TP: Rough Beasts of Empire by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Dec 22, 2010.

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Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire

  1. Outstanding

    38 vote(s)
    26.2%
  2. Above Average

    60 vote(s)
    41.4%
  3. Average

    25 vote(s)
    17.2%
  4. Below Average

    13 vote(s)
    9.0%
  5. Poor

    9 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. jhempel24

    jhempel24 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Cool, thanks alot! Things could get real interesting in future books!
     
  2. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Not quite.

    While it seems clear that the Tzenkethi assassinated a Romulan senator, and later the praetor, it remains unclear whether Donatra committed suicide or was murdered by Tal'Aura (or her agents).
     
  3. jhempel24

    jhempel24 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    And the intrigue goes on! Thanks for answering my question!
     
  4. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    In 'Serpent among the ruins', the romulans were outsmarted by the Federation, through Harriman;
    In 'In the pale moonlight', they are outintrigued by Sisko/Garak;
    In 'Inter arma enim silent leges' the romulans are again outsmarted, this time by S31;
    And now, the tzenkethi murder a praetor and a senator with impunity, fully bending the romulan political process to their will.

    The romulans, characterised by their penchant for intrigue/backstabbing, being outsmarted by everyone and his idiot cousin is turning into a recurring joke.
     
  5. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Harriman outsmarted someone? This I've gotta read.
     
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^In the books, they make it a point to "redeem" him from his admittedly embarrasing stint in Generations. I believe Peter David started the trend, in his excellent The Captain's Daughter.

    (PAD's book actually has Harriman ranting to his personal log about how much he's been beating himself up about what had happened in the film....)
     
  7. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Serpents Among The Ruins does an absolutely amazing job of giving the reader a Harriman a couple decades removed from Generations that seems like the same guy, but an incredible leader and devastatingly effective officer after so much experience. It's a great book.
     
  8. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^It certainly is. :)


    Now...the mention of Serpents Among The Ruins brings up a point. Returning to a previous topic:

    Concerning the replacement of Tal'Aura by Kamemor--who, again, has a history of advocating friendship with the Federation (see: Serpents)--what are the odds that Kamemor's leadership will result in the RSE changing sides--leaving the Pact to join the Khitomer Alliance?
     
  9. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I don't think they'll change sides, necessarily, but I think she';ll be open to diplomacy with the Federation.

    Heh! Last time I checked Admiral Harriman was still around, maybe they can meet?
     
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    At the very least,
    it's in Bacco's best interests to get Kamemor to break off from the Pact, to weaken the Pact by taking away a member--and possibly encoraging others, such as the Gorn, to follow.

    It's a morale boost to the Alliance, imlplying that the strength is on their side. It is also a blow to the Tzenkethi, who had basically created the scenario for this to occur. Yes, they may have gotten a potential rival for dominance--Tal'Aura's RSE--out of the way, but in this scenario, they've unwittingly thrown out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.

    By the way...
    I find this interesting--aren't the other powers in the Pact basically looking at the coveted spot of "head of the Pact" with desire? Thus...the Tzenkethi would be in even hotter water with this. The other powers would view this botched plot as proof that the Tzenkethi are not deserving of a leadership role.

    Thus, again, it's in Bacco's best interests to bring Kamemor's RSE out of the Pact--if not into the Alliance itself. This latter scenario is best--as, again, it makes the Alliance stronger AND caused suspicion and instability in the Pact to boot.

    As Sun Tzu said:

    And:

     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  11. BrentMc

    BrentMc Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I liked this book pretty well. Spock was fun to read, but poor Sisko and all his problems was sad to read. I hope we get a book soon where Sisko's luck changes.

    I also liked the idea of Vedek Kira. Cutest Vedek ever?

    I was particularly sad that Donatra died. I think that maybe Donatra pointing out how hard those Romulan Padds are to break may have been a hint that she was killed and didn't commit suicide. I would have liked Donatra's death to be years in the future and in a great battle scene. Partially just because I find her so kissable.

