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

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Old January 31 2009, 11:41 PM   #181
Fury
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I'm about halfway through the novel. I'm a fan of Articles of Federation so I was very much looking forward to this. I'm enjoying the various looks around the Quadrant and the Aventine. I kinda like that Bowers is coming like a bit of an ass-- it's very human. The crew of the Aventine continues to be developed though truthfully I have trouble keeping track of characters even after the Destiny trilogy. The developments with the Romulans are particularly fascinating. That's saying something since I've never really cared for them. I wasn't sold on Donatra, but this has certainly changed my mind.

On the hand, I have to admit that I'm not a fan Sonek Pran. I hate to say this, but I find his character entirely too contrived. He's almost a Mary Sue. Almost. The multiracial (multispecie?) aspect of his character, the folk band background, and his diplomatic brilliance masked by a quick wit and modesty are just a little too much. Personally, I found him a bit too implausible and too clever. I liked much of KRAD's rather sardonic dialogue in Articles (I recognized it as a bit of homage to West Wing), but Pran comes off as annoyingly smug. In fact I felt that a lot of random character shared Pran's predilection as being clever and witty all the time.

Anyways, I still have the last half of the book to read and will reserve my final judgement. I'm enjoying the book overall, but having trouble with Pran.
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Old February 1 2009, 12:44 AM   #182
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I finally got my hands on the book, and I read the first few pages. I've really been looking forward to this, so I'm pretty interested to see what all happens, and who all pops up in the book.
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Old February 1 2009, 07:33 AM   #183
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

finally got ASD on Thursday, and read it over the weekend (Alas, Sunday is a workday here in Israel )...

As a fan of KRAD's work in general and especially AoTF, his was the Post-Destiny novel I waited for the most, with its large scope and large cast of characters, and to start from the bottom line - KRAD delivered .

I loved the various threads, both in the aftermath of Destiny and both those setting up future threads and facets of the 2009/2010 meta-story, and the way it all came together in the end especially
.

All in all, I'd give ASD a solid 4.5/5.

What kept it from becoming one of my all-time favorites (as AoTF had become), was (IMO only, of course) the lack of dramatic tension in climax of the Aventine thread.

Also, The novel set up a fundemental change in the political landscape of the AQ/BQ, but it felt as though the "severity" of the situation was just touched upon and left for future novels. I found the epilogue unneeded, and I'd have preferred to end the novel with


Just to be clear, I think ASD is one of the better Trek novels of the past 2 years, and I hope the next post-Destiny novels make use of the developments set up in it.



comments?
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Old February 1 2009, 08:55 AM   #184
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Thanks for the comments, RonG!

Couple things:

Spoiler tags are unnecessary, as this is a spoiler thread. Says so right there in the subject line.

I could not possibly disagree with you more about the need for the epilogue. Ending the novel where you suggest would've been very unsatisfying, to my mind, because there's no resolution to any of the plot threads if you do that. I also thought it was important to have Sonek mourn his wife, and for him to have the last word (him being the protagonist and all), especially since he wasn't in the big confrontation scene in Chapter 20. Plus I thought it was important to tie off the other threads: Capella, the Musgrave, the Fifth Fleet, the Aventine, etc. Without that, the novel is (again, to my mind) incomplete.

Glad you liked the book, generally, though!
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Old February 1 2009, 12:21 PM   #185
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I see your point regarding the epilogue, KRAD, but the more I think about it, I see that episode 20 is the climax for the one plotline that runs through the novel (i.e. the Typhon Pact). IMO, the actual confrontation should have been the one to end the novel - leaving the reader with a feeling that things have changed for the worse.

The epilogue, while containing the resolution for Pran's arc and resolution of sorts to the other individual threads, ended the novel too "happily" for my taste (again, IMO only), and having the confrontation of chapter 20 moved to the end would've had that ominous feeling I personally think should be in the background of the post-Destiny / "road to Typhon Pact" novels.

Even so, ASD joins other KRAD (and Mack.. and CLB..) novels as the epitome of 'Modern TrekLit". Again - well done, KRAD
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Old February 1 2009, 03:19 PM   #186
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

^^But is it really a change for the worse? Sure, the Pact poses a new astropolitical challenge, but in a sense, these nations are doing the same thing the Federation did a couple of centuries before, and that turned out pretty well. What I like about the Typhon Pact idea is the ambiguity of it. It's not just another "evil enemy" story. There's both positive and negative potential in this new development. We've seen how the Federation deals with its moral opposites; how will it deal with something that could be a moral equivalent, yet still a competitor? How does it encourage the positive potential in this new alliance without seeming imperialistic and alienating the Pact members further?

At least, that's how it looks from where I'm sitting.
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Old February 1 2009, 03:56 PM   #187
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I tend to agree, Christopher, that the Typhon Pact poses a new challange - more of a competitor than an enemy (at least for now).

