Spoilers TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Feb 15, 2014.

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Rate Absent Enemies.

  1. Outstanding

    4 vote(s)
    7.0%
  2. Above Average

    21 vote(s)
    36.8%
  3. Average

    28 vote(s)
    49.1%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  1. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    This was great! Exactly what I'd want from Trek ebooks - fun, delightful little stories with great moments that aren't necessary for the big arc, but let us have fun with the characters. I thought CLB's Typhon Pact entry felt like too much compressed into a novelette; this was exactly the right length and a total hoot.

    I loved the TNG flashbacks, and Picard giving up and everyone cracking up then; I loved Tuvok's whole set of action sequences; and I *loved* Riker saying "THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!" then hating himself. That's one of my favorite Riker moments ever.

    Voted Outstanding; can't wait for the Aventine novel next year.

    Welcome to Treklit JJM - I'm really excited you've joined the roster.
     
  2. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Just posted my review! Enjoyed it a lot. Welcome to Star Trek, JJM! :D
     
  3. Cyfa

    Cyfa Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I found this to be a great read. As others have already said here, I liked the episodic vibe, the lighter tone, the TOS-style ending. I particularly appreciated the technobabble explanation of the functionality of the Ekorr's disappearance, which has made a certain TNG episode a lot more credible, so thanks for that JJM! Nice work, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the Aventine in your full length novel.
     
  4. Mike_King

    Mike_King Ensign Newbie

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I really liked this story and look forward to more JJM in Trek. The flashback scene makes me yearn for more stories set during the TNG series (or movies) like some of the TOS novels that pop up every so often. Anyways, thanks for the great read!
     
  5. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    It was a good read and a good length. Liked the episodic feel. Hope to see more like this. Welcome, JJM!
     
  6. Tino

    Tino Captain Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I thought it was good too. Average, yes, but in a good way. It felt like a real good written episode with some nice plot-twists and some character improvement. Liked it.
     
  7. JJMiller

    JJMiller Writer Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Thanks, all! I should have my notes on the story up on my site before too long.
     
  8. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I gave it an average. I wasn't blown away by it and wasn't disappointed. It felt like an episode, which is alright since it's a novella. I did like how it featured my favourite trek character, Tuvok. He really should be a captain by now.
     
  9. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    To see the fan-favourite Lurians receive some exposure worked great for me. By focusing on the Baladonian ethnicity, it was cleverly avoided to reveal much about proper Lurian society.

    The Ekorr were funny little guys, too. The name looks vaguely familiar, I must be mixing it up with something.

    Overall, a great episode!

    I only wonder why Christine Vale is so territorial about the Titan and the ready room. After all, she's only acting captain and Admiral Riker still in command, right?

    One error I noted: When Riker was promoted, he became a two-star admiral right away (for whatever reason). The novella mentioned a single bar in the rectangular pip, i.e. rear admiral lower half.
     
  10. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Maybe like me - with Glinn Ekoor ;)
     
  11. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Just finished this at lunch today, and I'm not 100% behind it I'm afraid. Some good things, some bad things.

    There were several inconsistencies. First, Fo Hachesa is not the gamma watch officer anymore. He transferred or resigned in Over a Torrent Sea, replaced by Tamen Gibruch. He could always have come back, I suppose, especially since the Titan was back at Federation Central recently. But I didn't get the impression that was the author's intention.

    Second, the Romulans gave up on phase-cloak technology after "The Next Phase." Then why were several Romulan ships seen using exactly that technology in Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn ? Perhaps they gave up on this particular type of phase-cloak technology and the version seen later is of a completely different type.

    Third, Vale was not involved in the battle against Shinzon. She took extended leave before the Shinzon thing even happened, as seen in A Time for War, A Time for Peace. These are just factual errors that could just maybe be worked around but really shouldn't have to be.

    I did like the storyline. Making good use of past episodes from both TNG and Voyager, explaining some of the magic-technology silliness, keeping the Typhon Pact subplots bubbling. The two alien groups were well drawn. A lot of humour worked well for me too. The flashbacks to the Enterprise-D's earlier mission were hilarious, with the aliens' antics driving them up the wall. I could very easily picture TNG-era Frakes and Sirtis in full face-palm mode. And it's good to have some humour once in a while. The larger novels get a bit intense and stodgy sometimes, so these smaller novellas are the perfect place to lighten things up for a bit.

    But it's a mixed blessing. Many times I was put off by things seeming waaaay overblown and cartoonish. Throwing a chair is something I could see Riker do in response to going back to Tezwa maybe, but this? This wasn't a life-and-death mission of gut-wrenching horror and misery, it was just wasting time with annoying brats. Overreaction.

    And there were far too many exclamation marks for my liking. You do not put exclamation marks in descriptive text. You just don't. In dialogue, fine. In internal monologue, fine (but even then not when your POV character is a Vulcan, JFC :mad:). But in general descriptive text, no. It comes across as juvenile, frankly, and takes the otherwise welcome fun-comic-booky atmosphere way over the top. I felt like a big rubber boxing glove was going to jump off the page and bonk me in the face, with a splash of KA-POWWW!!! and WA-SHAMM!!!

    And finally, it still wasn't... Titan. I complained in the Poisoned Chalice thread that it wasn't a real Titan book, it was just a book that featured Titan characters. Titan was designed to be the series that focused on strange new worlds, both outside the ship and inside, while the various other series did political intrigue and diplomatic missions. But lately it seems to have swapped over - DS9 and TNG are both about to set off on big missions of exploration while Titan is completely losing what used to be unique about it as a series. Where is the in-depth exploration of new worlds and new civilizations? Where are the fascinating insights into the wacky aliens that make up so much of Titan's crew? Instead it's all the most human/oid crew members getting the focus, dealing with two other humanoid races.

    All of that sounds incredibly negative, for which I apologise. I enjoyed reading it, it was a nice diversion, and I don't regret buying it. But I really think it's just not what I'm looking for from a Titan story.

    Okay, now I'm off to read the rest of the thread.

    .
    EDIT: Ah, I see several of the editing complaints already raised and addressed. I even missed one.

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Have you ever played the Mass Effect games? They feature an alien species called the Elcor. That was what I first thought of when I saw the name.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    My first thought was the Skorr from "The Jihad."

    And then there's Pava ek'Noor sh'Aqabaa from Titan.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Proudly: I play an elcor on a Mass Effect role-play forum (as well as other characters)

    Informative: That said, it reminded me both of Skorr (given that this is the Trek 'verse) and the Kkore from the Farscape comic continuations.

    EDIT: For some reason, I forgot Ekoor the Cardassian. I may have to revoke my Cardassian Crew membership card.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  15. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    I will be using this in real life so please, no need to fix it!

    Overall, this is a great book. I am so excited to have JJM writing for Trek. The humor here has not been seen in a long time. The highest praise for a Trek ebook, to me, is that they feel like episodes of the show and JJM crushed it here. Can't wait for his Aventine book. I think his Ezri is going to be awesome.
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Finished it in one sitting. Nothing special but not terrible either..
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    How many people have professionally published works in both the Star Trek and Star Wars universes? The first to come to mind for me are Peter David, Barbara Hambly, AC Crispin and now JJM. Are there any others?
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Kevin Anderson did The Gorn Crisis and has done some SW as well, I believe.
     
  19. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    He did the Jedi Academy series back in the day
     
  20. Cliff

    Cliff Cadet Newbie

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    Re: TTN: Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller Review Thread (Spoilers

    Alan Dean Foster wrote for both. I believe he was the first.