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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

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

View Poll Results: Rate Serpents in the Garden.
Outstanding 2 6.45%
Above Average 9 29.03%
Average 16 51.61%
Below Average 3 9.68%
Poor 1 3.23%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 4 2014, 06:01 PM   #31
Reanok
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I've read halfway though this book and Like Kirk's storyline about being on a secret mission to Neural and seeing how his rash and impulsive decisions can affect an entire culture and the discussions about the prime directive is well handled in this story.
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Old May 11 2014, 11:15 PM   #32
TheUsualSuspect
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I voted above average.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one -- I've not read either of Jeff Mariotte's other books, but judging by the comments on this board, I rather expected this one to not be very good. However, since "A Private Little War" is one of my favorite episodes of TOS, I decided to take a chance, and I'm glad I did.

The scenario of the book is somewhat similar to one of the novellas in the Mere Anarchy stories, but not slavishly so. On the whole, the feel of the writing, characterizations, pacing, and plot developments felt very much like TOS, although the personal situations of Kirk and the other TOS characters who appear reflected the period prior to TMP.


If you're on the fence about this one (I notice only 8 people have voted in the poll so far), I would recommend it. And don't be put off by the excerpt at Amazon -- IMO it's pretty bad writing, but the rest of the book is much better than opening segment.
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Old May 12 2014, 06:19 PM   #33
Ronald Held
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Just started reading it. So far it is all right mostly for the changes that happened since Kirk was there last.
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Old May 12 2014, 06:56 PM   #34
Reanok
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I finished reading this book .I liked a story that takes place during the TOS movie era .I liked seeing more mature Kirk had to make choices of helping Tyree and his people deal with the Klingons and resolving the crisis on the planet and I liked the b story with Scotty ,Uhura & Chekov coming to help Kirk in the nick of time.
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Old May 12 2014, 10:01 PM   #35
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I'm unsure if this question makes sense given how potentially subjective it is, but does the novel add anything to the unfolding of the Trek 'verse timeline? Are there relevant/interesting insights into Kirk's adaptation to his admiral position, his career in Starfleet, etc? Are there any new insights into the Klingon position on the Organian Peace Treaty? Is Neural explored in any depth?

Does it work well with, or potentially step on the toes of, Mere Anarchy book three or Ex Machina?
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Old May 13 2014, 03:26 AM   #36
TheUsualSuspect
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I'm unsure if this question makes sense given how potentially subjective it is, but does the novel add anything to the unfolding of the Trek 'verse timeline? Are there relevant/interesting insights into Kirk's adaptation to his admiral position, his career in Starfleet, etc? Are there any new insights into the Klingon position on the Organian Peace Treaty? Is Neural explored in any depth?

Does it work well with, or potentially step on the toes of, Mere Anarchy book three or Ex Machina?
Put that way, the answer is mostly "No." There is a little reflection by Kirk on the consequences of his actions during the five year mission, but it doesn't really add much to what was in the episode. There's some fleshing out of what we know about Neural, which is rather interesting, but not particularly deep or surprising. Although the Organian peace treaty and its application to the situation on Neural is touched on, again it is not particularly detailed. I think some better development of the Organian treaty and its application to a situation like Neural might have been interesting, or a deeper exploration of how to try to apply the prime directive to a situation where it had already been broken. Either of those things might have bumped my rating up to Outstanding.

As far as how it fits with the other stories you mentioned, I did notice a similarity in plot to one of the Mere Anarchy stories, although its been a while since I read that one, so I can't say much else. I did read Ex Machina recently, and I don't see any reason why Serpents wouldn't fit well with it.
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Old May 13 2014, 08:02 AM   #37
Deranged Nasat
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

TheUsualSuspect wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I'm unsure if this question makes sense given how potentially subjective it is, but does the novel add anything to the unfolding of the Trek 'verse timeline? Are there relevant/interesting insights into Kirk's adaptation to his admiral position, his career in Starfleet, etc? Are there any new insights into the Klingon position on the Organian Peace Treaty? Is Neural explored in any depth?

