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. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Dukat hijacked a Tzenkethi Marauder and used it to attack Bajor, so the Cardassians could respond and "save Bajor from Tzenkethi aggression".
     
  2. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    We've already seen her subsequent to Double or Nothing - she was in Death in Winter (also with no explanation).
     
  3. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I agree with all of this. Sisko's involvement with this book felt very out of place. The primary plot of the novel revolves around the Romulans. Using Spock as the lead protagonist is appropriate and works fine, since we are aware of his unification movement on Romulus. While I was happy to see Sisko again, and I was really surprised by the direction that his story has gone in (losing contact with the prophets, abandoning his family, re-joining Starfleet), I felt like these events should have been handled in a separate novel of its own. Sisko's story and Spock's story were pretty independant from one another and they were just barely connected by sending Sisko to briefly meet with Donatra.

    Not thrilled with the notion of Kira leaving DS9 and Starfleet to become a Vedek. I just don't buy it. I know there's a huge gap in her story that will need to be filled in, to explain what went down with the Ascendants and Ghemor. Maybe I'll end up being fine with everything in the end, if and when the missing pieces of the DS9 relaunch are finally filled in. But right now, I'm not terribly happy with all of the shuffling that's taken place with regards to DS9 in the post Destiny time frame.

    I felt like we didn't get much insight into the Tzenkethi in this novel, but what little we did get seemed interesting, at least. I understand the desire to tell Sisko's flashback story of the Tzenkethi war in order to help flesh out that missing piece of Trek history, as well as to help develop this alien culture. But again, it seemed out of place and it didn't contribute to the plot. In fact, did Sisko interact with the Tzenkethi at all in this novel? I don't remember him being connected to the Tzenkethi story aside from those flashback sequences. I kept expecting Sisko to get put into a sticky situation with the aliens, and that it would tie into his past encounter with them. But that didn't happen.
     
  4. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Does anybody know when the scenes with Sisko on the Okinawa were set? I seem to remember The Buried Age implied the Tzenkethi War was over by the time TNG began, so I imagine it was in the early 2360s.
     
  5. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ~ 2361/2, based on mention of Jake's pending seventh birthday in Chapter 23.
     
  6. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Thank you very much. I remember the scene now.

    Right, which is why I said we "still don't know" and how it wasn't George's fault (because MJF already brought her back without explanation).

    You're correct that Sisko and the Tzenkethi had no interaction in "present day" aside from Sisko briefly seeing the marauders on the Robinson viewscreen. I also kept expecting Sisko would have a nasty encounter with the Tzenkethi that would relate to his time during the war.
     
  7. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Here's my review:

    I have been looking forward to learning more about the Tzenkethi since they were mentioned on DS9 and I've been yearning for a Sisko-Tzenkethi War story since I first heard of the now aborted Lost Era book. It's funny but these two parts I disliked to loathed about the book.

    I enjoyed the Romulan machinations the most. I think DRG has a good feel for the Romulans. Of the current crop of Trek Lit. writers he's like the Romulan guy to KRAD's Klingon guy. I really enjoyed the Tal'Aura and Donatra scenes and felt that DRG made something good happen from Nemesis after all. I was shocked and saddened by both their demises, particularly Tal'Aura because she had become quite the formidable schemer. I was also surprised by the dissolution of the Imperial Romulan State because I saw it as a handy way to keep the Romulans a somewhat viable player after the Hobus supernova.

    I'm neutral about Praetor Kamemor. It feels a little like Tal'Aura and Donatra were moved aside for a pet Trek Lit. character. Though it should be interesting to see how she contends with the newly installed Chairman Sela. I found the Spock parts well written but a bit boring. He didn't really do much, except be a willing dupe for Tal'Aura. She pretty much used him twice, or perhaps three times since his message to Bacco influenced Donatra to seek an accomodation with Tal'Aura. At the conclusion of the book leaves Spock on Romulus, perhaps as set up for the events of the Star Trek film.

    Despite Spock being used as a dupe, I think DRG reserved his worst for Sisko. To me it felt like a character assassination. Sisko would not abandon his family like that (Avery Brooks made certain of that when he insisted on Sisko's promised return), especially for a prophecy that he had defied during the TV show.

