Warpath Discussion Thread (major, major spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Brendan Moody, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Attention: anyone making jokes that involve attaching an exclamation point to the end of the book's title, or of its working title for that matter, will be shot on sight. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    I don't quite know where to begin here. People sometimes say that when they know full well where to begin, but want to make some point about how many flaws or virtues a book has. This is not one of those instances. I really don't know where to start putting down my thoughts about this book. With the cover, I guess: it is a fine cover. It's well known that I'm a whore for matte covers in any case, but this one is especially nice: Taran'atar's face is so large that it's downright creepy to look at.

    The book itself, then. The bottom line is that I wouldn't call this a bad book, but it is in many ways an unsatisfying one. One problem is one that I think it shares with another highly-anticipated post-finale release, namely Unity: too much of its plot is eminently foreseeable. After I read the back cover and the first 20 pages or so, the general arc of the book- "Vaughn vs. Taran'atar: This Time It's Personal"- was pretty clear. (Except for the ending, of course, but I'll come to that.) This is not a crippling flaw, but it does make it more difficult to stay engaged in the plot.

    On the other hand, keeping the reader engaged was the eminently readable prose. I had some concerns that the writing in David Mack's last book, Harbinger, was a bit awkward, so the flowing work here was a great relief. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I started Warpath right on the heels of rereading Olympus Descending, and at first the clash between David R. George's verbose style and Mack's sparer work was jarring, but with time I slipped into the fast-paced rhythms of Warpath.

    As ever, Mack does a good action sequence, and this book is full of them, which is something of a double-edged sword. On the one side, it allows the author to shine; on the other, it renders the book a touch monotonous, as the intervals of less-intense material seemed too brief and rare for my tastes.

    I really liked Prynn in this book. From the subtle plan to damage the runabout to freeing herself aboard the Klingon ship, she displayed a great strength of character, resourcefulness, and humor. ("You're a real prince." :lol:)

    I absolutely did not enjoy Kira's coma experiences. They were, as with most of the book, well-written, but that's about the only positive thing I can find to say. This seemed too similar to Kira's previous experience in "Horn and Ivory," with a touch of Vaughn's Benny Russell vision from Unity. I wasn't a great fan of either of those, but they at least had a certain novelty. This just felt passe and unenlightening. (That they have to work with the Eav'oq is some great lesson? Or that they'll need allies against the Ascendants?) The anagram games pulled me out of the story after a while, too, though I did get a kick out of the use of runabout names. And once Kira started having visions, it was clear she wasn't going to die: no one ever dies after having Spiritual Visions from The Other Side.

    Which brings me to Kira and Ro's injuries. I felt minor annoyance at how "critically injured- may well die" turned into "you'll be fine in a couple of weeks." It's not that I wanted either of them to die- far from it, as I think both have far too much story potential as is. But the great emphasis on how close to death they both were makes their ultimate survival feel like a bit of a cheat. Sure, Kira now has an artificial heart, but unless that's going to case problems with her, it's a difference that makes no difference.

    That whole business also left me ill-disposed toward Vaughn's belief that Prynn was dead. I had three problems with that: 1) I felt that the description of Vaughn's emotions was a bit lacking; it didn't draw me in enough to prevent the rational thoughts that follow. 2) She obviously wasn't dead. 3) I reached my limit on The Familial Angst of Elias Vaughn in Unity, thanks. Seriously, I hope this Vaughn/Prynn reconciliation will be our last.

    There was some nice humor in here as well. "What does your hiccup oath say about that?" and "That's a preganglionic fiber" made me laugh out loud.

    I enjoyed Ro and Quark's interactions (funny and touching) and Sisko's vigil over Kira (his discussion with Dax was rather ominous, and I like what it suggests for the future).

    I could have done without Bowers's confrontation with Vaughn; the tense "do I have to have you relieved of duty" scene is another Trek well that has run dry by now.

