ENT: Tower of Babel by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Mar 19, 2014.

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Rate Tower of Babel.

  1. Outstanding

    15 vote(s)
    22.7%
  2. Above Average

    30 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. Average

    19 vote(s)
    28.8%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    3.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Briet

    Briet Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I really enjoyed the book. Its good to have authors who really care, and pay attention to little details. Keep it up, but don't kill yourself!

    My favourite parts are how old characters react to new ones and vice versa. I think Val is the best for me, and its nice to have finally some use for Mayweather. Oh, and out of curiosity, will we see Donna O'Neill again?

    And the ending...I didn't see it coming, but abou a day later when I thought about the book, it seamed so obvious. I don't know why. But sure it was good.

    In short: looking forward to the next one!
     
  2. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But didn't Kirk in the episode Whom Gods Destroy imply there were some rather serious sounding rough patches for the federation in about the early to mid 23rd century.
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You're referring to the Battle of Axanar, I think? :) I hope we get some answers one day about what went down there. The Errand Of... books, which are among those which make it explicit that there hasn't been full-scale interstellar war since the Romulan War, also mention that many consider a victory at the Battle of Axanar responsible for "preserving the Federation".

    I know some sources have suggested there were serious political complications involving Axanar's bid for Federation membership; other sources have suggested Klingon involvement. I'd like it all cleared up at some point...
     
  4. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Axanar fan films will hopefully do it justice. And hopefully, they won't contradict anything in the novelverse. Just the fact that they've got some real talent working the project gives me hope.
     
  5. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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  6. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I gave it a five, outstanding. I enjoyed it. I love it when high end politics are involved and the snippets of reporting action. It gives us an overview of what the Federation as a whole is going through.

    And I also loved how fast paced it was. It didn't dwell on things for too long.

    Nothing I really have any gripe about except I want to see more aliens (Vulcan, tellarite, andor etc) in Starfleet rather than always Humans. I get that Humans "dominate" the Federation institutes ... I guess I just enjoy reading how other species interact with each another.

    A personal request to Christoper Bennet, please can you include Shran in the next book?.


    I can't recall what happened to him last, he's still on Andoria with his family?, either way I always thought he was underutilized as a character. His friendship with Archer and the way they played off each other was one of the best things about Enterprise. He should be an admiral in Starfleet, eh Mr Bennet? :wink: :wink:.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It's not that Humans dominate Starfleet and Federation institutions, it's that the branch of Starfleet that the Endeavour and the Pioneer belong to is the UESPA branch. If the next ENT:RotF book were to focus on the USS Thejal, then it would feature mostly Andorian characters, because the Federation starship Thejal is part of the Andorian Guard branch of the Federation Starfleet.

    Shran appeared as a major supporting character in Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures. He is an admiral in the Federation Starfleet! Admiral Thy'lek Shran -- he has apparently legally changed his name from Hravishran th'Zoarhi -- is the head of the Andorian Guard division of the Federation Starfleet.
     
  8. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hravishran th'Zoarhi is Shran's imperial name but that doesn't require him to use it. The captain of Thejal was officially known as Trenkanshent sh'Lavan but went by her native Dreshnan name Kanshent Shelav. We have that on present-day Earth, too: If my native name was Steffen Müller, I might call myself Steven Miller when in the USA. In short, I don't think a legal name change is necessary.

    And a decent name! :drool: Until proven otherwise, I'll assume it's the unseen Neptune-class (ENT: Singularity). The NX-class really seems to stand out with its lettering nomenclature. I wonder wether Starfleet is commissioning new Columbia-class ships? (USS Buran anyone? :bolian:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the issue here is that "Thy'lek Shran" doesn't seem to have been his native name. Rather, his "imperial" name seems to have been the one he was born with and used for the first part of his life. According to ENT: The Romulan War, "Thy'lek Shran" is an Aenar version of his name that he began to use when living amongst them. Given that he seems now to be known as "Thy'lek Shran" in his service in the Federation Starfleet, that would seem to imply that he's changed his name.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I'll admit that I do still find this concept sort of confusing. Christopher, so the Federation Starfleet as of the 2160s consists of several organizations under one umbrella, those being UESPA, the Andorian Guard, the Tellar Space Administration, the Alpha Centauri Space Research Council, and the Vulcan Space Council, correct? Does that mean that each sub-organization has its own fleet of ships, all of them crewed only by members of that sub-organization? For example, is every crewmember of the Endeavour or Pioneer--even those who aren't citizens of United Earth--part of UESPA (and thus wear the arrowhead insignia), or do the ships feature integrated crews consisting of officers from all of the various sub-organizations (each wearing whichever insignia is appropriate for them)?
     
