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. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Hmm. Somebody wiser than I once said something to the general effect that if an author steals from one, it's called plagiarism, but if he steals from a dozen, it's called research.

    I guess the latter case also applies to "inspiration.":p:guffaw::guffaw:
     
  2. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I called my Barnes&Noble store they saved a copy of Zero sum game for me. i can't wait to finally get to read this book at long last.
     
  3. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Just finished and enjoyed the heck out it. Another winner for Mad Mack.

    One question though-- was the mission actually a success? I know they destroyed the prototype, but were the schmetics destroyed? On page 281, Thot Keer was able to access a back-up of the schematics and send them off to asnother location. Did Julian's data-rod corrupt that information, or does the Pact still have the slipsteam specs? Or is that a story for another book?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  4. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    The data rod was designed to delete the primary copies and corrupt the backups, so the slipstream files the Pact received have been altered.
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^Thanks.
     
  6. Cicero

    Cicero Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    You're welcome. :)

    I wasn't sure when I first read it, either. (I actually looked it up.)
     
  7. BXsainttj

    BXsainttj Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    new to the board here but i been reading these books off and on since the early 90's. Loved this book. It was definitley a great read. Great insight to the whole Breen stuff. Cant wait for the rest of the books.
    One question probably b/c i havent kept up as much as i wanted to with the deep space nine series- where is odo?
     
  8. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Odo's current situation is one of the big question marks of the DS9-R. The last time we saw Odo was at the end of Worlds of DS9: The Dominion, I believe, on the Founders' homeworld. No news since, so this is one of those dangling plot threads that will likely be picked up at some point.
     
  9. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I got my book today I 've skimmed through a few chapters great character plots in the first few chapters.:techman:
     
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Welcome aboard, BXsainttj! :techman:
     
  11. justcorbly

    justcorbly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Read it yesterday. Very much liked it. Didn't mind that it wasn't an epic that changed the universe. The universe just changed a few books ago. Doing that again would upset the editorial applecart.

    Bashir makes an interesting counterpart to Dax. She seems to have successfully made a difficult transition to her mature, healthy personality -- complicated by those 8 lives she drags around with her -- while he frets about being lonely and bored. Bashir does meet the woman he sees as the love of his life. But, that is something that happened to him, not something he made happen.

    Ezri has certainly become a very confident and very clever ship's captain, rather like a Very-Sure-Of-Himself captain from an earlier century. Don't know where the Powers That Be want to go with her, but I think she's reached a stage of her development -- thanks to Our Friendly Authors -- to allow her to take the stage with Picard, Riker, Cisco, and Kira as a complex character who merits, and can sustain, novels focusing on her. She needs someone to be her Spock, too. I don't think Sam has that in him, at least as portrayed to date.

    Also like the way that the slipstream drive is being handled. When it was introduced, I worried that it was just a gimmick to allow starships to go zipping around the galaxy at really cool speeds. That, alone, doesn't really do much for the stories. Instead, it's being portrayed as a military advantage for the Federation, and very likely a short term advantage.
     
  12. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Just finished Chapter 20. Can't believe the Romulans fell for the same trick at Nelvana Three. :rommie: Guess Marius isn't as experienced a commander as Tomalak. And Julian shouldn't be surprised that Sarina can quickly improvise a cover story. She wouldn't be on the mission if she wasn't well-trained, and her genetically enhanced intellect allows her to catch on quickly. Perhaps he's still remembering the naive girl from seven years earlier.

    I'm liking some of the revelations about the different Breen species.
    i.e. the Silwaan, the Fenrisal (I'm now picturing the Family Guy episode with the alternate universe where dogs were in charge). I am deducing that the Breen in the prison camp with Worf, Martok, Bashir, and Garak was an Amoniri.

