TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Dec 22, 2013.

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Rate Peaceable Kingdoms.

  1. Outstanding

    18 vote(s)
    19.6%
  2. Above Average

    37 vote(s)
    40.2%
  3. Average

    31 vote(s)
    33.7%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    5.4%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agreed. I am surprised anybody would say Relevation and Dust was that bad. I agree it wasn't the 'best' ever trek novel I've ever read. But I thought was at least average at the very, very least. Plus as being in the initial stages of the series, it could not reveal many of the plot lines.
     
  2. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I wish I felt like arguing with you about this, but I don't. Simply put, a whole lot of writing went into describing the physical details down on the planet. Those details never affected the plot in any manner. I would go back and find a few paragraphs for you, but it's really not worth the effort. And as I said, that was only one example of wasted detail work.

    I agree that the flashbacks were an important part of the story. I just think they were inserted at the wrong spots and at the wrong frequency. Several could have been combined, with no ill effect on the pacing.

    Seriously? How does an elite team of special operatives constantly get foiled by one guy, a couple of security officers, and a couple of doctors? That trap aboard the freighter? I mean, it was like watching Mr Bean, The Spy Who Shagged me.

    And yet, followup novels in The Fall did the job of summing up the assassination in a few paragraphs. The reality is, R&D provided nothing to the rest of The Fall that couldn't be done in a summary. Yes, it has apparently setup a bunch of stuff for a DS9 re-relaunch. But that had absolutely nothing to do with The Fall. The assassination was the only thing that linked the book to the rest of The Fall, and it didn't even start in on that until the 2nd half of the book, then proceeded to bumble its way through a half-hearted investigative mystery without conclusion.

    That is not at all the argument I'm making. The argument I am making is that there was a whole lot of unnecessary content in The Fall. Unnecessary to the plot of individual books. Unnecessary to the overall plot of The Fall. Unnecessary to any sort of character development.

    You're absolutely correct that the authors and editors have no obligation toward me. I also have no obligation to sugar coat their failings. We've already discussed in the R&D thread my belief that anything not necessary for the advancement of the plot is unnecessary to a novel and should be edited out. I haven't changed my view on that. A "tight" novel, or a "tight" series should be the goal.

    You're probably not wrong about this. Why would I purposefully go looking to read bad lit when there's so much good out there?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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  4. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't just cherry pick my quotes. I did say, and have said in the past, that character development is good in a book. But characters actually need to change and grow for it to be considered development. A character appearing and recapping is not development. The purpose of character development is not to service the characters, but to service the plot. If the characters' development does not affect the plot, it should be saved for a novel when it will.

    As an example of a missed opportunity, we saw Geordi and Tamala do a little personal time. This is nice and quaint. A little later, Geordi is talking to Sonya Gomez and there's an opening here to show Geordi's relationship with Tamala has grown. Instead it's just sort of "sorry, I'm seeing someone." They both shrug it off and move on. This was a missed opportunity for character growth and development.

    In the end, it served little purpose. Geordi still got the plot information out of Gomez. Might it not have been a more interesting arc if Sonya, being rebuffed, led to Geordi not conveniently getting that plot info about the mercs? Or perhaps Geordi neglecting to mention Tamala, stringing Sonya along until he got the info he suspected she held?

    What purpose did the Tamala scene or the mention of his relationship to Sonya serve? None, other than to simply show the reader that the status quo is still the status quo. No development. No arc. No point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  5. Zedferret

    Zedferret Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Surely most of R&D could have been in the DS9 re-re-launch? I found it annoying that 80% of R&D had no relevance to the fall. I loved reading about the new station and updating myself with the old characters, but was 'The Fall' the right place for it? It was like a page of Memory Beta. So many new threads started (and unresolved), and with trek lit, there's always the possibility that they won't go anywhere if the editors change or change direction. Novels aren't cheap and I don't like buying one with no real story.

    Anyway 3 good novels, and an acceptable if underwhelming end.

    R&D - 2/5
    tCS - 5/5
    ACoL - 3.5/5
    tPC - 4/5
    PK - 3/5
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have nothing good to say about this novel.

    Ugh.

    At least The Fall gave us Crimson Shadow and Ceremony of Losses, which so brilliantly used the context of the Ishan plot to move forward great stories. Too bad the Ishan context was introduced poorly, developed into a dead end, and then concluded without an ounce of creativity, intrigue, or charm.

    The only novels of Ward's I've really been excited about have been his Vanguard entries, so I wasn't expecting much, but this undershot even that. Useless summary, characters that all spoke with exactly the same verbal inflections (how many times did someone say "particularly now"?), no stakes, no surprises, no tension, and no character arcs.

