MU: Rise Like Lions by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Nov 22, 2011.

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Rate Rise Like Lions.

  1. Outstanding

    62 vote(s)
    65.3%
  2. Above Average

    29 vote(s)
    30.5%
  3. Average

    2 vote(s)
    2.1%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I just liked the sound of it, and Marco asked me to pick a name that would "throw people off the scent" as much as possible.

    I never said it wasn't. It's all relative, don'tcha know? ;)
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Pffft. Ten billion is only one-sixth of his record.
     
  3. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^Are you J. Noah Kym as well by any chance? ;)
     
  4. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    There were clues if you look closely, Parek Tonn was mentioned in Saturn's Children, and appeared in Warpath.
     
  5. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    So I guess you wrote the two highest rated stories in my reviews of the two short novel anthologies David. :bolian:
     
  6. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    And I didn't even break a sweat. "Look, Ma — no hands!"

    Nope. I know the man, and I'm definitely not him.

    Very good! A lot of people don't know that Parek Tonn was a nod to "Crown of Iron," the audition script John J. Ordover and I wrote that helped us land our first scripting gig at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

    Good to know. :)
     
  7. cal888

    cal888 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    LOL, they're sliders! I'm glad this idea, incorporated into Star Trek with the Ke Hovath multi-dimensional transporter from Warpath, might return. Would put a different spin on Myriad Universes...

    Has it ever been explained why the Mirror Universe is the default alternate universe for the prime universe beyond the wormhole crossover resulting from prophets needing a MU emissary? Fringe kinda has this issue too, but it remains to be seen how they handle what exactly the Amberverse is.
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    When did Mr. Mack kill 60 billion, during the Destiny trilogy? I am not far enough in this book to have seen any killing(~60 pages).
     
  9. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ Yeah, that would be Exhibit A in the "Angel of Death" evidence panel. ;)
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Hmm. Has anyone ever actually gone and added up David Mack's body count on a book by book basis?
     
  11. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ It wouldn't matter; I'd still finish a distant second to KRAD, the destroyer of multiple universes in Q&A. ;)
     
  12. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Didn't the Multiverse get destroyed several times before Picard saved his?
    Far enough in this book to have the toll in the millions.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Meh. I don't count alternate universes that we glimpse for two seconds. I say we reserve our count for a single STAR TREK universe.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Christopher killed the entire population of the galaxy in the Permian era; does that count? (Well, half were killed, half became flashing pinwheels and other energy critters).

    As for "Rise Like Lions", it's shipped so I should get it in day or two. Very much looking forward to it.
     
  15. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I have to admit, this one wasn't my favorite.

    I feel like Trek technology has been retconned and overwritten and justified and technobabbled over itself so many times that on a pure tactics level I don't find space battles in the Star Trek universe all that interesting. With Genesis torpedoes and Trilithium weapons and even the fact that, properly used, a transporter is basically a superweapon (though no one ever quite seems to use it that way), I just feel like the whole thing is sort of ridiculous. So in Trek, I'm just not really that interested in the mechanics of the space battles, the way I am in for instance an X-Wing book in Star Wars, where the rules are a little more well-defined.

    My favorite battle scenes in Trek have been the ones that focus on the personal struggles, like the amazing apocalyptic Destiny fights. If Mack had wanted to, he could've come up with tactics for the Federation to win those fights, but that wasn't the point. The point was that the Federation was really staring annihilation in the face. My other favorite example of Trek action scenes done well was also by Mack, in what I feel is possibly the emotionally strongest story in the whole Trek corpus, Wildfire. Those action scenes mattered, because we saw each and every moment where a character faced their death or the deaths of others. We saw the struggles.

    So I'm used to that being a strength of Mack's, but this book went kind of the opposite direction. We had long, long scenes of all of the leaders talking about tactics and where to attack next and how to maneuver and all that stuff, but the actual battles were almost glossed over a lot of the time. In particular, the two-pronged attack that led to the most main character deaths had the entire action sequence told from the enemies' perspective, leaving the emotional beats of our heroes dealing with their losses for after the fact.

