Spoilers TOS: The Latter Fire by James Swallow Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Feb 11, 2016.

?

Rate The Latter Fire

  1. Outstanding

    11 vote(s)
    32.4%
  2. Above Average

    17 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Average

    6 vote(s)
    17.6%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    just started. Implicitly seems like a PD violation but I think the answer is not that straightforward.
     
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    The one thing that really bothered me with this book was the cover art. This is one of those book so era it felt like the cover art was just a piece of generic Trek art (in this case the Enterprise warping past the planet), and yet many times in the book it is said that that is not how the area the Enterprise is in looks like. But really, the cover art I find is really generic and not story specific.
     
  3. timothy

    timothy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    The Draco tavern
    Does anyone know who the cover artist is? :vulcan:
     
  4. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    UK
  5. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    I'm about a 3rd of the way through. Started off slow, but its really picked up steam.
     
  6. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Yes 100 in and more interesting. I have some speculation between the object's drive and the increase in rate of wsrp drive development.
     
  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Wow, I've never heard of him before, but he's done some covers for some pretty popular book series and movie posters for some pretty popular movies. Has he done other Trek book covers, I didn't see any others in his cover art gallery?
     
  8. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    I quite enjoyed this one. A classic Trek story of people starting off as enemies, but overcoming their differences to come together in friendship. A fitting theme for a 50th anniversary tale.

    I really liked the character of Kaleo. It's good to see Kirk being able to commiserate with a fellow captain, and see that, although they are from different worlds, their shared experiences bind them in a way that perhaps can't happen between a captain and their crew. (In that way, she actually reminded me a lot of Ael...) Add to that her first-season-Archer-like awe of the unknown, and her bravery with each new situation that was thrust upon her, and you have a very compelling guest character.

    (Is it wrong that I kept visualizing the Syhaari as 1960s-era Planet of the Apes-type characters, even though the only two Planet of the Apes movies I've seen in their entirety were the Tim Burton version and the more recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes?)

    Also nice to see a story featuring the TAS characters Arex and M'Ress. That doesn't seem to happen very often!

    It was also great to get to see Uhura get so much to do in this novel. It actually seemed a bit odd to see her out-sciencing Spock at one point, but I think that's because we're so used to seeing Spock as "Super Science Officer!" that it seems unusual to see someone else come up with something that he didn't. But if it gives Uhura more opportunities to shine, then I'm all for it! :D

    One thing that I thought was going to happen... in the scene with Zuur and her aide (ch'Sellor?), when they were going over the surveillance equipment, it kind of seemed more nefarious than just "this helps us with our diplomatic job", so I thought there was going to be some kind of reveal that They Weren't Who They Appeared to Be, but that never happened. It then seems a bit hypocritical of them to chastise Kirk for not following rules, while actively breaking them on their own.

    All-in-all, an enjoyable read. Oh... and I really appreciated the Forbidden Planet reference! :)
     
    lawman likes this.
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Uhhh, I take it you never read The New Frontier books. M'Ress and Arex are major characters in the series from Cold Wars, the 14th book in the series on.
     
  10. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    ^ Actually, I have. Sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant it doesn't seem to happen very often in a TOS novel.
     
    Jarvisimo likes this.
  11. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
    Good,engaging and brisk read.
    Nice to see McCoy at his Spock-baiting best.
     
  12. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Woodward, OK
    So would anyone who's had a chance to read this already let me in on what specifically were any connections to the rest of the Litverse in this novel? I know there are things hiding in there somewhere.
     
  13. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

  14. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I rather liked it.

    I would say that more could have been made of Chekov's departure.

    I would say that the Syhaari skill at replicating organic matter (particularly with feeding guests with their own replicated flesh) certainly constitutes a "Chekhov's Gun" that drove later developments.

    seemed for much of the book like Mr. Swallow was telegraphing; it was a good surprise when we found out that no, the leviathan wasn't reacting to members of its own species being held captive, in a copy of the ending of Encounter at Farpoint, but was being driven (and eventually driven mad) by a people who had been wronged.
     
  15. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    @ryan123450
    Short answer - Between the novel 'That Which Divides' and the animated episode 'Beyond the Farthest Star' as it has Chekov returning to Earth to finish his training and Lt. Arex signing aboard as the new navigator. Much is made of the fact that Chekov has spent three years onboard the Enterprise.
    Edit to add:
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who pictured the aliens as looking similar to the makeup worn by the actors in the 'Planet of the Apes' movies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  16. James Swallow

    James Swallow Writer Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    A small detail, but there's a Syhaari crewmember on board the Titan in Sight Unseen...
     
    Leto_II and GaryH like this.
  17. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Woodward, OK
    Ok great. That's exactly where I put it when I added it to my timeline this weekend.

    Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!
     
  18. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sector 001
    I rated this book average - the characterization worked well (though I wouldn't expect anything less than top-notch work by Swallow here), the raised issues with ambition, racism, revenge, and overcoming all this to collaborate and compromise were interesting enough. But the plot itself was a bit too predictable for me to be kept on the edge of my seat.
     
  19. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Good podcast thanks for the heads up.
     
  20. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I, too, was thinking Planet of the Apes, even though the closest I've gotten to anything in that franchise was the beach scene at the end of Spaceballs ("Dear me. What are those things coming out of her nose?" "Spaceballs!" "Oh, shit, there goes the planet!").

    I also thought of the whole bit about Neanderthals ("the real Humans") being hyperintelligent, hypercivilized, and gentle to a fault, from ADF's Glory Lane.