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

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

?

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. OverlordSpock

    OverlordSpock Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    The Depths of the Murky Platte River...
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I just finished this book. What a great ending to the Mirror Universe saga! Although it took me some time to finish the book (work-related, nothing to do with the book), the times I had to read it, I was totally engrossed. It's amazing how much I actually cared about these characters.

    Although there was a lot that happened in this book, and it actually feels a little too uplifting for the Mirror Universe, I was very pleased with where most of the characters (at least those that survived) ended up. I found myself really smiling reading each of their final scenes (even Worf's final scene).

    I'm not really sure what else to say at the moment as I still need to further process my thoughts, but once again I'll say that this was an awesome read.

    Thank you!
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ You're welcome. :)
     
  3. Ultramann

    Ultramann Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Excellent read!!! One question (for now anyway!) Any plans to delve into the time after Enterprise up to Pike?
     
  4. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ I have no such plans at the moment.
     
  5. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I finally found a copy of this book and really like the characters are written in this book Especially Miles O' Brien and Keiko.Some of the storylines that are being wrapped took some uxexpected twists and turns when it came to the Memeory Omega storyline and the extremes the Vulcans took against their enemies.I'm not finished reading this book yet but it's been one of the best Startrek books I've read this year.
     
  6. cal888

    cal888 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Location:
    Californian living in Santa Catarina, Brazil
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Star Trek: Mirror Universe: The Rise and Fall of the Terran Empire

    (fun title inspired by The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire)
     
  7. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    :vulcan:I just finished reading Rise Like lions the ending of the novel makes you wonder
    If the Dominion will try and take control of the wormhole in the Gamma quadrant and cause major problems for the newly formed Mu version of the Coalition of planets
     
  8. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Wonder? Seemed pretty obvious to me that is how the series would continue. Mack is pretty good about cliffhangers that leave you anticipating more.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Just finished Rise Like Lions. As usual, David Mack delivers a treat.

    I loved that in spite of all the darkness of the Mirror Universe -- sometimes comical darkness, sometimes just genuinely horrifying -- Mack ends the story on a very hopeful, optimistic note. Not only have the former words of the Empire been liberated, but they've been done so without resort to the sort of endless warfare that has so long characterized the history of the Mirror Universe.

    However, it's not mindlessly so, and it's not without its ambiguities. O'Brien argues, for instance, that the Rebellion/Memory Omega forces must not retaliate against the Cardassians in a war of attrition, saying that doing so would poison the society they're trying to build forever. "Anything born of this revolution will forever be tainted by that crime," he notes. "History will never forget it." But hasn't Memory Omega already built the Commonwealth on a foundation of genocide and mass murder, between the extinction of the Trill Symbionts and the mass murders of Cardassians and Klingons by the Vulcan sleeper agents?

    "You can't build a noble society, a just society, on a foundation of genocide." My first thought of that was actually to relate that to the history of the United States -- for has not the United States been built at least in part on a foundation made of the enslavement of Africans and the genocide of Native American nations? Or, for that matter, to modern Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany, after all, was essentially built on the ashes of the Third Reich, and has spent generations trying to atone for the Reich's atrocities. Certainly we'd all like to think that we can escape the sins of our ancestors, that we can build a better world today even. And yet, as Spock notes, he and the steps he took to secure a better society, a just society, were horrible. There are no easy answers to questions like these -- and the novel acknowledges that through the veneration of Spock's name by the Seleyan Order in spite of his warnings, even as the novel also insists that there is hope.

    A lot of hard questions to think about, but an insistence that things will still get better -- the sign of a good Star Trek novel once again! :bolian:

    Not to be a pedantic, but I'm fairly certain the Galactic Commonwealth is supposed to be a sort of MU equivalent to the United Federation of Planets, not the Coalition.


    I mean, it's not really a cliffhanger per se. The important conflicts of the Mirror Universe series are all resolved; I saw the epilogue more as leaving the door open for new stories to be told if someone decides to, but not as a certain indication that it would continue.
     
  10. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ Pretty much spot-on, Sci. I'm glad you enjoyed the book; thanks for sharing your thoughts. And, might I add, Happy Holidays (Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc.) to one and all!
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I just finished. It resolved all of the issues and seems complete, but still seemed unsatisfying. Maybe it would be different without the last chapter.
     
  12. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ Well, it would be shorter.
     
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Just finished. :) It was enjoyable, and it certainly did a good job of wrapping things up, which can't have been easy given that the Mirror Universe saga was never the most cohesive collection of stories, and characters so often came and went to fill the People Must Die quota, which is particular to this universe. Crafting a large-scale arc out of such a mess is an impressive task, and I can't complain about the thought put into it. Still, I thought it was weaker than usual for David Mack, mostly because it seemed to lack the cohesive emotional depth of his other works. Individual scenes still had the weight I've come to expect from his story-telling, but the novel didn't entirely hold itself together. In some ways it felt a lot like reading To Brave the Storm again; the content being engrossing and the emotion hitting true, but without much time to stop and let it sink in. Given that the book had from the start the same basic complication as TBtS - the story needing to follow on from other works while also flashing through multiple years - this isn't too surprising, but it did drive home how Mack's works are at their most effective when the plot's a lot more compressed, so the events and character moments hit with greater impact. (A Time To Kill/Heal, Warpath, various Vanguards, Destiny, Zero Sum Game...besides Sorrows of Empire, was this his first multi-year novel?)

