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Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
by David R. George III
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
82 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What just happened?, August 29, 2013
I'm not entirely sure what I just read, but it is... interesting. As I've stated in many of my Trek reviews, the status quo is thoroughly out the window. In fact, it's out the window, down the street, and burning in a heap of melted goo at this point.

DRGIII does, in my opinion, a very good job of painting the new landscapes of DS9 and Bajor. I also will continue to hold my belief that he should be the only one writing DS9 stuff right now, just as Kirsten Beyer does Voyager. Although his stuff is a bit verbose, to the point where I can see him reading a Thesaurus, it's not a bad story whatsoever. That is, the main story is not...

Which leaves the Kira sidestory. I've been scratching my head all day on this one and cannot make heads or tails of it. Is she back? Who the hell is that at the end? What just happened? Where did HE come from?! It leaves me with a bunch of questions that I have no answers to at the moment, which is frustrating. Overall, it felt convoluted, and it dragged the rest of a 5-star story down with it. I dearly love DS9, and I love what he's doing with it. But this slag does not do the story justice. It feels like a gigantic one of those dull "prophet moments" from the series that always seem to occupy too much of an episode's time.

I'd give this a 3.5 if I could, but I can't, so I'm rounding down. R&D is an interesting story with a fair amount of gut-wrenching twists. Read it for the DS9 plot and the political and personal intrigue, but skip the Kira garbage. I'm sure we can catch up with her at a later date. You know, if time exists or whatever. *Shakes head and walks out*


Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory: Book One (Star Trek Next Generation: Cold Equations)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory: Book One (Star Trek Next Generation: Cold Equations)
by David Mack
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.71
113 used & new from $0.01

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here We Go, October 30, 2012
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. AND BY "MAY" I MEAN "DOES."

PROLOGUE:
I have reviewed any number of Trek books in the last year. Most of what we've seen from the Typhon Pact series has been hit or miss, with the notable exceptions of "Plagues of Night" and "Raise the Dawn" which are quite possibly two of my favorite Trek books. This is definitely in the "exceptional" category. And I will say that the Cold Equations books are going to shatter the TNG world as we know it. David Mack was charged with the responsibility of shaking the world to pieces several years ago with Destiny, and so he has been given that same honor once more.

This is the beginning end of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

-------------------------------

*ALL* THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!

The book is divided into three parts, the first and last of which take place in the "standard" timeline, or in early 2384, while the second part covers a wide swath of almost two decades. Because I picked this up at Barnes and Noble a few days ago (God bless them for shelving them early), I won't go into too much detail. Much of the story focuses around Geordi, Worf, and Jasminder Choudhury. We get tons upon tons of character development for these characters. We also see a fair deal more of the Picard family, the ongoing struggles of raising a child on a starship (and on the flagship, no less). From what I can tell, this trilogy is going to be as heartbreaking as "Destiny," and as character-focused as the "A Time to..." books. How these will be combined is anyone's guess, but I'm already feeling the gut-wrenching pull of time until Silent Weapons comes out in a month. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

On top of the story and the characters, the sheer WRITING of this is astounding. Whenever I write, I try to hold David Mack as an example. Whenever a character enters the room, he makes you feel their present. Whenever he describes a food, I feel like I can taste it. There are such tiny details in every paragraph that drip with minutiae, emotion, and perfection. Mack draws you into his writing and makes you feel as though you are actually there in the room. There have actually been times when I am able to close my eyes, and I could swear on my life that I had seen that episode before, despite the fact that it was only ever a book.

-----------------------------------

TO OBTAIN, SOMETHING OF EQUAL VALUE MUST BE LOST. THAT IS THE FIRST RULE OF EQUIVALENT EXCHANGE:

Oh, by the way, this is where the spoilers are.

Spoilers! Stop reading...

Why are you still reading?!

Okay, fine. You know what? Go ahead. Read. I don't care.

