The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing - Discuss (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DarkHorizon, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    Finished it yesterday, and agree with many of the comments already made.

    I like the "quantity over quality due to wartime pressures" in bringing an uprated Daedalus-class to the forefront, but dislike how the theme got overly-particular in some ways. There was no need to get THAT specific. One could conjecture that part of Starfleet's resistance was not just relative primitiveness, but also some quirk of technological architecture (which until recently had been relatively isolated) similar to the Klingons' resistance to the Breen energy-damper in the Dominion War. No need to explain everything down to analog chronometers (which were replaced in the remastered version anyway).

    I like the Travis arc -- bridge crews have to break up sometimes, and he was so under-used in the show he was probably the best candidate for branching off. And about time he got a promotion. Just wish his ships had better luck.

    The Trip arc is leaving me cold. It's getting harder to follow, and every turn seems to send it skidding farther and farther off track. Let whatever T'Pau's asking to be the finale, and let him get back to his friends and family. (For peripheral characters, I have surprisingly strong identification with Trip's parents. I actually breathed a sigh of relief the Bert & hubby were not caught up in the Tau Ceti invasion. And why am I not identifying with Trip himself like this?)

    I liked the nods to other stories in this general timeframe (from Lives of Dax, and Starfleet: Year One), and a bunch of other "Easter eggs" (e.g, Latrunculo, the Romulan chess-like game from "The Final Reflection", the Great Brothers from FASA's Romulan materials, etc.) In one of Diane Carey's books (Final Frontier) the Romulans also used "swarmbird" fighter/gunboats operating off a warp-capable carrier/tender. Was their use here another nod, or parallel thinking?

    One (more) typographical error note: The third author of the RPG sourcebook "The Andorians: Among the Clans" is Adam Dickstein, not Dickinson.(Adam's a personal acquaintance.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  2. Villager

    Villager Ensign Newbie

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    Space is described as "an infinitely large velvet blanket of emptiness." That phase, found on page 119, should give you an idea of the style. I'm reserving judgment on the plot.
     
  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So, any thoughts on who the assassin is, and who their employer is?

    My money's on either Terix or Talok as the assassin (probably Talok, as he is never named again after that scene where he arrives on Vulcan in disguise), and Y'cha as the employer. Come on, she's obviously a Romulan or at least working with them. She's not right. Never trusted her from the get-go. Denak also could be working with them, as that group mind meld scene definitely made me suspicious.

    Not sure how I feel about all the NX-class ships being destroyed (except for Enterprise obviously). It looks too much like an attempt to 'nuke' the look and feel of ENT as the series showed us, like an "Okay, we GET it, that show looked way too advanced, now we're getting rid of everything in it" thing, so that the primitive appearance of TOS would be more believable. I mean, I realize why the Daedaluses (Daedali?) look the way they do, I just don't know if it was necessary to get rid of all the ENT-era ships in the process.

    Also: Yes, I've seen the dedication page, and yes, I know who Praetor D'deridex (and the conflict at Haakona) is based on, and no, I don't particularly care. If MAM's intent was to anger me, he failed. :p

    One question, though: What's the Tal Shiar doing here? I thought they weren't formed until the events of Vulcan's Heart in 2344. Linky The Romulans had a different 'Security Department' before that (and it's implied that 'Tal Shiar' came from the names TAL and SHIARkiek who are characters in that novel). No big deal, really, just curious.
     
  4. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    The obvious answer is that while Vulcan's Heart included a scene with the creation of the Tal Shiar, other sources don't agree with that book and extend its history farther back.
     
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I realize that authors aren't *obligated* to share continuity these days, but they seem to be doing a great job of it anyway. Oh well, it's not a big deal. And there's no *proof* of the origin of the name Tal Shiar like I suggested, in fact it could have been the other way around (Tal and Shiarkiek could have been named after whatever the words 'Tal' and 'Shiar' mean).
     
  6. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    And also, it doesn't explain why things didn't just go back to looking more advanced again after the Romulan War was over.
     
  7. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    And it also sort of fits in with Star Trek Legacy, since they used nuclear blasts, during the Enterprise era, to disable Romulan ships. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVaJ09o9xVM
     
  8. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    Just finished it. It was great, but it left me feeling incredibly frustrated. I mean, the idea that five years later, the Federation would be formed after Andor, Tellar, and Vulcan ABANDONED Earth and Alpha Centauri...
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The book doesn't tell the whole story, just one part of it. A lot can change in five years.

    Besides, canon tells us the conflict was called the Earth-Romulan War, not the Coalition-Romulan War. Limiting the role of the other Coalition members serves to explain that.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is another reason I think the story turn out satisfactory. It provide more information on how and why we got from the NX-01 era to the TOS era.
     