    The descriptions of Harkoum were excellent; the prose really evoked what an utter hole it was.

    The ending. I was flabbergasted. For about twenty minutes I just sat here and wondered what the heck was going on. Then I started fitting things together. No matter how I feel about the rest of the book, I have to give full marks for this awesome twist. I just wish the book had revealed more about it. I think the biggest complaint I have is that Warpath doesn't make sufficient use of the larger tapestry of the post-finale sequence: the little hints end up frustrating rather than tantalizing. Obviously things will move in and out of focus on a book-by-book basis, but nothing much seems to have happened with the Eav'oq since their introduction in Rising Son, and we get only glimmers of what some of the events of Worlds of Deep Space Nine might mean. I enjoyed the hunt for Taran'atar for what it was, but it just didn't do enough, especially knowing that it's going to be at least a year before we see any follow-up on this.

    On that note: any random information about Fearful Symmetry you'd like to share with us, Marco?

    I thought not. :D
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    (channeling Marco....) Thanks for the comments, Brendan.
     
  3. Marco Palmieri

    Marco Palmieri Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for all the thougtful comments. Much appreciated.

    Sure it does. Because the real issue is how she came by those injuries, not their extent.

    Thanks for saying that, and for doing it without spoilers. :)

    I can promise that Fearful Symmetry will reveal all about it.

    It's coming. All things in their time.

    April, 2007.
     
  4. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a fair point, and I did realize that it was the intention, but I can't ultimately conclude that it balances yet another (within Trek as a whole, not just the fiction) brush with death that ends quite happily. Not a big deal, anyway, though I might once have thought it was.

    I didn't even realize until after writing the post that I had done so. That's gotta annoy those scouring this thread for revelations, huh? :angel:

    April, huh? Better than I was expecting.
     
  5. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So, who's the Science Officer now ?
     
  6. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I don't recall it being mentioned.
     
  7. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    I agree. I think every scene with Prynn, along with the first chapter on DS9, were my favorites of the whole book.

    Yeah, I didn't like the coma experiences either, although I loved "Horn and Ivory." The whole thing felt forced and stretched out. I understood what was being said, but it didn't work for me. Plus, it didn't help that I had Helm's Deep music from the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers running through my head during the climax battle (yes, I know the music that well). :p

    I have to add a fourth problem: Why couldn't the Defiant simply scan the comet to confirm that Prynn's DNA was amongst the comet's remains, like they did with the two Klingons' DNA in the remains of the Euphrates? That really bugged the hell out of me. Additionally, I didn't the cliche of Vaughn letting go of the ladder to convince Prynn to go without him, but that was made by her jumping after him and then her private musing of "away teams never obey orders." That was good. :D

    Yeah, the humor was great. I also enjoyed the bit where Quark compared Ro's vitals to the chances of Romulans selling Tribbles on Qo'noS, among others.

    I just wished that Bowers actually relieved him. Oh, well. Nonetheless, Bowers got a lot of "screen time," so I was happy. However, I was jarred by the fact that my mind wanted to envision Lt. Felix Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica in place of Bowers (this was the first time I've read a post-WYLB book since BSG aired). :p

    Yes, those sequences were wonderful. I kept running through my head how many Cardassian women we knew and who could this mysterious woman was (I knew it had to be someone we knew): Couldn't be Natima Lang for various reasons; couldn't be Gilora Rejal (the Obsidian Order agent from "Destiny") because she was on Cardissa with Pythas Lok (A Stitch in Time); we haven't seen the other two Cardassian women from that episode, but it didn't seem likely that it was either of them; it wouldn't make sense for it to be Makbar ("Tribunal") and Mila is dead (Garak's housekeeper/mother); couldn't be Palandine (also ASIT) simply because I wouldn't like it; of course, it couldn't be Ziyal; lastly (and I was fairly certain as I was reading the book that these were all of the significant Cardassian women we've encountered on the show and in the books, but could be wrong) that left Iliana Ghemor. Funny thought behind that. I just read "The Officer's Club" (Kira's story from Tales from the Captain's Table) a few days ago and when it was brought to Kira's attention that there was a double agent working there, I immediately thought of Iliana, thinking that maybe somehow it would be shown that it was indeed her but without Kira knowing who she was (to stay consistent with "Second Skin"). Unfortunately, this was quickly proven false. Nonetheless, Illiana showed up anyways. Hmmm...maybe I have some strange psychic connection to the writings of the DS9 books. Or maybe I just think too much. :p


