TP: Seize the Fire by Michael A. Martin Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Nov 21, 2010.

?

Rate Seize The Fire.

  1. Outstanding

    6 vote(s)
    5.3%
  2. Above Average

    25 vote(s)
    21.9%
  3. Average

    32 vote(s)
    28.1%
  4. Below Average

    33 vote(s)
    28.9%
  5. Poor

    18 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Regarding 1) - I agree, and I loved both your Titan novels, but the Prime Directive misunderstanding thing has happened several times across several series, and annoys me every time. So it annoyed me again here; that's all I was saying.

    And 4) So, out of 10 books (including Destiny), only one book didn't have a planetary-level threat, and one other wasn't existential? Fair enough, but I think my point still stands!
     
  2. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I always find Mike Martin's work much better on the re-read because he's such a plot-oriented author. He's just not much of a characterizer which is the stuff that really grabs you first time through.

    Titan as an Exploration series seems to have a thing for PD in non-conventional situations. We saw it in Over a Torrent Sea and we saw it here. Odds are we'll see it again, I think.
     
  3. Truth

    Truth Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I rather like it, it played to titan base. which is to explore not some nameless planet for the one million time, but rather the concept that the federation is not as free from it own bias as they might think. We saw this when riker and keru had to put aside their distrust of A.I given the recent borg attacks. Now they play on mammals nature distrust of things rep. This is how titan differs from the other trek novels.
     
  4. KingstonTrekker

    KingstonTrekker Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Like you, I was also hesitant to pick up this book based on the many negative comments in this post. However, since I read virtually every Trek novel, I did buy it and it was OK. Not stellar. Not exceptional. Just average.

    I felt the same way after finishing Zero Sum Game --- and I love David Mack's work. I just felt that ZSG missed many opportunities (e.g. using more DS9 characters, more Dax/Bashir interactions, etc.) and stretched believability beyond the breaking point due to some inane plot twists (and yes, I do realize it is a Star Trek book :)

    Re: Seize The Fire -- I will say that I am not a huge fan of the Titan series --- I have read every book and have found many of them to be average. Just my taste I guess.

    Some characters are affected by the events in this book -- Tuvok for sure. However, Martin's clumsy writing and deficits in the area of characterization (which have already been discussed elsewhere in this thread) leave more of a bad taste in the reader's mouth rather than a genuine curiousity as to what lies ahead for Tuvok.

    Like I said, I thought it was Average. Would have been nice to have had a stronger book considering the long fallow summer we endured in Trek Lit.

    So far, the Typhon Pact series is a middling Average for me. Here's hoping the third and fourth books raise the bar.
     
  5. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    ^ I'm still trying hard to get into it. I'm quite sickened that Riker has any reservations about protecting a pre-industrial society from genocide. That should be the right thing to do whether it's a Federation world or not. And the cultural contamination argument is utter BS. Do nothing, and they won't have a culture to contaminate. :rolleyes: :klingon:
     
  6. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I started the book late last night and read most of it today in one sitting. I'm somewhat new to the Titan series (having only read Taking Wing and Orion's Hounds, and those only after Destiny interested me in their crew), so I looked forward to this book. I enjoyed it well enough. The Gorn and other reptilian races fascinate me, and I appreciated Martin's use of the Gnalish, whom (I presume) Michael Jan Friedman invented in Reunion. The caste system was interesting, and the source, perhaps, of the different appearances of TOS's and ENT's Gorn creatures.

    I agree with other posters that the Prime Directive is being abused here. The Gorn, not the Federation, are attempting into interfere with the society in question. Their planet being transformed and their civilization destroyed in the process by an alien object is not in any sense 'natural evolution'. Had Riker intervened immediately, he would have been justified given that he was attempting to end the harm being done by another nation's interference.

    Christine Vale seemed odd, dialogue-wise (quoting Groucho Marx and saying 'Take me to your leader'? :lol:), but I've not read many Titan books so I don't know if that's in-character for her or not.

    It seems on par with The Romulan War.
     
  7. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Average. Not spectacular, but not half as bad as some here are trying to paint it.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    He did, but with an asterisk. Sometime after the fact, a fan (maybe even Therin?) suggested to Friedman that the reptilian character Sord from TAS: "The Jihad" might be a Gnalish, and I think that idea has come to be pretty much accepted in the literature. So in a sense, a Gnalish character existed before Reunion, even though the species was invented in that book.