Don't get me wrong, this book still gets 5 stars for a host of reasons, but there ARE a few things that irritate me. As a lifelong Trek fan, nitpicking the finer points of literature and media is kind of a hobby. First off, let's start with Data. Or B4. Or Soong. Or whatever the frak you want to call him. I give up... The entire book wreaks of "OMG! Data's coming back!" just as "The Eternal Tide" did with Janeway. Again, though, I don't care. It is incredibly obvious to anyone who reads the first hundred pages that we are going to see Data again. And guess what? You're right! Sort of. It's... complicated. We'll see more of the awkward-but-good-to-be-back-ness that we'll undoubtedly see with Voyager and Co. in the coming years.

And now onto Tasha Yar 2.0. In Q&A, Q says to Picard something along the lines of "Jean-Luc, you go through more security chiefs than Kathy does hairstyles." I don't remember the exact quote, and the book is with a friend, so I can't look it up, but we do see a very unfortunate death that was just... awful. As Worf says, it was without honor. It was just pure evil. Why do the editors and authors feel the need to kill off the Enterprise's security personnel with absolutely no sense of heroism? She deserved more than that. This alone almost bumped it down to a 4/5, but I'm more grown than that and can see the forest and not just the trees.

-------------------

OVERALL:

This is it, people. I feel like I know the overall gist of what's going to happen: Picard is going to retire, Data is going to take over the Enterprise, and Romulus is going to kerplode in what is possibly the worst explanation for a supernova ever. Really? It hit a planet and that made the shockwave go to warp? THAT'S your excuse, JJ? Anyway... that's another review for another time.

The focus is now off interspecies relationships with the Pact, now focusing more on the individual characters and crews.

Persistence of Memory is the first part of what is going to be a very emotional series. By the end of it, we are all going to hate and love David Mack even more.

And the sky's the limit.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2012 9:55 PM PST


Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
by Una McCormack
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.88
55 used & new from $0.01

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still good, September 28, 2012
(3.5 stars out of 5, but rounding up)

Let me start off by saying that Brinksmanship is likely the last of the Typhon Pact books. Take that however you will. Personally, I have enjoyed the slower, Cold War-esque feel to the series. That's just me, though.

I'll start off with the pros:
First off, I have no idea what on Earth people are talking about a lack of character development. We once again get to see Ezri as a strong captain, far removed from the awkward counselor of the Seventh Season of DS9. She not only is Captain of the USS Aventine, she is the master of it. She wields her position like a sword, just as well as in Zero Sum Game. (Anyone who disputes this, please read where they destroy the feux-Vesta-Class) Crusher also gets to play a rather prominent role, rather than being the "oh, there's a medical problem. Hey Doc!" which has become her norm. We also see her and Picard considering their future with their child, Rene. They are pushing these characters off and away from the Enterprise slowly but surely, and we will almost definitely see the end of an era come Cold Equations over the next few months.

Also, we get a great look at the Tzenkethi, a species who David R. George spent a great deal of time fleshing out in Rough Beasts, Plagues, and Dawn. They have gotten the most development out of any of the Pact species, and I thoroughly enjoy them. A society that is both beautiful, deadly, and rigid. When I found out this book would be featuring them, I was excited, and I am pleased to say that it held them true. I can easily see how someone would be enthralled with their culture.

Now for the cons...

VENETTE:
You may note that I did not mention the Venette at ALL above. There is a reason for that. I hate them. It was a species created specifically for this book and it did not work in the slightest. They were once again this overly-alien species with no solid development. They will also likely never be mentioned again. If they are, God help us. I get that they needed a villain of sorts, or however you want to categorize them, to fit the role, but the Venette were simply terrible. They should have just made this one about the Tzenkethi and left it at that.

WHAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND (or out):
This could have gone from a good story to a great story by adding about another 30 pages of material. President Bacco was given literally just a couple of pages, as another reviewer stated. This annoys me. She has been very prevalent in all of the Pact books thus far because of the immense political intrigue that is taking place right now. But no... the most important figure in the Federation is given mere paragraphs to talk about what is going on. Also, would it have killed them to reference the FLIPPING DESTRUCTION OF DEEP SPACE 9?! It was Dax's home for years and oh, nope, she doesn't care, evidently. And... really... the end? Really? I mean... really? THAT was your excuse?

