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

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

?

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. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    I agree. The Fall had some problems, but I think it leaves the universe off at a good point. Also gives us the perfect launching point for more DS9 books, which is definitely exciting.
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Strangest thing.

    Not sure if it was from being about halfway through TF:PK before I went to sleep last night, or from the current state of U.S. politics, but I had a weird dream last night about being in a building, with somebody, in a desperate bid to hold onto political power, using what appeared to be a World War II-vintage machine gun, with a honking long barrel, to systematically destroy that building and everything in it (with the section I and a few others were in apparently next in line).

    Then I got up this morning, and read the
    two-chapter passage about Picard getting lured by a fake distress call to a booby-trapped freighter.
     
  3. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Location:
    I'm here. Where are you?
    I think some people have a different definition of standalone than I do, because to me, while each of the books had a storyline that was resolved, none of them were really "standalone". Revelation and Dust set up new DS9 stories, Crimson Shadow was the continuation of the postwar Cardassia arc, Ceremony of Losses was the conclusion of the Andorian crisis arc, The Poisoned Chalice directly followed up on Dax and Bashir's story from CoL, and Peaceable Kingdoms directly followed up on Riker's story from PC.

    And I don't think Revelation and Dust was a failure. It told a good story, and set up the rest of The Fall and a new DS9 story quite nicely. Maybe other people expected more from it, but I didn't really have any problems with it.
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007

    Nope, sorry. Can't agree. Was it the best of The Fall? No. Was it DRGIII's best novel ever. No. But to me, personally, was it a good read? Yes.

    Do others have a different opinion? Probably, and that's cool. But that doesn't mean we should all agree it was a failure.
     
  5. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    The refrain when it came out was that we needed to wait until the end of the 5 book series, that it was just setting things up.

    The rest of the stories, while being part of the arc, had their own arc within the book, told a story as part of the whole. R&D was a mess. Didn't have an arc, just a bunch of stuff that happened and went unresolved (in micro or macro level).

    Other than establishing that Bacco was dead, what did R&D do that an extra 20 pages on Crimson Shadow couldn't have? may be some future payoff in another DS9 book, but nothing that came to play in The Fall.

    Out of the 5 books, that's still the one where I just didn't feel like I got my money's worth. Wasn't really a story, just some stuff that happened, was unrelated to each other, and not picked up in the rest of the series...

    -Crimson Shadow moved the Cardassian story forward and set up new storylines there, but also told a story on its own and had a resolution. Story was about Garak and Cardassia.

    -Ceremony of Losses resolved the Andorian crisis while setting up Bashir/Section31 stuff, and stuff with Ishan. Story was about Bashir.

    -Poisoned Chalice was a little more open, but worked Titan and the political angles, while still having a self-contained story/mission with Tuvok and company. Story was about Tuvok, with some Riker stuff.

    -Peacable Kingdoms was probably 2nd weakest, but went to tie up loose ends and set up the new goals of the Federation, back to exploring, etc. Still managed a contained story with Crusher that was resolved.

    By contrast, R&D:
    -described the new DS9
    -Replayed the DS9 Pilot episode for a while
    -gave some Kira/ancient Bajoran stuff, but didn't resolve it any (just established the situation), and finished with an odd cliff-hanger that was somehow not mentioned by anyone in the rest of the series
    -Set up a mission for Odo, but only in passing, hasn't started
    -Killed Bacco, but without much buildup, and then a quick/poor investigation.

    Where was the narrative that went through it? What was started and resolved? All open-ended, without any contained mini-arc or story to make it feel like a book on its own. Most of this could have been dropped, or moved to the next DS9 book that intends to deal with it, and Bacco would have made just as much sense as the first 2 chapters of Crimson Shadow. Really can't find the story that needed to be told in this book, a reason for it to exist on its own...
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    :lol:

    I could see that being an actual term used in Bajoran taverns.
     
  7. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    Agreed. I think the events of R&D will make much more sense once future novels have been written, as it seemed to be laying the groundwork for a new series of DS9 books.

    With the new station operational, the wormhole having opened, and Sisko taking the Robinson on an extended exploratory mission, there's plenty of material to hash out and explore. There's also the Kira storyline and the odd Jem'Hadar cliffhanger near R&D's conclusion. Plus, there's the potential to add new crew members with Bashir facing court-martial.

    I suspect some of these issues will be tackled in the Section 31 novel due out later this year, but we'll have to see.

    --Sran
     
  8. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Speaking of the Robinson...

    Before the wormhole reopened, that ship was being tasked to exploratory operations in the Alpha Quadrant, and I suspect that there's still plenty of space unclaimed by Typhon Pact affiliated-nations to be explored by ships launched from a Bajor Sector home port.

    Since the Robinson's being retasked to Gamma Quadrant exploration, who gets the Alpha Quadrant gig they were originally going to have?
     
