Spoilers TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Oct 21, 2010.

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How would you rate Zero Sum Game?

  1. Outstanding

    41 vote(s)
    22.8%
  2. Above Average

    83 vote(s)
    46.1%
  3. Average

    46 vote(s)
    25.6%
  4. Below Average

    8 vote(s)
    4.4%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    That happened when Bajor joined the Federation in Unity and Kira became a Captain. I assumed this tease was mainly there to leave a bit more of the new DS9 status quo to be revealed in Rough Beasts of Empire. The main possibilities that come to mind are Admiral, Vedek and Kai, with Kai hopefully being out of the question as redundant with the Online game continuity.

    The train of thought does seem to suggest Admiral, but it probably depends mostly on where the DS9-R is headed next. There was a blurb for RBoE that said something about Kira being in a monastery on Bajor, but I think that blurb has since been changed and may quite possibly have been erroneous or outdated.
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I noticed when I got the Nookbook version that it says it is 269, but both Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster's websites list it as 352. So is the number on the number on the sites a typo, or is something wrong with the Nook version?
    EDIT: I just checked and it even says 352 on the details page of the nook version.
     
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Well, "Kai" would be a nice bit of irony, considering her previous "Attainted" status.
     
  4. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I ordered a copy from B&N, but it still hasn't arrived in the mail. Under order status, it just says "Shipped" as of October 22. I'll keep my eye out and read online excerpts. Yes, I'm paying one and half times more ordering online, but it's my way calling dibbs.
     
  5. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Just finished it.

    Spoiler free review:

    I think this book is going to make a lot of people around here very happy, people who've been disappointed with the dark epic scope of everything recently and have been wanting some smaller-scale, more episodic stories. This book might feel the most like a TV episode of any Trek book published since Destiny, including the TOS books early this year. Minor but interesting strides in character development, A and B plot, small bits of exposition into a new culture that could be built upon later… it all feels exactly like it’s coming from a TV perspective.

    Which on the one hand is kind of a nice change of pace. The Voyager and Titan books last year were pretty emotionally heavy, the TOS books this year tried to fill in gaps but mostly sucked, and the Destiny & fallout from before all that was epic and enormous. A quick little tossed-off action thriller is something that hasn’t been seen in a while, and it’s welcome for that. And as part of a Typhon Pact exploration, this does a great job setting the political scene and establishing how it all operates; there are plenty of behind-the-scenes glimpses into the Breen relationship with the Romulans, and the cold war aspect in general is beautifully done.

    But on the other hand, this is the first 24th century novel to arrive in a year, it's marketed as a fairly major event, and the best parts about it are the hints about the ongoing DS9 story that another novel might pick up… eventually. Especially coming from David Mack, who hasn’t written a novel that wasn’t HOLYSHIT epic since his Wolverine thing, I found it a little disappointing, I won’t lie. I mean, he posted in this very thread about how he loves putting his favorite characters through hell, but no one actually goes through anything in this book. There’s a strong implication that major, soul-wrenching things are going to happen soon in these characters' lives, which I find excellent, but the character development actually present was completely shallow and unconvincing.

    And no one on the Aventine did anything that any other crew couldn’t have done. I actually really like the Aventine crew, and was hoping I’d get something new from them, but even the quirky banter thing that everyone had going in staff meetings in Destiny was notably absent here. The attempts at punchlines from Dax and Bowers didn’t do much for me, and ultimately nothing was even as interesting as Kedair’s one-chapter investigation from A Singular Destiny.

    In general, I think that this is the kind of book that would’ve fit in perfectly with the DS9 relaunch as it worked before, much like the Section 31 and Gateways books did: fun one-off adventures that played with larger stories around the edges. But getting only one or at most two books to continue these particular threads each year, and especially promising “THE SAGA OF DEEP SPACE NINE WILL CONTINUE” at the end when I know that it won’t until February 2012 at the earliest, I find this kind of incremental development unsatisfying. The book provided several brilliant hints, glimpses, or foreshadowings, and the like, but it didn’t actually do much of anything. Not what I was hoping for, unfortunately.
     
  6. Annorax

    Annorax Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Supermods can do it. Then again, I haven't seen any supermods around here...
     
  7. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^C'mon...doesn't T'Bonz/T'Boo count?
     
