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. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I have FINALLY started to read RBOE and am enjoying right now...should be done in a couple of days.
     
  2. Vastator

    Vastator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Managed to read the book and I enjoyed it. I must confess that I largely read it due to the appearance of the Romulans and the Vulcan Unification Movement. I wasnt too keen on Sisko leaving Kassidy personally but don't hold that against the book or author. I do feel that David R. George III captured the Romulans very nicely and would love to see him write some more on the Romulans.

    I particularly enjoy the insights into Romulan society like the Hundred and Romulan Security (really enjoyed the portrayal of these guys like the imagery conjured with the raptor holding a shield). It was quite nice and liked the political environment with Spock's involvement in the entire thing. Somewhat saddened about Donatra since I liked the character. But, anyway, it was quite good in that regard and I am curious on the way things go for the Romulans now.

    The only odd thing I find is the fate of the IRS. But its not something I have against the book itself since i wasnt too fond of the IRS plotline. So, seeing that arc resolved I find somewhat satisfying but seeing it in the grand scheme of things; just seems odd that the IRS is formed, some political tension happens and it gets absorbed back. But as I said, its just seeing this in the grand scheme of things so I don't hold that fault with the book itself.

    Anyway, gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me :bolian:
     
  3. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Just about to finish the book and have enjoyed it. I understand why all the DS9 continuation fans are upset, there is a lot of stuff mentioned or teased in the book thta hasn't happened yet but that didn't bother me that it just got mentioned. As for Ben leaving Kas and Rebecca...I'm not understanding the controversy here. This meshes with Sisko's character completely. He mentions the "walking the path alone" and that he would face great sorrow had he married Kas. Leaving his wife and child behind in order to try and fulfill the Prophets wishes is completely within his character. Maybe that's something that the actor, Avery Brooks would be against, but it fits the character and I have no problem with it. I felt for Ben and the weight he has on his shoulders. Perhaps if Kas was more understanding about his spiritual role he could have explained his reasons to her and she would be accepting of them but Kas was never understanding of that part of his life. Maybe on a rudimentary level at best.

    The Romulan stuff and the Spock plot was great. Saddened by the loss of Donatra, found she was an interesting character and the books did a lot to flesh out from what he saw of her in "Nemesis". The political situation now in the Empire is interesting. Will be fascinating to see where this goes now.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I just realized I never actually wrote a more in depth review of this one, and because of it's more controversial nature I've been meaning to do a more in depth review than, yeah I liked it.
    Ok first off, I really liked all of the aspects of this book. Sisko and Spock are two of my favorite characters and I thought DRGIII did a great job with both characters. First the Spock/Romulus story was great, although I will admit I didn't expect them to actually tie up the Donatra vs. Tel'Aura storyline so soon. I was really enjoying the story of the two competing Romulan governments and I had hoped that this would be a permanent or at least more long term thing. Now saying that I thought the way that it's end was brought about was very interesting, I might have expected both of them to end up dieing, but definitely not both. I loved the stuff with the Tzenkethi and all of their plotting. I especially got a kick out of the way that they use all four walls of rooms, I'd never come across something like that before. I'm very curious where things are going for the Reunification Movement in the future, and I really hope we get a follow up soon.
    Now for the fun part, the Sisko storyline. I know this part has been highly controversial, but I had no issues with it. Alot of people are accusing Sisko of being a dead beat dad or running away from his family, and that this goes against his characterization on the show and I have to disagree on both points. In Sisko's mind he did what he did to protect his family, which is very much in character for him. At the time that the book alot of bad things have begun to happen to Sisko and those closest to him, and this is causing him to look back on the warning The Prophets gave him before he married Kasidy and reevalute his opinion of it. He becomes convinced at this point that the Prophets were right, and so thinking that something even worse could happen he leaves, which does make perfect sense to me. He did this to protect his wife and children, and since we know Sisko is very much a family man this makes perfect sense to me. We've seen over the years how strongly he cares about his family and that he would never purposefully put them in danger. So when he becomes convinced that he is a danger to his family he leaves. Now, I'm not necisarrily saying he's right, we can tell that he has been hit hard by alot of the bad things that have happened to him over the last few years, so he's probably not thinking straight. But we can tell from his attitude throughoutt the story that he is not doing because he wants to, but because he feels that he has to. In fact, I'd say that he hates doing it.
    The only real problem I do have with the book is the disconnect between the two stories, and the flashbacks. Usually when you have a book with multiple storylines like this there is some kind of connection, but other than the scene where Sisko meets with Donatra I didn't really notice one in this case. And that scene actually seemed rather disconnected from the rest of Sisko's story.
    My rating 8.5/10/Above Average
     
  5. Patrick O'Brien

    Patrick O'Brien Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I read the book a couple of months ago and i think it is one of the better Typhon Pact books. I gave it an Above average rating.
     
