Spoilers ENT: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference by C.L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Aug 23, 2017.

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Rate Patterns of Interference

  1. Outstanding

    9 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. Above Average

    16 vote(s)
    38.1%
  3. Average

    8 vote(s)
    19.0%
  4. Below Average

    6 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. Poor

    3 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I gave it a below average. So disapointing. I was looking forward to reading this. All the plotlines were weak and two of them were meaningless. I guess having a recent trek book explain section 31s downfall and history took the wind out of the books sails.
     
  2. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, positives and negatives (because I'm lazy)

    Positives:-
    * Tuckers characterization. You can really feel the poor guys dilemma.
    * The feeling you can never be too sure about Section 31. Even though I don't agree with them I have to say they put the Obsidian Order, the Tal'shiar and Klingon Intelligence to shame.
    * Devna's character development.
    * Reed gets a love interest! Yay!
    * Hoshi coming to terms with her confused feelings.
    * The Trees! Always love an interesting Alien race.

    Negatives:-
    * The story does feel like a filler.


    Got to say, one of the things I love about Rise of the Federation is the use of the Orions as antagonists. In the last few years it's really struck me how peculiar it is that they didn't appear more in the show and it feels like a missed opportunity.

    So yes, I love how CB has developed the politics of this era. It feels "realistic" and totally organic.

    By the way, does anyone know if they've sorted out the issues with the Columbia yet? I might have missed that paragraph.
     
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  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, I changed my mind. I HOPE Garos lives long enough to see what eventually happens to Maluria. And I hope he's there when it goes down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  4. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

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    Fnished it, and while I did like it, I'm a bit burned out on Section 31 and Maltuvis (so tempted to use Ruiz's favorite word for him.) I think around the middle all that got me through those sections was looking forward to what Hoshi was up to, along with Archer, Reed, Caroline, Val and Sam. Oh and I do what to see what happens with Devna.
     
  5. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She gets caught in the Delta Triangle, and becomes Interpreter of Laws on the Elysian Council.
    Of course, how she gets there is anybody's guess at this point.
     
  6. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

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    Yes, that's what I meant, we don't know how and when she got there. Or if Maras ever caught up with her...

    Forgot to mention - Porthos dying made me cry, and reminded me of when I lost my cat, Angel.
     
  7. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I didn't realize she was an existing character from the trek mythos. Then again its been a while since I watched TAS.
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just finished. Looks like a few arcs are closed. A reasonable explanation why Section 31 disappeared for a century or more. I was waiting to see when and how the "death" of Tucker would occur. Did not expect a temporary Devna/Tucker relationship to continue. Will the death of Porthos cause Archer to get married?
     
  9. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    I don't recall if this had been brought up, but what can be gathered from the lack of "ST:ENT - RISE OF THE FEDERATION Will Continue" blurb at the end?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Only that I forgot to put that in the manuscript. It was always something I did myself, voluntarily, and I guess I overlooked it this time.

    Although it may have something to do with the fact that I didn't (and still don't) have a contract for a sixth book yet, and I didn't want to promise something prematurely. Not because I think it won't happen, but just because it would've been jumping the gun.
     
  11. RonG

    RonG Captain Captain

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    That's encouraging to hear (well.. read). :hugegrin:
    By the way Christopher, do you have a defined narrative arc in mind for the Rise of the Federation series?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I have some general ideas of things I want to happen sooner or later, but they're subject to change, as future plans always should be. For instance, I always knew Caroline Paris would get her own ship sometime before 2167 and that she'd get romantically involved with Reed, but it wasn't until I began plotting Patterns of Interference that I decided she'd end up taking command of Pioneer. I always planned for Kimura's injury and Hoshi's temptation in the wake of it, but the specific circumstances of those events came later. And I always planned to show Archer pushing for the Prime Directive in the wake of some major crisis resulting from interference, but I originally thought that was going to be about Maltuvis and Sauria. Once the Partnership arc ended up where it did, I realized that had to be the trigger event, so that plot happened sooner than I'd expected.
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Final read the annotations. Always interestimg, Christopher.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just finished the book and have to say I really enjoyed it. I'll have a longer review up soon but some initial thoughts:

    1. I assume the idea women's rights are backpedaling in the human colonies is an explanation of why Captain Pike (and Kirk to a lesser extent) is a bit closer to the attitudes of the Sixties versus the modern era? If so, it's a very clever little bit.