    Almost every time I thought an interesting character moment was coming, it was quickly blunted or shifted aside; almost rushed through. Picard feeling like a puppet and then growing into a leader? One short scene; then he's comfortable in command, and his former commander is now his first officer. Kes exploding in rage? I was incredibly surprised at that twist...then it was over less than one chapter later. And none of the NF people really had any development, except for Calhoun realizing he'd sacrifice himself for innocents, which again happened almost in the background. The only character that really had a fleshed out story was O'Brien, I thought.

    Also, thematically, I feel like the real story here, the choice of these people to reject violence and become democratic, was only really in the last 15% of the story. That has been the theme of the interactions between the MU and the real universe, and it was almost lost.

    So overall, this felt, in a weird way, a lot like the last Romulan War book. Like there was a great story here, but not enough time to tell it in; like Mack focused a little too much time on the mechanics of getting this huge cast of characters to move to all the right places to accomplish everything, and not enough on actually telling their stories.

    It's worth noting that it's a pretty mean feat just to actually tie all this crap together in the first place; there were a TON of loose threads in the MU, and Mack grabbed all of them, tied them off in (at least theoretically) satisfying ways. But it still felt more like an outline than a novel, and the emotional impact I was looking for wasn't there.

    I mostly found myself kind of... bored.

    I mean, the man has written like 7 of my top 10 Trek novels of all time (Destiny, MU: Sorrows of Empire, his three Vanguards so far), and I recently re-read Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game and found a lot more to like there than I had my first time around, since I wasn't expecting a bigger story. And I'm so excited for the Vanguard finale and the trilogy next year that I can't even explain. I just think this one just moved too fast. I'm really glad it seems to be working so well for everyone else, though; I hope he'll catch me again next time around :)
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^^ For whatever it's worth, Thrawn, I'd just like to offer this observation:

    I seem to consistently find that David Mack's writing is better the second time I look at it than it seems the first time. With Vanguard: Harbinger, Destiny, and Zero Sum Game, I remember reading the books for the first time and thinking them good but not as good as I would expect... and then going back, looking at them again, and realizing how much more there was to those books than I gave them credit for the first time around. Like, to the point where I refrain from coming to a final conclusion about Mack's books until I've read them at least twice -- because they're always smarter and deeper when I look at them again than they are at first.

    Just a thought.
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ That's a fair point, and I certainly had that experience with Zero Sum Game, but the seven that I listed kicked my ass pretty solidly the first time.

    I'll probably give this one another shot at some point, though.
     
  18. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Had to give it an "outstanding." I absolutely loved it. Just finished writing my review. I love David Mack's writing!
     
  19. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ Glad you enjoyed it! And thank you for the glowing review. Most kind.
     
  20. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    My Review:
    In a word- wow. Though I’m a huge Trek fan, I’ve never cared much for the Mirror Universe, seeing it largely as a means of seeing dark Trek antiheros. “Rise Like Lions” completely changed my perception of what that universe represents and is capable of. Here we see dark reflections who are dark by nurture rather than nature fighting, not because they are violent psychopaths, but because it is the world they must survive in. What is more, they are trying to change this world and themselves to reflect the ideals of the Trek philosophy that attracts its fans.

    Rise Like Lions is rich with cameos from the various series and books but doesn’t become drivel fanboy literature that makes up for poor story with a plethora of familiar faces like books with lots of name dropping often do. What is more, with these many characters the reader doesn’t just see heroes and villains acting contrary to how he knows them but finds an inspirational tale with rich character development full, tyrants being overthrown, and individuals committing to paradigm shifts.

    Of course, being a David Mack novel, there is a lot of action. The action scenes are fast paced, compelling, and are punctuated with nice twists which keep the pace of the book moving and make it difficult to put down.

    An interesting contrast can be seen between “Rise Like Lions” and “Romulan War: To Brave the Storm.” Both are war stories with a lot of time to cover and filled with stories in need of wrap ups. Whereas Romulan War suffered do to this with missing action scenes and lost opportunities to provide meaningful character development, Rise Like Lions was satisfying, rich in story, and didn’t leave me feeling like I missed out on any of the significant events in the time it covered. To that end, Rise like Lions has shown me how bad Romulan War was while my recent dissatisfaction with Romulan War caused me to be that much more satisfied with Rise Like Lions.

    I recommend this book to Trek fans without any reservations. Even if you haven’t kept up with Mirror universe books or DS9 episodes, you can jump in, quickly get up to speed, and enjoy the journey.
     

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