TP: Plagues of Night by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, May 19, 2012.

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Rate Plagues of Night.

  1. Outstanding

    59 vote(s)
    52.2%
  2. Above Average

    36 vote(s)
    31.9%
  3. Average

    11 vote(s)
    9.7%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    4.4%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Just finished the book...

    Thought it had a lot of interesting threads going but it was tedious to the extreme. Over-detailing just brought this book to a crawl in multiple places.

    I really wish they'd begin to reign these books back in. Brinkmanship was 950 pages on the font size setting I use, Plagues... was 1,686. Giant novels every month begin to get tedious. Sometimes I want a book that I can breeze through in a few hours that gets to the point of the story in an economical manner.
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    What font size to you use? My Nook says Plagues is only 334 pages, which is pretty average for this kind of stuff.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Brinkmanship is only 352 pages as a codex; Plagues of Night is only 400, as is Raise the Dawn. These are not long books -- they're certainly not "giant novels," except insofar as they're not as threadbare as the less sophisticated works written in the 80s.

    If you want book you can just breeze through, perhaps you should look to something outside of Star Trek, whose line is obviously aiming to be more sophisticated.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Be careful up there on your high-horse, you're liable to fall off at some point...

    Since Plagues...ran nearly twice as long using the same font size as Brinkmanship, it's likely that one used a smaller font in the print version.
     
  5. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think a better fix for BillJ's predicament would be to have an ebook novella line like SCE again. I don't mind long books, but I can see wanting a quick fix now and then to have some variety or a buffer between the longer stuff.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I like novels fine, I just hate novels where the pacing is like molasses. That is where Plagues... failed for me, the over emphases on minute details just drug the story to a halt for me in several places.

    I like 100,000 word novels and I like 65,000 word novels. But what I hate is when a 100,000 word novel felt like it could've been done in 65,000 words.

    EDIT: Doing some elementary math, Plagues... comes in at around 130,000 words while Brinkmanship is roughly 75,000 words.
     
  7. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I had that same reaction to DRG3's writing the first time around, but after I stopped reading TrekLit for a few years and came back to it, he became one of my favorites.

    It's odd how something can drive you nuts in one context but when you're in a different mindset you really like it. DRG3 isn't the only author that's happened to me with.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    All stories are ultimately reducible to a very few sentences, so this complaint applies to any story more than a paragraph or two long.

    Greater length is what allows for greater sophistication and depth. The goal is not to allow the reader to "breeze" through it.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It also allows for issues with pacing.
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Not to me. There was never a moment where I felt it dragged on, or the pacing was off.
    To each his own I guess.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Not really. Some of the shortest novels and even short stories I've read just dragged on and on, because the pacing was bad. Some of the longest books I've ever seen felt short because the pacing was excellent.

    Pacing and length are entirely separate issues.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Same here. I only read about the first hundred pages (due to reading to many books at once, not dislike) and I thought it moved at a perfect pace.
     
  13. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I recently finished this book. I thought the cliffhanger ending was very powerful and made me eager to read the follow up. As for the rest of the book, I thought it was a bit of a mixed bag.

    To be honest, I hated Rough Beasts of Empire, and in particular DRG III's take on Sisko. With Plagues I think he stuck to his guns on his take on the character while also giving readers some much needed scenes between Kasidy and Ben. With Plagues we finally get to see how Kasidy feels and what she thinks about Ben's actions. And perhaps its my imagination, but I would like to think that DRG III took some of the criticisms of his take on Sisko to heart and they were voiced by Kasidy. I'm still not a fan of Sisko's decision, but at least with Plagues we got that dialogue between the characters and something of a truce between them. Also it was good reading Sisko's scenes with Rebecca.

    Regarding some of the other characters, I thought the Tenmei scenes were written with great tenderness but I felt the Elias Vaughn story is being drug out. Either kill him or restore him to full health. I don't see the need to continue the coma story when that page space could go to some other character.

    Compared to Rough Beasts, I don't think Plagues was as disjointed. However I don't think the Enterprise or Spock were needed. I don't think Enterprise was needed at all and I don't think that Spock was needed outside of wrapping up his time on Romulus. I wish more time had been devoted to fleshing out the Robinson crew. I'll admit that I'm a sucker for new crews, but with Robinson, I still feel the crew is a bit bland. I wish the book had focused more on Robinson and DS9. Enterprise's inclusion felt unnecessary. And I wasn't a fan of Geordi's voluntary demotion.

    DRG III is a solid writer, he pays a lot of attention to detail, and he had a pretty good grasp on intergalactic politics, but admittedly Plagues was a bit slow going. It picked up speed toward the end, but I think there were too many characters, too many storylines, and I wish the book had been leaner and meaner. Perhaps if it had just been a DS9 book instead of a Trek book, DRG II wouldn't have needed to tackle so many storylines.

    Overall, an improvement over Rough Beasts, but a dry read, saved by some good character work and one of the best Trek cliffhangers ever.

    So far, there hasn't been a Typhon Pact book yet that has really capitalized on the Pact's potential, IMO. I'll see if Raise the Dawn changes my mind.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I've been working my way through this over the past month or so, and I really like the way DRGIII gave us a recap, but showed us the scenes from a new perspective, so that it is more ineresting and entertaining than a straight info dump.
     
  15. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did a lot to tie together the other books, too, which often felt pretty disparate.
     
  16. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, I agree with this. Not finished with this volume yet, but I've gotten through some of the early interaction with Kasidy and Rebecca. It directly addresses some of the issues with how things were handled in Rough Beasts, which helps a lot in terms of Sisko's characterization.

    The interpretation of the Prophet's words that is motivating all of this still strikes me as flimsy at best (or, more specifically, the idea that divorcing Kasidy can undo the original decision to ignore the Prophet's warning). But... perhaps there will be some long-term payoff, or some type of clarification down the road.
     
  17. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mm. Perhaps. :)
     
  18. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    David talked about this on Literary Treks a lot and I think that when you read them as a trilogy they work together beautifully to tell a complete Sisko story.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I finished up Plagues of Night today.
    My rating: Outstanding.
     
  20. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Next one is even better.