TF: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Dec 22, 2013.


Rate Peaceable Kingdoms.

  1. Outstanding

    18 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    41 vote(s)
  3. Average

    33 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
  1. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

    Feb 24, 2005
    That's what the spoiler warning in the thread title is for. Anyone who enters this thread and hasn't read the book yet (such as myself) does so at their own risk.
  2. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007

    Yes, I know what the rules say. None the less, a lot of poster will still show a little extra curtosy to those who haven't read yet, and still post in spoilertags. I find that actually shows a level of compassion towards a fellow fan.
  3. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 4, 2011
    I gave it a below average, it could've even been poor.

    I get that it was the last one in the series and ward had to conclude plot lines started by other authors ... But man this book is a deflating whimper. I expected the series to end with a bang especially after the two prevous great books. It was a struggle to read. It just plods along and then stops to recant some trivia about the past. Sometimes its good to give perspective background info, but for every trivial thing? All the time ... All the time ... All the time ... Yeah for me that's what it felt like reading the book. At that point it felt like ward was short on his word count and just filling in his quota.

    Not one bit of the book was interesting to read. The new characters introduced are dull and flat. The plot was Luke warm, but reasonably sound tying it together yet I could tell he struggled through it because as a reader it felt like I was wading through water.

    I don't know if wards hands were tied by the editors or what but I felt like the ending book could've done something more. There was an obvious theme throughout they couldve played on that more. Maybe have a divide between the hawkish war types and the peaceable types. Show it escalating within starfleet, the council and the politicians running for president. It reaches a point where the federation is starting to crack, maybe people expect a civil war, then somehow Picard brings it back ... Something grand, epic, an ending worthy of a five novel series.

    ... And that ishan reveal/surprise felt like a cheap cop out.
  4. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    Whilst I agree about many of the book's problems, I think this idea feels too hyperbolic - I don't think I could ever believe a civil war could occur in the Federation. At least not as the Federation is presented in the Pocket Books of the past decade or so (nor certainly as presented on television). Such a plot development would really require more than five books to reach that point.

    But I do wish we had seen more of varied points-of-view - such as Ro's hawkish stance in the earlier novels. Who were these hawks (other than compromised characters like Velk, Ishan and the SSec Admiral)? Some of the recap conversations also changed aspects of characterisation in the prior books in sometimes unfortunate ways, making opponent characters akin to the more cliche villains seen in Poisoned Chalice and Peaceable Kingdoms. One example is the captain of the Warspite, who seemed to have changed from the overzealous hawk of A Ceremony of Losses into a potential conspirator in a conversation between Akaar and Riker (as in directly compared with Bashir's assassin). This is though Akaar knew in Losses that Unverzagt was receiving direct communications from the President in an official, if unconventional and (for him) frustrating, manner. However that change of tone regarding such characters I guess really occurred in Chalice?
  5. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 8, 2006
    Yes but i did like how the motivations were varied.
  6. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 4, 2001
    The black-ops SI team at the end - they were prepared to kill Starfleet officers, right? I was really surprised by that.
  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 9, 2008
    So was Captain Silent.
  8. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Such a wasted opportunity to really have a debate between the in-universe justifiable war hawk point of view. I wish they hadn't cartoonized and silenced the opposing viewpoint quite so strongly.
  9. Nays

    Nays Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Apr 11, 2004
    Haven't started the book yet, but I walked into steak and shake today with my girlfriend and saw a guy sitting there reading the book. I was pretty shocked and I had to resist the urge to talk to him about the series. Lol
  10. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Hmm... I liked the fast pace of the book and mysteries piling up in the first part. But then, as they started to reveal themselves and came to an end, I found it flat.

    When I was reading The Poisoned Chalise, I started - as I always do - trying to guess what's it's all about.

    I suspected Ishan to be a Cardassian disguised as a Bajoran. He changed his reality back in the Occupation times and now was working for the True Way to destroy the alliance with the Feds. Nope.

    Then I though he could be a Typhon Pact spy with the same goal. Nope.

    I also wondered for a while if he wasn't some last remnant of the Kohn Ma (sp?), set on destroying the bad bad Federation from inside out.