    The idea that he would just leave Kasidy and Rebecca, that he would cut himself off from Jake, that he would even leave the responsibilities of his father's funeral arrangements, etc. to others, felt like a slap in the face of the character. One of the important aspects of his character, heck one of the things that made him stand out the most in comparison to the other captains was that he was a family man. DRG stripped that away, and for what? To stick him on a ship with a bland crew? And if he wanted to be alone so damned much, why stay in Starfleet? Why not join a Bajoran monastery? Why not buy a ship and travel the stars alone?

    DRG's Sisko was a fearful, uncertain, and impotent man, and that's not Sisko. It also pissed me off that Elias Vaughn is so lionized and Sisko is regressed. Elias is the better captain, Elias is the noble hero while Sisko seems to sit on his thumbs against the Borg. I had been also waiting a long time to see Sisko v. the Borg and he seemed so listless, lackluster, it sucked, and then when he abandoned his family it really lit my fire. In essence, DRG turned Sisko into an absentee father at best, a deadbeat father at worst. And also a horrible spouse to boot.

    I also didn't care for the depiction of the Tzenkethi. It was unique, but it was hard for me to get my head around. If not for the end when Alizome's machinations are revealed I wouldn't have seen the need for their inclusion in this book at all. Also Sisko's Tzenkethi war memories felt out of place and did nothing to enhance the story. I was thinking they would be tied into the larger story somehow or at least the Robinson would confront a Tzenkethi ship.

    Perhaps this book would've worked better if the Sisko and Spock stories had been separated into novellas, with Sisko focusing on the Tzenkethi and Spock on the Romulans. Despite the teases of what happened with the DS9 relaunch, I wish either this book had done a better job fleshing that out, a la Kristen Beyer's Full Circle, or saved it for another book.

    Sorry DRG but I'm rating this one Below Average.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  8. Tino

    Tino Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I'm not even a big fan of Spock and the Romulan stuff so I only read 1/3 of the book. And what I read, I didn't like. Here we have yet another character away from DS9, making that novel series more or less obsolete. Kira's off too ... oh really.

    I know that change happens in life and naturally, you cannot expect to have the same crew on a starbase for ten years. However, it's Trekliterature and those characters are very dear to me. So I guess I just hoped that the DS9-crew would stay together - just like the Voyager-characters wound up together back on our beloved starship.

    Mmh. So I can't really rate this novel in its entirety. But I'm giving the Sisko-plot a 2/5 'cause it felt rushed, he didn't have much to do with the Typhon Pact and I'm really not interested in reading about yet another starship crew.
     
  9. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I know I'm gonna get reamed for this, but at the moment I am getting ready for work and don't have time to wade through fourteen pages of posts in an attempt to find this information, so I'm just going to ask and hope you good people can answer it or direct me to where in the book I can find it (have the book, but am reading Seize The Fire first). I did, however, skim the first few chapters and read about the Borg battle.

    (1) What was the situation in which the USS New York lost her captain and several important crew members, rendering Sisko in charge?

    (2) What class of ship was the USS Cutlass?

    Thanks folks, have a great evening.
     
  10. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I just finished the novel and also did a quick search through the forums before voicing my comments and question.

    Like some other readers, I incorrectly assumed this would be a DS9 novel. I had to remind myself that in the end, it's not a DS9 novel but just one snippet of the larger and complex Typhon Pact saga.

    To that end, I thought Mr. George did a terrific job in creating a very tangled web of interstellar deceit and murder.....otherwise known as politics ;).

    I apologize if my questions were answered before but I did not find them in my cursory search.

    1) Just to confirm, the kidnapping of was never mentioned in any other novel, correct? I just want to make sure I didn't forget reading a ST novel.

    2) Just to confirm, Vaughn's change of command assignment was never mentioned in any other novel, correct?
     
  11. the_wildcard

    the_wildcard Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I just finished the novel and also did a quick search through the forums before voicing my comments and question.

    Like some other readers, I incorrectly assumed this would be a DS9 novel. I had to remind myself that in the end, it's not a DS9 novel but just one snippet of the larger and complex Typhon Pact saga.

    To that end, I thought Mr. George did a terrific job in creating a very tangled web of interstellar deceit and murder.....otherwise known as politics lol.