BUT, in order for TrekLit to provide readers with drama and conflict on a galactic scale (at least IMO), the TP needs to be used as something other than an ally. Not an outright enemy bent on the UFP's destruction, as that would be "more of the same" in regards to the last two major conflicts (the Dominion and the Borg), but as a counterpoint.

I can totally get behind stories that deal with a "Cold War" between spheres of influence, an economic rivalry or an ideological ones, "fought" on various fronts, without erupting into a full scale armed onflict (I have total faith that the writers and editors will try to present the current situation in an original way ).


All in all, I think that the change (establishment of the TP) is for the worse, as far as the Federation is concerned, which is exactly as it should be (no point in having a new series called Star Trek: Golden Age, now is there?)
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Old February 1 2009, 04:38 PM   #188
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

RonG wrote: View Post
I see your point regarding the epilogue, KRAD, but the more I think about it, I see that episode 20 is the climax for the one plotline that runs through the novel (i.e. the Typhon Pact). IMO, the actual confrontation should have been the one to end the novel - leaving the reader with a feeling that things have changed for the worse.
Ah, see, I disagree fundamentally here. I didn't want to end leaving the reader with a feeling that things have changed for the worse -- just with the feeling that things are different. In particular that last scene of Pran lecturing to the class was extremely important, hammering home the point that the Typhon Pact isn't necessarily a threat to the Federation, and that we don't know yet what the results of this new alliance will be.


Even so, ASD joins other KRAD (and Mack.. and CLB..) novels as the epitome of 'Modern TrekLit". Again - well done, KRAD
Thank you very much. *bows*
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Old February 1 2009, 04:46 PM   #189
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I've been wondering, is ASD the only time we'll be seeing the Typhon Pact before the crossover next year, or will they affect the other '09 novels as well?
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Old February 1 2009, 06:20 PM   #190
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

RonG wrote: View Post
I tend to agree, Christopher, that the Typhon Pact poses a new challange - more of a competitor than an enemy (at least for now).

BUT, in order for TrekLit to provide readers with drama and conflict on a galactic scale (at least IMO), the TP needs to be used as something other than an ally. Not an outright enemy bent on the UFP's destruction, as that would be "more of the same" in regards to the last two major conflicts (the Dominion and the Borg), but as a counterpoint.

I can totally get behind stories that deal with a "Cold War" between spheres of influence, an economic rivalry or an ideological ones, "fought" on various fronts, without erupting into a full scale armed onflict (I have total faith that the writers and editors will try to present the current situation in an original way ).
True, it isn't an ally, but that doesn't make it "the bad guys" either. I don't see this as necessarily a bad situation for the Federation -- more of a complex and very, very delicate one. It could become a bad situation if the UFP reacts badly and does something to alienate the Pact. If the UFP reacts with fear and antagonism toward the Pact as an imagined threat, that would probably become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

All in all, I think that the change (establishment of the TP) is for the worse, as far as the Federation is concerned, which is exactly as it should be (no point in having a new series called Star Trek: Golden Age, now is there?)
What could be worse than a Borg invasion that wipes out whole worlds and threatens the survival of the entire Federation? After the Dominion War, the Genesis Wave, the Borg attacks, etc., the last thing we need is for things to get worse yet again. The only thing that could be worse at this point is the actual fall of the Federation.

So no, this isn't a change for the worse. It's a new situation that poses new challenges as well as new opportunities. It's a return to a more stable state of affairs but one in which the Federation may not be as culturally and politically dominant as it used to be. It's a chance to tell stories that are more fresh and less repetitive than "Oh dear, yet another unstoppable force is coming to destroy us, and we still haven't cleaned up from the last one."


JD wrote: View Post
I've been wondering, is ASD the only time we'll be seeing the Typhon Pact before the crossover next year, or will they affect the other '09 novels as well?
It's unlikely they'll have an effect on Titan, and as for others, they may be mentioned as a presence, but they're not the only thing going on in the galaxy.
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Old February 1 2009, 06:47 PM   #191
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I just finished. This was my favorite Trek book not written by Diane Duane. A worthwhile coda to Destiny and intriguing look at things to come. And nary an Enterprise E character to be seen. Whoda thunk?
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Old February 1 2009, 07:59 PM   #192
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

JD wrote: View Post
I've been wondering, is ASD the only time we'll be seeing the Typhon Pact before the crossover next year, or will they affect the other '09 novels as well?
Keep wondering...
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Old February 1 2009, 08:29 PM   #193
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I'd be surprised if something like the Typhon Pact hasn't sprung up on occasion over the 200+ years of the UFP's existence. They just usually ended up either breaking up (for reasons benign and/or malevolent) or getting co-opted.
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Old February 1 2009, 10:08 PM   #194
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

I just finished the book today. Great job, KRAD! Always nice to see Nan Bacco (I love her character)

I also appreciated seeing Klag and the Gorkon crew again. I like those characters also.

Should be interesting to see what's in store for the Federation. Will the Typhon Pact hold? Find out next time...
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Old February 1 2009, 11:31 PM   #195
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Re: A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Approximately half way through, and waiting to see how it turns out.
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