    Turning out to be someone set for the good of the Federation, even though in a misguided manner, somehow felt disappointing. Even his being a "simple" Bejoran collaborator, in spite of also being a Bajoran hero as he fought the Cardassians later, doesn't impress me.

    So, while I liked all five books, this one included, the solution didn't live up to the tension and atmosphere that had been built up to that point.
  11. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    I had similar thoughts during the read, but was rather glad he wasn't something so 'evil'. I liked that he was someone out for the good of the Federation with a mixed-up past - I just wished he had been more complexly presented. Not necessarily likeable or even charismatic, but not someone you want to see fall necessarily. How Ishan was referred to/appeared in Books 1-2, and somewhat 3, not at all 4-5?
  12. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Agreed. The conclusion was the weakest book of the series, which is unfortunate given the general quality. The epilogue with President zh'Tarash, showing us that the Federation is back in good hands, was appreciated (and certainly satisfying) but the build-up seemed to demand greater payoff. This series was rather uncomfortably balanced at times between having each novel serve as a standalone and forming part of a continuous story - as much as I loved the Kira portions of Revelation and Dust, for instance, none of it had any relevance to the wider plot. As an entry in the meta-arc of star Trek novels, that book was great; as an entry in The Fall, it seems a little out of place.

    I think the idea of Ishan Anjar was a good one, and a lot of what we had in Peaceable Kingdoms specifically and the series as a whole was interesting, potentially very provocative. Unfortunately, I can't say The Fall really pulled it off - or perhaps my expectations for Trek novels are simply too high by this point. From the start, I was actually hoping that Ishan wouldn't turn out to be "evil", that he would simply be an unpleasant political opportunist, unsuited for the office of president but fully legal and unconnected to any criminal actions. That preventing the Federation from heading down a troubling path would be harder than simply finding evidence that Ishan arranged Bacco's death, so discrediting him completely. It would indeed be convenient if you could shut down (what you perceive to be) disagreeable politics or dangerous trends simply by proving the politicians in question to be total frauds and murderers who have duped everyone. Having the assassination of Bacco come back to Ishan was thus a bit disappointing, though on the other hand his genuinely well-intentioned motive soothed the burn a little. I was relieved that he was pursuing an agenda perceived to be for the Federation's own good, rather than intentionally seeking to harm it.

    As with Ishan himself, the thematic exploration of the Federation's current internal tensions, its shifting worldview and self-examination (mirrored in the existential dilemma faced by their newest ally, Cardassia) was a rich and worthy topic that wasn't handled quite as well as it should have been. More exploration of the Cardassia situation in light of the Federation's influence might have been nice, and spread out more evenly across the series. As it was, we had four books about the Federation (oh-and-Cardassia's-sort-of-important) and one book about Cardassia (oh-and-the-Federation-is-sort-of-important). Again, the stand-alone Vs arc problem rears its head. The implications of Garak-as-Castellan really need to be explored, especially in a series that centres on a murderer and liar claiming power.

    Bacco's assassination worked as an effective hook for the series - I really like the character (the novels always did a fantastic job making her a respectable and likeable politician - I'd vote for her), and so her loss was genuinely meaningful to me. The series earns points here - the death wasn't for shock value, it served the story and its aftermath is a worthy topic for exploration. I'm also pleased that the long-running Andorian arc has been resolved - that was definitely the most welcome development by series end (besides, perhaps, Bashir having at last found peace with himself). Having invested in a story arc for a decade, it's nice to see it brought to an effective conclusion, and the confrontation in Andor orbit in A Ceremony of Losses was, for me, the highlight of the series. One of the relatively few times in Trek that the future of a major civilization truly hangs in the balance.

    It was also rewarding seeing Cardassia left in a better place than it's been since... well, since we've known them. Even if there is (perhaps?) an uncomfortable note of hypocrisy in there somewhere - namely, that it's okay to put a murderer and liar in charge of the government so long as he's on your side. Again, this was an area where the Federation-Cardassian relationship, and how each effects the other's self-perception, needed to be emphasised a bit more, I think.

