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

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Old December 5 2007, 03:11 AM   #1
Julio Angel Ortiz
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Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS*****

I figured now that the book is reaching a wider audience, and some thoughts are starting in the Amazon.com / SoD thread, why not start a proper review / thoughts / spoiler thread, a la the Before Dishonor and Q&A threads.

I really enjoyed this book, and I think I'll get even more out of it on a second reading. Great debut novel from Geoffrey Thorne. I liked the Orishans and the concept of how their race developed under the Eye. Modan's "battle mode" was very cool.

I'm going to miss Jaza (or is he really gone? After all, with this talk of fate, and Destiny is on the horizon...).

I felt the tension, particularly between Riker and Troi, and having them being so cuddly and close during the series, it was jarring but in a good (dramatic) way.

And, already the fleet is down a Luna class ship. Nice one, Geoff.

Other thoughts?
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Old December 5 2007, 08:43 AM   #2
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

My head is still pounding from the later half of the book. Usually I am OK with the technical aspects, but this one threw me for a loop.

I liked all the tension and how it's continually being referenced. It shows things aren't perfect or rosy and they can't be tied up neatly at the end of the novel. It's on going.
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Old December 5 2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

^Yeah, me too. I just finished the first chapter, and I gotta say, I feel sorry for poor Vale. I'm also very curious what is up with Deanna, and to see what it is that people are finding so confusing.
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Old December 6 2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

I also really enjoyed the book, and thought the Orishans were quite a uniquely realized species. Jaza's fate was also really neat, and I liked how we were shown just what that entailed in the Prologue at the end. I also liked Modan and her new-to-us ability. And it was maddening (maddening, I say!) to be kept guessing as to what was going on with Deanna & Riker.

Great job, Geoff! :thumbsup:
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Old December 12 2007, 08:19 AM   #5
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

Just finished the book and had a couple of questions:

1) I am still a little hazy on what the "EYE" actually was. Am I correct in stating that the EYE was actually the planet Orisha but in a different time or phase or existence?

2) What causes the EYE to destroy everything on the surface of the planet? Does this occur when the Veil network failes and the two planets attempt to exist in the same space?

3) In Chapter 16, who is dancing around without his uniform? Is it the Hulian? If so, who is he talking to?
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Old December 12 2007, 11:27 AM   #6
Geoff Thorne
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

1) Yes. The veil network folded layer upon layer of the local space/time around itself (like wrapping a billion quilts around you as you roll over and over in bed) taking it out of phase with normal reality.

When it became unstable the folds collapsed into each other creating a massive tesseract- a 4D object (or energy field in this case) that transcends normal space/time- around the planet.

Inside the tesseract Orisha bounced through those folded layers at random, appearing and reappearing at various points in its own past.

Since Orisha was already present in those periods the introduction of another massive planetary body in such close proximity caused catastrophic destabilization of "both" planets' magnetic and gravitational fields resulting in quakes, weird weather and optical effects, etc. as well as further damage to the veil network. Primitive peoples would, of course, interpret such an event as an apocalypse or the wrath of God.

Even when it was working properly the veil's multiple enormous space folds also destabilized the normal behavior of subatomic particles in the region, creating the expanding disruption wave that mimicked a warp pulse as well as the crunched quantum rippling that "preceded" it.

2) Yes.

3) Yes. He was talking to Vale.
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Old December 12 2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

the_wildcard said:
3) In Chapter 16, who is dancing around without his uniform? Is it the Hulian? If so, who is he talking to?
RedJack said:
3) Yes. He was talking to Vale.
Ok, now I definitely have to keep reading.
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Old December 13 2007, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

RedJack said:
1) Yes.

2) Yes.

3) Yes. He was talking to Vale.
Thanks RedJack. From a SCI-FI point of view, I thought this was definately a very original story. I saw alot of unique concepts, ie. the tesseract, the different kinds of energy waves and how they interacted. This definately ranks up there with my other favorite TITAN novel - Orion Hounds.

From a literary point of view, overall I thought the book was good. I have to admit I got bit a lost sometimes in the science. It wasn't only until the end, did everything start to click, coicendentally at the same time Jaza and Ra-vii figured everything out, lol.

But my favorite parts were your descriptions of the sky and the interaction of the energy waves from space. I imagined a lighting storm combined with a raging firestorm and the Aurora Borealis. I dunno if that was the intent, but that's what I imagined, haha.

As for the interactions and development of the crew, I had no issues with any of them. In fact, I have to say that the idea of Jaza's fate being linked to visions of the prohepts and his past was a terrific idea.
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Old December 14 2007, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

Just finished reading the book. Fantastic!
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Old December 15 2007, 08:17 AM   #10
Geoff Thorne
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

Worf2DS9 said:
I also really enjoyed the book, and thought the Orishans were quite a uniquely realized species. Jaza's fate was also really neat, and I liked how we were shown just what that entailed in the Prologue at the end. I also liked Modan and her new-to-us ability. And it was maddening (maddening, I say!) to be kept guessing as to what was going on with Deanna & Riker.

Great job, Geoff! :thumbsup:
Thanks, JDJ. Long strange trip, eh?
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Old December 17 2007, 06:44 AM   #11
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

Just finished the book, had to re-read the end because I felt like I missed something with Xin, are chief engineers going to be this series' 'red shirts'?

Very interesting story though, nice the Xindi were mentioned. It was a great trip, liked the Rikers' problem was a mystery for a bit, Modan was very different, loved her, I will miss both Jaza and especally Ra-Havreii, he was interisting because he had bagage from what happened to the Luna and was still working on it.

I also liked all the tension, much like it was on DS9 for a while and something Voyager could have used more of early on. Nice to see that a crew that diverse can get along, but also have realistic issues too.

Oh - was the Orion crewmember on the Charon chief engineer? Just asking because I have an Orion on my as yet unfinished fanfic project and mentioned the few others in Starfleet were either security or engineering officers.
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Old December 17 2007, 07:54 AM   #12
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

The Orion was CHARON'S First Officer and Ra-Havreii actually survived. I would never kill a character like him. He and Modan have a nice moment at the end, though I don't give their names.

I'm glad you liked it.

(I have always loved the Orions. How one of the males ended up as a Starfleet officer is something I guess we'll never know.(unless someone else has already shown one in a similar position elsewhere. there are just too many Trek books to keep up with.))
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Old December 18 2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

I just finished this one last night and it was a good read. I eventually got into the rhythm of the jumping around in time and the descriptions.

Overall I would give this one about a 4 out of 5, and ranks as my 3rd favourite of the stories in the Titan series to date, just edging out Red King and just behind Taking Wing. Orion's Hounds has a very very solid lock on #1 position in this series.
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Old December 18 2007, 05:06 PM   #14
Geoff Thorne
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

I'll take that. That's awesome. Glad you liked it.
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Old December 19 2007, 04:15 AM   #15
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Re: Sword of Damocles -- comments & opinions ****SPOILERS***

I'm digging out my account here that I haven't used in like 2 years to tell you how much I loved this book. I didn't start reading Titan until the 3rd volume was released and I burned through those fast, so I was disappointed to have to wait so long for this one, but it was totally worth the wait!

One thing I'm still trying to wrap my head around -- you explained in a post above that the Eye was actually the incursions of the planet Orisha from different time periods, caused by the space-time folding of the Veil.

But am I correct in understanding that the reason the Orishans developed the Veil in the first place was to hide from the Eye -- if they cloaked the planet, they would no longer have to suffer the catastrophes that had destroyed all their past civilizations?

So then, it's a predestination paradox/self-fulfilling prophecy? Sigh, temporal mechanics...
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