Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book 19: Star Trek Typhon Pact Seize the Fire

So I decided to read the Typhon Pact book that had my eye the least. I hate to say it like that but that was the truth when it came to Seize the Fire by Michael A. Martin. I wish I could say that this book surpassed my expectations which were that this book would be okay, but I can’t. It merely lived up to being okay.

Seize the Fire is the second book in the Typhon Pact (so now I’m finally all caught up chronologically). It deals with the Gorn Hegemony and the Titan crew (captained by Riker). In many ways it takes things best found in classic Trek and expands upon it by placing it in the more contemporary timeline of that with Riker, Troi and Tuvok from TNG and Voyager. I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the original series of Star Trek so that’s why I was bit hesitant.

I don’t actually think I’ve seen the episode dealing with the Gorn. Hate to say it but it’s true. So this book in many ways was like entering a new world by having it focus on the Gorn. But the book also focuses on the debate about the Genesis project (a terraforming device that can remake worlds). Even when I saw the two movies (Star Trek II and Star Trek III) , I never got how the Genesis Project was the akin to making a nuclear weapon in the schemes of things. To me the Genesis Project was always much more like a comprehensive missile defense system- inherently dangerous but at the same time it does more good than bad. If you can remake a dead world in a matter of seconds into a living breathing world, that should be a good thing. It’s if you try to use it on a world with living matter, then it can destroy that.

There are some things that I enjoyed in this book. It was an interesting story line and I could capture my attention really well. I would read a good chunk of the book in a sitting without realizing it.

I learned a lot about the Gorn. You got to see a much fuller picture to the Gorn and just see how things played out. For a culture that got named-dropped a lot, it was nice to see an actual depiction of if it in a form of Trek.
So there are things in this novel that I actually disliked. They had two different spellings for many words: the Gorn way and the Federation way. But there were times when the Gorn spellings would slip in during a Federation point of view segement. So it would throw me. Plus if the Gorn can match/mimic human speech almost perfectly to the point where it can nearly fool a computer and definitely fool humans for being a match, why would they call Riker Rry’kurr? Same thing when it comes to calling the Federation the Federrazsh’n? By having the differences there, it makes me wonder if that voice mimicking even existed to such a high degree. Another thing that threw me was giving a Cardassian a comme ci, comme ca hand motion. I had to be taught what that hand movement was in French class, so why would I believe that a Cardassian would know how to do that?

Another thing I really disliked was how on pages 322-323 you get a philosophical moral to the novel by the thinker above Hranrar. Normally I would love this. It actually pointed some good things like how the Gorn and the Federation are very similar despite their biological differences. But it’s the location of this. The book is actually 488 pages. If you want sum up a moral to the story, do it at the end like Martin did with Tuvok’s hesitance to discuss what he learned from the mind-meld with the ecoscuptor device (the Gensis Project like device). Don’t do it mid-novel. It just seemed useless especially from a perspective that provided so little to the book.

The characterization of the main characters from the Titan who I was most familiar (thanks to reading Destiny and watching Voyager and TNG) was hit and miss. There were times I could hear their voices in my head with the dialogue and the movements and other times I just couldn’t get the voice with dialogue. It wasn’t dialogue that was so far off that I shook my head or broke my Trek reality, but enough were it didn’t seem quite right.

So I have mixed feelings with Seize the Fire. It was okay but it had issues too. But not all books will be stellar. I’m glad to read it to read it just see how it fits with the Typhon Pact series even though it was nowhere as good as the other two books I’ve read in the series.

P.S. I decided to include this little gem. As I said before I’m not really a huge TOS fan although I can appreciate their spot in Trek. So it’s amazing that I can recognized where half the clips came from in this video.

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