    I've not done this before, but I'm going to rate each book out of 10.

    Revelation and Dust: 7/10. Beautiful book, but more effective as part of the larger Trek novel meta-arc than it is as the first of a miniseries. The assassination is handled well, but a lot of plot points - Kira, Odo, etc - are clearly set-up for new Deep Space Nine stories (yay), not this actual mini-series (boo).

    Moment that made me smile: Bacco and Sozzerozs exchanging baseball metaphors.

    The Crimson Shadow: 8/10. Another very well-written Una McCormack novel with an unusual focus. Beautiful prose, as expected with this author. Although I find the idea of Garak in charge to be a bit too "fannish" in concept, within the context of the novel 'verse's ongoing development, McCormack makes it work. Also, she gets a big thumbs up for remembering Parmak. My only real complaint is that the Enterprise crew sort of feel like they're just there, and don't have the impact of even the slightest minor Cardassian character (although Picard and Crusher did get some nice moments, admittedly).

    Moment that made me smile: Garak's letter to Bashir - "Hi. It's me. I'm not dead but I might be in charge of the government instead. More to follow". :lol: Classic! Garak must have enjoyed writing that one.

    A Ceremony of Losses: 10/10. Mack has a real gift for crafting complex and evocative situations where everything is going to hell and the stakes are huge, while keeping it personal and character-driven. Never is there an easy consequence-free answer or decision, even when you're committed to what you're certain is right. There's a stark, fierce beauty to the book (very Andorian, really). Mack always knows how to bring emotion and meaning into the complicated world of politics, he understands how people work and he paces things perfectly. I'm impressed as usual with how uplifting his books can be despite their inherent cynicism.

    Moment that made me smile: Shar and zh'Thiin as Pinky and the Brain.

    The Poisoned Chalice: 7/10. Well-written, but disappointingly lacking in many of the Titan characters. No Ree? No Ra-Havreii? At least Chaka and Sethe made an appearance. That said, those characters who were used were used well. I loved seeing Riker's promotion (please, please don't undo this) and Vale in command of her own ship. Vale's Magna Roman First Officer was a very enjoyable new character. The book had a real sense of solemnity to it; it took the situation seriously and was definitely the "darkest" entry in the series. Best scene: Troi trying to mollify the Andorians, after they're snubbed outside the memorial service on Luna.

    Moment that made me smile: Torvig: "Did we do something illegal?" I want to give that Choblik a hug.

    Peaceable Kingdoms: 5/10. Solidly written, and good use of Crusher, an oft-neglected character (Brinkmanship also made good use of her, so maybe that's changing). The return to exploration and the advent of the zh'Tarash administration were uplifting, so the conclusion was satisfying... the resolution to the Ishan issue wasn't as successful, though. Maybe it's my high expectations for Trek novels now, but I thought a lot more could have been done with this. Not a bad book by any means, but a weak conclusion.

    Moment that made me smile: "You're not going to quote Kirk to me again, are you?" Nice call back to the wonderful Losing the Peace, and (now that I think about it) a nice reminder that L.J Akaar was one of the characters to benefit the most from this series. I know that some Trek BBS regulars (KingDaniel, you come to mind) previously found him bland and uninteresting. Did this series redeem him in your eyes? I thought all of The Fall books presented him well.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  13. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    I found it sooooo unnecessary. That whole speech "we're 'gooder' than best" and "holier than angels" was grating on me. Everyone was so perfect, ready to SERVE, with a halo over their heads. How Federation of them. :rolleyes:

    Too cute, too sweet, too romantic-comedish-happy-endish for my taste.
  14. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 4, 2011
    They dropped that ball on that one. He's such an interesting and important character and they don't give him nearly enough page time.

    Especially at the end when Ward shows Garak appearing in front of the Federation council on the viewer telling them he has caught an important member of the True Way. It was just glossed over.

    Garak running Cardasia while trying to hunt down the True Way would've been a hell of a lot more entertaining than reading chapters upon chapters of Beverly Crusher searching through a former Bajoran mining camp ... so disappointing. Nobody really likes Beverly Crusher.
  15. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 4, 2011
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    I have feeling Picard likes her.:p
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    So, in other words, you don't think novels should describe their settings. Gotcha.

