TTN: Synthesis by James Swallow Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Julio Angel Ortiz, Oct 18, 2009.

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Grade "Synthesis"

  1. Excellent

    32 vote(s)
    35.2%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. Average

    13 vote(s)
    14.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    2.2%
  5. Poor

    5 vote(s)
    5.5%
  1. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    So is the slipstream drive.

    Also, I never watched Andromeda anyway. Nor do I read New Frontier. So...

    Geeze...who the hell voted poor?
     
  2. Julio Angel Ortiz

    Julio Angel Ortiz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I know, I'm curious. I went back to edit but it's too late. Mods, you have my permission to edit the option to show everyone who voted. I should have checked that off in the first place.
     
  3. Rosalind

    Rosalind TrekLit's Dr Rose Mod Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    we'll just have to live with this one, only admins can change poll options, it's one of the rare things vB isn't good at.
     
  4. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I voted "average" - some nice ideas but some fairly predictable outcomes (the life journey of the Ship's AI for example).
     
  5. MNM

    MNM Captain Captain

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    May 23, 2007
    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Only by name, Slipstream in the Andromeda universe is very different than slipstream in the Trek universe.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    ^And neither of them has anything remotely to do with what the word "slipstream" actually means (i.e. the turbulent wake behind a propeller or the area of reduced pressure behind a fast-moving vehicle in air or water).
     
  7. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I wonder... which I do alot since I don't have a scientific background. As the slipstream corridor is generated via a starship's deflector dish (in essense projecting the corridor ahead of the ship to allow passage) could it then be said that the starship is moving through an area of "reduced pressure" behind the projection point?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    ^That would be a rough analogy at best, but it has a plausible ring to it.
     
  9. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I've only just started, but I'm glad that Pava the Andorian is getting bigger parts in the books, especially since I never got around to sending my "please include Pava in your Titan novel" e-mail to Mr. Swallow that I sent to the other Titan authors.
     
  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I have to say, this was a refreshing return to what I'd come to expect from the Titan series after the first three books! The characters were allowed to act out the story and draw the reader into it, including the Sentries' civilization, instead of the characters being subordinate to somebody's worldbuilding (a la Michael Crichton/CLB in Torrent Sea, or the A-plot of Sword of Damocles). While some science is always interesting and good to see, if there are no engaging characters, as far as I'm concerned there is no story.

    But in this book, even the AIs were engaging, and I found myself wanting to know more about their personalities and pasts, and caring about what will happen to them after the Titan moved on. In this regard, I have to disagree with the previous poster who said they wished the avatar had stayed instead of White-Blue: I think that in White-Blue there is sufficient material for a character that can be developed.

    And I'm just BURSTING with a story idea/connection that I know I can't share here, but I think there's real potential for what White-Blue could potentially assist with given his actions that we saw earlier in the story. If anyone (not a Trek author, of course) wants to know, shoot me a PM.

    Even as someone who found no compelling reason to read Destiny (I quit caring about the TNG relaunch awhile back), I thought it was excellent to examine the effects that the Borg Wars continued to have on the Federation as well as on specific individuals, and how that colored everyone's reactions to the Sentries.

    Now, as I'm sure everybody either knows or could easily guess, one of my favorite characters is Zurin Dakal, and I have to say, I really loved seeing how much more he's come into his own since his early difficulties trying to fit in. He still has that same quiet, introspective nature, but he seems a lot more confident in himself and that was wonderful to see. And I also appreciated seeing him used as kind of the "voice of reason" on multiple occasions instead of what could've been the stereotypical "Cardassian"--suspicious, ignorant of life outside the Union, and having a cavalier attitude towards life unlike his. That's a mistake I have seen a few authors make with him (using him for little other reason than to have him stick his foot in his mouth), and it was good to see things NOT go that way for him.

    I have to say, though, I felt VERY sorry for him when he got hurt, though! Just one question...was it just his hand/arm that was mangled by the transporter, or did he have other internal damage as well? Or if not, what was it that sent him into such bad shock later--just the trauma, or was it also putting a strain, say, on his circulatory or immune system to have his flesh merged with foreign material in that manner? (And THANK YOU for not killing him!)

    My one quibble, though, comes with the cover art--heck, I was actually leery about the content of the book because of the art! (A worry that thankfully, I was able to put aside.)

    I get the distinct feeling that, while the art was quite attractively done from an aesthetic standpoint, that the artist did not actually read the book and was trying to play Synthesis as a genre that it's not. Had he/she actually read the book, I think the discomfort Riker showed with the Minuet program and the avatar's form--especially given his love for Troi--would have been enough of a reason to NOT pose Riker and Minuet in that provocative manner that almost makes it look like Riker's contemplating a tryst. He was doing nothing of the sort; that's very clear from the book. And it was almost like the artist was trying to make the book look like a Harlequin romance, which it was not.
     
  11. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Which I didn't deny. To me, having the avatar just held more potential than White Blue.

    I'm pretty sure I know what you're getting at, and I had the same thought.

    On Zurin Dakal:
    I was a bit disappointed that his relationship with Hriss (or was it Hsuuri?) that seemed to start in SoD wasn't even mentioned.
     
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I kinda got the impression that Zurin may still have been too withdrawn at the time for that to happen. Their cultures, too, were VERY opposite: what I understood from Geoff Thorne was that Caitian culture suggested that sex was a particularly good way to help someone who's grieving. On the other hand, Cardassians seem to have very, VERY different rituals and expectations around such periods in their lives--elaborate funerals and if Zurin's any indication, for an unmarried Cardassian intimacy may not be something they want at that time.

    Oh, and Ayelbourne, I'm gonna PM you and see if we're indeed on the same wavelength with that idea.
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I finally managed to get my hands on the book while I was out shopping. I'm hoping to start it in the next day or two, and after what I've read here I can't wait. So far I've really enjoyed all of the James Swallow books I've read, so I'm pretty sure I'll like this one too.
     
  14. Annorax

    Annorax Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    vB 3.8.x doesn't save the way each voter voted if the poll isn't initially public. Once a poll is posted, it can't be made public.

    Actually, while the Titan avatar seemed more interesting and developed than White-Blue, keeping the avatar around would've probably turned the series into a bad joke at New Frontier's expense. The way it turned out wasn't bad at all.
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Eek...what would've been New Frontier-like?

    I stay AWAY from that series, so feel free to spoil me.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    I think it's probably old enough not to need a waring, so here goes. In one of the later books in the series, Robin Lefler's mother's body is fried and her consciousness joins with the ship. From that point on she's able to appear all over the ship as a hologram, and can control it with her mind.
     
  17. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Oh, I see. That WOULD be very similar.
     
  18. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>


    I have been reading NF since its inception, and of course knew this...but when you read that out loud, "...body is fried and her consciousness joins with the ship...", it just sounds ridiculous :(.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Doesn't most of the stuff in NF? Now I don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the series, but you've got to admit it's not exactly the most realistic of the Treks.
     
  20. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Titan - Synthesis: Discuss / Grade <SPOILERS>

    Absolutely. The crazy and fantastic always finds a way to shine in PAD's NF series. There are some things that stretch credibility, but that's one of the main reasons I love the series.

    The line in the Destiny trilogy (I forget which book) that states Calhoun and the Excalibur came up with some crazy way of saving a planet, and then Mack doesn't describe exactly what they did, was perfect. It seemed like a little shout-out to PAD that said, "...you decide how crazy it was when you eventually tackle this :p."

    But this is a Synthesis thread, so I'll let us get back on topic...:whistle: