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The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses (Star Trek)…
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The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses (Star Trek) (edição: 2013)

de David Mack (Autor)

Séries: Star Trek: The Fall (3), Star Trek Relaunch (Book 77) (Chronological Order), Star Trek (novels) (2013.10), Star Trek (2013.10)

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855250,056 (3.91)1
The third original novel in the electrifying The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine crossover event! THE NEEDS OF THE MANY Despite heroic efforts by Thirishar ch'Thane, the Andorian species is headed for extinction. Its slow march toward oblivion has reached a tipping point, one from which there will be no hope of return. THE NEEDS OF THE FEW With countless lives at stake, the leaders of Andor, the Federation, and the Typhon Pact all scheme to twist the crisis to their political gain--at any price. THE NEEDS OF THE ONE Unwilling to be a mere bystander to tragedy, Doctor Julian Bashir risks everything to find a cure for the Andorians. But his courage will come at a terrible cost: his career, his freedom . . . and maybe his life.… (mais)
Membro:Dauphine27
Título:The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses (Star Trek)
Autores:David Mack (Autor)
Informação:Pocket Books/Star Trek (2013), Edition: Reissue, 352 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nathaniel

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The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses de David Mack

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Clearly it works for other people, but I find David Mack as a writer least interesting in thriller mode. I will admit that I had a number of issues with the Cold Equations trilogy, but I did think that the "Noonien" section of book I, as well as book III, were trying to do something more interesting than his more thriller-y books, like Zero Sum Game and book II of Cold Equations and this one.

As I read, I struggled to isolate why this might be. If someone described A Ceremony of Losses to me, I think it would sound quite good. One of the things I like most about Bashir is that moral crusader spirit he has, where his ideals outrun his practical limits; "The Quickening" is one of my favorite Deep Space Nine episodes, and Warchild one of my favorite novels. This book, then, put that to the ultimate test: Bashir wants to cure the Andorian reproductive crisis, but in doing so must draw on classified information that puts his career and even life at risk. What will he do, especially when he has to go up against his friends and colleagues?

But in the execution it's just not that, well, thrilling, and I'm not sure why. I think partly because Bashir honestly doesn't come across as very tested or conflicted by it all; he sets out on his course of action, and that is that. I didn't feel like he was very often making difficult choices. When Bashir makes his big decision to initiate the whole thing, it's because of a weird vision he has of being judged by Anubis, which feels like a writing crutch, as opposed to his decision being motivated by his Bashir-ness.

In fact, something that bugged me is that it seems like Bashir makes very few choices on the whole. We have the promise of a genetically engineered genius really stretching his limits... but Sarina sets up most of his plan, and he just sits there; when events converge over Andor at the novel's climax, he doesn't do anything particularly smart or impressive. Captain Dax on the Aventine is tasked with hunting him down because she (paraphrasing) "knows how he thinks," but he scarcely does any thinking at all, he's just along for the ride. (And Dax's galaxy-brain move in catching Bashir is to realize the guy who works on Deep Space 9 is probably on a ship that came from Deep Space 9.) I wanted a thrilling book of Bashir pushing his abilities to the limits, but this is mostly limited to him being rude at colleagues.

I said in my review of Brinkmanship that in most novels, I struggle to see Ezri Dax in the character called Captain Ezri Dax, and that was true in this book, where Ezri is rulebound in a way that doesn't ring true. Where's the playful Dax who does what's right? In fact, it ends up being lampshaded when Ezri actually asks Bowers why is she so rulebound all of a sudden! Plus the Ezri/Julian thing is back to immature arguments... I would really be glad to never read about an Ezri/Julian argument in a Star Trek book ever again, thank you.

I think Mack's characters in general don't have strong voices. Lense is here, but she didn't remind me of the Lense I remembered from S.C.E. She's not not Lense, she's just kind of a person who's there. The same goes for Shar; I remember him being one of my favorite DS9 relaunch characters, but I don't see why that would be based on this. And Andor doesn't feel like a real place in the way it did in previous novels like Heather Jarman's Paradigm.

The other thing that bother me is that Mack's Star Trek universe doesn't really feel like the Star Trek universe I know from screen. Almost everyone is mean and selfish-- some people have ideals, but those who are opposed to Bashir are entirely venal and self-interested. Andorian politics are a total shitshow of self-interest; one would hope that the Andorian secessionists at least believed they were doing the right thing, but here they are deliberately encouraging self-extinction to hold onto political power. But this seems to be everywhere: this is our first real look at Ishan, the president pro tem of the Federation, and he's a nasty piece of work, willing to let the Andorians die to beef up his election chances. Really!? Even the characters call out that he's so nasty as to be unrealistic. How did this guy even get elected? As villains go, both he and the Andorian secessionists veer too much into the one note. I would say that they read as implausible, but 2016-20 gave me a real-life leader who is arguably worse... but reality doesn't have to be plausible, you know! Ishan doesn't seem like a very good politician-- he just antagonizes everyone even though he's in a very precarious position! It's been pointed out to me that so did President Trump, but unlike Trump, Ishan supposedly had a long and successful political career before ending up president. I am not sure you could become president pro tem with an attitude like his, and if you can cover it up enough to become president pro tem, surely you could cover it up for an extra sixty days to win an election!