WHAT'S HIS NAME:
The utterly-forgettable friend of Dax's from college. You could take him out of the book and I wouldn't have noticed or cared. It gave us a nice glimpse to see how a more mature Ezri deals with boys she likes, but he could have easily been substituted.
---------------------------------
Now, don't let my more-organized take-down of this book give you pause. It is very well written, and Una is one of the best out there. Yes, there are things that annoy me about this, but if you look at the overall arc of how things have developed, it's really a great continuing narrative seen from dozens of different perspectives. If THAT isn't Star Trek, I don't know what is.

The Typhon Pact series has dealt with subterfuge, alien cultures, the lives of characters we love, political intrigue... Yes, it may be slower at times, but learning about the Breen, the Gorn, and the Tzenkethi has been well worth it.

-----------
tl;dr
It's okay if you have a spare afternoon. Venette sucks, Dax is kinda awesome, Tzenkethi... woo. TP has a whole: 4/5


Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods
Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods
by Michael A. Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
104 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skippable in its entirety, August 6, 2012
This picks up just a few months after Seize the Fire, and just two weeks after the secession of Andor from the Federation. Now, given the prominence that Pava is displayed at the beginning, along with some rather disturbing news from the top of Starfleet's brass, I thought the whole secession thing would play a much larger role. Instead it gets relegated to a B-plot in the former half the book.

Alas, no... this is honestly one of the more disappointing books in the series, or even in the post-Typhon Pact material. Unless SecondGen White-Blue is your absolute undying favorite character, you can go ahead and skip out on this one.

Overall it just turns out to be religious zealot turtle lobster aliens try to destroy the tech that has been keeping them alive the entire time. It results in the crew of Titan having to go back and undo what they've done. It's kinda predictable.

Now, I'll give credit where credit is due: it was a nice connection back to the events of Seize the Fire, but it was NOWHERE near the same caliber as DRG III's recent DS9 books. He may have done some bad things with Sisko, but fixed him up in a splendid manner.

Skip this one, read a summary. Next Titan, please.


Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
by David R. George III
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.89
99 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The more things change, the more they stay the same." -Quark, June 27, 2012
"Raise the Dawn" picks up from the second "Plagues of Night" ended. The great thing about this is that it is not the same story as the first books. There are obviously some very distinct links between them, but they are absolutely their own stories.

This is the book that the Deep Space 9 series desperately needed. So many of the characters over the years have gone their separate ways. And indeed, I remember in Plagues how they listed off how just about everyone except Bashir had left the station.

-Dax became captain of the Aventine.
-Vaughn became captain of the Kirk, only to wind up in a vegetative state.
-The Sisko family is split, with Kasidy and Rebecca on Bajor, and Benjamin on the Robinson.
-Nog was at Starbase 410 the last we saw him in the repugnant "Indistinguishable From Magic."
-O'Brien is on Earth with the SCE.
-Odo is in the Gamma Quadrant.
-Rom is Grand Nagus.
-Worf is back on the Enterprise.
-Jake is married on Earth.
-Kira is a vedek.
-Taran'atar has long since vanished to parts unknown.
-Worst off: the station is now reduced to shrapnel.

The only remaining characters, it seems, are Tenmei, Quark, and Ro. But things are coming back into the fold.

If anyone read Voyager's "Unworthy," this is the equivalent of that. It starts to bring the family back together, and could not possibly make me happier. Yes, it's a bit of a literary cop-out. But one of the reasons we read DS9 is to see the DS9 characters. The Typhon Pact series has helped to pave the way for future DS9 books. DRG III has brought each of the character's stories full circle. That includes the "you will know only sorrow" Sisko arc, for those of you who are still worried that this is a permanent adjustment for the character.

My one main gripe is the way they brought back some of the characters. It just seemed a bit convenient. Though, it's not nearly as awful as IFM was in the TNG series. There were a few too many "Oh, you're back! Yay!" moments.

