Spoilers TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Sep 17, 2013.

?

Rate The Crimson Shadow.

  1. Outstanding

    76 vote(s)
    67.3%
  2. Above Average

    29 vote(s)
    25.7%
  3. Average

    6 vote(s)
    5.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky - Halliwell
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I voted Outstanding. I've only read Una's Typhon Pact book Brinkmanship, but not her other Cardassia centric stories. I'm not a big fan of Cardassians but love Garak. And very pleased to see his new place in Cardassia's future.

    Was also not surprised at this...

    True Way Cardassians were responsible for Bacco's assassination.

    I just hope that more happens in regards to the assassination ramifications in future novels than it did in this one. The story ends, literally, with Picard shrugging and claiming there is nothing else that can be done. Um, what happened to the Picard of TNG who said that a Starfleet officer's first duty is to the truth? But I'm willing to read the next books of The Fall line to see how it goes. Indeed, he was between a rock and a hard place in this book.

    Final score for Star Trek The Fall: Crimson Shadow is 10 out of 10. A much better prose than the dismal Revelations and Dust by DRGIII. A little slow at times but no where near the level of the Kira stuff from the previous book. But once things get going they get going at warp 10. Una McCormack has helped me go from dreading the future installments of The Fall series after reading Revelations and Dust, to a return of the same anticipated excitement for them that I had months previously.

    Thanks to this book, McCormack has a new fan. I think my next read will be her Hollow Men to see what I missed and to see just how much the character of Garak has grown from the series to who he has become in The Crimson Shadow.

    In a recent interview the author has made mention of a future novel featuring the Next Generation crew, and I look forward to it and other future works.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    At star's end.
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    If you're interested in Una McCormack's work about Garak/Cardassia, I recommend "Scorched Earth", available for free online:
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/matthew.adams1/personal/earthfront.htm
     
  3. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Scortched Earth is really good, it isn't surprising to see she went on to be such a good author. It would be awesome to see it published under Myriad Universes.

    My personal favorites are Face Value and Never-ending Sacrifice. [Other than this book, of course!]
     
  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    This sounds like more bad news versus an improvement.
     
  5. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I bought my copy of Crimson Shadow which I will be reading after I finish reading Altered Carbon which will be on my 7-night cruise to Bermuda next week.
     
  6. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just downloaded the book to my kindle. Looking forward to diving in once I have finished with the DRGIII book.
     
  7. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    It's still quite possible that there was Tzenkethi involvement. The True Way had collaborated with the Tzenkethi in trying to develop back-door access to the Bajoran wormhole, so collaboration with the Tzenkethi to kill the Federation president is also imaginable.
     
  8. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky - Halliwell
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    That is true. In fact I'm hoping you are right.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    On the other hand, it would be surprisingly sloppy of the Tzenkethi -- who are, after all, masters of genetic manipulation -- to leave any DNA on that chip they put in Asarem's COS. I suspect there's something more going on than even Garak knows, and I retain my suspicion of President Pro Tempore Ishan. Why's he trying to get the Enterprise out of the way by sending it to Ferenginar? What's he afraid Picard will find?
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Read it. loved it. Eagerly awaiting Book III. :bolian:
     
  11. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I'm definitely thinking there's more going on.

    My theory is that someone is trying to destabilize the area. They cut off Cardassia from the federation by exploiting the true way's xenophobia. They lay just enough evidence on the typhon pact to get them facing off. They send the Enterprise to Ferenginar to get them out of the way when they start asking too many questions.

    Then, there's also that Bajoran who was murdered. I'm not sure if it was just supposed to be an unfortunate circumstance that his wife vanished, but...something seems sketchy there.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The intentional destabilization hypothesis sounds promising, but it raises the question of who benefits from such destabilization. My thoughts on the major players' and whether it's in their interests to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant:

    Romulan Star Empire: Highly improbable. Kamemor has staked her life and her praetorship on peace and stability with the Federation, and she seems to have purged the rogue nationalists from her government since the attack on the first DS9.

    Gorn Hegemony: Highly improbable. Current imperator is favorably predisposed to Bacco, and knows the Breen damn near killed him and did kill members of his court. Instability with the Khitomer powers threatens his life and his reign.

    Holy Order of the Kinshaya: Highly improbable. They have almost no security interests vis a vis the UFP or Cardassian Union, and none of these events hurt the Klingons [which is what the Kinshaya would like].

