Spoilers TF: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Oct 20, 2013.

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Rate A Ceremony of Losses.

  1. Outstanding

    71 vote(s)
    60.2%
  2. Above Average

    38 vote(s)
    32.2%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    6.8%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That idea is not bad. :drool:

    If anyone is interested, "unverzagt" is a German word translating as 'dauntless'.

    Can we assume that the Ilmarriven and the Tuonetar belong to the Shran-class from TTN: Fallen Gods?
     
  2. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I really liked this one and voted outstanding. I thought it was a very good resolution of the long-simmering story about the Andorian reproduction crisis, which also advanced the larger story of The Fall.

    Like others have noted, at times, Ishan seems a little bit cartoonish in his interactions, but I think that is consistent with the way he's been portrayed in both this novel and The Crimson Shadow. He seems to me like a "small-time" political figure (in comparison with being part of the highest echelons of interstellar government) who is probably better at campaigning and cutting deals with people who can support him and help him advance than he is at actual administration and governing. He's probably in over his head as president, but his own arrogance and eagerness for power have so far blinded him to that.

    I also really like that Bashir gets to be a heroic doctor here, and sticks to his principles even at great cost. I'm glad his story will continue in Disavowed.

    In the end, I'm now anxiously waiting for The Poisoned Chalice to see where all this is going next!
     
  3. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    I bought this book the other day and have read 10 chapters so far. I really like Julian Bashir wanting to help the Andorians and Ezri and her crew don't like their orders either and want to help the Adorians.The President pro tem is a really a power hungry politician who can't be trusted I hope he won't be elected Federation President.I can't wait to to see how this story unfolds in this book.:techman:I'm looking forward to seeing how this story with Section 31 is continued in Disavowed.
     
  4. BrentMc

    BrentMc Commander Red Shirt

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    (SPOILER ALERT)
    I really enjoyed this book. :techman: I loved the references like the Lost Numbers and the gung ho. I really liked how there was suspense and problems everywhere. The interim president and his going around Akkar, The ships that followed his orders vs. The Aventine and Bashir on the freighter. It was a real edge-of-your-seat page turner. It was a really close call between the Andorians being cured or not. I love Andorians, so I am happy they have the cure and look forward to future stories about Andorians. I also liked the Dr. Pulaski appearance.

    I want to know what happens to Bashir, but I really want to know about Ezri. I am among the people who like Ezri as Captain of the Aventine. Is there a chance that Akkar will support her actions, and she may retain her Captaincy?

    BTW has anyone else wondered if the Name Andorian comes from and / or, as in I would like some cake and / or some ice cream?
     
  5. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Very enjoyable book. I loved the character arc that Bashir goes through and I look forward to what he does next (because he's obviously not going to rot away in an asteroid prison). I find the convience of finding the cure and the resolution of the Andor crisis (and their readmission) a bit too easy, although I have to say several posters have made good arguments that have convinced me how well it does work (but either way, the cure is not a deus ex machina).

    Like Sci, I couldn't help but think of recent political events such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. I might be alone on this, but Ishan's hawkish agendas reminded me of the recent actions of the Tea Party and I had a terrible time trying not to picture Ishan as Ted Cruz, even though I know they're two very different people.

    On a different note, I loved the LOST and Pinky and the Brain references, and while I'm sure it wasn't intended, but Emerson Harris reminded me of Wash from Firefly.

    I'm beginning to notice a trend with The Fall series. Each novel has featured a major character going through life changing experiences.

    Revelation and Dust: Bacco assassination, Kira's wormhole experience (although this really the third time Kira has gone through an experience similar to this before)

    The Crimson Shadow: Garak runs for Castellan (and presumably wins).

    A Ceremony of Losses: Bashir destroys his career to save the Andor species, Ezri has potentially has done the same to a lesser degree (although we don't know the exact fallout of her actions yet).

    Likewise, each book has focused on a major world (Bajor, Cardassia, Andor) and will continue so with Earth in The Poisoned Chalice. I guess Peaceable Kingdoms will tie all of them together?

    This post was buried deep in the aforementioned "deus ex machina" debate, but I wanted to bring it back up. I noticed my copy was flimsy as well and I don't like it one bit. I really hope this isn't the new printing mode.
     
  6. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    I don't get the too easy part on the cure. We found out about the crisis in november 2376, and it's resolved in September 2385. And the real world length of time for resolution is nearly as long (Feburary 2005 to October 2013). The resolution is predicated on pre-existing knowledge built up in another multi-year series of books being harnessed by eminent doctors(wish that included mccoy, but I guess that would be too fangasmy), coupled with the work of andorians working flat out for the existance of the species and built upon previous work in another novel that failed but pointed the way forward.