    It was also great to see what Sisko and Vaugh did during the Borg invasion. Those were some great sequences.

    I may add a few thoughts as they come to mind.
    Good work DRGIII

    Since you like LOST : See you in another book brotha!




     
  12. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I finished the book and enjoyed it. Thanks David.
    About the Prophecy. Many of the posters in this thread have commented on the various interpretations of the prophecy. One interpretation I haven't seen (or if I have I failed to parse it out) is that Sisko's marriage is not the actual cause of the sorrow, but instead leads to it.
    Take option one. Sisko spends his life with Kassidy and "knows nothing but sorrow".
    Option two, he does not and isn't miserable.
    In option one he would be doing certain things in certain places simply because that was the life he was leading. In option two he would be in other places and doing other things. Simple change of circumstances could account for the difference in happiness levels. No causal relationship to his marriage is required.
    Maybe if he hadn't gotten married then he would have done different things when returned from the Celestial Temple. Maybe he would have been in a position to save Vaughn, maybe he would have spent extra time with his dad and been there to save him rather than his not being found until the morning, etc...
    Looking at the timelines from the outside the Prophets could have seen these differences and warned Sisko. If this is the case then leaving Kassidy would change the circumstances of his life and possibly avert further tragedy.
    Of course, as has been pointed out previously, making decisions based on prophecy is fraught with danger. Interpretation is the key.
    I could be wrong, but I seem to recall a paragraph in the book where Sisko is trying to describe (to himself or someone else, I can't recall) just what it was like in the Celestial Temple and how he became convinced that the Prophets were correct in their warning. He just couldn't make sense of what he had seen there.
    In any case I have to disagree with those who think that Sisko came off as a "deadbeat dad". He KNOWS the Prophets experience the future. And he BELIEVES in the prophecies they produce. Whether you agree with his decision or not, whether you think he is wrong in his belief, it is entirely in the character that was developed over the course of the series.
    Yes, Sisko is a family man. But he is also the Emissary of the Prophets. Even if they are not talking to him any more he believes in them and I would think the this particular prophecy had been eating away at him for some time. Any losses he suffered would be credited to it whether he really wanted to do so or not.
    So that part of the story makes sense. Even if it is kind of depressing. I look forward to more development of Sisko in the future.
    I also enjoyed the rest of the book. I especially like the Tzenkethi. Very cool:techman:
     
  13. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Voted Excellent, thought the book was overall great.

    I loved seeing more of the Romulans; having not read Rihannsu or the first two Titan books, I wasn't as familiar with some of the stuff but was glad to see them and spend some time with our favorite Star Empire.
    I was sad to see the death of Donatra, but I'm not terribly sorry to see the IRS go; fun with acronyms aside, it really did just seem like a silly name and it seemed like things would be too convenient with a "good Romulan/bad Romulan" development. And again not having read the first two Titan books, I was never really enthused with Donatra having a breakaway nation ruled solely by her as Empress anyway. I didn't make the connection about Kamemor being a return character, but I really liked her and was gratified to see her as Praetor. The ending of the Romulan plot left me feeling like things between the Star Empire and the Federation could be at their best point in... well, ever. Of course, Sela's running around as head of the Tal Shiar now... dlightful. :devil: Watching Tal'Aura play both Spock and Donatra so well was suprising, and she came off as not a mustache-twirler but somebody definitely still interested in her own power.

    I thought Spock was just excellently written in this book - somebody upthread mentioned being able to hear Leonard Nimoy, and I agree.