  11. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Why do they abandon them?
     
  12. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Romulans' "telecapture" weapon is too powerful against Tellarite, Vulcan and Andorian ships. Earth is the only superpower that has been able to come close to standing against it (and even that's a maybe).

    Plus, the Vulcans don't dare let word get out that the Romulans are related to them (even then, only the highest leaders in the Vulcan government know about the connection).
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Abandon" is an overstatement.

    It's mainly T'Pau's doing, for two reasons: One, that Vulcan's new Surakian revival is jeopardized if it gets dragged into a war; and two, that Vulcan ships, and Andorian and Tellarite ships based on similar technologies, are much more vulnerable to takeover by the Romulan remote-control weapon than Earth ships, and thus their active involvement in the war could make things worse for the Coalition rather than better. So instead, the Vulcans develop a network of warp detection grids for Sol and other Coalition systems and colonies, focusing on passive defense rather than combat, and try (with limited success) to get Tellar and Andoria to adopt a similar stance.
     
  14. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    I am not saying that making it Earth/Romulan War as opposed to Coalition/Romulan War doesn't make sense from a canonical point of view. I am just talking about emotionally. (But if you really want to make it about canon, the first dozen or so episodes of TOS strongly imply that Earth is not part of any Federation, or at the very least, that Enterprise is an Earth ship, not a Federation one. I've been watching TOS for the first time as an adult the last few weeks, and the continuity problems are plentiful).

    Well, the thing that makes it so frustrating, is that Vulcan's abrogation of the treaty might be acceptable if they just came clean. Not even necessarily about the shared ancestry, but the particular weakness to the Telepresence weapon. It calls into question why the Vulcans would abrogate the treaty they JUST SIGNED, which would likely result in the discovery of the Romulan/Vulcan connection. If not for the fact that somehow it was still unknown by the 23rd century, I would be crying foul about the nonsensical idea that in not a single encounter, even in surface battles, that a Romulan body was ever recovered. It stretches credibility.

    Either way, Vulcan has proven that it does not keep its word. I give Andor and Tellar a lot of credit for seeing it through as far as they did, but in the end, they violated the treaty too. Why should Earth trust any of these worlds to fight on their side in the future, especially Vulcan? Any negotiations for alliance after the war is over would necessarily have to be viewed with intense skepticism on Earth's part, and an expectation that when the going gets tough, Vulcan gets going. Why should anyone trust them after this? Once burned, you know?

    Also, is T'Pau the absolute ruler of Vulcan? Is there no legislature which keeps her from violating their pacts?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, those are good questions, and good fodder for followup novels to come.
     
  16. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Coalition is probably going to cease to exist in short order. I don't see it lasting past this. Three-fifths of its members have essentially left.

    What will probably happen is that after the war is over, the major powers will form the Federation specifically to address the *weaknesses* inherent in the Coalition structure. For instance, if the Coalition members had been allowed to share technology with each other, this would never have happened.

    Although I'm not sure how, after 3 major powers have just left the Coalition, they're going to get Earth and Alpha Centauri to *trust* them enough to form the Federation with them. There's going to be a lot of bad feelings on Earth's part. Quite justifiable ones, IMHO. Why should Earth want to form a Federation with these aliens who left them in the lurch?
     
  17. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Well, that would go a long way toward explaining why the Federation and its Starfleet are apparently so Earth-centric in the centuries to follow.
     
  18. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really liked that plot twist of the coallition breaking apart like that. We knew that the coallition pretty much had to end but I had always figured the coallition 'evolved' into the Federation through the signing of charters and expansion of originial visions and what not.

    (EDIT: I was typing this while Will posted. He managed to say this paragraph in a much shorter way, though.)
    As for how humans could trust those species again -- well, the Romulan War isn't over yet, in this series of books. There's still time for everybody to get hunky-dory again. I think this could have something to do with how the humans became such a central figure in the founding federation; everybody else split, but the humans forgave them and stood for unity anyway. That's my prediction, anyway.

    I laughed when I realized Dax was talking about making technology more in line with what we've seen in TOS. I had always been willing to suspend disbelief with the technology differences between the two series but I thought they found a clever and logical way to work it into the story. It flowed more naturally to me than the smooth/ridged Klingons storyline in Enterprise did to me. Well, I should say I liked the first half of it, but the second half left me with a dour expression.
     
  19. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It also seemed that Vulcan was arming the Haakonians against the Romulans, so there is that as well.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Oh yes, I forgot that part. Though it was the Haakonans; the Haakonians are the Delta Quadrant race that conquered the Talaxians.