    In what way did they hurt the pacing? How would you structure them instead?

    1. Your framing of those scenes relies upon an implicit assumption that those Starfleet Security officers and that "one guy" -- himself a former Starfleet officer and Starfleet Intelligence operative and former Maquis fighter -- are not themselves elite. I think the novel made it clear that they are, in fact, elite officers.

    2. Nothing in this novel or its predecessors established that the mercenaries were "elite." If anything, the example of Blackwater I think rather proves that mercenaries are often undisciplined and unreliable; this is true in reality, and I see no reason why it wouldn't be true of Baras's personal "Blackwater."

    I am aware of no installment in the Austin Powers series wherein a ship sent out a false distress signal but was in reality rigged to explode if repairs were attempted.

    I am not familiar with the Mr. Bean series, and therefore cannot comment.

    I don't see what was particularly comedic about those scenes; I found them entertainingly tense and suspenseful.

    "In the Pale Moonlight" did the job of summing up the Federation's desperation to win the Dominion War in just a couple of scenes. I still think showing us the war in the "Station Occupation" arc at the start of DS9 Season Six was a good idea.

    Star Trek: First Contact did a good job of summing up Picard's traumatization by the Borg in just a few scenes. I still think it was a good idea to make "The Best of Both Worlds, Parts I & II."

    No. It also set up the new Deep Space 9, and set up Bashir's emotional arc in A Ceremony of Losses. Remember, part of Bashir's psychological process in deciding to rebel against Baras was seeing the President he had believed in, for whom in part he had committed murder for, die right in front of him. Bacco was one of the last few things about the Federation he still had faith in; her loss left him to perceive the Federation government as no longer possessing moral legitimacy.

    I don't think you and I have the same definition of "necessity."

    I don't think any particular novel or series has an inherent obligation to be "tight" or "loose." The story should be told in the manner the artist feels is best.

    You shouldn't. But you should have a better sense of perspective and proportion about what is and is not "the worst" in order to more adequately compare the quality of any particular work of art to that of the majority of works of art created in the world.

    Because if Revelation and Dust is one of the worst you've ever read, then you've never actually read a bad book.

    Thank you! I really am fascinated by discussions about what the political content of Star Trek says or argues about the political culture in real life.

    You know, there has certainly been a lot of foreshadowing for the past couple of years that Picard and Crusher were both feel like something had to change soon, like the lives they'd been leading were unsustainable somehow. And I can see where that might lead a reader to think that means Picard and Crusher leaving Starfleet.

    But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this makes perfect sense. Picard's and Beverly's development as characters do not come from their jobs or circumstances; it comes from their relationships and from how they feel about what they're doing.

    We're still seeing these characters grow and evolve as characters, because we're seeing them going on the journey that is parenthood, and it's clearly provoking a lot of changes in both of them. But more to the point -- what made both of them ultimately feel like their lives had become unsustainable was the kinds of missions they'd been sent on, which is a function of the kinds of TNG stories being told.

    The TNG novels post-Destiny have mostly been some kind of dark political thriller, and that's a very different kind of TNG story than what we saw on TV or in the films. And while these stories did provoke growth in the TNG characters, the TNG characters are at the end of the day not the sorts of people who would ever be happy living lives like that. The heart of Jean-Luc Picard is the explorer-student; he is a man who wants to learn about the universe around him more than anything else. That's how this character achieves self-actualization; that's how this character achieves growth.

    So it makes sense, really, for the TNG series, going forward, to refocus itself back on traditional exploration stories, and for them to become more optimistic stories. All that foreshadowing of the change in creative direction for the TNG novels made a lot of sense, in retrospect.

    Does warmongering ever really have any legitimacy?

    Every now and then, I play with the idea of a Federation civil war in my head. Inevitably, I conclude that you can't do it without fatally subverting the essential dramatic integrity of Star Trek. Star Trek, at the end of the day, is not Battlestar Galactica; it is a story about hope, not despair. It may at times be bittersweet, but that is not supposed to be its fundamental nature.