    That's anything but easy, and the huge length of time for a resolution has in fact been a bone of contention for me in the past. Readmission works because it's built on the same thing that took them out in the first place - the uproar of the people because of supressed info that could help them have a future.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    :bolian::rommie:

    I had that exact same reaction, but I had it back when I read The Crimson Shadow back in late September. It was just as Senator Cruz started his faux-filibuster that led to the shutdown, as I was reading Ishan's scenes in Crimson Shadow, I thought to myself:

    "New legislator who comes out of nowhere, makes major waves before anyone really gets to know who he is, and then ascends to the highest levels of power on the basis of his back-room politicking in the midst of a constitutional crisis?

    "Holy crap, the new Federation President is Ted Cruz!"
     
  8. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Very good book, the later "chase" scenes were very exciting. I didn't like the overly cynical politics though, i know it was a means to an end for the story but it just didn't seem to fit in with Star Trek very well or seem that realistic.
     
  9. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    With regard to seeing enough of the horrors of politicians willing to do real, tangible harm to people for political or ideological gain, I can't help thinking of one of the few episodes of Taxi I can remember:
    A Pac-Man arcade game was installed in the garage, and "Reverend Jim" Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) promptly became addicted to it. In the tag, he said,
    At any rate, it was a draining read, but it sure started moving fast near the end.
     
  10. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    The similarities between the two are especially remarkable considering The Fall was written months before the rise of Ted Cruz. I guess there's been enough politicians like him over the years that it's not so surprising (someone upthread remarked the similarities to Nixon).
     
  11. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Yeah, Ishan reminds me more of a Tricky Dick than a relative nobody like Ted Cruz. My guess is that it was precisely because he WAS a newcomer that got him to be President Pro Tem. Everyone figured he didn't have his own agenda and was pliable to the rest of the Council.

    ...okay not Tricky Dick, maybe a Gerald Ford with a sinister cast? (Then again Ford's cabinet included some notoriously hawkish people like Cheney and Rumsfeld)
     
  12. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    I found myself thinking that he's probably of the same generation of Bajoran politicians raised under the Occupation as Kai Winn who, after nearly starting a civil war by trying to unite the secular and religious spheres on Bajor under her leadership, ended up collaborating with Gul Dukat in a plan to unleash the Pah-wraiths on the galaxy so that it would burn forever.

    Clearly, some Bajorans took exactly the wrong lessons from the Occupation era.
     
  13. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely agree. It is more flimsy. If you hold it horizontally by the spine it droops down in a way that 'Ceremony' (with a similar page count) doesn't.
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    :bolian:I finished reading Ceremony of losses great read I really liked Bashir's journey through the book working with other doctor's to help the Andoria and and defying orders to do the right thing. I also liked that Ezri and her crew also defied President Ishan's orders this man is a egotistical power mad politician who I hope will be defeated at being elected as Federation President,In upcoming novels Ilike the spies and political intrigue in this novel.I can't wait to see how Disavowed continues Bashir's storyand what happens to Ezri as well it was nice to see that her conversation with Bashir finally got her to use her conscience to do the right thing to help the Andoria.I wonder how the Typhon pacy will reat to current events going onwith Andoria and the Federation.
     
  15. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That seems like a good explanation of his background.

    Charitably, one could say that the motivation of characters such as Kai Winn and perhaps Ishan is their fear of what will happen if they don't slap their enemies and former enemies down hard when they get the chance. One of Star Trek's main themes, and I believe one of the reasons for its continuing popularity, has always been to counter that view by showing that it is better to overcome that part of our natures in order to foster friendship with former enemies rather than continuing enmity.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out with Ishan in the current storylines.
     
  16. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    It's something that's been coming and going in recent books. Mostly the 'regular' slightly stiffer books, and then every now and then, these much more flimsy books. One of Christopher's recent books was like this, I remember commenting on it. Don't know if it's a conscious decision, or one manufacturing facility doing it differently than another, or what, but it's definitely noticable, and hasn't been a consistent change-over...
     
  17. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    These are my first paperbacks since the Vanguard series ended. I thought 'The Fall' would look nice on my shelf and there was a price break on amazon for the physical over the e-book. It is quite weird that consecutive books would be so different in quality.
     
  18. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Like I said, there were a couple like this before, and they went back to the 'normal' stiffer versions. Seems to pop up occasionally. Just don't like it because the book feels cheaper, and less likely to survive a reading or two
     
  19. Zedferret

    Zedferret Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I must admit, one thing that bothers me is that the Federation could be controlled by the will of one person and no-one does anything? Is the Federation almost a democratic dictatorship these days?
     
  20. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    They are doing things. But Ishan is the legal president pro tem and it's barely been a month since he took office.