    Breen Confederacy: Possible, but I suspect unlikely. Domo Brex's administration seemed almost fatally undermined after the failure of the Orion operation, and any new Domo would need to be mindful that that operation consisted the third time in as many years that the Breen had overreached and failed, and that a hostile Federation retains a significant strategic advantage in the form of a slipstream drive -- and that the Confederacy has lost its most important assets with the loss of the remotely-controlled Soong-type androids. Joint Breen/Tzenkethi participation in the attack on DS9 implies that framing the Tzenkethi for the assassination would still suck the Breen into a war with the UFP. Ultimately, I think that a new Domo would likely be less reckless than Brex, and that he'd recognize this would be too big of a risk for the Breen.

    Tzenkethi Coalition: More plausible, but I still think unlikely. We know that the Tzenkethi have a history of assassinating foreign leaders and manipulating the internal politics of foreign cultures -- the assassination of Praetor Tal'Aura, the manipulation of the Venette Convention, the manipulation of the Talarian women's rights movement, etc. But they are usually more subtle and more discreet -- an obvious assassination attracts so much more attention than poisoning someone and making it look like a disease. Further, the Tzenkethi, if their operations on Romulus are any indication, seem only to be in favor of potentially destabilizing actions if there is an obvious and direct benefit to them -- acquiring slipstream in PofN/RtD or gaining important tactical beachheads in Brinkmanship. Otherwise, they want stability -- and a Federation that knows to look for an assassin and could therefore figure out it's them, is exactly what they don't want. Not implausible, and I'd stay suspicious, but I'd also argue against it being most likely.

    Tholian Assembly: Plausible. If anyone in the Pact is involved, I think it's most likely to be them. The Tholian Ruling Concave doesn't seem to have a major security interest in stability, and they do have a history of almost irrational spite against the Federation. They still hold a grudge against the Federation for its attempts to harness the Shedai one hundred twenty years earlier -- which briefly resulted in the brutal psychic torture of every single Tholian in the galaxy -- and they were behind the most successful destabilization effort when they revealed the secrets of the Taurus meta-genome to the Andorians in order to provoke their secession. They don't seem to have close ties to other Pact members, so in a UFP-Tzenkethi war, they can sit things out. And they still have their eyes on several UFP-claimed systems, so a weakened or destabilized UFP benefits them. If it's the Pact, I think it's the Tholians, though I would not rule the Tzenkethi out.

    If the Tholians are involved, that does present the question of what their relationship with Ishan might be. Is this a Circle/Central Command sort of thing?

    ETA:

    The blurbs for The Poisoned Chalice and Peaceable Kingdoms seem to make it clear this will be followed up on.

    No, it ends with him telling the head of Starfleet Command, and the two of them deciding not to act yet for fear of endangering the UFP/Cardassian alliance and plunging Cardassia back into the hands of reactionary nationalists, and because they did not yet have firm evidence of the True Way's involvement. I can find no reference to any shrugging, and Akaar's dialogue -- "We need to reflect upon this for a while, Jean-luc. For the moment, this should go no further" -- makes it clear this is not a permanent state of affairs.

    The same Picard of TNG who allowed Duras and the Klingon government to cover up Ja'Rod's role in the Khitomer massacre, frame Mogh, and discommendate Worf?

    Or perhaps the same Picard who told Norah Satie that accusations need evidence to substantiate them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  13. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    One more possibility came to mind.

    Andorian Empire: Although a founding member of the Federation, by virtue of the unique Andorian biology the Andorians didn't necessarily intermix very closely with the other peoples of the Federation. This, along with their understandable preoccupation with their threatened extinction, helped this disengagement morph into separatism following the Tholian revelations about the potential Taurus meta-genome. Since 2382, Andorians have engaged in numerous hostile acts against the Federation. Not only does an Andorian Starfleet officer aligned with Pact-backed radicals on his homeworld arguably bear responsibility for the destruction of the first DS9, but an Andorian cruiser threatened the Titan after refusing to repatriate its Andorian crewmember (against the crewmembers' desires) and then went on to engage in the highly unethical use of transporter technology to create duplicates of at least one of these crewmembers. (It's difficult to imagine either the threatened use of force against a Federation starship or the misuse of transporter technology on such a scale not being authorized by an Andorian government.)

