Spoilers TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread

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

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Rate The Crimson Shadow.

  1. Outstanding

    79 vote(s)
    68.1%
  2. Above Average

    29 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Average

    6 vote(s)
    5.2%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.7%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I saw it as her taking the girl under her wings (it is the girl who found the body of the Starfleet officer and helped identify the mole in the constabulary). More or less acting as a big sister to her and maybe trying to get her to follow in her footsteps.

    FWIW No idea if you're into Doctor Who, but I enjoyed both of her Who novels as well.
     
  2. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    She's taking that girl from earlier in the story under her wing. Much as Mhevet was taken out of North Torr and given a chance, she's doing the same for the girl. I think the implication is that Mhevet is training the girl to become a detective.
     
  3. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    She's definitely mentoring her.

    Cardassians have extremely good memories, [borderline photographic, if I remember correctly], but it does have to be trained. I think in one of the Terok Nor books, it mentions something about female Cardassians being especially fanatical about the memory thing. There was one girl who could not remember her research from memory, and a lot of the other female scientists gave her hell for it. Not that it is entirely a female thing either- Tain did the same training with Garak when he was young.

    Its possible that poorer, undereducated cardassians might never get the chance to really grow this skillset, which could then stop them from moving on in life later. You're probably going to hire someone who can remember everything they look at over someone who would need reminders.
     
  4. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well, I needed to take a long and very hot shower after reading this book, I felt that dirty. So let me get this straight.

    It is OK to bury and cover up truth as long as it saves the sitting government from losing face.

    Dirty tactics and threats are acceptable as long as the "Right People" are in charge.

    Anyone who might expose the buried secrets is be considered an enemy.

    Media and Police should let their political views determine how they do their job.

    The military keeping secrets from elected leaders is fine and dandy, especially when it comes to the assassination of a leaders predecessor.

    A surveillance society is acceptable as long as those in power say it is to keep the "bad" people from getting back into power.

    Someone who has murdered, tortured, and done other horrible crimes in the past is a fine choice for a leader. And a fine public face for your people. As long as they promise to provide people with food, water, and medicine.

    People are too stupid to be trusted with the truth.


    From my own study of history the greatest and most vile tyrants have never came to power promising evil and destruction. They come to power promising that no one will go hungry, no one will suffer. Just put us in complete charge of your lives and everything will be fine. Looke like Cardassia has not learned a thing.

    Truth is NEVER a bad thing. Truth never hurts. Truth sets you free. Truth is NEVER to be feared.
     
  5. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I would say that the whole novel was a study on exactly that. Cardassia, and to a different extent the Federation personnel, were attempting to change, struggling with exactly the problems you mentioned. I don't think it would be at all believable to simply flip a switch and say "okay, now we'll do everything by the book, despite the fact that we haven't done that for hundreds, if not thousands of years."

    And the Feds have always struggled with the grey areas of morality. Large portions of the tv series played on just that. Would it be better to expose the truth and ruin any potential for future peace? Or would it be better to hide the truth for a time, allow peace to take root while you gather evidence, then expose it?
     
  6. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The error there is that when will be enough time, or that the next reason to hide the truth is "Let the past rest" Saying that things are calm and stable now, and to bring up the past would just open old wounds.
     
  7. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    As far as the federation coverup side of things, I'm almost certain we're going to be hearing more about that in further books. If you resolved that here, we wouldn't have much to talk about for the next three novels.

    On the Cardassian side of things...the sad fact is, Cardassia would [and has] chewed through anyone who was of that character. The noble, 'federation ideal' type just is not going to work on Cardassia. At least not yet. They need someone who has a hope for the future, but at the same time, is smart and cunning enough to keep from getting murdered. That is pretty much Garak exactly.

    As he says himself, what Cardassia needs is for someone to sit on the chair, and keep democracy going for the next generation. By then, maybe someone that good can take over, and things will change. Maybe they'd even join the federation.

    But that's all future stuff. Right now, they aren't there. There are forces actively working against those ideals. And it isn't just a select group of people either. Its the remnants of an entire generation.

    Personally, I think as far as Cardassia went, things ended on a high note.
     
  8. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Haven't pretty much all of the Cardassian stories dealt with these exact issue going all the way back to episodes like Tribunal?
     
  9. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Mimi, you do make some very good and valid points.

    It's just any kind of coverup bothers me. It's like saying "We don't trust you". If I was a Federation citizen my ire would not be at the Cardassians as a people, but at the governments for thinking that I could not handle the truth.

    As for Garak, I love the character. Very deep and complex. But, I just can not see him as a public leader. Seems too fanficy to me.
     
