TTN: Orion's Hounds by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Jun 9, 2014.

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Rate Orion's Hounds

  1. Outstanding

    17 vote(s)
    68.0%
  2. Above Average

    7 vote(s)
    28.0%
  3. Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    4.0%
  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Titan: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett

    [​IMG]

    [LEFT]Blurb:
    As the U.S.S. Titan ventures beyond the outermost reaches of known space, the telepaths in her crew -- including Diplomatic Officer Deanna Troi -- are overwhelmed by an alien cryof distress, leading the ship to the scene of a shocking act of carnage: a civilization of interstellar "whalers" preying upon and exploiting a familiar species of sentient spaceborne giants.

    Appalled but reluctant to rush to judgment, Captain William Riker and his crew investigate, discovering a cosmic spawning ground in a region of active star formation -- the ecosystem for a bewildering array of diverse but similarly vast life-forms. While attempting to negotiate an end to the victimization of these creatures, Riker's crew inadvertently grants them the means to defeat their hunters' purpose...only to learn that things are not exactly as they seem.

    Author's annotations

    __________________________________

    My review from 2006:

    A great novel.

    With Orion’s Hounds Christopher L. Bennett has brought the Titan series to a whole new level. Where the two opening novels didn’t fully used the obvious potential the series has, Bennett not only cashed in on this potential, but added much to the series and its protagonists. One character who has benefited from his work enormously is Tuvok, who more and more becomes my secret favorite of the series, simply because he has got more attention in the three Titan novels than in most of the Voyager series, both TV and literature. The scarred Tuvok is far more appealing to me than the often boring and too Vulcan Tuvok of Voyager. But most of the crew is characterized well, even Keru isn’t as annoying as usual. The only exception is, oddly enough, the captain of the Titan William T. Riker. Although he is one of the characters we know the most about, Bennett’s Riker remains somewhat bland and impersonal. His actions and reactions are those of any generic Starfleet Captain, if there wasn’t his marriage to Troi his place could have been taken by anyone. The “important” original characters are well defined, although at first you could think the Pa’haquel are just another “hunter-race”. But like the whole story their background is revealed step by step and the reader is learning it alongside the Titan-Crew. So the initial estimation that they are simple “bad guys” is altered toward a more balanced view while the story unfolds. Some of the other races in the alliance and the victims of the catastrophe don’t get as much attention, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,since I think the story would have been slowed down to much if all of the races would have been as much in the focus like the Pa’haquel. One other thing “Orion’s Hounds” achieves is that it sheds some light on the cosmozoan species, of whom we have seen a lot, but never learned much about before.

    Overall the first real highlight of the Titan series and maybe even the real pilot, since it’s the first adventure that fits the mission description of the Titan.
    [/LEFT]
     
  2. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    This is one of my favorite Titan novels by Christopher Benett. I really lked Will& Deanna's story arc in this book .And the references to the mysterious aliens from Encounter at Farpoint.
     
  3. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    I think Orion's Hounds is one of those novels I could go back to and re-read all the time, and still be amazed by the eco-system Christopher developed for this. It's simply amazing.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    OH is one of my favorite books of any type.
     
  5. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    This sums up my thoughts as well - I've put it on my to-read list for my summer vacation again. Orion's Hounds has been one of my absolute favorites from TrekLit since I first read it, probably second only to Articles of the Federation.
     
  6. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    I enjoyed it a lot. A grand slam IMO.
     
  7. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    The only top class Titan book, and really what I hoped the series was going to be all about, pure exploration into the unknown.

    Only things I didn't like were the name given to the farpoint entities species (without, admittingly being able to think of anything better myself), and the retcon of the crystalline entities species as not sentient - Datalore was on the other day and it seems clear to me that at least that one was supposed to be highly intelligent.

    But these are really minor nitpicks in a great book with a brilliantly constructed ecosystem for cosmozoans. I really love that kind of stuff, and only this and "where sea meets sky" really satisfactorily scratch that itch for me in Star Trek.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    Join the club. I wish I could've thought of a better name. I really tried.

    It's unclear, because "Datalore" is a pretty crappily written episode. Lore addressed the Entity as though it were sentient, but we never got any confirmation of that, and its behavior in "Silicon Avatar" was more animalistic. Of course, there's no absolute dividing line between the two. Lots of animals show aspects of intelligence -- or sentience in the correct sense of the word, self-awareness and the experience of qualia -- without being fully sapient in a human sense. Think of the Entities as something like wolves. Brain scans have suggested that domesticated dogs -- mutant wolves, essentially -- have cognitive activity and awareness comparable to that of a 3- or 4-year-old human child. But very few dogs can, say, invent moon rockets or time machines.
     
  9. dansigal

    dansigal Captain Captain

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    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    Very few huh? I'd be mildly interested in the meeting the one that invents a moon rocket, but really, point me to the canine father of the time machine!
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TTN: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett (Spoilers!)

    :lol:

    On the subject of canine intelligence, I'm left feeling rather bad, actually. My dislike of dogs is almost a running joke among my friends; I didn't realize they were possibly on the level of a four-year-old. I should be nicer to them...
     
  12. dansigal

    dansigal Captain Captain

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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm kind of the same way. I always used to fear/dislike dogs due to a childhood incident of being chased and terrified by a large dog, but in the past couple of years I've somewhat grown out of that stance due to staying with friends or family who had dogs. The main culprit being KRAD's Scooter, who's practically the size of a small pony but ridiculously friendly. I still don't deal well with loud barking -- or with any sudden, loud, threatening noises, really -- but I've largely gotten over my antipathy toward dogs (though I'm still much more of a cat person). And that news about their cognitive awareness was certainly part of it.
     
  14. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So ...

    For the moment Orion's Hounds has broken David Mack's everlasting rule of the top position in the TrekBBS ratings table.

    Will Christopher be able to survive the wrath of the Angel of Death ... :devil::guffaw:
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it's too small a sample size yet to be truly meaningful, but it's the first time one of my books has escaped that cluster around 4.3. So that's nice.

    Although OH also has the lowest Goodreads rating of my books on the chart so far. Interesting.
     
  16. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    I'm currently re-reading it, and almost finished.

    Something I either didn't notice the first time, or forgot: I like how different points of view are presented from... different points of view, if that makes sense. We seem to look at different angles of the problem through different eyes, so we have their POV unbiased. We get to see what everyone thinks without any judgement or value added, so we have a chance to choose who to side with, if at all.

    It's not something I see often in books.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I do try to get into my characters' heads and explore their different points of view. It can be an interesting exercise to explore a worldview very different from one's own -- though some characters' mindsets are not very pleasant to be in and I'm glad when it's over.

    One trick I like to use for exposition, which I actually used (approximately) in something I wrote just a few hours ago, is to write a scene from the POV of an alien seeing a human and comparing their appearance to what the alien considers normal, and thereby giving the audience a sense of the aliens' appearance by contrast. E.g. "The strange creature calling itself 'Kirk' was devoid of fur except on its head, which had eyes only on its front and oddly blunt teeth within its small, flat mouth. It somehow managed to keep its balance in an upright posture without any evident tail." Or something like that.
     
  18. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    I think those unpleasant (for me, so maybe not exactly the same) characters were the main reason why my attention was drawn to this POV narration. It felt like directly "talking" to someone I completely disagree with, rather than being presented with their point of view by someone who more-less shares my views.

    It's a good read, even if sometimes I feel like saying "You're full of bull, sir" to a character ;)