  9. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    This was a great book. I liked all of The Fall. Its hard to pick a favorite, but its probably The Crimson Shadow. My least favorite is easily The Poisoned Chalice. It wasn't bad, and it had good moments, but I found it to be kind of weak. To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the Titan books, so I'm sure fans of those books liked it more than I did. I just thought it was ok.

    The end of this book was about what I figured it be, although I wish we'd seen some resolution with Bashir. Still, I'm sure we'll get more with him eventually.
     
  10. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Guaranteed on that Bashir resolution in Disavowed.
     
  11. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    It looks like Picard's getting that based on his discussion with Akaar and Riker.

    --Sran
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Nope. I enjoyed it! If Peaceable Kingdoms gets a B- from me, Revelation and Dust gets either a B+ or an A-.

    I thought both stories -- Kira's journey with the Prophets, and Bacco's assassination -- were great. I was intrigued by the story of the new DS9 getting up and running; I was on the edge of my seat when Bacco died; and I loved the story of Bajor's past.

    It clearly had different creative goals than you set for it while reading it, but I loved it. And as I said in my review of Peaceable Kingdoms -- something having different creative goals than you is not the same thing as it being "bad;" it just means it's not as satisfying to you.

    Bacco fell. Ganar fell. Cardassia First fell. Bashir fell. The Treyisha fell. The "Active" mercenary system fell. Velk fell. Baras fell. Federation militarism fell.

    Honestly, as I think of it, it occurs to me that there was a lot more falling in this miniseries than I realized!
     
  13. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    You might well have a point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Captain's Table
    I also think that because so many things fell that there's now the potential for the Federation's traditional ideals and values to rise again, which seems to be what Akaar and Riker are trying for with the launch of so many deep-space assignments.

    --Sran
     
  15. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Bacco fell. Ganar fell. Cardassia First fell. Bashir fell. The Treyisha fell. The "Active" mercenary system fell. Velk fell. Baras fell. Federation militarism fell.

    Honestly, as I think of it, it occurs to me that there was a lot more falling in this miniseries than I realized![/QUOTE]

    Eh, feels like a pretty weak explanation. By that reasoning, basically EVERY book or series should be sub-titled "The Fall". Someone fails, dies, is removed from power, or just trips every book. When you call it The Fall, and make it a 5-book series, guess I expected a bigger, more epic 'fall'.

    Ganar, Cardassia First, Mercenary system, Velk, Baras, and militarism both rose AND fell in the book, so don't really fit the idea. Should have to have been something that was big before the books started.

    Bashir can't 'really' be it, as it was only in one book, 3rd of 5, and not much of the epic 'fall', just finding something to believe in and sacrificing for that cause. Treyisha is pretty firmly in the 'who cares' pile, as we weren't invested in them, so the 'fall' wasn't enough to pin a series on. Plus mostly resolved in the one book, again.

    It's really Bacco, I guess, but it's just an unexciting death that it feels like something was missed. True to life, I guess, but just meh. Felt like it needed more build-up, missed opportunities to stop it, whatever. We just wander along with describing DS9 for a while, re-watch Emissary, do some random Kira/pre-Bajoran stuff, then Bacco gets popped making a speach towards the end. Less of a fall than just an End.

    Baras had a better fall, in that he was raised up, grew stronger, made mistakes, we saw people working to catch him, eventually got an edge, and pulled it together. Bacco just died. And even then, we finish the series with a similar replacement, so aside from the name, could have just had Bacco have a change of heart and we could have skipped the entire bit. Just weird to call the series The Fall when aside from Bacco and Bashir personally, pretty much everyone/everything was better off than when the series started. And even with Bashir, career is kinda screwed, but since we got the feeling he wasn't enjoying it and was just going through the paces, he may not be as bad off as we think.

    Liked most of the series (save book 1), just guess I was expecting/hoping for more here. Will be nice to get out of the political stuff and back out exploring, though, so the change of direction is appreciated. I want more of starships exploring new (or ancient) stuff, less about Typhon Pact diplomats trying to one up each other...
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    It's not an explanation, it's a joke. :vulcan:

    But speaking more earnestly, I think it's pretty clear that the title The Fall refers to Bacco's assassination.

    You are severely over-analyzing a joke now.

    I've been invested in the Andorian arc for ten years, and I was invested in the Treyisha. If anything, I'm just sorry we didn't get more exploration of how right-wing nationalism arose and interacted with the leftist value systems a Federation society espouses.

    I don't really know what to tell you. She was an awesome character, and she was assassinated, and they built a five-book miniseries around her assassination. If you just weren't invested, you weren't invested; that says nothing about the quality of the writing.

    But I don't really see how a president being assassinated is ever "boring." That sort of thing is the very definition of a huge crisis.

