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. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    Looked today at local B+N. No luck.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Loved it. Absolutely adored Bashir's arc in this book. Ishan is looking more and more like a fascinating, frustrating villain.

    Question:

    It's very hard not to read A Ceremony of Losses and think of the examples of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Snowden, of course, didn't go public until this spring, making it unlikely he was an influence -- but I'm curious if Chelsea Manning was on your mind while writing this, David Mack?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  3. ITCH

    ITCH Ensign Red Shirt

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    DS9 is my favorite ST franchise because their characters were not only full of defects but they also learned and grew with time. Under that light, I loved Bashir from the beginning. I identified myself from his “I know it all” attitude born from the arrogance of youth to be forty and spend that last 13 years working in the same place (Zero Sum Game).

    I’m extremely grateful that David Mack wrote this novel. Not only I like his writing style but his insight of what makes Bashir tick. Ceremony it’s the perfect emotional outcome for what happened to him in ZSG and The Abyss. At the end we see Bashir going back to the idealistic principles Garak used to taunt him so much during the series but with the level of maturity and integrity you can only hope to achieve with time. It’s a classical Star Trek novel based on the principle of “striving over adversity to defend what you think is right” with a twist of Mack to spike it! J

    Now the looong wait for the 2014 Section 31 novel which for all practical purpose can be called “It’s payback time!!”
     
  4. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    I just bought the ePub eBook edition for a grand total of $3.29. I'm looking forward to reading this one.
     
  5. ITCH

    ITCH Ensign Red Shirt

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    I’m entitled to 2 vacation periods per year and I took the first one so I could download this from Amazon at midnight and read it, and re read it, and re read it….



    Can anyone explain to me, what’s the marketing reasoning behind the release of these books on Tuesdays!!??:wtf:
    Here I’m dying to talk about the book with somebody and everybody I know is working! DAMN!




    If Bashir gets an “Alan Shore, Boston Public” kind of lawyer that gets him out of jail, I guess as long as Ishan is President he might get exile from Federation territory. If word of what happened in Crimson Shadow gets out, Cardassia might not be part of the Federation after all and Julian might end up as an exile in Cardassia as Garak moral advisor :D (Boy! Does he have a resume to backup that position!!) And the friend of the exile become the exile…


    In the other hand, it will be very ungrateful from Andor if during the negotiation to join the Federation they don’t include a pardon for Bashir.



    I love that Mack included Lense and mentioned the Carrington Award. After Ceremony Julian must surely have closure of both topics.


    And I laugh out loud at Bashir’s indignation at being charged with desertion. He may have left the freezer door open, overturned the pots, kicked the cook on the nuts and destroy the kitchen but he DID NOT lick the spoon! :guffaw:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  6. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How in the world have three The Fall books already been released? I can't catch up no matter how hard I try! :lol:
     
  7. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    The epilogues of all the past couple of novels have been real tear jerkers.

    Damned allergies, acting up again.
     
  8. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Okay more spoilery....
    Great entry that ratchets up the tension s'more.

    The descriptions of Ishan's vindictiveness and political paranoia feel a lot like a Richard Nixon type character, with his supporting supplicants being akin to his cabinet members (Kissinger at the top of that list). One can only hope Tuvok will find something as damning as Watergate when he goes to work for Akaar.

    Captain Harris was a nice little feature, we don't see enough civilian spacers in Trek, I think, he certainly has a touch of Cervantes Quinn to him, too. Was his last line a Dickens reference? Was kinda hoping he'd make it and end up being Bashir's new partner in crime, but alas... I suppose it wouldn't be a Mack book without a dead supporting character with charm.

    I think it's kind of disturbing, too, to have a Trek novel where a legit Starfleet ship and its crew are as villainous, or even moreso than everyone else, with the crew of the Warspite and Captain Zot in particular. I hope at some point we might get to see them in a more flattering light, or else some sort of comeuppance. It does give a good sense of what a "Post Trauma" Starfleet might be like, and I think this book captured that air really well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  9. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    ^ Without addressing the spoilery parts of your post, I can tell you that the civilian freighter captain Emerson Harris was named for a fan who placed the high bid in an auction for charity this time last year at the GMX convention in Nashville, TN.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    For the last few years now Tuesdays have been the release day for the majority of books, video games, and DVDs/Blu-Rays. I'm not sure why though.
     
  11. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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  12. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This wasn't very good - on the plus side it's well-written and the character of Bashir get some good moments but that is outweighed by the problems with the book that are numerous.

    The first and major one is the central dilemma is poorly set-up, some lip service is paid in the first third of the book to the idea that the information Bashir gets hold of could be used for negative consequences but that idea soon drops away and the reader is hit over the head with how right he is (because he has to be given the structure of the story and the simplistic actions of others).

    This is compounded by opponents who aren't really characters as they are strawmen caricatures who only exist to further confirm how right he is in his actions - so there isn't any tension in the book. lead strawman is the President who although it's been hinted in previous books is either not whom he seems or has other problems is simply portrayed without any hint of nuance and might as well be twirling a black mustache. Following his progress in this series, I expect him to be tossing babies in a fire in the next book. Most of the other characters suffer from the same problem to varying degrees (including starfleet Captains who fire on their own without question and invade sovereign worlds at the drop of a hat).

    The book then completely falls to pieces when the Andorians seemingly change Government and rejoin the federation over the space of a single weekend in a rather hasty conclusion.
     
  13. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

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    I enjoyed it more than you but would agree the portrayal of the President went way over the top - I expected him to give an evil cackle after every line.

    It's interesting - we've had a lot of books in the first few years covering the political aspect of the Federation and its members and it does feel that the politicans rarely come out of it well. It fits with our cynical world but jars somewhat in the supposedly more muture & open society of the Federation.
     
  14. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus it seems we are heading to a situation where two out of the last three Federation presidents were 'taken out' by the Military - some liberal democracy!
     
  15. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    Wow. Just finished this after an all night reading session. I'll have more thoughts later, but easily the best Star Trek novel to come out in 2013.
     
  16. DavetheAvatar

    DavetheAvatar Ensign Newbie

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    I'm not going to go into any big spoilers but I really enjoyed it. It's definitely my favourite of the three so far and I love David Mack's style. I had a sense of dread throughout the entire book about what was coming, but when I got to the end I was actually really satisfied by how everything turned out.

    Still, it is only book three of five. I want to know what is going on with the President and the numerous other questions left to be answered. I have very old fashioned tastes and as dark as things might get, I want my endings to be happy ones. Still not sure what end point The Fall is heading towards, but I am very excited to find out.
     
  17. nickyboy

    nickyboy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Best trek book since DRGIII's Typhon Pact duology last year and David Mack's best work since Destiny. Could not put it down. I wish each author was writing 2 books in this series, 5 books is just not long enough. Only 2 more to go.
     
  18. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Forgive the nitpicking, but I noticed something odd towards the end of the book; Bashir recalls being a prisoner of the Breen during the Dominion War. Did the author confuse him with Ezri or is that from another novel?
     
  19. j3067

    j3067 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I just started reading this one today. I LOVED the Pinky and the Brain reference at the end of chapter three. I now have my hopes up for some, "Shar, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" action throughout the rest of the story.

    "I think so Professor, but how are we going to get the thollian on a snowboard?"
     
  20. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    That was during the early episodes of the final Deep Space Nine arc.