ENT: To Brave the Storm by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Oct 20, 2011.

?

Rate To Brave the Storm.

  1. Outstanding

    8 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Above Average

    24 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Average

    26 vote(s)
    36.1%
  4. Below Average

    9 vote(s)
    12.5%
  5. Poor

    5 vote(s)
    6.9%
  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Duane's original version of the Rihannsu had the Earth-Romulan War be a defensive war from the Romulan side, with the Romulans' civilian populations being the one potentially at risk from a numerically and technologically superior opposing force. (Note that I said "potentially".) In FASA's RPG setting, the Romulan War was an expensive deep-space war, fought in a frontier region that seems to have lacked substantial Federation or Romulan civilian populations.

    Enterprise and the novels established that, in contrast to the traditional depiction in literature of the Romulans as the weaker side, the Romulans were the stronger side. The RSE was the established interstellar power; Earth and the human sphere generally were up-and-coming powers. Only a very few of the Vulcans knew just how the Romulans were; the Romulans seem to have known everything. And the Romulans were able to handily fight wars on two fronts, with Haakona appearing to have been a power roughly equivalent to contemporary Earth.

    This makes the particular ferocity of the Romulan campaigns all the more notable. If Romulans were the weaker side, the use of WMDs and attacks on civilian populations would make sense, but the Romulans resorted to these attacks as the stronger side.


    Rather. I can readily believe that, in the timeline with Sisko but without Gabriel Bell, local space readily fell to the Romulans. Who else would have stopped them?


    Yes.

    (The IRS ambassador before the Borg invasion said that human-Romulan relations were long troubled, did he? Such a master of understatement.)

    The willingness of the 22nd century Romulans to engage in genocidal attacks has plenty of implications.

    On the positive side, it shows the amount of progress in Romulan ethics towards other civilizations: where Valdore was troubled by the scope fo the attack against Coridan's billions (not so much massacres of minor colony planets) and T'Met was outraged that Draylax's leaders were willing to expose their civilians to devastation by not acceding to Romulan demands, even the radical cabal behind Shinzon's coup was lukewarm to hostile to the idea of using thalaron weapons against Earth. Donatra was making use of common knowledge when she said that Romulans' hands would be covered with blood if Shinzon carried through his plans.

    On the negative side, it reinforces the idea that genocidal tactics and technologies are de rigeur in the RSE's military. When Crusher learned about the thalaron radiation in Nemesis, I'm sure that she expected the thalaron projector was a weapon intended for use. Did Ael and K's't'lk and Scotty really fear that unlimited use of the Sunseed weapon could wreck the fabric of space and that the Romulan leadership didn't know about the possibility, or were they just being bleakly realistic? The idea that a Romulan leadership might authorize the use of hyperflare weapons against Sol (and Qo'Nos' sun) wouldn't have been implausible at all.

    It's interesting to see that the Tomed tactic--the collision of a starship at high warp with a stationary object, with catastrophic results--has such a long pedigree. Going back to 2312, Vokar's actions would have been perfectly plausible to non-Romulan observers. ("A Romulan commander longing for the old days of empire piloted a starship at high warp into an enemy's targets? Can't be, he didn't kill enough civilians.")

    And going way back to the discussion we had of the Borg invasion of 2381, it seems all the more plausible to me that the two Romulan states had stores of metaweapons that they used with little inhibition against the invaders. That's traditional Romulan military behaviour.

     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    ^
    Very good points. :) I really enjoy your insights on the Romulans, rfmcdpei. You're good at tying all the various portrayals together, giving a sense of their nation's history as one big tapestry.

    Reading over our posts, I'm considering another potential missed opportunity in the reduction of The Romulan War to two books - the possibility of showing us POV-character Romulans who, even in this apparently vicious era, refused to buy into the expansionist mindset, or kept their hands as clean as they could in the circumstances. We do get a sense of that ruthless but genuine Romulan honour several times - for example, T'Met's distaste over Draylax, albeit her reservations being framed in a manner that accepts completely Imperial right and supremacy. But Romulans with moral convictions are one thing - what was absent here were Romulans who were willing to question if their culture's morals were truly admirable. That's an interesting departure from what we usually get in Trek lit, and this is related to my initial point that the portrayal of Romulans as a whole is tilted differently here. Elsewhere in the novels, for every Volskiar we had a Charvanek, for Dralath a Narviat, for Vokar a Kamemor, for Tal'aura a Donatra. Here, that balance of "butcher Romulan Vs noble Romulan" is missing - a sign of the times and the Romulans' role in the story, I'm sure, but it felt strange to me as a Trek reader. I guess with the reduced story length and the obvious need for focus on Romulan villains, there were only so many Romulan POV characters to go around, and there wasn't room to showcase any "shining light" of the Empire...

    This isn't a complaint, I feel I should add. Just something that I felt should be commented on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  3. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Thanks!