While Deep Space 9 may be gone... well... read this book and you'll understand what I mean when I say that I look forward to the future of the Deep Space 9 series.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2012 10:58 AM PDT


Rough Beasts of Empire (Star Trek, Typhon Pact #3)
Rough Beasts of Empire (Star Trek, Typhon Pact #3)
by David R. George III
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
42 used & new from $0.27

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great, June 11, 2012
First I will start off with the good aspects of the book before I launch into the minutia that irks me a bit.

-EYE FOR DETAIL: Mr. George has a very good grip on the Romulan people, including the non-canon language created by Diane Duane YEARS ago. This, along with a few other things, shows me that he has a keen sense of detail.

-LOOKING BACK: In retrospect after having read all the Typhon Pact novels through Plagues of Night, the characterizations actually all make sense. Yes, Sisko is kind of a whiny jerk in the second part of the novel, but after all that's happened in the last few years, it makes sense that at least one of the three later captains has some long-term emotional grief. Not everyone is going to be happy-go-lucky even 1 or 2 years after 60 billion people were murdered, their father dies, all the while contemplating a divorce. For all those that say it's un-Sisko-like, you're right. It is. But that's kinda the point.

-A VERY NEW DS9: We now have a very different DS9 feel than we did after Fearful Symmetry. A lot has happened in the last few years that we don't know about. Many things are referenced, but this isn't the catch-up novel that Voyager's "Full Circle" was. Further, it's not meant to be. The potential to fill in the blanks is left open, so further novels can be written, should the desire arise.
----------------------
Now for what bugs me...

I liked this book, but there were a few off-putting realizations. For one, there are two stories that don't really interact with each other. The entire first half of the book goes through without a single tie-in between the Romulus and Sisko stories. I'm not really sure why this is, but it shouldn't have happened. Actually, this is my main gripe about the entire thing. We eventually... kind of... get there, but they weren't at all as integrated as they should be.

All the other books combined their separate plots, while this one just leaves them out there. Because this WAS catching us up on the DS9 arch, I'll forgive it simply because it's well-written. However, there really should have been two separate books: one DS9-Full Circle-like story, and another installation for the Typhon Pact.

But since I'm writing this WITH the hindsight that I have from Plagues of Night, I can't say I'm totally unbiased. Just trust that things work out in the end.


Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
by David R. George III
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
73 used & new from $0.01

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heating Up, May 29, 2012
Over the past several years we have witnessed the rise of the Typhon Pact in the Star Trek universe. While the idea of an anti-Federation has been great, the books themselves have not been carried out very well. For the most part they've been very slow... until now.

The characterizations are all spot-on in terms of the DS9-relaunch. Yes, for all of you who didn't particularly like Rough Beasts of Empire, Ben is still a bit whiny, but he's now confronting the recent choices he's made in his relationships. He does a considerable amount of thinking in terms of his recent divorce, his position as the Emissary, and as a Starfleet officer.

I won't spoil anything about the newcomers to the station. Obviously there have been some replacements since many of the original show's cast went their separate ways, and even some of the books-only characters now phasing out.

Again, since this novel is so new, I don't want to risk spoiling anything. But the ending is why I gave it a 5/5 rating. Not because I was necessarily happy with it, but because it is perhaps the best cliffhanger I've ever seen. The action itself was expected. How they carried it out... was not, and I like that.

We are now beginning to see a very different Star Trek universe where the status quo is no longer an option. With the Typhon Pact, the stereotypical "reset button" isn't going to happen. We now have political and personal intrigue with the characters, with things happening that are both good and bad, with very lasting repercussions.


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Offered by PNP Games
Price: $44.09
138 used & new from $36.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars [Insert Heart Container Music Here], June 21, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Thirteen years ago this game set the standard for adventure games. It has aged remarkably well over the last decade, and it truly deserves a tune-up after a few hundred million copies sold.

So here we have it. Ocarina of Time 3D. There's not really much to say other than it's the same phenomenal game with a phenomenal graphics overhaul.

THE GOOD:
-The graphics: both better and smoother
=The landscapes are by far better than they used to be
=Buildings are much more detailed
-The Gampeplay: about the same as the 64 version, which is a compliment
-The touch screen: yeah, I thought it was a gimmick with the DS when it was first showed a few years back, but it really makes item selection a much easier time. Can't wait to see this implimented on the Wii U.
-They kept it almost identical to the original.