    The Andorians have a strong animus against the Federation, having seceded from the organization in the belief that it would have let their species go extinct rather than reveal potentially species-saving technological secrets. Weakening or destabilizing the Federation would be good revenge. What better place to start than to kill the Federation president in the space station successor to one destroyed by an Andorian? I don't think that the Andorians have much liking for the Cardassians or Tzenkethi, either, owing to the Federation's recent hostilities against those powers. More distant ones like the Tholians, with whom the Andorians have had little contact, might be suitable allies.

    We might actually have some evidence of Andorian involvement. We know that the third book, written by Mack, deals directly with the worsening of the Andorian fertility crisis, and apparently features Bashir wrecking his career and his life to try to save the Andorians from extinction. I find it difficult to imagine circumstances where doing so could be so threatening. The only circumstances in which I can imagine that would relate to Andoria being a hostile power.

    Thoughts?

     
  14. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    London UK
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well with the current more hard line attitude of the Federation government it could be that they just refuse to let Bashir work with the Andorians - maybe the possible cure would reveal Federation secrets. Certainly book 4 seems to be about something very suspect happening on Earth.

    That's in response to rfmcdpei - forgot to quote!
     
  15. DavetheAvatar

    DavetheAvatar Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Location:
    Selby, UK
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I must admit I have never really been a fan of the Cardassia-centric stories, I just find them to be a little dull. Once I got about a third of the way into this though, I was hooked. I started reading yesterday evening and suddenly it was 1am.

    Just managed to finished it off this morning and whilst I felt the overall story could have come to a somewhat more satisfying conclusion, Garak's story was wonderfully handled. It somehow came off being rather more believable than it would have had I heard about it from someone else.

    I am also wondering, given the potential involvement of the Tzenkethi as the assassins in the first book, and then Cardassians in this book, are we going to have Andorians implicated in A Ceremony of Losses?

    It would be interesting for each book to place the blame with a different organization only for the truth to come out at the end.
     
  16. flavaflav

    flavaflav Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Illadelph
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Outstanding

    This book was vastly superior in every way imaginable to 'Revelation and Dust'. It really made that book look like amateur crap.

    The characterization was dead on for the most part. I was happy I could hear each of the characters voices in my head as I was reading. It was also an easy read and it's the fastest I've every read a book of that length. Not overly wordy, it got to the point and moved at a nice pace. 'Revelation' didn't do that at all. It was choppy because DRG seemed to discover some new words and had to cram them in the first few chapters like he usually seems to do, which when added to the pointless wordiness, kills momentum. There's no fun reading his books, it seems like a chore. Una doesn't have that problem at all.

    I felt like I got a punch to the stomach when Garak's car exploded. But then I thought to myself "he's blown up his own shop before, everything is gonna be okay... I hope". His return gave me a big shit eating grin and vocally exclaimed "fuck yeah!"

    I like how the book ended with Julien's letter. The whole book I'm thinking Julien was a lazy sob never writing back. I guess he was a bit busy.

    I'm not convinced the True Way is solely responsible for Bacco's death. I think this will end up being a Federation inside job a la Babylon 5. I don't trust the new Pres at all and get a President Clark vibe. I really hope I'm wrong on that and it goes a different way.

    The only negative i can really think of is how Worf was handled. I wish he had a few more lines. it seemed like he said maybe 5 words the entire book and was there to take up space.

    In the end, this book has got me more interested in 'The Fall' books. I hope the next installment keeps up the fun and pace.
     
  17. flavaflav

    flavaflav Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Illadelph
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    yes yes! I was thinking the same thing. When taking into account both books, along with the DS9 series, Garak's overall arc, especially where he winds up at the end of the book, is fantastic.
     
  18. Csalem

    Csalem Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Finished and really enjoyed it. I love Una McCormack's world-building and really felt like I was on Cardassia. It was also good not having the Enterprise at the centre if the story - it was almost like we got to see the ship from the point of view of the ordinary people who get caught up in the Enterprise's adventures.
     
  19. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Location:
    I'm here. Where are you?
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I was actually convinced for a couple of pages that Garak was actually dead - and then he stepped out of the shadows! That was pretty awesome!
     
  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Me too. I was SO CLOSE to having a "throw-the-book-across-the-room" incident! I honestly think I was in a little bit of shock when that happened.