  10. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Isn't that the whole theme of the novel? You've got the Cardassians trying to become their apparent Federation ideal, while in reality, the Federation is, and always has been, an imperfect organization. The shadows of the struggle between the True Way and Obsidian Order were paralleled on the Federation side. You could say that Picard went the route of the True Way, attempting to maintain order first, above all else.

    And yes, while the choice is a bitter pill to swallow, it really was: Will you blow up the quadrant today, or strive for peace above all else? Even truth. What good is the truth if it spins the quadrant into war?
     
  11. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    From who? Would the Federation start a war over the actions of a rogue element? The Cardassians would be in no position to start a war. It was the Federation that is the wounded party here. All that would need to happen is the President denounces the extremists. And says they do not represent the Cardassians as a whole. That would make the Caredassians actually indebted to the Federation for taking the high road. Such a thing would strengthen the allaince. "One of youe own killed the President, but we will look past that and not blame you at all."

    When the Typhon pact looked guilty would be a more dangerous flashpoint for war.

    Though I suspect the Cardassian angle was another cop out. Next novel we will have new suspects. The Ferengi framing the Romulans framing the Cardassians framing the Tzenkethi :guffaw:
     
  12. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I don't disagree that there were other angles to play. The entire result hinged on the Castellan withholding the info about the True Way involvement. But, this is where the the new Bajoran UFP President and his assumed predisposition towards all things Cardassian comes into play. I mean, he did essentially change course, electing to make Starfleet an occupying force on Cardassia.

    So, it's not entirely illogical from the Castellan's perspective to withhold that info, in the hopes that she wouldn't make matters worse. Once that domino falls, the rest are lined up ready to fall. If it's later revealed that the Castellan covered up the True Way involvement, it could rightfully be suspected that she played a role in the assassination plot. Even Garak questioned whether that was so.

    So yeah, Bajoran President finds out that the assassin was a Cardassian, and the Castellan covered it up... I could see Starfleet's mission on Cardassia turning from a relief mission, to an occupation. Then you've got ultra-nationalists winning the next election. Probably an insurrection. And suddenly the UFP is involved in a war it never had to be in.

    Oh, and yeah, I think the True Way bit is another red herring.
     
  13. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ^ I think at least some of the threads left dangling will be resolved in later books of The Fall series.

    Picard's withholding his knowledge of Cardassian involvement in the assassination is likely to be revealed sometime in the sixty day period leading up to the next presidential election. Given what we've already seen of the new president's relations with Cardassia, I can understand Picard's reluctance to immediately give him this new information. We (and Picard) also know that the Tzenkethi may be involved as well, so it is not clear yet exactly what is going on.

    As for Garak, I think it will be fascinating to see what happens next in his journey. In my opinion, flawed characters struggling to redeem themselves are often much more interesting than characters who always make the right choices. I look forward to seeing the next chapter of Garak's story (which I hope will be written by Una McCormack)!
     
  14. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I think whoever was behind the assassination did it do get a more hotheaded individual in place. There are more cards to be played yet.
     
  15. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I agree. I don't think that individual is Ishan, though. The puppetmasters, whoever they may be, probably arranged for Ishan to be the pro tem, but I don't think Ishan is their puppet. I think whoever comes after him is the real goal. The person elected to replace Bacco is the ultimate goal.
     
  16. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    That would be consistent with what we know of The Fall series so far. Since it takes place over a sixty day period, it should end right around election day.
     
  17. SolidusRaccoon

    SolidusRaccoon Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    That is too long term, how could they have a chance to sway an election that big? I just think they have a move to make soon and wanted a reactionary in place. It sounded like Ishan would have been the most likely choice for the temporary presidency. These novels d take place in a short time span. Something big will break.
     
  18. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I don't doubt that they're taking every chance in the interim to destabilize the Federation. But is a 60-day play really too long term? I think you're right about wanting a reactionary in place. But don't you think if the pro tem President started a couple little shooting wars or occupations, or let a couple of alliances simply drop, on top of the puppetmasters' final play right before the election, that an even more reactionary person might be put into office?
     
  19. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    And by itself, transforming the Federation-Cardassian relationship from an emergent alliance to something much more hostile would be a great accomplishment. The Federation needs the Cardassians inside the Khitomer Alliance to keep that pact from just looking like the old Federation-Klingon alliance reheated, and a hostile Cardassia that was either neutral or an active part of the Typhon Pact would be a major strategic challenge for the Federation. The True Way had a good plan.
     
  20. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The True Way's puppetmasters had a good plan. ;)