THE BAD:
There is but one complain that I have with this game. And it is the only one. After thirteen years... thirteen long years of joking.... thirteen years of "oh dear lord I hate you so very much." Thirteen years and thousands of wasted arrows and deku seeds trying to kill her...

NAVI!

She is just as annoying as she was all those years ago. Still, one look at Zora's Domain or Hyrule Field is enough to gain this game a solid 5/5.

Yes, this game has been rereleased a few times already. But this is truly a unique experience. Even if you don't play in 3D, buy it for the improved graphics or the touch menu. This is how The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was meant to be played.


James Bond 007: GoldenEye - Nintendo Wii
James Bond 007: GoldenEye - Nintendo Wii
Offered by MTGFirst
Price: $44.99
79 used & new from $4.52

52 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, November 3, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The Classic is back.

007 Goldeneye for the Wii is the classic redone, only this time with the controls that we all know and love from Metroid Prime 3. It remains the same solid FPS that we all grew up with, with a few improvements in storyline and graphics (relatively speaking).

THE GOOD:
-The motion controls make this game so much easier than any other FPS I have played. Please see Halo for example.
-Improved nuance. Ex. The sound of ears ringing when a grenade goes off nearby, or the way the head shifts with the movement of Bond's body
-Bring in the Daniel Craig. While the original GE was done with Pierce Brosnan, the modern Bond is a nice addition to an old classic.
-The familiar: Judi Dench as our beloved M.
-New Weapons: now kill with more ways than ever!
-Options: Go in stealth or guns blazing. Take your pick. Either usually works in any scenario if you're careful.
-Multiplayer: It is incredibly true when they say "bringing multiplayer back to its roots."

THE BAD:
-Graphics, dammit! "Metroid: Other M" is a clear example of what can be achieved with the Wii's limited graphics. Or how about Mario Galaxy 2? The machine is better than most give it credit for.
-The graphics again: Seriously, Nintendo, time to go HD. Gamecube graphics + 1 does not cut it anymore.
-A bit of change to the original story. Forgivable, however. It's GoldenEye.

OVERALL:
It's a solid FPS for the Wii, something that is desperately lacking. We have Metroid Prime and that's more of a puzzle/adventure than a true FPS. The controls are fluid, the nuance is great, and we have the lovely Judi Dench narrating our mission objectives to us. It is easily the best Bond game since Nightfire or Agent Under Fire for the GCN.

Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2010 4:37 PM PST


Zero Sum Game (Star Trek: Typhon Pact #1)
Zero Sum Game (Star Trek: Typhon Pact #1)
by David Mack
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
79 used & new from $0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here we go, October 26, 2010
After the long wind up to Destiny with the Borg saga, the actual action of Destiny itself, and then the aftermath books, we have a new and very real threat. The Typhon Pact is a fantastic addition to the Trek universe. Ever since Trek got a story line way back in the DS9 books and the "A Time to..." series with TNG, things have been getting better and better (with the exception of "Before Dishonor" which was simply terrible), and "Zero Sum Game" is a prime example of that.

THE GOOD:
Captain Dax is really starting to grow on me. Ever since she went command-track years ago at the beginning of the DS9 books, Ezri has really grown and evolved. She is quick-witted, intelligent, and is a true Dax.

We finally learn more about the Breen after 15 years of wondering about them.

We have a new enemy that we have never seen before where we don't know how it will end. I.e. No "the Borg are going to kill tons of people but in the end they'll just vanish." The Typhon Pact is a very real threat that isn't so much the typical harbinger of Doomsday.

THE BAD:
It's too short. I want more Typhon Pact now, please.

The Genetically Enhanced are back.... again.

A bit of a larger time gap than I would have liked since "Losing the Peace," "Over a Torrent Sea," and "A Singular Destiny." It's been over a year in the Trek timeline since Destiny occurred.

OVERALL:
Strongly recommended. This story is going to be truly unlike we've seen before in Trek, with all the characters and books interacting and flowing as one. What Destiny started, the rest is taking note of and continuing.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2011 6:21 AM PST


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