    Arguably there wasn't much need, here. We know how the Romulan War ended: a hermetically-sealed neutral zone with little to none acknowledged contact, very little knowledge on the Federation side of who the Romulans were, very little interest on the Romulan side in reaching out. No breakthroughs could come out of this era--we'd have to wait for the mid-23rd century for things to start.

    We could speculate that RSE atrocities were relatively without precedent in recent Romulan history; the enormity of what was done to Coridan, Draylax, and Haakona did hit the observers. It may be that 22nd century Romulan foreign policy was unusually bloody, corresponding maybe with a bloody domestic policy. And--if the Duaneverse happenings, or an approximation of them, did occur in the main Trekverse--we could speculate that reaction to the bloody happenings inside and outside of the Empire did have long-term repercussions.

     
  4. coconnor

    coconnor Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    I'm agreeing with general sentiment above.

    I think a 3rd book would really have helped to flesh out the whole RW story.

    Something I just noticed, Columbia goes missing at the end of the previous RW book, however, there is no mention of it in this sequel. For someone who was as (apparently) important to Archer as Erika Harnandez I would have thought it would have had SOME impact on Archer...
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    It's too bad that the Romulan War books got cut short. Especially since The Kobayasi Maru entry seemed more like a pointless filler/lead-in book than anything else.
     
  6. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    I'm on the fence about picking this book up. I didn't finish Raptor's Wing, I gave up on it. However I've wanted to read/see the Romulan War for a long time and am interested to see how Mr. Martin wraps up the war. Can Brave be read as a standalone? Or do I have to finish Raptor to understand it?
     
  7. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    There are storylines continued from Beneath the raptors wing it would be kind of confusing if you don't read the other novel first.when it comes Valdore plans to win the war their war against earth and their allies. also what happens with the attack on Vulcan at the end of Beneath the raptor's wing.It's important to know what happens on Vulcan and the aftermath affects the Vulcan people when you begin reading the first chapter To Brave the storm.
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Just started and nothing major happening so far.
     
  9. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

     
  10. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    It does also give more context of Stiles' expression of hatred. If casualties in the Romulan War were mostly limited to military ones in deep space, his feelings over a war ended a century ago are oddly intense.


    The Romulan conduct of the war also explains why, after the Battle of Cheron broke the Romulan fleet, Earth and its allies didn't go on the counteroffensive: they legitimately feared that the Romulans would retaliate with indiscriminate strikes against their worlds. A compromise peace was probably the best possible deal.


    And in truth, if the Romulans had managed to successfully pull off their war plans, these people would have been happy enough to reflect on excesses in the war's conduct in the aftermath of the Romulan conquest of most of its rivals.

     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Starting the battle of 83 Leonis. Starfleet is vastly outnumbered.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Just reading over this thread, I take it there aren't too many Stargate fans posting in this thread who've finished.
    Because, in the epilogue we learn Trip's begun to use the alias Michael Kenmore, the name of Connor Trineer's character on Stargate Atlantis. It's a nice referance, though since I watch Stargate it kind of ruined the surprise that they were trying to build up to.
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    I finished it. Perhaps there could have been more details filled in if there was another book on the War series.
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    I definite think there need to be a sequel To brave the storm fill in the missing scenes in the latest novel I think the latest shoul've been a longer length so we could find out happened
    I want to knowaht happened to Trip after the tal shiar spy let Trip get into the escape and the device exploded . iwant to know how he survived the battle of Cheron and was T'Pol able to find Trip or did the Vulcans or someone else rescue him. How were he and T'Pol reunited on Vulcan. I wanted to see the aftermath of the Romulan war affected earth. And the rebuilding of Starfleet ships lost during wouldv'e taken an enormous toll on personell and resources.I wanted to see Archer give his speach l
     
  15. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    70% through and not enjoying this book at all. I understand there was a lot to cover and not a lot of pages to do it in but the book skips around so much it more like a compilation of short stories than a novel. And it seems all the action sequences are skipped. I get geared up for some action . . . and then the book skips to the action's aftermath.

    It is like Martin tried to trim all the excess he had in the first book only to cut out the best parts.
     
  16. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Just wrote my review of it. I think I liked it more than most people here seemed to, but it's very clear that the book suffered from the shortening of the trilogy down to a duology. It's really unfortunate, but I did still enjoy it for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  17. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Finished last night, enjoyed it

    So is this the last ever Enterprise book? Are any more being mooted (presumably going back in time or covering the post decommissioning antics of the crew?)

    The Romulan tactic of suicide runs to devastate a planet was interesting and reminded me of when Riker planned to do the same with Enterprise-D against the Borg cube, makes me think the Federation could have developed warp missiles - basically a warp drive + remote control unit to destroy the Borg during Destiny - add a cloak and it would be a pretty tough weapon to beat. Still that was a tangental thought :lol:
     
  18. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    I liked To Brave the storm I'd like to see more Enterprise being written and published. I'd like to see a sequel To Brave the storm to fill in the missing scenes of what happened to the characters during the Romulan the seemde so rushed we didn't get to see in the end of the book.There's certainly alot of important scenes thet were cut out of the book.That needs to be addressed.
     