    The Breen Confederacy seems like the complete antithesis of the Federation. The Federation embraces Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations while the Confederacy forces its citizens to hide their differences out of fear of prejudice. Sounds like a good dystopia premise to me. :vulcan:
     
  13. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Just got the book! Here are my thoughts so far:

    I was at first VERY concerned that the book would outdate and invalidate my tale in the Fanfic Forum, "A Rendezvous With Destiny", (set between "A Singular Destiny" and this book). Fortunately, it hasn't, really.

    Ezri's attempt in their scene alone together to apologize to Julian for everything--and the "setting" she creates for it, with the "romantic evening" and all--flows astonishingly well with her arc in my tale!

    (Mr. Mack...by all means feel free to PM me on this, but...are you silently reading in the FanFic forum, by any chance...? :))

    Of course, before she can get it all off her chest, it all blows up in smoke, what with Ezri making the unfortunate slip about Julian's feelings for Sarina being a "crush"--and Julian, obviously interpereting her remark as jealousy, gets defensive at her, swearing it's love!

    (Oy, vey, is Julian in for a rude awakening, when he discovers Sarina is just USING him....)

    And then, Ezri--correctly, mind you--expresses concern that he's having a conflict of interest in this mission, and probably should not have taken it. Julian gets more defensive--interestingly enough...the same way that Ezri got all set off in the beginning of Mission Gamma: This Grey Spirit--and drives Ezri to frustration (which strikes me, in effect, as a kind of "Dang it, Julian, I am bearing my soul here, and the LEAST you could do is listen to me!!!"), to the point of her doubting his abilities as a spy--

    And Julian storms out. *sigh*

    I can just imagine what Ezri goes through in that scene--it's written in Julian's POV--and the aftermath. I wouldn't be suprised if, after Julian leaves, she breaks down completely into sobs of frustrated anguish and faliure at her blowing it so terribly.

    Also...skimming through the book...does Ezri have a scene with her POV after this? Because, interestingly enough, she doesn't seem to--or at least, nothing expressing her innermost thoughts....

    I'd agree, for the most part. Still...poor Ezri. :(

    I will say that Mack has continued in giving Ezri some brief "quirks" (like her grabbing Julian and Sarina's arms to escort them to their quarters) that tell us this is still the cute, lovable Ezri we know and love--just more dang awesome! :techman:

    And yes...she seems very much like a female James T. Kirk, as far as command style is concerned. :)

    Interestingly enough--she may not have a "Spock" in her crew, per se, but I'd imagine Sam and Dr. Simon Tarses as being something of a joint McCoy for her (of course, she interacts with Sam a heck of a lot more...).

    Those of you who've read my stuff know what I'm talking about. ;)


    Anyhow--loving it so far, despite the big explosion between my favorite Trek-couple. Looking forward to see how it all turns out--despite his current relationship with Sarina--

    who, of course, is faking the relationship to manipulate Julian.

    Hmm...I'm REALLY looking forward to see how Julian will react when he finds out she's been lying to him, and tricking him into falling in love with her.
     
  14. MNM

    MNM Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I finished reading it today. I enjoyed it, maybe it was slightly less great than I anticipated it would be, but still very good.

    The Breen stuff and the cold war with the Typhon Pact was interesting and done well.

    That said I felt parts of the book were slightly rushed. Esepcially nearer the end of the book a lot of things seemed to come and go quickly.

    Second, I didnt like Sarina. And when I dont like a character like that I skip past the sections they are being focused on, and found myself skimming through a few pages. I dont want to say I felt she was out of character as she was only in two episodes, one a timid mute and I would be lieing if I said I remembered enough of the second episode to compare her personality. I actually thought, for a good chunk of the book, she would be a traitor and Bashir would end up killing her. I am glad it didnt go that way though.

    My main criticism though was that there was not nearly enough Dax/Aventine.

    Overall though I did enjoy it and am looking forward to more Typhon Pact books.
     
