak's Soul
Outstanding 0 0%
Above Average 1 11.11%
Average 5 55.56%
Below Average 2 22.22%
Poor 1 11.11%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 29 2014, 05:01 PM   #1
Defcon
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ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterprise: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard


Blurb:
You are alone in the dark reaches of space, surrounded by aliens who do not understand who you are and what you are, and who will not accept your beliefs. Under such circumstances, an emotional human would feel lost, cut off, adrift, but Sub-Commander T'Pol is a Vulcan, and Vulcans control their emotions. However, no other Vulcan has served for longer than a few weeks on a human ship. Has she, as others imply, lost her way?
Pulled, once again, into one of Captain Archer's dangerously impulsive attempts to make first contact, the sub-commander finds her life threatened. T'Pol reacts, draws her phase pistol and kills. It was a simple act of self-defense. But is killing ever simple? Has she forsaken the teachings of Surak?
Determined to be true to her heritage, T'Pol forswears violence. She tells Captain Archer that never again will she kill -- even if ordered. Is she, as Archer suggests, endangering the entire ship?

______________________________________________

My short review from 2004:

Surak's Soul stands out more because of its lousy price/performance ratio than the story. A relatively short novel for full price could be excusable if at least the story would be somewhat extraordinary, but Surak's Soul isn't able to deliver on this front either. The story is through and through average and not really original. The entity here reminded me a bit of a more benign and intelligent version of the crystalline entity from TNG.

Although the novel is called Surak's Soul, that part of the novel, dealing with T'Pol's explorations of Vulcan norms concerning violence, is way to superficial for my taste, although there never was any danger that this novel could become to epic in scope if Dillard had spend more pages on that topic.



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Old May 30 2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I reread this book last year I voted average.The story is okay but not one of my favorite stories involving T'Pol not wanting to use violence to defend herself against an alien threat.The Hoshi story was the more interesting of the sto ry arcs in this book.
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Old May 30 2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

It is a couple of years since I read this book now and to be honest I have to admit I can't remember that much about it which probably says all it needs to say about it.

My review is posted here if people are interested. However first line in my summing up paragraph is probably enough, "Overall "Surak's Soul" was another reasonable Star Trek Enterprise novel that won't win any awards but kept me entertained enough"

I ended up clicking Average.
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Old May 30 2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I've read the book for the first time one or two months ago. The story was average, not below or in excess of it.

I liked the scary zombie part. I don't know how you would re-interpret the sequence of events of the crewmember's death to fit modern continuity.

The death of the aliens was sad, but I wonder how they could ever live long enough to build a civilization if they don't even dare to kill microorganisms? Wouldn't they be wiped out by the equivalent of HIV or prestilence?

Also, I wonder what became of the creature. Is it still being tended by the Vulcans? Did they free it at some point?

This novel stands out for featuring T'Pol's father. Did he appear anywhere else, ever? The producers intended for him to be revealed a Romulan. A shame we never got around to that.
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Old June 3 2014, 02:47 AM   #5
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

T'Pol was planned to be half Romulan? I don't recall ever hearing that. It's interesting, but I'm not sure I think it would've made sense.
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Old June 3 2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

borgboy wrote: View Post
T'Pol was planned to be half Romulan? I don't recall ever hearing that. It's interesting, but I'm not sure I think it would've made sense.
Here's the Memory Alpha link:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Unde...Pol.27s_father

Since reading that for the first time, I've been paying attention to that issue in ENT. So far, no episode or novel contradicted the notion. She may have either a Vulcan or a Romulan father, both options are on the table.
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Old June 3 2014, 04:12 PM   #7
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Does every female Vulcan have to turn out to be half-Romulan?

I hope that never happens, myself. Let T'Pol's father be Mr. Average Vulcan.
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Old June 3 2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Does every female Vulcan have to turn out to be half-Romulan?

I hope that never happens, myself. Let T'Pol's father be Mr. Average Vulcan.
"T'Pol...Tell me about your father", Trip said inquisitively.

"Oh. Him. Not much to tell. He liked domestic beer and reality TV. No enemies to speak of, and he never belonged to any secret cabals of any kind. I remember that he also loved puns. Died peacefully in his sleep. Why do you ask?"
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Old June 3 2014, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Reality TV is most illogical.
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Old June 3 2014, 06:11 PM   #10
Deranged Nasat
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Re: ENT: Surak's Soul by J.M. Dillard Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Paris wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Does every female Vulcan have to turn out to be half-Romulan?

I hope that never happens, myself. Let T'Pol's father be Mr. Average Vulcan.
"T'Pol...Tell me about your father", Trip said inquisitively.

"Oh. Him. Not much to tell. He liked domestic beer and reality TV. No enemies to speak of, and he never belonged to any secret cabals of any kind. I remember that he also loved puns. Died peacefully in his sleep. Why do you ask?"
Exactly! Kind of.

I mean, they did okay with her mother, really. She was a science instructor who later in life joined a political reformist group. Okay, admittedly she instructed at the Vulcan Science Academy and she became best pals with T'Pau, but still, at least on paper it looks pretty reasonable. Even with those links, T'Les still came across as "your average Vulcan citizen". Making T'Pol's father Romulan makes her too "special" for my liking .

Christopher wrote: View Post
Reality TV is most illogical.
"Big Brother, I believe I have determined the logic behind your perplexing behaviours. You wish to appeal to what the philosopher T'Shemi has termed 'the lowest common denominator' among the populace, allowing for minimal cognitive effort so as not to overtax the viewing audience. I submit that this is appealingly logical from a profit-motivated viewpoint, but an affront to Surakian values.

(pause)

...I have yet to determine why this chair is decorated in purple le-matya pelt".
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