    2. Nice inclusion of a trans character which felt organic and appropriate for the setting.

    3. I think it's interesting that Archer really can't bring himself to do anything but go all out for whatever he does morally. The Prime Directive, we know is something that is observed more in violation than obedience and with good reason. Yet, he's adopting a very extremist position on it despite the fact so many people he saved would be killed otherwise.

    4. Is Archer's comment, "You'd have to be an idiot to think letting a species die is better than interfering" a rib against Dear Doctor or Picard and the supernova? Or both?

    5. When Morgan brought up the "tyrants keep people divided by keeping them hating each other more than others" I kept waiting for a Captain Proton reference because that was Ming the Merciless' whole deal. I also noticed in the previous book Captain Proton and Flash Gordon exist side by side--which surprised me.

    6. Garos really is an awful spymaster. I wonder if anything could have persuaded him to change his views but he seems a living embodiment of the sunken cost fallacy. Even though all of his allies are completely against him and his cause, he refuses to believe they're a worse choice than the Federation or even going it alone.

    7. I like the view Section 31 is a relatively small organization and run by a single man (even though we know it's part of a bigger computer-run tyranny) as that makes more sense to me. Its less the CIA and more Treadstone/Black Friar from the Bourne Identity.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That was the intent, yes, but I think I've seen similar ideas expressed in earlier Trek novels (maybe one by the Reeves-Stevenses, though I'm not sure).


    I don't think his position is extremist at all. On the contrary, he's insisting that it should be applied moderately, with an awareness of Starfleet's own fallibility as a reason to resist imposing their will on others. One of Shran's main arguments against it is that Archer is too optimistic that it won't be taken to unhealthy extremes in the future, with people losing sight of the point and thinking it entitles them to allow the extinction of civilizations that "aren't ready" for contact. Sadly, Shran is entirely right about what will happen -- see "Pen Pals" and "Homeward" -- but Archer's main fault is having too much faith that future generations' insight into the purpose of the Directive and moderation in its application will match his own.


    It's a rib against the TNG version of the Directive in the episodes I cited just above.


    I was thinking of a far more real present-day authority figure.


    I was unsure whether I wanted to treat Captain Proton as a real 1930s serial or a 24th-century pastiche thereof, but I think the evidence in Voyager leans toward the former.


    His cause is the good of Maluria. He'll take advantage of any alliance that he believes will benefit that, even with those whom he finds ideologically repugnant. He'll even work with the Federation on a case-by-case basis if he thinks it'll help Maluria. But he fears that actually allying with the Federation would leave Maluria too much at the mercy of outside forces against its own best interest.


    Well, more like a single core group of conspirators with Harris at the head.
     
  16. BuckBokai

    BuckBokai Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Really enjoyed the novel. Not my favorite of the Rise of the Federation series but thats more a compliment to some of the other novels than a knock on this one. As always, enjoyed reading the annotations afterward as well. Hoping for news soon about the next one being confirmed!!
     
  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE: PATTERNS OF INTERFERENCE is the sixth novel in the Rise of the Federations eries by Christopher Bennett. It's a novel I was expecting to eventually be written but was actually surprised to cover the issue I thought, which is, "How the Prime Directive came to pass." It's not an immediate creation and will probably take many in-universe years to become law but the groundwork is laid and we know how it's going to end up.

