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. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I'm about two-thirds of the way through. It's a solid book to be sure, and a good continuation of both the "Data resurrected" plot and the Typhon Pact arc, but I'm surprisingly unable to engage with it to the degree that I did with previous novels, including book one of the trilogy. Whether that's just me being distracted by other matters or whether some quality that usually graces David Mack's work is at slightly reduced strength this time, I couldn't say. This isn't a complaint or a moan - Silent Weapons is so far enjoyable, intelligent and well-plotted - it just feels a little flat compared to the first book. I wish I could explain why it feels that way, or indeed if it's even a difference in the novels and not just my mood colouring things unduly. And there's still a third or so left to read, of course, so maybe it will impress me on the same level as book one when I've finished. :)

    I guess what I'm saying here is that not every novel can be "outstanding" and so far this one is a good, solid Trek book that doesn't quite shine the way certain previous Mack books have shined.

    I'm really liking the use of the Gorn, and the whole set-up with their political dilemma and potential marginalization within the Pact. They've often been a difficult people to easily define (besides, "they're lizards with big fangs"), but this book presents them in such a way that they're easy to get a grip on. The descriptions of their suite and their artwork were interesting and helped flesh them out nicely, while the various highly specific ritualized titles reinforced the sense that this is a very old, very tradition-heavy culture.

    The characterization of the various Breen continues to be engaging, and I like how Picard and Crusher are either changing or becoming more aware of their capacity to change now that they've had a few years as parents. I'll have more to say when I finish, no doubt.
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Finished it. It definitely picked up toward the end. I loved how complicated the Breens' scheming was (some of them really, really want to close that propulsion gap don't they?), and how many folds and twists were brought into play; it became quite engaging. A very well-crafted plot (meaning Mack here, not the Breen ;)). It was definitely satisfying to see Brex removed from his position after he overextended himself. And I'm amused that after stealing from the Dominion, Tran now wants to steal from the Mirror Universe. Let's see if Pran will wean his people off this obsession with out-propelling the Federation, because this was quite the disaster for them.

    There were some very memorable scenes in that final third of the book - Data defending Bacco and Sozzerosz, Esperanza's funeral (it really did justice to the character's death, and I'm glad she was seen as meriting the attention) and Crusher + Picard's last scene, which leads me to wonder if the trilogy will indeed end with the two (well, three) of them moving on.

    Finally, the epilogue is a intriguing set-up for book three. I await it eagerly. :)
     
  3. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Just realized, this could be waiting for me when I arrive at work today. :D:D
     
  4. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Working on my Trek.fm review today! Hope to have it out soon, this book was awesome!
     
  5. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some random thoughts of mine from while I was reading Silent Weapons:

    Picard recalls that Bateson commanded the 1701-E during its shakedown cruise which is a referral to “Ship of the Line” which was over-written by DTI. It looks like an element of that book survived.

    Picard tells Bateson that they are of the same rank before Bateson retorts that orders show he has authority in that sector. As a captain of a tactically identical ship with a century as captain, isn’t Bateson the ranking captain, even without orders?

    While on Orion La Forge covers his cybernetic eyes to be incognito. Are cybernetic eyes that identifying? Aren’t there enough blind people (from birth or injury) who have these to make seeing cybernetic eyes not that big of a deal?

    It is good to know Jack Daniel’s still exists in the future and is served on alien worlds.

    It is interesting that when Bacco mentions losses to the Typhon Pact, she doesn’t mention how they played a major part in driving away a founding member of the UFP.

    Picard doesn’t seem to know how to handle the Gorn but he was involved in the Gorn Crisis which was mentioned in “Rough Beasts of Empire” as having happened. Then the Gorn who Picard speaks to wants to leave politics to become an artist. Don’t the Gorn have separate political and artistic castes?

    The androids are able to change height and mass to change their appearance according to Geordi but in Insurrection, didn’t Data say his design requires him to stay the same height and mass in order to function?

    I like that Starfleet has a starship Nogura. Nice salute to Vanguard.

    Spot was mentioned at the beginning of book 1 but no mention since. Isn’t Data interested in his cat and perhaps like to see her again? I hope book 3 with have a Data/Spot reunion because I would like to see how she interacts with new Data.