    The Tzenkethi were not at all what I expected - and at first I was really unsure how to take them - but as they developed more I grew to really like them. I was unclear - is their attractiveness (to all species) some sort of low-level psychic ability, or just an artifact of their luminescence and physical "perfection?" It was fun seeing them thoroughly manipulate the Romulan government, but I really liked Xarian Dor for what brief appearance he had, so I hope this all blows up in their face. :devil:

    Now... as to the much-debated Sisko plotline. I thought it was very well-written, and I certainly understand the logic that's going through Sisko's head - showing his becoming more isolated and depressed, especially in dealing with his father's death, was tragic and lovely. I don't agree with it - frankly I think he's being a right jackass and is clearly suffering from some sort of depression - but it makes some sense that he'd think this way given all that's apparently happened. Certainly not the only way his character could have gone, but I can see it. Somebody mentioned it as being Joss Whedon-esque, and I agree - well-written characters making tragic decisions for what they think are the right reasons; it hurts to see Sisko behaving like this, but it's a testament to the writing that it hurts and makes me mad like it does while totally making sense. I think Sisko's being completely wrongheaded, and I think the greatest mistake he's making is not even giving Kassidy the opportunity to argue against him; that's where the selfishness comes in for me, that he's unilaterally making this decision and not allowing Kas the opportunity to have input on what's going to happen to her life (and Rebecca's!). I'm hoping that he's able to get his head together and be reconciled with his wife and daughter, even if he's not able to come back to Bajor. The Prophets definitely have some 'splaining to do.

    I was really glad to see Kira - Vedek Kira! :D - if only briefly; her scene was brief but touching; and enjoyed the tantalizing hints we got about what had transpired in the time jump. Definitely glad to see what happened to Vaughn, that was a well-done couple scenes at the beginning. I really liked the character of Rogeiro - whatever happens with Ben Sisko, I hope we get to see more of him!

    So, overall, thanks for a really good book, Dave! And you should really check out Doctor Who. :mallory:

    I think things could definitely have stayed as they were - happy endings are boring only inasmuch as they're endings, but maintaining happiness shouldn't have to be. I was hoping they'd go the Friday Night Lights route with Sisko and Kasidy - show a healthy, happy couple that really do love each other and are doing their best to raise a child, but showing the real challenges and problems that can bring about. There's really good genuine drama there, especially for a religious icon. Intermix it with general Bajoran stuff, and yeah, make him just an occasional guest character.

    But now we have this, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Ben (and Kasidy, I'm sure we're not done with her) deal with this unexpected change in their lives. :mallory:
     
  14. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Finished the book last night (my first e-book too!), a good read indeed. Feel there are many things in this book that will feed into future stories which i am looking forward to.
     
  15. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^ Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.
     
  16. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    It'll be quite a challenge updating chronological placement of this novel on Memory Beta. I'm at eight months after the events of Lost Souls (the end of the Borg threat). I'll have to go back and see how much time elapsed between Sisko having turned down a promotion to admiral and resigning and the events that spurred to rejoin Starfleet (one would think Jim Kirk gave him the same advice he gave Picard :lol:).

    Glancing at Memory Beta, I see that this changing of the guard in the Romulan Empire happened well before the main events of ZSG. Sorry, Rush Limborg. Hope that completely destroy your current story. ;)
     
  17. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^ Not sure why you think the chronological placement of this novel would be so challenging. I can identify the exact date on which every single page of the novel occurs.
     
  18. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I'm referring to charting each chapter in relation to other works taking place in 2381 and 2382. And probably if someone doing the editing of those pages doesn't have as good a memory.
     
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    :vulcan:

    Actually, revising the tale wasn't as difficult as I'd feared. (The villains are the Breen, now, and it ties into a decision Ezri made towards the end of ZSG--which had actually caused a controversy in that book's review thread!

    Too bad, though, I had to remove a reference to the Tal Shiar, and a nice scene with Donatra, referring to her friendly cameraderie with Ezri...)

    I should post it in about a month or so. Look for it.
     
  20. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I've finally finished reading the book and I have to say that I absolutely love certain aspects of the novel, but it's also not without its faults.

    I see this more as a Romulan political thriller with tangential connections to the Typhon Pact instead of an outright Typhoon Pact story, and at the same time, acts as a wonderful bookend to Taking Wing which began the sundering of the Romulan Star Empire. On an odd note, I see Taking Wing in the same fashion with but replacing Typhon Pact with the Titan. Like Taking Wing, Rough Beasts of Empire delves into many Machiavellian dealings involving the state affairs of the Romulan people although the Reman aspect is smaller here.