    You know, I'm sorry, but I hear that charge again and again and I'm getting tired of it.

    1. This was the 20th anniversary of DSN, so it's perfectly appropriate to re-visit that scene from "Emissary" from a new POV.

    2. The scene is used in a manner that advances the story of Bajor's relationship with the Prophets, because it suggests that the Prophets themselves are trying to tell Bajor (through Kira) that they are not infallible creatures -- thereby calling into question the foundation of the Bajoran Church's belief system.

    3. It lasted for a couple of pages. It was not a long section of the book.

    There was nothing "random" about the Kira/Bajor arc, and indeed it was the primary story being told in the novel. Dual plotline structures are very common in novels, and I'm always surprised at how many people objected to it in Revelation and Dust.

    1. Your complaints are more about the structure of Revelation and Dust than they are about the miniseries in full. You should focus your thesis.

    2. "Less a fall than just an End." I have no idea what that means. Bacco fell; that's pretty clear.

    Bacco's had her ups and downs for going on ten years. It's not like she's a new character.

    And what, exactly, do you think an assassination is? A long and drawn out process? That's not reality. When someone's shot to death, they die. It's sudden and it's brutal and it doesn't provide catharsis.

    You seem to be upset that Bacco's death didn't give you the catharsis that Baras's arrest gave you. But that would have been a dishonest portrayal of what an assassination is like.

    No. As I have said before, there is very little that Bacco and zh'Tarash have in common. The only thing they have in common is their political values. Their ages, their species, their personalities, their family situations, their speech, their sense of humor -- these things are all completely different.

    1. You speak as though the assassination of a president is just a minor thing that doesn't affect people. This is a fairly ridiculous assertion. Think about how Kennedy's assassination affected Americans; about how Lincoln's assassination changed the course of Reconstruction; about how the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand provided the spark for the powderkeg that set off World War I; about how Rabin's death killed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; about how Allende's death destroyed Chilean democracy; about how Habyarimana's assassination led to the Rwandan Genocide; about how Gandhi's assassination affected the history of India, or about how Indira Gandhi's assassination led to thousands of Sikh deaths; or about how Birenda's assassination led to Gyanendra's attempt at a recreating an absolute monarchy in Nepal; about how Bhutto's assassination led to martial law in Pakistan; about how the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X affected the black community and the civil rights movement; etc., etc., etc. Assassinations are big deals in and of themselves.

    2. Yes, things ended in light rather than in darkness. That's because this is Star Trek, not Battlestar Galactica. Star Trek is at the end of the day about hope overcoming despair, so that's appropriate.

    I mean, that's the question for Bashir, isn't it? He's felt lost and directionless, and he's felt like his service in Starfleet required him to violate his oath. Now he's cast off and adrift, and we know he's coming to Section 31. The question is, will he retain his integrity, or will he succumb to his own vanity?

    I honestly don't know how you could possibly ask for "more" when you just got a five-book miniseries out of Bacco's assassination. That's an awful lot of books about the consequences of one death.
     
  17. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Working on my review now, I voted above average. I have loved getting to talk to the authors on Literary Treks to get their insight on the series. I think there is lot going on philosophically, so I have thoroughly enjoyed it. For me it was the highlight of Trek lit in 2013 alongside "From History's Shadow" and "Rise of the Federation".
     
  18. BrentMc

    BrentMc Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    California U.S.A.
    I enjoyed this ending to "The Fall" series, but it did not leave me as satisfied as the David Mack "Destiny," or "Cold Equations" series. It left me more excited about future books. I was happy that in the ending they said Starfleet is going to do more exploring. I look forward to some Enterprise-E exploration themed books. I am not as interested in the more political, or cold war themed books.

    I was glad Ezri Dax was put back into command. I hope to read more of her and the Aventine and I hope Data makes a return appearance and we find out what he has done since "Cold Equations."

    I would like them to return Riker to command of Titan and have some missions with a deep space fleet with the Enterprise, Titan and Aventine.

    They said the Enterprise was getting some upgrades. I would like for it and Titan to get quantum slipstream so that they don't seem outdated and they can go on deep space exploration missions with Aventine. They wouldn't all have to be side by side, but in the same region so they can meet up if they find anything or come to the aid of one another.

    Who else things an exploration fleet of Enterprise, Titan (With Riker back) and Aventine could be a fun story arch?
     
  19. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Maybe he meant more as in 'less shit'?
     
  20. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    I found it as satisfying as Destiny and more so that Cold Equations, even though I like CE. I am really hoping Riker will be back on Titan, but they did a really good job of making his admiralship very interesting. What I want to see is Sisko have more to do. I really miss that this character that was a god has had so little to do now that he is back in the universe. Personally I always thought he should be an admiral on the new DS9 as his base.