  6. WarsTrek1993

    WarsTrek1993 Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I thought it was quite interesting to read about how Sisko would react if the prophets REALLY started acting up. But I much prefer the Spock arc over the Sisko one, because we see more of Spock and his movement.
    George never fails with descriptions, I'll say that much. Like the beginning where Spock is stabbed by the Reman. You can almost feel Spock's pain during that moment.
     
  7. Sjaddix

    Sjaddix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Well to be technically I am not sure the Prophets can get things wrong so them being right is no surprise although like all oracles they are scarce on the details.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I loved this book. Epic, awesome, and I pre-ordered DRGIII's follow-up duology about a month ago.

    My favourite bit was....
    When Spock successfully negotiated to legalize the reunification movement. About time he made some progress!
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Right. The so-called Prophets aren't just having visions of the future, they exist in the future. They have firsthand experience of what it holds. Any inaccuracies would have to be matters of interpretation, either the Prophets' interpretation of what they witness firsthand or the listener's interpretation of how they describe it.

    Although that doesn't address the question of branching timelines...
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Didn't Sisko teach them about all that in the Millenium trilogy?
     
  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    If I recall, the wormhole aliens discovered/stated/arranged that they "always win", which was actually a rather touching moment, at least how I interpreted it.
     
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Heya,

    I just finished this book in the Typhon Pact and am writing up my review of it on my website. Overall, I have a very positive opinion of the novel and its contents. David R. George III has an excellent grasp of characterization and I very much enjoyed his ability to get into the heads of my favorite characters. I also give him kudos for his depiction of depression, which has afflicted several family members over the years and which Sisko's depiction of suffering seems to be very spot-on. I was really moved by a lot of the scenes.

    Qualities I really liked

    * Spock achieving the Reunification Movement's legalization is quite impressive. It's been a long time of basically being "Christians under Rome" and seeing it decriminalized is wonderful. Sadly, the very fact they're part of the Typhon Pact more or less renders it a paper tiger.

    * The treatment of Donatra is amongst my favorite in her many depictions. You managed to capture the "Golden Girl" image I think the various books have given her and the idea she was much more approachable, likable, as well as charismatic than the majority of Romulan leaders. In a subtle way, I felt people would WANT to follow Donatra in a way that they wouldn't other characters.

    * As mentioned, Ben Sisko's grief and melancholy are poignant. I wouldn't be surprised if half of the Federation is feeling what he's feeling after the events of Star Trek: Destiny. As much as I'd like "The Old Sisko" to be able to rise above all this, after the Dominion War and so on, it's seemingly the case of the *two ton bricks which landed on the already two ton pile that broke the camel's back."

    * I'm glad you inserted a scene I've been DYING FOR in Star Trek for literal decades. Basically, a Captain tells one of their First Officers "no, you may NOT speak freely." It was about time someone took a stand against disrespect and insubordination. I'm glad it was the Sisko. I just wish it had ended with said person in the brig.

    As Reed would say, you respect the office.

    * Kira's brief appearance was a wholly welcome one and I need to research where I can find out how she ended up in the clergy (there's a lot of books in the Novelverse). Her attempts to reach out to Sisko during his loss of faith are very true to life how I've felt about a lot of people in my own life. That there simply isn't the words to help, be they reassurances about God or the fact people love you, to comfort those you care about in pain. Sometimes it just isn't enough.

    :(

    * I wanted to reach in and strangle the Tzenkethi, which is a strong emotional reaction to their manipulations to say the least. As much as I hate what they've done, it's also nice to see badness and duplicity prevail. The fact they've installed a friendly Praetor to the Federation doesn't mitigate their crimes or effect. Also, having killed an Empress and a Praetor, why stop there? As stated in "License to Kill" by Sanchez, "You're only President for life, my friend."

