TNG: Silent Weapons by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Nov 17, 2012.

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Rate Silent Weapons.

  1. Outstanding

    38 vote(s)
    43.2%
  2. Above Average

    34 vote(s)
    38.6%
  3. Average

    12 vote(s)
    13.6%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    3.4%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]

    One month after the well-received debut entry in the Cold Equations trilogy (which resulted in author David Mack's first stint on the New York Times bestseller list), we're back for the second chapter with Silent Weapons.

    Official blurb time:

    Sadly, no excerpt yet. It might appear on the Simon & Schuster book page within the next few days.
     
  2. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Oooh. I'll start looking in book stores tomorrow, just in case.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    FYI the official release date is Nov. 27, so it'll be available for e-readers/tablets then.
     
  4. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Yorkshire
    Silent-but-deadly Weapons?

    I'll get me coat...
     
  5. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Feb 4, 2009
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    BC, Canada
    Got it, starting it today. :D
     
  6. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love this cover. It looks like Picard is having his mind blown by a bunch of math problems.
     
  7. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Alberta, Canada
    Wow, this is officially the earliest I've ever gotten a new release. Just picked this up from Coles in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Going to start it as soon as I finish The Hobbit, probably sometime this evening.
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Got to wait until ths first download day....
     
  9. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Wow. (That was my outstanding.)

    Plenty of stuff on the internal affairs of the Gorn and the Breen, on technologies and characters seen in the previous volume, an appearance from the pleasingly moderate Praetor, and a setting largely based on the till-now unseen Orion homeworld?


    Piniero. Now who is Bacco going to banter with?

    Oh, also, everyone else in the Bank of Orion.

     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  10. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Maybe I should not be waiting for my kindle downloads? You guys get the book so much faster:p
     
  11. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I only recently moved back to Canada from Korea, and I remember the pain of having to wait for the Kobo edition to become available for download while seemingly everyone else on the forum already had their copies! I really do enjoy having the paper copy early now.
     
  12. Titus Andronicus

    Titus Andronicus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    May 22, 2004
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    Augusta, GA
    I think I had that look while taking my physics exam back in high school, lol!

    But seriously I cannot wait for this new novel. I almost regret pre-ordering on my Nook, because I'm mighty tempted to just get the old fashioned paperback if I see it today!
     
  13. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Three days until digital download:drool:
     
  14. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Oct 28, 2011
    WOW!!

    5 stars out of 5. Outstanding.

    Just finished it, about 18 hours after finishing TPoM (about seven of those hours were spent sleeping), about 30 hours after getting both books from Barnes and Noble.

    For those who are reading this in an e-mail digest (where spoiler tags don’t work):

    MANY MANY MANY SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.







    DON’T SCROLL DOWN!


















    Literally cannot think of a single thing I did not like about this novel. Everything worked for me. There were a couple of things I was less crazy about while I was in the middle of the story
    (the Breen operatives’ handlers’ subplot occasionally was less interesting than I’d wished, and Crusher’s feelings towards Picard were annoying before they were explained [at which point they made absolutely 100% sense]),
    but even those elements became completely redeemed by the end of the story.

    Worth saying that SW has redeemed key aspects of TPoM, raising my opinion of the latter (mainly by assuring that certain elements of the latter were indeed followed up on in the former).

    Just listing off things that were great, off the top of my head, in no particular order and not representing a comprehensive list:

    -Chen in command
    -Bateson and USS Atlas cameo
    -Šmrhová; quite a change from Choudhury. Not sure I actually approve of her conduct (I hope La Forge shuts her down at some point for snapping her fingers at him; he’s got an extra pip on his collar, and that means stuff), but it made for a great read
    -Šmrhová strikes me a bit as a reimagining of Tasha Yar, as she would be done on TV today (in a good way)
    -Data and La Forge working together again
    -Data and the crew of Enterprise working together again. Eff yeah.
    -Data getting a proper send-off this time
    -Data finding his mother
    -Data 2.0 feels like an actual, organic growth from his predecessor, and was a joy to read
    -the wormhole ship from Rise Like Lions; one of the greatest surprises in all of Star Trek, if you ask me
    -Orion world-building
    -use of the Lore-droids as avatars
    -the attack on the bank
    -Data saving the day in the bank, especially the ending
    -the attempted assassination scene; jaw dropped when Piñiero pulled out the gun. It was chilling
    -Bacco’s eulogy
    -obviously Piñiero's death was an awful thing, but it was done extremely well, which made for a great story
    -Gorn as maybe-allies
    -strengthening of Gorn-Romulan relationships
    -Crusher’s concern about René’s developing social understanding
    -the last line of the book
    Mack struck a perfect balance between character moments and plot development, between big-picture and small-picture, between politics and action.

