Spoilers TOS: Cast No Shadow by James Swallow Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Jul 22, 2011.

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Rate Cast No Shadow.

  1. Outstanding

    22 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Above Average

    34 vote(s)
    51.5%
  3. Average

    9 vote(s)
    13.6%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.5%
  1. aaon80

    aaon80 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Actually, this is exactly why I am so enthused about this book (just started it this morning). I like the occasional look at some part of the Trek universe that is often forgotten or unexplored. I guess that is why the "Lost Years," "Lost Era," and "Ex Machina" appeal to me as well, filling in gaps, and rounding out characters, even minor ones.
     
  2. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I actually tend to be less critical about tie-in fiction than original fiction because of the limitations of the form so when I say it's average, I mean it's average against other Star Trek books.

    My biggest problem with the book, as mentioned above, is how clichéd Valeris's motivation is - it relies on not one but two over-used concepts within fiction - that of
    the childhood trauma and father issues
    . It's all makes perfect sense but it's been used so many times in the past, it's just retreading old ground. I can understand why those choices were made as it allows the character to move towards some form of redemption but truthfully it would have been fresher if the writer had moved the character in a different direction where she didn't give a shit about redemption.
     
  3. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I have my 1st edition ePub.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I don't know what that means. Plenty of Trek novels have revisited concepts or themes from episodes/films made decades earlier. Ex Machina came out a quarter-century after ST:TMP, but I never heard anyone say it wasn't "timely." And my next novel will be revisiting that era, seven and a third years after Ex Machina came out.


    It's only been a bit over three years since the last Lost Era novel.
     
  5. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Sweet! I hope we get to see Spring Rain on Still Water. I loved that character so much!
     
  6. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Has it REALLY only been 3 years since the last Lost Era book? If so, why wasn't this printed under that banner?

    I'll watch this thread, if it gets enough enthusiast comments, I'll buy the book.
     
  7. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Star Trek: Terok Nor was a Lost Era three-part series, and it was published in April-June 2008.
     
  8. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I am not sure I would go so far as to say she cared super-deeply about redemption; IMO:
    her final scene in the book kinda kills a part of that percieved justification away.

    However, I have my own thoughts about how this matter, and I do plan to write about them, to an extent, in my review at TrekMovie.

    I enjoyed the book, given the look into the long lost-era between the TOS era and the TNG era... but the more I think about it, the more critical my thinking gets, especially over the closing 100 or so pages.

    Rob+
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Probably because it's been two and a half years since Marco Palmieri was laid off. The Lost Era was his project. Whoever edited Cast No Shadow evidently didn't choose to continue using that banner title.
     
  10. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread


    Look forward to reading the review. The more I think about it, another problem I have with the book (and this is my own bias not necessary a problem for other readers) is that in their current form, Klingons are pretty much played out and that adds to the rather generic feel of the book. It will be interesting to see if the movies takes them in a different cultural direction than we have seen over the last 25 years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I have to disagree with you here. One of the things I've loved about Trek Lit is the fact that they do tend to jump around in the timeline alot.
    I saw quite a few people post about how much they were looking forward to the book before it came out, and it was certainly one of my most anticipated books of the year. As for it coming "out of nowhere", I don't really see where it's any more "out of nowhere" than books like Watching the Clock, or Indistinguishable From Magic.
     
  12. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I actually find myself curious about how a Kitumba-style Klingon Empire would have worked out long term. I'll be curious to see how much retconning Phase II does with Kitumba when they produce that script.

    I do agree, though, about the Klingons. Only KRAD's Klingon Empire series makes them tolerable for me (but I must agree, I likey his stories!). I really enjoyed Pawns and Symbols... an interesting Klingon journey!

    Rob+
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Just got my copy, and it is next after Vanguard Declassified is finished(about half way through it).
     
  14. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    Swallow's Titan novel Synthesis was great. Might have to pick this one up...
     
  15. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    FWIW - My review is now up at trekmovie.com.

    Rob+
     
  16. MatthiasRussell

    MatthiasRussell Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread


    I did LOVE Synthesis and am looking forward to more White-Blue.
     
  17. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread


    Good stuff - this bit:


    is pretty much the heart of the problems with the book - we *know* the Federation-Klingon alliance works out because we've seen it but the characters don't or shouldn't - and a character who decides via (faulty) logic that this is the best cause of action and is still convinced of that would be more interesting (and from our vantage point, tragic) than the motivation we got. I think the back-story we get here makes the character less rather than more interesting.
     
  18. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    It is a bit tiresome to see the stereotypical idiot Klingon who puts his or her personal advancement before honor and what is "right".

    But the book overall seemed to be telling a personal story about Valeris, tying in her journey to the overall plot.

    I think that Swallow's handling of the forced mindmeld at the end of Star Trek:VI redeems any "stereotype" issues in the novel.
     
  19. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    I thought the 'resolution' of that was contrived to be honest.
     
  20. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow Review Thread

    A lot of John M. Ford and FASA bits in the Klingons' characterization and equipment, though not mentioned in the Acknowledgments.