Typhon Pact: Should I keep going?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Destructor, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Hello fellow readers,

    I took a bit of a break from TrekLit after finishing the Destiny trilogy- I thought it was great, but after pounding through the TNG relaunch and all of the Titan books up to that point, I needed a little breather.

    So I had my breather, and got back into it by reading 'Losing the Peace' and then 'Zero Sum Game'. Was thoroughly bored by both. I had to go back and read the synopsis of Losing the Peace to see if I had read it or not, and even after reading that I still could barely remember it- not a good sign. ZSG took me many months to read, which is always the sign of a book that has failed to grip me (usually it takes me about a week).

    I'm trying to figure out if this is a problem with the books, or me, and could use your help. Is the next book in the series (Seize the Fire) more highly regarded than ZSG? Is it a 'return to form'? Or is ZSG quite highly regarded, and I just need to take a longer break from Trek Lit? I love the Trek universe and want to keep on reading, but if it's as much as a slog as the last two were, I don't think I'll bother.

    Thoughts for/against welcome- thanks.

    -Dan
     
  2. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Didn't like Seize the Fire, but I DID like the other two initial Pact books, Paths of Disharmony and Rough Beasts of Empire. The books are also pretty stand alone, so you can skip Seize if you wanna.
     
  3. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    The 4 original Typhon Pact novels have had mixed reviews. Personally, I love RBoE. PoD and ZSG were okay, and Seize The Fire was just crap. But, that's my opinion.

    Novels like Plagues of Night/Raise The Dawn, and now Brinkmanship, have been very good. Especially Plagues of Night and Raise The Dawn, a duology wrapping up some plotlines from RBoE, but also giving us some very good character development for some of our most beloved DS9 characters, rate as two of the best TrekLit novels as of late.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Losing the Peace is only peripherally connected to the Typhon Pact series.

    Each of the first four Typhon Pact novels focused on a different Pact member. Zero Sum Game focused on the Breen; Seize the Fire on the Gorn; Rough Beasts of Empire on the Romulans and the Tzenkethi; and Paths of Disharmony focused on the Andorians (not a Pact member, obviously) and how they were impacted by something the Tholians did.

    After those four, there's the eBook short novel The Struggle Within, which focuses on the Kinshaya and the Talarians (whom the Federation is courting as an ally).

    From there, the duology Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn is essentially a political thriller about the Romulans, internal divisions within the Pact, and how those divisions cause a flare-up with the Federation. Brinksmanship, the most recent Typhon Pact novel, focuses on the Tzenkethi, and is a sort of "Cuban Missile Crisis"-style political thriller about, well, escalation and political brinksmanship.

    These novels are all intensely political. They tend to focus on thematic concerns related to moral ambiguity, espionage, black ops, political manipulation, the struggle for the upper hand, and the ways in which attempts to seize a military advantage without provoking the other side to all-out war can spiral out of everyone's control.

    Of these novels, Rough Beasts was controversial when it came out but has been more positively re-evaluated since Plagues/Raise, its nearly direct sequels, came out. Paths of Disharmony was generally well-received except for its finale, which caused some controversy. The Struggle Within and Plagues/Raise were very well-received, and Brinksmanship seems to be getting good reviews. Really, the only Typhon Pact novels that's generally seen as mediocre was Seize the Fire, which you can safely skip if you wish.

    In general, I would say that if novels that focus on international relations and political thrillers, and/or are morally ambiguous, are not your thing, you may not enjoy the Typhon Pact series. Typhon Pact is very much a series about how a former hegemon that has been reduced from hyperpower status copes in a world with a powerful rival alliance, and about how that alliance's internal conflicts shape its relationship with the former hegemon. It's a very Cold-War-meets-post-Iraq-War-America-with-a-dash-of-John-le-Carre kind of series.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I thought Zero Sum Game was okay, Paths of Disharmony disappointing and Rough Beasts of Empire excellent. Seize the Fire is next of my Titan list, but after all the bad comments I'm in no rush to get to it.