  19. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    my review:

    Michael Martin has managed to butcher Enterprise’s potential and leave me feeling as let down with this series as I was after watching the show’s television finale. The failings of this book begin on the cover where you see multiple NX class ships in a battle with “War” in the title. This is extremely misleading as the Enterprise is the only NX ship in the book and all the major battles and incursions in this war are skipped over save the final one with Enterprise rarely supporting the war effort. Reading this novel is like tuning into a football game only to have the reporters focus completely on what’s happening with the players on the bench.

    Granted, the editors at Pocket Books cut the series down to two books, but rather than make the most of this with an action packed and morally provocative story with rich character development, Martin skips over the meaningful parts in a careless way that leaves the book without depth or emotion. So I’m glad I know how the war went but I am left feeling like I would if my entire knowledge of WW2 came from its Wikipedia entry.

    I’m glad the overabundance of side stories involving forgettable characters and the author’s philosophical musings about warfare that plagued “Beneath the Raptor’s Wings” are not in this book. Even though this was largely done, the book still hops around a lot with large gaps between chapters with every chapter seeming more like its own individual short story than part of a singular and unraveling plot. There were still erroneous and boring mini stories involving Enterprise rescuing ships in distress and the Vissians from ENT: Cogenetor that were not effectively related to the whole and should have been removed in favor of more interesting action sequences and the compelling formation of treaties that concluded the war and formed the Federation.

    It was frustrating how Martin would spend pages setting up interesting tactical situations and as you are ready for a great battle sequence, the action sequence would be skipped over and take the reader directly to the aftermath. A major victory for the Romulans was taking an enemy dockyard, but we just get what happens after they’ve secured it. Later a Romulan ship is going to execute a masterful strategy against 2 Starfleet ships but then the attack is skipped completely as the Enterprise crew discusses what just happened; the conversation involves dropping the name of an important character in the series so this scene easily could have been developed with an appeal to readers but instead we just get a casualty report which has nowhere near the emotional impact. Later still, there is an attack on Earth and Mars but the pivotal moments are skipped leaving you having to glean what happened by characters discussing it. Is this a war story or a book about desk jockeys talking about a war around an office water cooler!?!

    Martin has effectively killed all the enthusiasm I had for ENT novels after reading “The Good That Men Do” and for any of his future works. Though I’m glad to have at least a basic knowledge of how the war went and how the Federation was founded, I feel Martin needs to make like the protagonists in this book and watch Trek stories unfold from the sidelines.
     
  20. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm review thread

    Additional Thoughts:

    Wherever Archer goes, the shadow of the Maru follows him. Aliens he’s never heard of before have heard of and dislike him for the Maru events. I didn’t find the events of the Maru’s destruction that controversial. How can so many aliens who would never be as charitable as Archer judge him for not risking his ship in crew to save another ship when it is being assaulted by a superior hostile force? I find it a bit of a stretch that word of this incident has spread so far, become so infamous, and emotions over it to last so long when more horrific things have happened since that time. We probably can remember singular disgraceful acts from the Iraq and Afgan War, but how many of us can remember the names of the officers who committed them?

    I also keep wondering how Romulan physiology is still completely unknown across the quadrant. I know that TGTMD showed Section 31 and the Vulcan government covered this info up and that the Romulans are secretive but in all those battle sites, no Romulan bodies were discovered on a planet or amidst orbital debris? It would have made more sense for the entire war to be fought through the telepresence ships, telecapture devices, and long range missiles. I find it hard to believe that NO ONE in the course of the war saw a Romulan face and wartime propaganda didn’t capitalize on it and label the Vulcans as Americans often label the French.
    T’Pau makes a brave move as a leader sacrificing her personal values to make a controversial decision to do the right thing for a greater good. She puts the needs of the many ahead of her Syranite conscious. I would say T’Pau, in fact, was the only strong and compelling character in the entire novel.

    T’Pau’s willingness to help militarily temporarily but then return to indoctrinating Syranite ideals across Vulcan civilization may explain why we see few Vulcans in Starfleet in the 23rd century; the Vulcans have been attempting to root out violence from their culture. So Vulcans may contribute technology to Starfleet, their people at this time are trying to avoid violent engagements amongst their people. The problem with this theory is we know the crew of the USS Intrepid, Tuvok’s parents, and T’Prynn were all in Starfleet and these would have been raised while Syranite principles were becoming firmly entrenched in Vulcan society. Clearly, we could use more development of how Vulcan society evolved between the 22nd and 23rd centuries. Also, if this is the case, how and at which point did Vulcan society achieve a balance of pursuing peace but being willing to make war during the 24th century.