  15. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    That sounds more like Jack Bauer than Julian Bashir. :p

    As for Sarina, I think she now has more in common with the real-life Faith Salie (really loosey-goosey like this undercover operative stuff is second nature), having seen her on Unhappily Ever After, Significant Others, The Red Eye, and Treehugger TV. But I am certainly hoping and praying that what's being exploited is Julian's obsession with vanquishing Section 31, culminating in the 25th century backstory of "The Good That Men Do."
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  16. justcorbly

    justcorbly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Nah. Bashir behaved like an adolescent. After he stomps out, I suspect she swears at him, gets mad, and finishes her dinner, congratulating herself on leaving the guy behind. Can you see Dax being a starship captain while dragging that not-quite-grown guy around with her?

    Pretty hard for me to use that adjective with Dax. I didn't see any sign she's pining for Bashir or regrets her choices.

    I thought the linked arms bit was pretty contrived on her part, not at all spontaneous. I also think that Ezri is in control of the "cute, lovable" facets of her personality and, as a captain, deliberately deploys them to her advantage. In the conversation with the Romulan commander, for example.
     
  17. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Honestly? I think the scene was a bit rushed--it blew up far too quickly to be believable...and Julian's outburst was kinda out-of-character. Still, there may be a story behind that--because, as I said, Ezri gave a similar outburst in This Gray Spirit. There may be a story there.

    The entire scenario--that Ezri invites him into her quarters, is out of uniform when he arrives, gives the whole setting--food, wine, and decor--a clear "romantic" motif.

    And of course the implications of Ezri's reactions:

    On this second one...whatever makes Ezri assume from this that Julian has a crush on Sarina?

    Also, the fact that she over-reacts a bit from the news...it really implies for me that she still has feelings for him.

    Absolutely not. That completely contradicts her character in general, and the buildup in that chapter in particular.

    Whether it's "controlled" or not, she still has those qualities.

    BTW...why did she "contrive" that gesture, unless, as Sarina later points out, Ezri still feels something--immensely? It smack almost of desperation on her part, telling herself that seeing Julian and Sarina together was not what it looked like....
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  18. justcorbly

    justcorbly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Admittedly, I've never paid that much attention to Bashir. But, certainly in this book, and in others about their breakup and the aftermath, Bashir comes across, at least to me, as a whiney little guy who hasn't learned to how to lead his own life. His angst about the genetic enhancements has always seemed to me misplaced and out of character for Trek. He lives in a universe full of people with artificial and genetic enhancements. Most seem grateful they have them and are alive because of them.

    If it wasn't for their previous relationship, would you assume Ezri had romantic intentions because she dressed in her civvies and served wine at dinner? Wine at dinner seems pretty mundane, and I don't think it's been established that Starfleet personnel signal romance by wearing civilian clothes.

    Getting clued into Bashir's feelings for Sarina, given knowledge of his earlier infatuation with her, is something that even Data could have managed. Given what we know of Sarina's appearance and appeal, it's pretty safe to assume that about any male in her company.

    OTOH, maybe that's what the author intended. If so, it didn't work for me. A straight interpretation -- that Ezri wanted to host a private dinner so she could apologize for how she treated him -- an indication of her maturity -- only to see it backfire when his behavior triggered them both into assuming their old adversarial roles -- works for me.

    Getting mad and swearing after Bashir stomps out may have contradicted who she used to be, but she isn't that person any longer. The notion of Ezri wallowing in misery and going on a crying jag after that scene is completely out of tune with how she has behaved since, for lack of a better term, she grew up.

    And I'm happy she did. I didn't like the old Ezri very much. The new kickass version is much better.
     
  19. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^no idea what you guys are talking about but i like what i read. should be getting my copy tomorrow or monday.

    meh, i like both ezri's. both have some lovable character traits. cant wait until i read the entire scene. i always hoped they get back together, guess thats getting further and further away now.

    guess we gotta stick to fanfic, eh Rushbo? :)
     
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Yeah...speaking of which, I've a new idea in mind--based heavily on this. Look for it in a few weeks, if not sooner. :)