  8. Almost Unique

    Almost Unique Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Well, he did torture Sarina at the hands of the Breen. Sounded pretty excruciating.
     
  9. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    It's not called torture anymore. It's enhanced interrogation.
     
  10. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    no, that's the cardassian term. the feds still call it torture...
     
  11. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    You know, it's scary how much Sarina and Ezri have in common. Both idealists, both filled with a childlike wonder and enthusiasm for life...both vunerable-yet-intelligent, both "innocents" in a sense...and now....
     
  12. Hamilton

    Hamilton Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Wow. This was the first Trek book I'd had time to read since the semester started, and I've been waiting for the Typhon Pact novels since they were announced. As patience isn't my strong suit, I raided Border's and Barnes and Noble on Sunday. No dice. I tried again after work on Monday, and SUCCESS!

    I called my friend and made fun of him, because he didn't have a copy of the book, as he's been waiting for this nearly as long as I have.. I had to stop reading roughly 50 pages in to call him again... I was having a nerdgasm, and I had to share it with him.


    There was much groaning and gnashing of teeth over not finding out what happens to Kira, but... it just makes me anticipate Rough Beasts of Empire more.

    This was a pretty quick read, and had me completely absorbed in it most of the time. I really loved the insight into the Breen, and as usual, Mr. Mack killed more characters I'd really started to like. :weep: I love it. :bolian: I might have to do a David Mack Death Counter in the future. :lol:

    Moving on to the A and B plot... there were times where I felt for Bashir, like when he's on DS9 and reflects on his feelings. I want to say Bashir's never been one of my favorite DS9 characters... he whines a bit too much and is too sanctimonious at times, but it was really nice to see him get his hands dirty. I really liked his progression during the mission, from 'Killing is bad' to 'Kill them all'. More Aventine and Bacco would've been great, but all in all, wonderful novel all-around.



    @ Supreme Dittodrone - I know, right? I wouldn't think Ezri and Sarina would have much in common, but... whoa. At the same time, I think there was a marked contrast between the two of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  13. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Amazon gave me a buzz today. They're now shipping the baby over. I should have it some time next week!

    AH!!! Nice...I love Bashir, but his holier-than-thou attidude towards Garak, Ross and Sloan in the show made me wish something would happen to knock him off the high-horse.

    So...I wonder, is he beginning to accept Secion 31, or is that a line he's still unwilling to cross?

    Yep. I'd say the similarities are something of an indication of what Julian wants in a woman....

    I wouldn't be suprised if his first love, the dancer he mentions in "Armageddon Game", was very similar, personality-wise, to Sarina and Ezri....
     
  14. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Not sure this would count as a favorite character, but...

    ..the Breen dissident that attempts to help them out loses all her fingers on both hands through torture.
     
  15. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    What Major, no Captain, no (some other title) Kira has moved onto and how the station's new CO ascended to the position. :confused:

    I would like to believe the latter since barring a major traumatic life-changing event in the previous seven years, she doesn't strike me as capable of callously exploiting another person.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    100 pages into it. Maybe Kira became the Kai, as in STO?
     
  17. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    dear god i hope not. the STO storyline is just... i dunno how to describe it. a mockery to star trek
     
  18. ICW

    ICW Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I agree with this for the most part. I feel like Zero Sum Game was a great tease for things to come. Is there anything wrong with that? No, not in my opinion, because it's leaving me wanting more. I enjoyed the story although I would have loved to have seen more Aventine. The ending was quite the plesant shock.

    David Mack has easily become my favorite Star Trek author.
     
  19. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I'm sick of teasing myself, give me the fucking story or don't bother.
     
  20. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^ I wouldn't quite go THAT far. I think stuff like this, foreshadowing and hinting at larger stories, was a real strength of the DS9 Relaunch. Heck, more recently, even Vanguard I think has done really well with each book feeling like a small piece in a much larger story, as plot threads slowly develop over the course of several novels. But I think Vanguard succeeds more on this publication timescale because a lot of hinting and foreshadowing also accompanies a steady increase in EPIC AWESOME, where here after the tremendous events of both DS9 Relaunch to date and also the last few 24-th century novels in general, Zero Sum Game feels like moving backwards.

    Or maybe I'm overthinking it; it just seemed like nothing really happened, and I was underwhelmed.