I think in some ways this book and this series is meant to show how proto-fascism can take root even in the Federation, and that could make sense if you think about the extent of the crises the Federation has endured, between the Dominion War and Destiny, but the book itself doesn't really lay that groundwork. The other Starfleet captains are pretty rotten (one sits around thinking about how great it is that he doesn't have any friends). All of this reduces the ostensible dilemma of the novel: there's no meaningful counterargument put forth, no real sense that Bashir could ever be doing anything wrong. Seeing even just one principled character endorsing Ishan's way of doing things would make a big difference.

I don't think the Federation has to be a utopia, but I do think it ought to be aspirational. To be honest, Cardassia seemed like a more idealistic place in The Crimson Shadow than the Federation does here. At the end, Bashir is locked up without trial on a dark penal asteroid! Like, c'mon, I don't read Star Trek books to read about how nasty people can be. I guess I will see what we learn about him in the last two Fall books.

As I was wrapping up this review, I looked at some others. Over at Tor.com, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro says, "Its construction around a poignant ethical dilemma with far-reaching consequences—do you follow lawful orders, even when those orders will lead to the extinction of a recently allied sentient species that you could possibly save?—makes it quintessential Trek..." I mean, I agree that this should be interesting (though orders versus genocide isn't much of a dilemma, to be honest), but I struggle to recognize the novel Zinos-Amaro describes in the one I read

Continuity Notes: Other Notes:
  • This book introduces zh'Tarash, who states her intention to run for Federation president once Andor is readmitted to the Federation. I know from the Prometheus audiobooks that she does indeed win, but this doesn't seem very plausible to me, and I'm not even sure why she wants to run. I guess I will see how this is handled in the next two Fall books.
  • The first two Fall books were named after in-universe works of literature, a Bajoran religious text and a Cardassian speculative fiction story, respectively. This is not quite true for A Ceremony of Losses, where in-universe "a ceremony of losses" is a phrase from the Andorian religion: "Though she [zh'Tarash] was not a religious person, she found herself reflecting upon an oft-quoted line from The Liturgy of the Temple of Uzaveh: 'The Path of Light can be found only by those who brave the Road of Storms and weather its ceremony of losses'" (69). Out of universe, though, "a ceremony of losses" is a quotation from a 2012 essay about old age by U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall: "I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is on the whole preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two" ("Out the Window"). I'm not sure I see the relevance.
  Stevil2001 | May 7, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this book. It deals with the question - what do you do when you believe your government is wrong?

Bashier thinks: - nor Ezi was any different than they had been a decade earlier. If anything, they had become more like themselves over the years.

That made me think about how I dislike Ezri's portrayal in these reboots. I feel like the person we see makes for good plot lines, but she is not the logical development of the Ezi or Dax we learned about the tv show. ( )
  nx74defiant | Apr 28, 2019 |
Loving this series

Book three did not disappoint. Poor Julian, and Dax, and everyone else. Definitely will finish this series. Great writing here. ( )
  Sonja-Fay-Little | Jan 24, 2019 |
I think this is the first time I have given a Star Trek book 5 stars? I can't deny that I stayed up until 3am reading last night, then brought the book to work to sneak in the last couple chapters. I can't wait to read the next one in this series and see how they get rid of Ishan. And I am not a big Dr. Bashir fan by any means, but he was great in this book. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
After reading the previous Fall book and Una McCormack's spot-on Garrick David Mack's attempt at giving voice to familiar characters just falls flat. I also didn't enjoy Mack's continued uses of modern phrases and idea that similar idioms and tropes develop across alien cultures. ( )
  gaveedra | Jan 8, 2016 |
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Star Trek (2013.10)
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The third original novel in the electrifying The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine crossover event! THE NEEDS OF THE MANY Despite heroic efforts by Thirishar ch'Thane, the Andorian species is headed for extinction. Its slow march toward oblivion has reached a tipping point, one from which there will be no hope of return. THE NEEDS OF THE FEW With countless lives at stake, the leaders of Andor, the Federation, and the Typhon Pact all scheme to twist the crisis to their political gain--at any price. THE NEEDS OF THE ONE Unwilling to be a mere bystander to tragedy, Doctor Julian Bashir risks everything to find a cure for the Andorians. But his courage will come at a terrible cost: his career, his freedom . . . and maybe his life.

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