    Really, I think that Star Trek: Destiny got about as dark as you can get without killing Star Trek's soul.

    I didn't perceive things that way (and I don't remember that scene about Captain Unverzagt in Peaceable Kingdoms). If anything, I felt that what Peaceable Kingdoms established about the existence of a percentage of Starfleet captains who were moved up as a result of the Borg Invasion and consequently are more militant in their outlook, made Unverzagt's personality in A Ceremony of Losses make more sense. Before, I had simply taken him as being too blinded by his military obligation to obey his commander-in-chief -- too much of a "just following orders" sort of person -- to perceive the moral illegitimacy of his orders. In retrospect, though, it makes more sense to interpret him as someone who has embraced militarism because he feels that the Federation's peaceful foreign policy failed them against the Borg's existential threat. It helps explain why he seemed to be so easily willing to condemn Bashir and company as disloyal -- for militarism often blinds its adherents to what true loyalty means.

    1. Welcome back, Deranged Nasat! :)

    2. I think there are some important differences between...

    ... Elim Garak and Baras Rodiyra. For one thing, when Garak ran for Castellan, everybody knew about his past as an agent of the Obsidian Order. That means that everyone knew he had at some point in his career committed murder and other sentient rights abuses. Everyone also knew that he had suffered in exile, had not participated in Meya Rejal's faux-democratic regime, had helped topple the Dominion Occupation, and had helped establish Cardassian democracy under Alon Ghemor -- meaning that they knew that Garak had abandoned the militarism of the old regime and embraced liberal democratic values. All this information was on the table when the Cardassian people made their decision to elect Garak castellan. They knew who he was, they knew his sins, they knew his virtues, and they forgave him.

    And Garak did not murder anyone to come to power.

    By contrast, Baras Rodiyra kept his true nature secret. He did not pay for his crimes as Garak had paid for his in exile; he did not allow the Bajoran government to hold him accountable for his decision to collaborate with the Cardassian Guard; he did not face justice for the murders he committed during the uprising; and he did not even allow his true identity to be known to the people of the Federation. Elim Garak put all his past on the table when he ran; Baras wouldn't even let his fellow Federates know his real name.

    And Baras Rodiyra conspired to commit, by my count, 23 separate murders in his attempt to gain the Federation presidency (Bacco, Velk, 7 True Way assassins, Bashir, Daret and his friend, 4 members of the Enterprise away team to the Cereshta, and 7 members of Active Four). And of course, I may have forgotten someone.

    One could make the argument that Garak still deserves to go to prison for his crimes and should be banned from holding office; I can respect that view. Ultimately, it is a function of the difference between Cardassian democracy and Federation democracy -- the Federation is a mature democracy that can afford to exclude sentient rights abusers; Cardassian democracy would likely fall apart if it sought to exclude everyone who committed a sentient rights violation under the old regime.

    But there are still fundamental difference between Garak and Baras, and Garak's democratic mandate was not obtained by fraud and murder.

    I for one look forward to more stories about Castellan Garak from future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels. :)

    * * *

    My biggest complaint about Star Trek: The Fall?

    I think we learned too much too quick about Ishan's true nature in The Poisoned Chalice. I think the revelation that it really was Ishan behind Bacco's assassination should have been saved for Peaceable Kingdoms in an ideal world -- though I admit I'm not sure how that structure would have worked.
  18. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    All excellent points, Sci. I do agree that a direct comparison isn't justified (as usual you've made a very good case there, and I'm not disputing any of it), but I do think it's an issue that needs exploring, and I'm not convinced that the series delved quite as deep into the matter as it should. Not a fatal error by any means, but it leaves a slight uneasiness that, for me, detracts a little from the overall impact of the story. My description upthread is rather hyperbolic, I admit; certainly the series made absolutely no assertion that "it's okay if they're on our side", but such a conclusion could potentially be read into it if one wanted to, and I think that confronting those possible implications a bit more rigorously would have been useful.