    Your enjoyment of Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn depends on your opinion of RBoE. I liked them, but not as much as I did RBoE.

    I say try Rough Beasts of Empire, but if you find you're not enjoying that, quit.
     
  6. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As others have mentioned, the initial wave of Typhon Pact books are a mixed bag. I thought that Zero Sum Game was an entertaining read. Rough Beasts of Empire and Paths of Disharmony were pretty decent, but not amazing. Seize the Fire was very disappointing. The more recent entries seem to have stepped up quite a bit. Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn are outstanding. I haven't read Brinkmanship yet but it's next on my list.
     
  7. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    Plus aside from TOS,where are you to go outside of TP books if you want to stay current in Treklit?Both TNG and DS9 seem to be heavily immersed in the Typhon pact arc.
    Titan?Okay not as much and personally speaking I just don't have the mental energy to face the resurrected Janeway in the Voyager books.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This is a pervasive misconception. Only about 1/3 of the post-Destiny novels to date (including David Mack's upcoming trilogy, I believe) focus on the Typhon Pact.
     
  9. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    An important 1/3 I'm sure you will agree.
    I'm determined that someday Christopher,we will agree on something.
     
  10. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Rough Beasts of Empire is pretty good, although the Sisko storyline established there doesn't pay off until Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But not the only important thing in that era. You asked "where are you to go" to stay current, and the fact is, there are other places to go. And "current" with what? It's not as if Trek Lit only has one "important" story focus at a time. It's never worked that way. The goal has always been to have multiple separate threads running in parallel, as well as standalone novels -- something for everyone, so that different people can choose to focus on different things according to their tastes. Certainly the Pact narrative and the Voyager series have emerged as the most prominent ongoing post-Destiny threads, but they're not alone. We've got Titan, we've had a couple of DTI books, we've had Indistinguishable from Magic, and we've got the upcoming Cold Equations -- the middle volume of which may include the Pact to an extent, judging from its blurb, but the rest of which does not focus on them. It's still a big universe with plenty going on.
     
  12. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a big Sisko fan, and I loved the daring direction DRG took with him in RBoE, and loved the continuation in PoN/RtD even more!

    But I do see how other fans were upset. So yes, I do suggest that you read all three of them, to get the entire picture.
     
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well Titan sort of crashed with 'Seize The Fire', which was Titan's entry in the Typhon Pact novels so far, and then took a huge stumble with its most recent entry, which was still a continuation of Seize.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Of the Typhon Pact books I've read, I though Zero Sum Game and Rough Beasts of Empire were outstanding, while Paths of Disharmony was very good. I own all of the rest, but I've only read the first couple chapters of Plagues of Night. After all of the bad stuff I've heard about Seize the Fire I'm not real eager to read it. I own, so I probably will eventually, but it's pretty low on the to read list.
     
  15. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    I'm finding that the totality of the "Typhon Pact" arc is better than the sum of its parts.
     
  16. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As a die hard Niner I fully admit RBoE was a tough one for me to like. It wasn't until PoN & RtD that I came to my senses.

    As for the rest of the 'series' I've been extremely pleased, they've been fun stories. For me at least.
     
  17. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I'm feeling the general consensus is that I should continue, but that I can skip STF if I please.

    Q: Would that leave me out of step with the next TTN novel? I generally like the series.
     
  18. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Taken from the poll numbers Raise the Dawn is the most acclaimed 24th-century novel to be released since Destiny. Plagues ranks highly as well, while Brinkmanship still beats out Paths. While you have to be careful trusting these numbers due to the relatively small sample sizes, they suggest that the more recent Pact entries have been better-received than the earlier ones.

    As for Size the Fire, yes, Fallen Gods follows on from it. However both books have been received generally poorly and currently close out the ranking in that order.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And pardon the blowing of my own horn, but TrekMovie voted Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within the best short story or novella of 2011, and even called it the "clear winner... for all Star Trek fiction in 2011."
     
  20. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I wish I could get a paper version of it :confused:.
     

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