    I loved seeing the continued existence of Spock's Reunification Movement even though it was usurped by Tal'aura for her own purposes and taken advantage of by the Tzenkethi. Considering this and the degree of impracticability on cultural and political levels, I'm surprised how strong Spock remains in regards to this issue. Going into the book, I found myself asking the same questions Slask and Gell Kamenor ask of Spock but I wish Spock provided some answers. On individual and small group levels, I can see the benefits of sharing and bringing together cultural and ideological ideas from both the Vulcan and Romulan people, but how can it work on a large scale level?

    Like Zero Sum Game did for the Breen, I loved the delving into the Tzenkethi culture and made me hunger to see more of what little we did see (and I was happy to see they weren't feline in nature). I wish the Tzenkethi had a larger visable role in the book considering it's advertised as a Typhon Pact book.

    That being said, I found the two flashback chapters to Sisko's time during the Federation-Tzenkethi war to be a bit jarring because I felt they added very little to the overall narrative. Likewise, I found Sisko's involvement in the story to be unnecessary. While I enjoyed the natural progression of his character since his return from the Celestial Temple (despite disagreeing with Sisko on his motives), I found his role in the story to be tangential at best. I felt his mission to visit Donatra was merely there so he could have a direct connection to the main narrative (and have an excuse for his presence in the book) but I found it unbelievable that he happened to be the second most knowledge person of the Romulans after Spock within the Federation. Sure his dealings with them during the Dominion War and his time at the embassy (was that fact known prior to this book?) gives great insight in the way they work, but of all the captains, admirals, ambassadors, diplomats, and dignitaries in the Federation, Sisko is the best person Akaar and Bacco can come up with?

    Speaking of natural progression of characters, I have to say I was initially very shocked by the revelation that Kira left Starfleet and joined the Bajoran Religious Order, and is now a Vedek (although not a member of the Vedek Assembly thus hopefully never to become Kai). I had been very interested in Kira's progression in Starfleet and I didn't like the sudden change in career direction. I had thought the attack from Taran'tar and her initial encounter with Illiana Ghemor wasn't enough to push her in that direction, but I suppose the additional untold story of Kira's second encounter with Illiana along with the Ascendants is what pushed her over the edge. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how that encounter goes.

    I unfortunately spoiled myself in two ways: I read about a month ago in this forum that someone had expressed disappointment that the Romulan sundering had been resolved so quickly, and I accidentally saw on Memory Beta (while reading up on praetors) that Gell Kamenor succeeded Tal'aura. I was a little surprised by both revelations but this gave me an interesting perspective on the book and made me wonder how these two events would unfold. Speaking of Gell Kamenor, I unfortunately forgot about her involvement in Serpents Among the Ruins until Spock commented on involvement with the Treaty of Algeron. Clearly I need to read that book again. :lol:

    A few odds and ends: I didn't like the sudden appearance of Sela because her role in the book felt rather superflous and added little and could have been any random Romulan (plus we still don't know how she got out of a coma and Federation custody, but that's not George's fault). On the flip side, I loved Tomalak's role in the book and I especially loved his grandiose speech to the Romulan Senate which felt like Tomalak channeling G'Kar. Lastly, I liked seeing what happened to Vaughn even if I didn't find the inclusion of the events to the story necessary (it was necessary for Sisko's story but again I didn't feel like Sisko's story synced up well with the rest of the narrative).

    Hmmm...after reading back at what I've written, I come off rather negative about the book. I want to state again that I loved the book with only a few quibbles. I look forward to Paths of Disharmony and future Typhon Pact stories.

    One interesting observation on a personal note: I was amused by the inclusion of Ensign Orr on the bridge of the Okinawa. Not only is my surname Orr, but my grandfather and namesake was a Navy corpsman at the Battle of Okinawa. Probably a big coincidence, but one I had to point it out.

    Interesting, I honestly can't remember that happening and I loved that book. Can you remind me what were the circumstances of their appearance?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011