Does it work well with, or potentially step on the toes of, Mere Anarchy book three or Ex Machina?
Put that way, the answer is mostly "No." There is a little reflection by Kirk on the consequences of his actions during the five year mission, but it doesn't really add much to what was in the episode. There's some fleshing out of what we know about Neural, which is rather interesting, but not particularly deep or surprising. Although the Organian peace treaty and its application to the situation on Neural is touched on, again it is not particularly detailed. I think some better development of the Organian treaty and its application to a situation like Neural might have been interesting, or a deeper exploration of how to try to apply the prime directive to a situation where it had already been broken. Either of those things might have bumped my rating up to Outstanding.

As far as how it fits with the other stories you mentioned, I did notice a similarity in plot to one of the Mere Anarchy stories, although its been a while since I read that one, so I can't say much else. I did read Ex Machina recently, and I don't see any reason why Serpents wouldn't fit well with it.
Thanks. I might pick this up (payday this week, so I'll have some money spare)...
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Old May 21 2014, 05:03 PM   #38
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I came to a screeching halt when I read the part where Kirk remembers the female admiral,then a cadet inspecting his rack.His what??
I'm assuming this is another word for bunk but not being familiar with this term it gave me a good laugh.
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Old May 21 2014, 06:00 PM   #39
Christopher
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Yes, "rack" is military speak for a bed or bunk.
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Old May 24 2014, 01:23 PM   #40
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Just finished "Serpents in the Garden" yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it; thanks! I love TOS stories, and this one is so good about being a TOS story -- and exploring more about it. I would reread it to spend more time in that world and check out the author's other titles.
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Old June 4 2014, 02:40 AM   #41
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I finished reading Serpents in the Garden and I very much enjoyed it. I liked seeing the changes that happened to Neural, the establishment of the Freeholders and Victors, etc. I really wish Nyran would have been held accountable for his rash actions, which just seemed to get a bunch of people killed. That kid needed to be slapped down hard and not praised endlessly.
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Old June 4 2014, 07:31 PM   #42
Ronald Held
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I finished it. It was just all right. Perhaps you need all of the TOS major characters interacting to give it the proper "feel"?
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Old June 10 2014, 04:11 PM   #43
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Finished and reviewed. Voted Average, but it is a solid book in an era that needs more exploration.
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Old June 13 2014, 08:57 AM   #44
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

Finished reading. The book was solid and the characters believable in their motivations, and generally likeable. I liked how the villains were shown as beings rather than as cardboard villains. That is, except Keran. But he's that type of mindless bully that we also encounter in real life.

Another plus is that this is a sequel. I'll never understand why nobody in the Federation bothered to check up on Khan and his followers, therefore it's nice to see the Feds acting on behalf of the Neuralese in this case. Neural's fate in this case is better than in one of the 20th century RPG books, where the Neuralese end up annihilating each other.

The low technology was another highlight, and the circumstances bringing that about believable. Now that I think of it, that reminds me of the Heroic Age portions in Kahless, another book I liked for that very reason.

One aspect I didn't enjoy was that Kirk and some redshirts go on a mission... and all the redshirts die. Life is dangerous but it felt like there was a double standard, with old Kirk surviving all those harrowing situations while young men and a young woman die, their lives and careers cut short on some backward planet their parents probably never heard about. While the first two deaths fit the context of the story, Rowland's death felt tugged-on and superfluous. There wasn't anything to be gained plotwise, other than instilling a diffuse feeling of regret for his poor would-be wife.

One of the hightlights, of course, was the temporal setting. While I detest those uniforms they wore at that time, the period itself is interesting, especially TMP introduced us to a more racially diverse Federation than the monotone Homo sapiens-only club. Now that I think of it, there weren't any people besides Humans, Neuralese and Klingons in this book.
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Old June 13 2014, 02:54 PM   #45
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Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

I got about a quarter of the way through this book, when I just got bored. I don't know what it is. The book is written really good. I'm just not into the story. I think its just not what my mood is into, reading-wise. I'll have to come back to it when I'm in more of a TOS mood.
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