    I thought Chen's order made sense. Atlas made an aggressive move it so would be viewed as a belligerent to the Gorn. I think the ship, if not the crew, from that point forward could have hurt Starfleet's diplomatic efforts. What I found interesting is the Atlas' CO didn't question the orders of an inferior officer.
     
  6. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or to The Motion Picture. ;)
     
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finly should get to start to read this book by Sunday.
     
  8. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    True. But since Mack wrote it, I'm assuming Vanguard.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Either way, it all leads back to TMP. :techman:
     
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't read these yet (swamped at work); just a quick question. I bought the Destiny trilogy for my dad last year for Christmas - he decided to give TrekLit a chance, for the first time, and he LOVED it.

    Do you think he could go straight from Destiny to Cold Equations, as someone that doesn't care very much about continuity as long as he can recognize most of the characters, and not be lost? Is it as good? (I ask now because the third won't be out until after Christmas anyway.)

    Thanks.
     
  11. Eat-Da-Tribble

    Eat-Da-Tribble Ensign Newbie

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    I don't believe Goerdi becomes first officer. A first officer must stay in the brige. If Geordi is promoted, who will be responsible for engineering? Nor do I see Data as first officer. He is condemned to be second officer until the big crunch.

    Also, I think if Worf is promoted to captain, he will use his position to avenge certain affronts:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpjWsfkxd_c

    Lal's corpse is in Starfleet headquartes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  12. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I'd say he almost certainly could. If he read and enjoyed Destiny without having read the Titan books or Greater Than the Sum, etc, then reading Cold Equations without having read Immortal Coil or (for the second book) the Typhon Pact stories shouldn't be an issue. Most of the focus is on characters he'll know from TV or else met in Destiny anyway.

    If he knows Data and the backstory with Data's family, then everything should be more than fine. For the second book, the Typhon Pact might need explaining, but that will take about 30 seconds, I'm sure.
     
  13. Eat-Da-Tribble

    Eat-Da-Tribble Ensign Newbie

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    I wonder about that too. What will happen with Spot? What will she do?
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    The fact that she's getting old was important to her scene in the first book; perhaps Data thinks it's best if she spends her old age in familiar surroundings rather than being dragged around the galaxy in a strange ship?
     
  15. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You're offended by religion? You're on the wrong plane of existence.
     
  16. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I agree with Deranged Nasat, he should be fine.

    Two things I would add, though:

    1) If he enjoys reading good TrekLit, you could always give him the Immortal Coil along with the trilogy and present it as a trilogy plus bonus. Another reason to consider throwing in IC is because it looks like book 3 will follow up on a couple of major points from it.

    2) Also, if you wanted to present a sort of "Typhon Pact"-lite package, you could give him PoN and RtD by themselves. The former summarizes and integrates the other TP novels into the larger narrative very well, and might make some things in Cold Equations more impactful.

    Obviously, those ^^ are optional add-ons, as it were, to the overall package. I guess I would advise you to get a copy of Immortal Coil, in case he decides he wants to go back and read that too (which he very well might after having read the first two). In the States, you can get a used copy of it relatively inexpensively, so it might be a thoughtful thing to do.

    In terms of "Is Cold Equations as good as Destiny?" my first response would be yes. I think it depends on what he liked about Destiny, so I guess knowing that would permit me a better response.

    Related to that, I have gone on record, as it were, here at the BBS saying that I felt that RtD was stronger than Destiny. That's just my opinion, of course, and I am in the minority. But if he is a DS9 fan at all, then I strongly recommend DRGII's duology.
     
  17. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That scene is why I expected there to be a scene where Data is reunited with Spot or a scene where the cat dies. I thought the whole point of that scene was to prequel a scene later on featuring Data, otherwise what was the point of mentioning Spot at all? Data used to care a lot about that cat; you'd think he would want to at least know what happens with her.
     
  18. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    In the context of Crusher and Picard, I wonder if it's at all significant that Wesley Crusher is going to be a major character in the third book of the series.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I honestly don't understand the issue here. Not a religious person, at all, and I thought the funeral was well done. :shrug:
     
  20. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He's totally not a Niner at all; he was very confused just by me trying to explain Ezri to him in the last one. I think those books would be too continuity-heavy. (I also thought RtD was absolutely outstanding, so I'm with you on that part!)

    Thanks for the help, people :)
     

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