  11. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    I really enjoyed this one - more than the first. I'm liking the increasing complexity of this series, and the many concurrent plots.

    The Orions felt more interesting this time - it was nice to see them taken away from what felt like a primary focus still on sexual politics in Choice, and something more interesting here. It would be nice to see inside their head male slave's head too. Garos also felt more compelling this time - it will be nice to see how you develop him.

    As did Starfleet - although the assassination plot felt very perfunctory, but I'm glad it was not laboured over. That would be too cliche. This speedy approach comes, I guess, from not being the core plot of the novel - certain things just happen to advance the story?

    Looking forward to part 3!
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I never planned to have Shran absent for long. There wasn't a role for him in Book 2, but I consider him an important part of the ensemble.


    Exactly. Lots of people go by different names in different countries or contexts. Jackie Chan is really Chan Kong-Sang. Agents of SHIELD's Chloe Bennet went by Wang Keying when she lived in Beijing. Alexander Siddig's real full name is Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi.

    Besides, canon trumps tie-ins, and the name Thy'lek Shran is from an onscreen graphic in an episode, which makes it not quite canonical but certainly closer. And I never liked the novels' insistence on forcing every Andorian name to conform to the pattern created for the DS9 relaunch. Earth has hundreds of different naming conventions, so why should an alien world have only one?


    I've looked into the ship classes that were around in the era, so it's possible that more of them could show up later on, if there's a good opportunity for it.


    At this early stage in Starfleet history, the various space agencies administer their own fleets with their own crews -- since, after all, they were independent fleets just a few years ago, and the first Starfleet Academy cadets are still about a year away from graduating. There's some exchange of officers among fleets, akin to T'Pol's service aboard NX-01 as a Vulcan High Command officer in the first couple of seasons of ENT. I don't think I've specified, but unless I've established otherwise and forgotten, I think Thanien would still technically be an Imperial Guard officer.


    It comes from having an 80,000-word limit, mainly. But I have more room on the next two.
     
  13. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Great news!
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Excellent news I'm glad the Enterpise books will have longer length stories.:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  15. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you. That is pleasing news to hear. :)
     
  16. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, that's about what I figured. I was picturing non-United Earth characters wearing the insignia of their respective member worlds, i.e. Thanien wearing the Imperial Guard one, Rey Sangupta wearing the Alpha Centauri Council one (at least I think you established him as being from Alpha Centauri), Grev wearing the Tellar Space Administration one, etc. Of course, I imagine T'Pol still wears the UESPA arrowhead, since she was a member of Earth's Starfleet when the Federation was founded, not the Vulcan organization.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^To be honest, I never really thought about it. But that makes sense. Still, if T'Pol could switch organizations without having to go through the Academy, perhaps others could as well.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I had honestly assumed that Thanien had transferred from the Andorian Guard to UESPA, but I like the idea that he's still a Guardsman.
     
  19. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Will a Rise of the Federation novel explain how Kirk could say United Earth Space Probe Agency in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and how UESPA's name was seen on background art in 2293 in Star Trek Generations? I can't figure out any way to reconcile it since from what I can discern, Starfleet is truly a federal-level organization from the 23rd century on.
     
  20. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, I think the idea is that Starfleet retains some sense of the original division for at least the next century. This explains the species segregation (Enterprise, Constellation, etc. mostly Human, Intrepid mostly Vulcan, Eagle - if it exists in Novel 'Verse continuity - mostly Andorian). Plus the insignia are still in use in Kirk's time: the crew of Antares sport the (now identified as Tellarite) "hoof" emblem, the Constellation crew are using the Andorii defence emblem (though they're majority-Human); Enterprise uses UESPA insignia, explaining those early references to it being a UESPA and Earth ship. I think it's only in the TOS movie era that they finally complete the integration, and all adopt the arrowhead...


    PS: More chapter summaries later.