    Personally, I'm impressed that McCormack made Garak's ascension to power so convincing. The very idea, "Garak leads the Cardassian government" is one of those concepts that, hearing it out of context, should leave you rolling your eyes, but The Crimson Shadow (and partially by building on Garak's established roles in earlier novels, of course) makes it work. Personally, I can buy that Garak has sought a personal redemption and can now be counted as a "hero", I can buy that Parmak and others have forgiven him, I can buy that the Federation and Picard see him as their favoured choice and recognise his admirable qualities, and I can buy that Cardassia is still, as you say, a young and fledgling democracy that realistically can't be anywhere near as picky as a more stable society would ideally demand. So I can't really fault the in-universe logic. I just think that thematically this needs to be dealt with further.

    As I said up thread, one of the weaknesses of the series in my view is that the Cardassians are central to the plot but only one (okay, one-and-a-half) of the books really tackle them extensively. The issue of Garak's murky past does come up in The Crimson Shadow - as Picard says, a complicated place, Cardassia - but isn't really important elsewhere.

    (Of course, my loyal followers in the Tzenkethi Coalition maintain that this is all a conspiracy by those treacherous and unstable Federates. Consider: the three powers allied with the Federation are all currently led by an individual who lived aboard a single Starfleet facility during the height of the Dominion War. While genetic miracle worker/rogue agent Julian Bashir was chief medical officer. Coincidence? I think not. I think the Federation has used its sophisticated medical technology to program these three individuals with strange Federation notions, then to maneuver them into positions of influence where they will eventually seize power and start transforming their nations into ideological extensions of the Federation. Deny it all you want, we see right through them). ;)
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I completely agree! I would love to see Una McCormack do a story about Cardassia continuing to come to terms with its past. The transitional justice efforts of post-conflict countries like South Africa, Argentina, Chile, etc., could all be mined for great drama. :)



    And not just that, but the current Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire was known to behave in a friendly and familiar manner towards Starfleet Captain John Harriman in 2311! And the current Gorn Imperator was put back into power by Captain Jean-Luc Picard during the war!

    Federation cultural imperialism!

  20. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    Of course it does, Sci. It has legitimacy in almost all moral systems (apart from pacifistic ones) and therefore will for almost all persons have a relatavistic legitimacy. There is no way to say, unless one is an absolute and fundamentalist pacificist, that warmongering cannot have a viable and potentially necessary place in one's foreign and domestic policy. Sci, I'm British and one of basic history lessons at school we debate over, and compare and contrast, is the militarism or the 1900s-10s and the lack of militarism of the 1930s in the face of rising fascism. There is no answer, of course, over what should have happened - but in that latter situation, British and French hawks were silenced when perhaps they should not have been. No conflict, no move to conflict, is of course a 'good/bad' action - it's a damning choice, but sometimes militarism is important because sometimes peace itself can be closer to unjustiable and burdened with a worse moral outcome. So, yes, I would argue that warmongering can and does have legitimacy (unless one is a pacifist with an acceptance of either their own, and their tribe's, death in the face of armed oppressors - or one is a pacifist who lets other nations and tribes and people be oppressed). (And this is not to say that the end product of a conflict is rosy or happy, but that sometimes its better to act in arms? and to do so, sometimes there needs to be a more militaristic mentality that can make it easier to take up arms?)

    Yah, that's what I would think too, but one of the problems of Peaceable Kingdoms is that it does this to the minor antogonists from the series, by telling us too much information without any depth in its endless summative conversations, and condensing more nuanced positions into rather simplistic analyses. Disregarding, as I said above (and which you disagreed with), any validity a hawkish perspective might have:

    I just hope readers and future writers will be kinder to Captain Unverzagt than his direct comparison with Lt Maslen will suggest by Akaar and Riker suggest. I think it's just a different tone and attitude from what Akaar said to the President at the end of Losses.

    Anyway, Sci, your comments are as always in-depth and interesting. I don't know what to make of Peaceable Kingdoms or The Fall at large yet: I enjoyed much of it, and liked the return to exploratory and optimistic values by the series' end. I also liked so much of the details within each book, the expansion of the world as it were that occurred with each text. And I completely agree that more Una McCormack Cardassian novels would be very fine.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014