Spoilers TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread

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

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Rate The Poisoned Chalice.

  1. Outstanding

    53 vote(s)
    50.5%
  2. Above Average

    46 vote(s)
    43.8%
  3. Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.8%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ^Harry wasn't promoted by Kirsten. He received a 2 grade promotion (just like Tom and B'Elanna) when Voyager got to Earth in Homecoming...by Christie Golden.
     
  2. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    This always makes me think of how promotion was handled on RDM and David Eick's Battlestar Galactica, especially Starbuck's progression from Lieutenant to Captain (was she ever a major?), or Lee's from Captain to Commander. Or more broadly how much more layered and utilised by the writers the rank structure was on the show (I really loved the camera pull in the mini-series in the first Galactica scene, and the roll of ranks 'Commander', 'Lieutenant Gaeta', 'Captain Kelly', 'Colonel', etc). That scene should begin here (it's about 4.40 minutes into the video)
     
  3. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I voted "Above Average".

    This worked really well for me as an entry in The Fall - lots of plot twists and intrigue, surprises kept coming, good cloak-and-dagger storyline. I thought Ishan was better portrayed here than he was in the prior novel; less cartoon-y, more menacing.

    But as a Titan novel, it fell short for me, primarily because it's been three years since the last Titan novel and there's no sense of that in the text at all. It feels like nothing has happened since Fallen Gods. Also, I wonder if it was an intentional choice to focus on the Titan characters that TV fans would know and sideline the novel-only characters a bit; Vale was the only novel-only character to really get an arc, and most of the crew of the ship just helps out Riker a bit through the middle. I really *like* these characters, and the idea of Titan as an exploring ship, and there hasn't been a good Titan-y Titan novel since Synthesis, published in 2009. I hope this isn't the end for Titan; there's still a ton of potential in this series, and it seems to perpetually never quite live up to it.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a solid novel, I like James Swallow as a writer a lot. The novel did what it set out to do quite well. This just had a different set of priorities than I would've preferred.
     
  4. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    One thing I'm not sure is entirely credible is whether or not an inexperienced political candidate acting as president pro tem running for election could actually afford a scandal of the magnitude described as having led to Velk's resignation. The "I didn't know about it and it was my chief of staff" thing going on with high level black ops would probably be a pretty damning indictment of that politician's ability to actually RUN a government. This is doubly true if it's his chief of staff, and not some underling two or three steps below that level doing it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  5. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Wait. His chief of staff is implicated?

    I'M A GENIUS!
     
  6. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I just finished this book and thought it was amazing. In terms of action, it's been a long time since I've read such a great book about hand to hand combat, etc. The last one I can remember is Star Trek DS9: Abyss. I also have to say the whole setting of "black ops" and "black sites" is terrific in the Star Trek future. Not only because of recent political events in real life but also because it's a side of Star Trek I wish was written more of!
     
  7. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well, Velk "takes the fall" for the scandals that erupt involving a black ops gone wrong, but in the process manages to obscure the link between the scandalous stuff and the Bacco assassination. He basically falls on his sword to save Ishan's candidacy.

    The implication made by Riker though is that Ishan was in on the whole thing and Velk's just the scapegoat.
     
  8. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well, Pres. Obama claimed not to know anything about the NSA spying on our own allies. So, it might not be that far fetched as it sounds.
     
  9. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    It's one thing to not know what one of your agencies is doing. It'd be another thing if it was revealed back in 2009 that Rahm Emmanuel had been running a CIA hit squad using it to go after political opponents and the like. While I know there's crazy people out there who believe that stuff, if it had actually happened, there's no way the President would've survived the scandal.

    Or imagine if instead of Oliver North it had been James Baker responsible for Iran Contra. Reagan wouldn't have survived that, even if he was Teflon Ron.
     
  10. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I think the writers are trying to draw a comparison to LBJ. The country gave him the benefit-of-the-doubt immediately after his predecessor's assassination, and Life Magazine pulled an article on LBJ's shady finances because they wanted to give the new president a chance to succeed.

    Keep in mind that it has only been about a month since the assassination took place, and the election is less than another month away. It would be the equivalent of LBJ's chief of staff resigning in disgrace in December 1963 with the election taking place in January 1964. Scandals take time to metastasize in the public mind, and it's not hard to see the public just being glad the new president found out about his rogue chief of staff so quickly.
     
  11. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Liked it a lot. I do have two questions though. Number one: Was there a point to Riker's little face to face with the Pres-pro towards the end? Or was he just getting some things off his chest?

    And would Vulcans with their green blood have purplish bruises?
     
  12. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Just finished it. Did not seem satisfying the way it ended. It also appears that Riker will remain an Admiral.
     
  13. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Probably not. But the colour of bruises that would result in Tuvok's case might not yet have a name...?
     
  14. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Is that really a bad thing?

    It'd be nice to see Star Trek move beyond that tired old "You can only make a difference if you're a captain on a starship!" trope.
     
  15. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    read this across a couple of train journeys this week, and really enjoyed it. It ended a little abruptly, perhaps, but then we still have another novel to go - hopefully the last one will bring together the Titan, Enterprise and DS9 crews for the endgame.

    Atia's dialogue reminded me very much of Spartacus: Blood and Guts - is the author a fan, by any chance?
     
  16. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Atia was the name of an amazing character in the HBO series Rome, which is where I thought the homage was coming from (as Atia in TPC is from Magna Roma). Of course, her manner of speaking in Rome is not really like the way Atia from TPC speaks...
     
  17. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Ah, I've never seen Rome so I didn't twig that.
     
  18. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The novels have up-ended the TV 'you can disobey orders whenever and still come out fine' with Reyes. I was amazed when he stayed gone. I do wonder if Dax will get back her command, though.
     
  19. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    ...other than acting like a total idiot and letting his emotions run wild? *shrugs* I assume it was just for the benefit of the readers to see the villain twirling his mustache.
     
  20. fleetcaptain

    fleetcaptain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I'm disappointed with B&N right now. I have not been able to get my copy at all. I don't know why it's not out in the store at all. I have been trying to use the pick me up feature for 2 weeks now and it's not up on their site. Has anyone else gone though this? I would download on my Kindle but already have the first 3 in paperback already.