    In actuality, the Prime Directive business is less of an issue than the fact this shows how Section 31 in the 22nd century is dealt with. Standard Star Trek lore implies Section 31 exists in secret for over two centuries with no one realizing it exist. That's, of course, ludicrous because if it's the CIA then it would make perfect sense but this is apparently a conspiracy which people like Admiral Ross is aware of.

    There's an old saying the only way to keep a secret between three people is when two of them are dead. So, it was always ludicrous that Section 31 seemed to be hidden from everyone else. Christopher Bennett gives a decent enough explanation how it can exist seemingly for two hundred years without anyone picking up on it. *hypocrisy nod* I say this as someone who wrote books about conspiracies which lasted millennium.

    I think it's interesting how Trip Tucker has changed over the course of the books from being the likable Southern Friend Engineer to a ruthless secret agent. Essentially, his role in this book is attempting to frame Section 31 for an act of terrorism in hopes of getting the Federation to crack down on them. It's exactly the sort of tactics which Section 31 would be condemned for by Julian Bashir (somewhat hypocritically as the episode he goes against them involved kidnapping and torturing an agent with a mind probe--all in the name of the greater good of course).

    I think Christopher Bennett does a good job with also commenting on the contemporary politics issue of "blowback" which is something the United States is dealing with and will continue to deal with for probably the next century. The Federation supported a local dictator financially and turned a blind eye to his actions in exchange for dilithium and now he's become a threat to their interests as well as regional stability. It's a little TOO on the nose but also woefully believable.

    I was a big fan of the Orion girl Devna in previous books and am interested in her continuing role in the story, especially as she remains one of the still vanishingly small LBTG characters in Star Trek. I also like the way she plays off of Trip despite (or perhaps because) of the fact there's nothing romantic going on there. Her continued growth as a person is something I've enjoyed following, especially as so much of it isn't do to our heroes' role in her life but her own questioning of how Orions do things. It's almost a shame we know she's going to end up trapped in an interdimensional rift.

    The characters of Val Williams and Sam Kirk continue to entertain as her father doesn't much care for the latter as he's too "wimpy" in the Bruce Banner sense for him. I found it a believable bit of romantic tension as it is an all too familiar pattern for both real life and nerd fiction (see BBT's Penny and Leonard). The fact they're eventually going to have George Kirk (who I assume still looks like Chris Hemsworth) as a grandchild as well as James T. Kirk makes it all the more funny. I also appreciated Captain Paris and Reed's discussion of child-rearing with the fact, "Yes, in fact, some women DON'T want children."

    The book has a number of digs at the Prime Directive I enjoyed and I hope we'll see the events of "Dear Doctor" among other Archer violations of his proposed law covered in future volumes, which isn't a suggestion on my part so much as an observation since they were mentioned as one of the slanders against Admiral Archer's character by the Orions so we know we have to revisit that sometime. I think Christopher has set up a wonderful bunch of foreshadowing for the next book. I also note poor Porthos' passing in this book moved me--I'm a dog owner myself and was totally with Archer here.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, he attempted to frame them for planning an act of terrorism, which he intended to expose before it was actually carried out. So in theory, no lives would be lost. The problem was, if his plan didn't go perfectly, then a lot of lives could've been lost. So he was taking a reckless gamble.
     
  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also liked the inclusion of Transwarp Transportation technology from the Kelvinverse. I assume Flint was a bit more generous in that reality.

    :D
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We've seen plenty of other forms of interstellar transporter over the decades. The Triskelions and Kalandans had them in TOS, the Dominion had them in DS9, DaiMon Bok had one in TNG: "Bloodlines," and two different Delta Quadrant cultures had them in "Displaced" and "Concerning Flight." There was also the Sikarians' trajector in VGR: "Prime Factors," based on folding space. Even Emory Erickson was experimenting with interstellar transportation in the ENT era, though he couldn't get it to work.

    And don't forget, the Kelvin Timeline only got transwarp beaming because Spock Prime passed along the knowledge from the Prime universe. "Transwarp beaming" is probably based on one of those earlier forms of interstellar transporter.
     
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