    It was like watching one of those track races where runners jump over a bunch of hurdles, except you already know who wins. So you're just looking at a bunch of hurdles. And then they jump. Over the hurdles. Yay?
     
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Sci, I really appreciate your thoughtful replies! I haven't had a chance to properly respond yet, but I hope to do so tomorrow. :)

    Ultimately, this is how I feel, too.

    Yeah, this is all pretty much exactly how I felt about the book. (And stated quite pithily, too.)

    It comes down to this: what motivated me to finish reading the novel was my own desire to finish the series; the book did not compel me to keep reading, as much as I wanted it to.

    I am fascinated by the ways this novel worked and didn't work for lots of people, and I look forward to continuing to find objective evidence to explain my subjective response to the book.

    But at the end of the day, Peaceable Kingdoms really didn't work for me. And if you look through my post history, you'll see that that is unusual. I'm not sure what precisely that says about the novel itself, but it's highly discouraging.
     
  8. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well I for one enjoyed not only Peaceable Kingdoms but The Fall as a whole. Would have liked to have seen more of Sisko & the Robinson but maybe we will soon. Maybe I'm just easy to please.
     
  9. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    This was my reaction too: I even told my friend I was slog-reading a book I was not enjoying just to finish it. It seems so dissapointing.

    Also as I noted up-thread I found those Vanguard entries (the even ones, ironically) not so great either - slower, more stodgy, a sense of disconnect with previous volumes and somewhat more cliche plotting decisions.

    EDIT: Anyway, not to be too much of a downer! But that list of True Way members Tom Riker had was awfully convenient - the True Way as presented earlier in the arc didn't seem like a listed member thing or even an organisation per se (Garan dismissed it!). It didn't quite gel with the image Garak repeated from Tain in TCS, but I guess militarists could claim the name which belonged to something higher in the past.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    In retrospect, the biggest disappointment for me, was the Ishan character. With all the HUGE stuff happening in TrekLit lately, I couldn't help but feel that the ultimate revelation about who he is was a bit underwhelming. Sure, not everything has to universe-devouring megamachines. But still, I had expected more.

    Another big disappointment.....

    With all this talk lately from Picard and Crusher about retiring, I had really expected Picard to step down as captain of the Enterprise. Worf by now deserves his own command, be it the Enterprise or another ship. But at the end, EVERYONE is where they have been for years, expect for Bashir and Riker, and it looks as if Riker will be back aboard Titan soon enough. So yeah, I wouldn't have minded a bit more shacking up really.
     
  11. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    picard will never retire

    pocket gotta sell books man
     
  12. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Well, Crusher is the CMO of DS9 now, at least for a bit. I would not mind seeing that last.
     
  13. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I think they made clear it isn't, that it's a temporary solution.
     
  14. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I enjoyed this book a lot, i did actually buy it for my back to work commute starting last thursday but finished it this weekend as i couldn't wait!

    Overall The Fall has been an excellent series i hope TrekLit attempts such a linked series again soon.
     
  15. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Some have commented on Ishan's reveal being a bit overwhelming but i liked it, at times it felt like he would end up a long-term Obsidian Order operative or something so i enjoyed the actual Ishan secret and the ambiguity of it, he wasn't just purely evil but actually felt he was doing the right thing - which is always the most dangerous of enemies lol
     
  16. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    :techman:I finished this book last night I was totally surprised of how the mystery was unraveled in this in suprising ways like
    The true revelation of Ishan Anjar really was well written and was totally not what I expected at all when it came to reveal of who our real villian's identity really was a collaborator for the Cardassians playing both sides of the Cardassin & Bajor occupation conflict. I like the fact Illon Darat was able survive with Dr. Crusher and Tom Riker helped saved them from the bad Starfleet agents.
    I hope Rikaer will return ti the Titan and that Ben Sisko& his ship the Robinson will be appearing in another novel soon. I enjpyed reading all oof the books in The Fall miniseries.It's one of tbes t Startrek miniseries I've read since Cols Equations by David Mack.
     
  17. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Yes, that is a good point: however everyone who was helping him was so obviously a villain, or were offscreen and uncharacterised, like the captains of the Warspite and Tonawanda.

    My biggest wish is that he and Velk had not committed the assassination. Earlier when blaming the Tzenkethi was simply political opportunism, Ishan felt more believable. But a full-on Oliver Stone JFK conspiracy? It was unfortunate, and also sidelined any validity the hawks would have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  18. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What's with all the spoiler tags? We're in the review thread, it's well beyond release date. They're unnecessary.
     
  19. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Which nook and what sort of issues? My copy came from Kobo and it's fine on my Sony Reader PRS-650.
     
  20. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Respect towards others and all those sillyness.