TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Apr 19, 2014.

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Rate Serpents in the Garden.

  1. Outstanding

    2 vote(s)
    5.9%
  2. Above Average

    11 vote(s)
    32.4%
  3. Average

    17 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Below Average

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I finished reading Serpents in the Garden and I very much enjoyed it. I liked seeing the changes that happened to Neural, the establishment of the Freeholders and Victors, etc. I really wish Nyran would have been held accountable for his rash actions, which just seemed to get a bunch of people killed. That kid needed to be slapped down hard and not praised endlessly.
     
  2. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I finished it. It was just all right. Perhaps you need all of the TOS major characters interacting to give it the proper "feel"?
     
  3. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Finished and reviewed. Voted Average, but it is a solid book in an era that needs more exploration.
     
  4. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Finished reading. The book was solid and the characters believable in their motivations, and generally likeable. I liked how the villains were shown as beings rather than as cardboard villains. That is, except Keran. But he's that type of mindless bully that we also encounter in real life.

    Another plus is that this is a sequel. I'll never understand why nobody in the Federation bothered to check up on Khan and his followers, therefore it's nice to see the Feds acting on behalf of the Neuralese in this case. Neural's fate in this case is better than in one of the 20th century RPG books, where the Neuralese end up annihilating each other.

    The low technology was another highlight, and the circumstances bringing that about believable. Now that I think of it, that reminds me of the Heroic Age portions in Kahless, another book I liked for that very reason.

    One aspect I didn't enjoy was that Kirk and some redshirts go on a mission... and all the redshirts die. Life is dangerous but it felt like there was a double standard, with old Kirk surviving all those harrowing situations while young men and a young woman die, their lives and careers cut short on some backward planet their parents probably never heard about. While the first two deaths fit the context of the story, Rowland's death felt tugged-on and superfluous. There wasn't anything to be gained plotwise, other than instilling a diffuse feeling of regret for his poor would-be wife.

    One of the hightlights, of course, was the temporal setting. While I detest those uniforms they wore at that time, the period itself is interesting, especially TMP introduced us to a more racially diverse Federation than the monotone Homo sapiens-only club. Now that I think of it, there weren't any people besides Humans, Neuralese and Klingons in this book.
     
  5. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I got about a quarter of the way through this book, when I just got bored. I don't know what it is. The book is written really good. I'm just not into the story. I think its just not what my mood is into, reading-wise. I'll have to come back to it when I'm in more of a TOS mood.
     
  6. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I just finished. Took me longer than most trek books to get through. Was kinda bored...but overall, the book was well written. I always appreciate non 5YM TOS books :techman:
     
  7. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Just posted my review. I was forced to vote average on this one. Not bad, but not a stand-out either. "Sufficiently entertaining."
     
  8. Cadet49

    Cadet49 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Something I never understand about Kirk during this time period - so Kirk was in charge of Starfleet Operations for almost three years following his five year mission, seemingly in charge of ship and personnel deployments, yet it seems he never deployed any follow-up missions or observation teams to places like Neural, or Khan's colony in the Ceti Alpha system, to see how the people were faring after the Enterprise departed? Even in this novel, set in 2273, he waited two years as head of Starfleet Operations to send someone to check up on the Neural situation - obviously, a lot has happened that Starfleet is completely unaware of... why did it take Kirk almost two years in Starfleet operations to discover that no one had followed up on the situation on Neural?

    The story is a great, fun read, and a great sequel to the episode, but I was just wondering if there was an in-universe explanation for Kirk's lack of follow-up on those situations, even when he was the head admiral of Starfleet Operations?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I imagine Starfleet had a whole bunch of operations that didn't involve the Enterprise and its missions. It may have just taken him that long to get around to dealing with those particular things... maybe?
     
  10. Cadet49

    Cadet49 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Of course, but you think Kirk would have prioritized the Neural situation once he was in charge of operations, considering the volatile situation he left, especially since he had personally armed one of the sides - escalation of war on that planet was a distinct possibility while he was gone. in my opinion, it was highly irresponsible and even negligent of Starfleet to not at least monitor the situation after the Klingon and Enterprise interference in the local situation, regardless of the Prime Directive, which had already been compromised...
     
  11. Cadet49

    Cadet49 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    ...then again, perhaps because of the Organian Peace Treaty and the relatively fragile ceasefire between the Federation and the Klingon Empire following their conflict in 2267, both governments agreed to withdraw completely from Neural in 2268, or we're told to by the Organians, so Kirk was only allowed to return to Neural in 2273 when evidence that the Klingons had broken that agreement led to him being allowed a fact- finding mission. I guess that would explain why the Federation didn't do any follow up for 5 years...
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    ^I doubt the Organians told anyone anything after the events of "Errand of Mercy." That episode emphatically established that the Organians found interaction with corporeal beings all but unbearable and only intervened in the war to get the noisy kids off their lawn. After all, the episode was written in an age when continuity between episodes was frowned upon, so there had to be a built-in explanation for why the Organians would never meddle in our affairs beyond this one time. So the interpretation that the Organian Peace Treaty was actively enforced by the Organians, although it's been popular over the decades, is incompatible with the evidence. Most likely, the treaty is called that because of where it was drafted and signed, as most treaties are, but was enforced entirely by the Federation and Klingon governments themselves. Which, in my view, is probably why it ceased to apply by the movie era -- evidently there'd been an upheaval among the Klingons (since the QuchHa' disappeared) and thus perhaps a change of government, in which case the treaty made with the old government would no longer apply.

    Aside from that, though, the idea that the treaty kept the Federation from intervening is interesting, though I don't think it's what the episode's writers had in mind. The idea was that the treaty prevented open warfare so the powers resorted to proxy warfare, as a Vietnam allegory. Still, it's possible that there could've been some kind of mutual hands-off pact negotiated by someone who was in a better position that Kirk to bring it about.
     
  13. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    I´m currently reading it. I like it so far, but I won´t vote until I´ve finished it.
     
  14. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Kirk must have his fill of Mugatos now!
     
  15. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    While I like the overall story, the B plot with Scotty, Chekov and Uhura wasn't really necessary.

    Kirk put up a good show in the hand-to-hand combats.

    I still have a few pages to read.
     
  16. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TOS: Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte Review Thread (Spoile

    Finished it. I stick with my vote "above average". I voted when I still was in the middle of the novel, but nothing has changed. One of the better TOS novels. The death of several characters was criticized before. Kirk had to pay the price, like often times before.