    Time went by a bit too swiftly a bit too often, and the scene jumped around a little too rapidly for my taste. Again, I don't think that could really be helped given that the book had to encompass and then conclude a dozen pre-established character arcs sprinkled across the MU and largely unrelated up until now. The resolution was satisfying on multiple fronts, both character-wise and political, so it certainly did its job. It just felt less satisfying than it might have. The chapter on Vulcan, with the accounts of free Vulcans returning to the birthworld, was very powerful, and a great echo/mirror of the Vulcan scene in The Sorrows of Empire (one of the most powerful scenes in Trek lit, in my opinion). The transition of "Hallowed be Spock's Name" to Gleer droning on about Spock's recording without the point really sinking in was amusing and also strangely reassuring. Having Gleer be more or less a constant regardless of universe actually helps sell the Commonwealth-as-Federation idea better than any moralizing speeches. Indeed, choosing to represent the full reality of the new system of government - that it's boring, annoying, slow and difficult - is a good sign, because it shows they're taking it seriously. It would be easy to pay lip service to their new ideals, but their willingness to actually spend hours discussing whatever Zife's got into his head about resource allocation lets us know that this is a government we can root for. But the point is also made that the idealism needs to be there too, and the Commonwealth's business can't just devolve into being mundane or taken for granted, because then what would stop them growing disillusioned with the effort and falling into old habits? As zh'Faila says, the Commonwealth peoples need to reject the easy route now and dedicate themselves to a harder one, so they need to be sustained by the will to not be their ancestors...and not to be Spock, despite everything he did for them.

    (Mirror Spock's a fantastic character in these stories, by the way. He's like a Lord Vetinari who actually believes in "good" (if people get the reference...). He's so clear-headed a villain he goes right through to the other side and uses his "evil" to serve "good", knowingly. And he uses his villainy to destroy other villains...as well as himself. He was smart enough to know he couldn't win so he dedicated himself with heroic zeal to losing - and sweeping the entire board out from under him at the same time. And then posting a note saying "no one ever play this again, please" :techman:).

    So, yes, I thought these concluding scenes were very effective at presenting a multi-faceted face for the Commonwealth as part of a positive ending, and they did pay off emotionally, particularly the bit on Vulcan. And on the personal front, I'm very glad Smiley and Keiko ended up where they did. :) Kes' story had a surprising ending, but I was intrigued by it, too. And Ezri's fate made me smile. There was much to like; it's just that it all happened without a sense of weight behind it such as I usually find in a Mack novel. I'm not sure I'm explaining this at all well. Perhaps it is the time-skipping and "rapid" nature of the plot's progression, or maybe it's just that the MU "doesn't count" as much in my perceptions and so it's more of an upstream effort to drive the emotion home? For whatever reason, it seemed to me one of Mack's weakest...but it's still very enjoyable, skillfully crafted and satisfying as a conclusion to the MU. So I guess it is another Beneath the Raptor's Wing, or another Cast No Shadow - good, but not to the author's highest standard.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Oh, and I loved "the Taurus Pact". I guess without the Romulans to set a lot of the agenda the Typhon Expanse wouldn't make too much sense as a meeting point. :)
     
  15. Technobuilder

    Technobuilder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    The time jumps didn't bother me in the least, I just took it at what it was.

    I'm hoping this book does well enough to justify a third book. I'd really like to see the Mirror Dominion and how that all shakes down. Plus the Borg are still running around I would imagine, unless the Iconian Virus propagated through the collective.
     
  16. light487

    light487 Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I've only just started this.. 9% of the way through according to my Kindle. Having never read any of the other Mirror Universe novels, I was a bit worried that there would be a lot of references to things I didn't know about and all that usual stuff.. but so far everything has been written in a way that doesn't bore me with lots of exposition on the history of the books but doesn't leave me wondering who is who or what is what. I'm sure that there are characters that people who have read the proceding books would know better than I will.. but it's not like you are totally lost.
     
  17. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    ^ I'm encouraged to hear you say that, because that means I did my job properly. If I write a book properly, you should not need to have read any other book in order to understand mine (though, in the case of Star Trek, a familiarity with the original property is expected). I hope that you enjoy the rest of the novel and continue to find it as easily accessible.

    If, in the future, you are curious to know more about the build-up to Rise Like Lions, I hope you'll pick up my novel The Sorrows of Empire, as well as the anthologies Glass Empires, Obsidian Alliances, and Shards and Shadows. I did my best to acknowledge and incorporate the continuity from each of them.
     
  18. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    I agree with what light said, I was impressed that I wasn't lost. I liked how you did at times give us brief tie ins where it was helpful to know what we missed. Also, though I'm not a mirror fan, I am now interested in catching the back stories. I definitely would want to if it is decided to continue with the series.
     
  19. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Kendra Province, Bajor
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Just finished the book last night. Read it in one day and enjoyed it. I did fall asleep a couple of times, but only because I had a cold. The book was about the only thing I had the energy or desire to focus on. I also hope there will be a third book because I'd like to see what the Mirror Dominion does and how the Alpha Quadrant reacts.
     
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Re: Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions review thread (spoiler

    Actually it would be the 6th book, or if you want to count each novella (or are they short novels) in the first two collections as independent stories it would be the 8th. Or we could get really nit picky and include every story in Shards and Shadows and then it would be the 21st.