    I apologize if my questions were answered before but I did not find them in my cursory search.

    1) Just to confirm, the "kidnapping" was never mentioned in any other novel, correct? I just want to make sure I didn't forget reading a ST novel.

    2) Just to confirm, the Vaughn's change in command was never mentioned in any other novel, correct?
     
  12. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I think what pissed me off about this book the most was that life ZSH it took another DS9 character away from DS9. All the other series have a lot of their main characters still with them, or they have has continuous story lines to explain their exit from that series to another, but DS9 has really gotten the short end of the stick here and most of the characters are not even on DS9 or near it anymore for the series to continue well. I am very disappointed with the track that it has been taken on. My favorite relaunch seems to be dead and that is a travesty since it was the richest and deepest Trek. I mean seriously, who cares about Sisko on the Robinson? It would be like taking Picard away from the Enterprise!!
     
  13. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I wouldn't be certain that the plan is for Sisko to stay where he is now forever, if only because you might've expected more than one member of his crew to be introduced if they were going to be a fixture of the Deep Space Nine milieu.
     
  14. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I think the concern expressed was more that Sisko would no longer be a part of the DS9 milieu, not that the Robinson's crew would become a part of it. Indeed, to the extent that future DS9 novels accept Sisko's reasoning in RBoE as legitimate, it is hard to see how he could return to DS9/Bajor.

    Now obviously, Sisko's reasoning strikes me as absurd, so to the extent that future DS9 novels consider it as such, then he could return more easily, having emerged from his stupor and realized the folly of his behavior in this novel.

    Or maybe he just had to divorce Kassidy and now everything is ok? But if so, why did he cut ties with everyone on Bajor including his young daughter?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Just finished it. Loved it.

    This is completely subjective, but I was hoping that the Tzenkethi would be a much more alien, non-humanoid species. Something insectoid or otherwise exotic. But I liked what David established about their social structure -- the role played by genetic engineering, the echelons, etc. I'm a little bit confused, though, by the distinction between the titles of "Rej" and "Autarch." Is the full name of the office being held "Autarch of the Tzenkethi Coalition," or is the term "Rej" also part of the office's name?

    Gell is back! And she's Praetor! Go figure. This certainly helps fulfill the idea that the Typhon Pact isn't necessarily full of mustache-twirlers out to destroy the Federation. I was disappointed to see the Imperial Romulan State dissolved, though -- I really liked the whole "East Germany/West Germany" vibe the IRS/RSE gave off.
     
  16. David R. George III

    David R. George III Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    That would be telling.

    I don't think the class of Cutlass made it into the final draft, but I intended it to be Saber-class (or Sabre-class; the spelling seems indeterminate).

    Thanks...and please call me David.

    No, the kidnapping has not to this point appeared in another Trek work, and neither has Vaughn's change of command assignment.

    Yeah. Here's the thing: if you're referring to Sisko, I didn't take him off of Deep Space Nine. For some strange reason, it appears that some readers don't seem to recall where the television series actually ended. As of the final episode, Sisko had left DS9 and ascended to the Celestial Temple; Worf had departed to become the Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire; the O'Brien clan left to return to Earth; Jadzia had died; Rom and Leeta took up residence on Ferenginar; Garak remained on Romulus; Odo joined the Great Link; the Founder leader was in prison; Weyoun, Damar, Dukat, and Winn all died. All of that happened in the series, not in the books that followed. The ongoing literary saga did ultimately see Sisko return from the Celestial Temple...but not to Deep Space 9; he went to live a fairly uncomplicated live on Bajor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  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

    Sorry...accidental double post.
     
  18. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    David, did you see my review? If nothing else, I'm curious to know the origin of Ensign Orr.
     
  19. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    David I know how the series ended and the some people were gone from the station. These characters and this series deserve the story to be fleshed out and continued in the same way it has been done. To jump and leave us all hanging as to the motivations of the characters becuase we never get to see how they progressed to the point they are at now is ridiculous. That is why it feels dead and the motivations of Sisko in RBoTE feel so false. The decision to make the jump may have been made but it is a bad one IMHO.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Is there any particular reason to think we're not going to see how those characters progressed to the points they are at now in future books?