    That was the clear implication. The description of the warrior caste matched that from "Arena," and the description of the technical caste matched that seen in "In a Mirror, Darkly" -- which is consistent with the Gorn in IaMD being the slavemaster of a group of engineers.
     
  9. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I found it average. Which is to say, much better than, say, that period in the Bantam era, when literally every other novel was a variation on "Enterprise crew gets in over their heads with a primitive society run by a mechanical or otherwise artificial superbeing," written by somebody named Haldeman, or somebody named Eklund.

    But I found it disappointing that the "ecosculptor" ended up being destroyed (it seemed an unlikely outcome, given the machine's age and capabilities).
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Oh, good grief. "Somebody named Haldeman?" Joe Haldeman is no mere "somebody." He's one of the most prominent science fiction authors of the latter third of the 20th century. He's the author of The Forever War. He's a multiple award winner.

    Gordon Eklund was a pretty prominent SF writer at the time, too. A lot of the Bantam novels were written by "name" authors -- heck, they were edited by Frederik Pohl, himself one of the most famous and prolific SF writers of the 20th century.
     
  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Do Trek readers also read other SF novelists?
     
  12. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    There were two Haldeman's. Joe's brother Jack aslo wrote Perry's Planet. That said, you'd have to be impressed with some of the names that have written Trek fiction over the years.
     
  13. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    *sigh* I really tried to enjoy "Seize the Fire," but I simply couldn't, for the most part.

    I enjoyed learning more about the Gorn — their castes and religion, for example — and about Hraranar (sp), but that was the extent of it. Everything else, especially characterization and many of the decisions made by the characters, simply didn't gel for me.

    I voted "average." Here's to better luck next time, Michael A. Martin.

    Gatekeeper
     
  14. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread


    Yes you could skip the lot, anything important will be recapped and nothing that important seems to happen anyway.
     
  15. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I hope so. If not, they're missing out.
     
  16. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Well, out of sheer curiosity, I picked up the book anyway. I'm roughly 100 pages in so far. It is a bit dull. Martin's writing style isn't offensive but isn't very interesting, either. The stuff that's happening on Titan seems okay, but the Gorn stuff so far is putting me to sleep. It's weird - I love the novels that Martin & Mangels co-authored, but Martin's solo effort here just isn't as compelling. The story seems adequate, but the execution just isn't engaging me as a reader.
     
  17. DrCorby

    DrCorby Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I gave StF an average rating, also. I'd been a little behind in my Titan reading, so I read the last three in a row to be ready for the Titan installment of the Typhon Pact series. Seize the Fire just didn't measure up very well by comparison.

    As others have mentioned, I felt that many of the characterizations were off, especially Vale (goofy and inappropriate comments falling out of her mouth) and Riker (OK, fooling the hostage-taking Gorn did seem somewhat Riker-like, but going to the Gorn ship just made no sense whatsoever).

    Beyond the characterizations, there were other implausibilities and inconsistencies that really made it difficult to just go along for the ride. When Riker decided to send the landing party to the planet surface, I actually involuntarily exclaimed, "Oh, brother!" out loud, making my wife ask what was wrong. It just made no sense, given the rest of the situation at that point. Then, Ssyrex's belief that the ecosculptor was the Gorn deity came out of nowhere, and was completely unnecessary. And then, later in the book, the Gorn captain mentions the possibility, when there was NEVER any indication that Ssyrex had mentioned it to anyone on the Gorn ship. Inconsistent and irritating.

    Thinking about it again, maybe my "average" rating was too high...
     
  18. Icemizer

    Icemizer Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    I have to agree with most of the others here that this book required some effort to get through. Maybe its because I have a bias against lizards or something but the Gorn just are not very interesting to me. Maybe it was just a case of I have read this all before syndrome. Super tech society living in peace, Alien AI/God in the machine and so on. I voted average and dont think this one will end up in the re-read pile any time soon.
     
  19. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Below average. I never liked anything by Mangels and Martin and while this is better than any of their collaborative works, it's still pretty bad. A lot of plot conveniences and contrivances, bad dialogue, characters being omniscient and seemingly knowing what was coming next for the sake if the plot, and is it required that when a Titan book is written that we're reminded every 3 pages how diverse this crew is and how amazing diversity makes them? It makes Titan novels read like bad after school specials from the 80s...

    I would even say that diversity makes Titan novels less interesting. It has such a large cast of almost entirely forgettable characters that I can't remember most of them from book to book.
     
  20. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Seize The Fire review thread

    Yes, that is quite grating as well...