    * Mrs. Sisko, now Ms. Yates reacted exactly the way she should have. Glad she didn't take Sisko's rationalizations.

    Things I didn't like

    Disclaimer: This isn't a reflection on DRGIII as an author, just a reaction to the events involved. Basically, I don't dislike the way it was done, just am unhappy it happened. Ned Stark getting decapitated is great storytelling but I feel awful about it.

    * I'm really saddened by the end of the Imperial Romulan State. I was keeping my fingers crossed we'd see the IRS join the Khitomer Accords and suddenly have permanently allied Romulans to the Federation. It seemed perfect as a way to give us Romulans working on our side and a natural extension of events given Donatra's friendly nature to the Feddies. Watching the Romulan Empire get reborn is just depressing, especially since I mentally associate with a slave-holding state (poor Remans) and consider any such government innately vile. There's no evidence the IRS *ISN'T* a slave-holding state but I guess I hoped that better ties with the Feddies would help remove that problem.

    From my perspective, the IRS was the last best hope for the Romulans and I'm unmoved by its new friendly Praetor versus Donatra.

    * Obviously, I'm saddened by Donatra's death. A great light has gone out from the Romulan race and with it, hope for their people. Romulus died this book.

    Hobus will just finish the job.

    (Hyperbole much? Yes, I'm a fanboy. We are a race of sound and fury, signifying nothing)

    * I was hoping Sisko would be able to come terms with his depression and loss of faith. This may surprise people but I grew up in a very religious area but fell into some bad influences (people who are the kinds of folk who give Kai Winn a bad name). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine simultaneously helped me question a lot of the assumptions I'd been leading while helping me come to terms with questions of faith vs. science.

    Seeing such a good and strong man lose everything which gave his life meaning is heartbreaking and you captured every bit of that.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more books in the series as well as those by the author.
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    If you don't mind me bringing this long-overdone plot up, my take on Section 31 was that it was never a secret so much as it was deniable. A factor in RL conspiracy theories is that there's whole secret armies, bases, and unlimited resources. About the only "secret" group which ever had that sort of authority was the SS. Ian Fleming created SPECTRE as a miniature version of this but, as we know, that series has its own incredibilities (also, Ian Fleming had it wiped out fairly easily once its existence was exposed).

    From what we see of Section 31 in the show and even in the novels, it instead functions more like a license to break the rules. If it was behind the phase cloaking device, it doesn't employ a vast army of Section 31 officers but has Starfleet personnel like Riker and the crew of U.S.S Pegasus. We see this with Julian Bashir as the group "recruits" a man they send on missions that they may or may not actually want to do.

    In short, its probably a very small organization. Maybe as few as a dozen individuals. Its authority is probably, ironically, its unquestionability. You can't go over their heads because they answer to no one.

    I imagine if Section 31 wanted to create an Android, they wouldn't have a big space station with S31 on a bunch of banners like in a video game but simply find someone like Noonien Soong and make them an offer of unlimited resources. How do they do they get these resources? Criminal activity perhaps, black budgets (which may or may not come from blackmailing politicians) or its own factors.

    I think Section 31's relationship to Starfleet Intelligence is closer and darker than people think. Basically, whenever they need something done illegal--they let it fall into S31's hands and if the mission fails or the agents are caught, they're just blamed for it. Disavowed as Mission Impossible would say.

    It's why the 25th century ending with their destruction may not be permanent. Not because they're not destroyed but because that may just mean those in power will need someone similar to S31 to do their dirty work.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    There's nothing to research. There's a four-year gap in the DS9 narrative between the events of The Soul Key and Rough Beasts of Empire. RBoE was the book that first revealed the events of that interval to us in retrospect -- kind of like the way ST:TMP began with Kirk already an admiral, Spock almost completing Kolinahr, McCoy as a bearded hermit, etc., or the way TUC began with Sulu already completing his third year as Excelsior captain. As with those things, maybe someday we'll get flashback tales filling in the gap, but to date all we have are the books picking up after the gap, i.e. the loose trilogy of RBoE, Plagues of Night, and Raise the Dawn.


    You may feel differently after reading PoN/RtD.
     
  15. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Thanks for clarifying! It's an interesting change! :bolian:

    *eagerly goes to download them on his Kindle*

    Thanks for taking time out from your schedule to keep your fans informed, Christopher. We appreciate it.

    :mallory:
     
  16. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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