    As I described above, I wasn't completely surprised (but was glad I was proven correct) about Illiana, but I'm just praying that the Illiana that's with Tar'antar is the Mirror Illiana and the Illiana with the Defiant crew is the real Illiana. Otherwise, I'm not going to be happy. At all.

    :scream: :scream: :scream:

    :(
     
  8. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Marco, not that I want to be a pest or rush you or anything, but has my copy of 'Warpath' been sent out yet?
     
  9. Annorax

    Annorax Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    How the hell would he know? It's not like he's been demoted to order clerk... as far as we know. >_>

    @Marco: Why the long wait between DS9 relaunch books? My best guess is you were holding the next one back to be released concurrent with the MMPB reprint of Missing in Action, but what would I know? It's not like I actually pay for these things...
     
  10. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Annorax, iirc, Q won a free copy of Warpath by spotting that they'd made a mistake.

    So, uhm, Marco would the hell know why it hadn't been sent out or if it had.

    So less of the attitude please.
     
  11. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Thank you, Tenmei, and you are exactly right. And as I asked Marco to sign it, I know it will have to pass through his hot little hands before going out.

    So, yes, Ensign Annorax, a little less attitude would be appreciated. :cool: ;)
     
  12. Marco Palmieri

    Marco Palmieri Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Still waiting on my extra copies. But don't worry: your name and address are tacked on the bulletin board right next to me, under the words "SIGNED COPY OF WARPATH." So there's no chance I'll forget. :)
     
  13. Marco Palmieri

    Marco Palmieri Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm a little surprised by this, but from what you guys are saying, it seems you really didn't get what was going on here. I'm not gonna connect the dots for you, but I strongly recommend thinking about these scenes a bit more. :)
     
  14. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Close, but no cigar. Try the second and third tracks of Hans Zimmer's score for King Arthur. :)
     
  15. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Perhaps. Now that I've finished the book, I'll go back and reread those chapters.

    That works, too. I also know that music intimately well. :D
     
  16. Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson Writer Premium Member

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    Sweet! It's always nice to hear that other writers write with soundtracks on in the background. :)
     
  17. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Oh, yeah, I do that all the time. In fact, the main body of work I'm working on these days is greatly inspired by Tangerine Dream and Sarah McLachlan.
     
  18. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    I, OTOH, write with Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson, Tom Waits, and Robbie Robertson on shuffle. :)
     
  19. Annorax

    Annorax Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    How would I know this from reading this thread? I'm not psychic or anything.

    @Q: I guess I'm not the only one getting pseudo-free books. It'd be nice to get mine signed, though. I have to wonder why you'd feel the need to pull postcount rank, though... that just screams jerk to me... quite possibly a bigger jerk than me. I fully expect to be banned for this, but you really should find a more solid stick to whack the n00bs with. Perhaps that green one you don't have?
     
  20. tenmei

    tenmei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Annorax, the point was you jumped to a conclusion - if you had simply asked why Marco would have known why Q's book had been sent out, then everything would have been right with the world.

    But you asked 'why the hell would marco know whether your book has been sent out, it's not like he's been bumped to dispatch clerk' - which smacked of attitude.

    Now, back to topic, I got an e-mail from Amaxon.ca saying that my books being dispatched today :) So, knowing the state of the Canadian postal service, it'll arrive in about a month.