    In my mind, this novel, on its own, has surpassed Destiny and Raise the Dawn. Silent Weapons is now the high bar against which I will compare subsequent Trek novels.

    As I said, 5 stars out of 5. Outstanding.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  15. Dsven43

    Dsven43 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Excellent book Mr Mack...as was the first one in the Trilogy. I really enjoyed it. I also like it when book stores in the US make a mistake and have it on the shelf a few days early. Picked it up Friday :)


    Would someone be so kind and show me how to do the spoiler blocking? Is it in the advanced reply?
    Nevermind figured it out about spoiler tag:-)

    Is the wreckage the Breen are excavating a ship in Rise Like Lions? If si which ship was it? I ask because I don't recall a ship going missing
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  16. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    It seemed pretty clear that it was a Memory Omega/Galactic Commonwealth wormhole ship. We've no idea which one, but I don't know that we were ever given anything like an exhaustive list of wormhole ships so that didn't bother me.

     
  17. Dsven43

    Dsven43 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Nov 2, 2012
    Oh I'm not bothered either. I like the possibilities it introduces. I was just wondering if I missed something :)
     
  18. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    It's not any specific vessel … yet. But that's a story that might merit a follow-up tale in which the two parallel universes clash once more…. :)
     
  19. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Here's my two cents (and likely a few more) on Silent Weapons. This must have been the first book (that I can recall anyway) to hit the shelves in the Netherlands prior to the official US release date. Not that I mind... ;-)

    REVIEW BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS

    Cold Equations was mentioned as being more of a trio of standalone novels rather than a complete triology. What strikes me most about SW in comparison to its predecessor is how different the narrative felt. I suppose it's partly due to the much larger number of point-of-view characters in SW, which I cannot say I mind too much. While I must confess to not having warmed up to any of the Breen this time (they felt a bit like baddies-of-the-week), I do applaud the continuing theme of showing the true danger of the Confederacy as a whole. The multi-layered covert ops plot ("Ogres are like onions: we have layers!") left me completely guessing as to its final purpose until the very end, which a good mystery should in my opinion.

    Silent Weapons is also a much more political kind of story. I've always loved Nan Bacco and reading about the workings of the Federation government, and although she's not really the star of this story, we still get plenty of the good stuff. The android assassination plot had a real bite given who the assassin turned out to be (or rather turned out to be impersonating) and I wonder what the consequences of that will be to Bacco's presidency in the long run. She has after all lost one of her most important supporters and confidants. I do hope we'll see her win the reelection that's mentioned, but I'm no longer certain that will be the case. However, what really had me excited in this part of the story was the developments between the Federation and the Gorn. The Gorn imperator's vow at the end that he'd make the Breen pay for what they'd done and that he'd do exactly what they'd want least, namely forging new ties with the Federation, brought a big smile to my face. Because, while I find the Typhon Pact situation engaging and fresh in terms of storytelling, I am also rooting for a resolution to the Federations's recent series of misfortunes. A pro-Federation Romulan-Gorn block within the Typhon Pact is something I'd very much like to see succeed, and it felt natural for Bacco, with her history with the Gorn, to be able to pull that off.

    There's not much I can say about the setting on Orion; what we got matches with what you might expect based on the description of Orion society. A decent bit of world building, but I feel it's the last time we'll be welcome there. Heavens, what a mess they all left behind...

    As for the developments on the Enterprise, there's two things I want to comment on. First, Beverly's issues with Picard's shifting priorities. This is perhaps the only part of the story that I had trouble understanding, namely her surprise that Picard would put her life and that of their son above his duty to Starfleet and the Federation. Even I saw that one coming, seeing how long it took for them to finally get together and how much his chance to have a family means to him. (I do understand her taking issue with her son being seen as "the captain's child", given that Wesley wasn't exactly an average child either.) Second, I also noticed that people aren't talking about Choudhury's death as much as I'd thought they might. We see definite cracks in Worf's armor, which I'm hoping will be a feature in the final volume, but that's about it. I do like Smrhova as a new character, but I did have some trouble matching the somewhat uncertain officer of Persistence of Memory to the "hit first and ask questions later" version presented in Silent Weapons. Either way, her depiction in this volume did a lot to set her apart from Choudhury and define her own character, and that I appreciated.
    So, we get to grading it. I enjoyed Silent Weapons more than its predecessor, but I'm grading it the same: Above Average. I tend to reserve Outstanding for books in my "top 10 ever" list, but if the trend continues, the final volume might just make it there. A big Thank You to David Mack and the staff at Pocket for another fine read!
     
  20. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Finished, liked it. Rated the book above average.

    I'm wondering if the Breen are now Mack's pet project? He's certainly managed to upgrade them to a serious threat to the Federation.
     

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