The Star Trek: The Typhon Pact cross-24th century series saga continues with the release of Christopher L. Bennett’s e-book novella “The Struggle Within.” TrekMovie reviews that below, plus we take the opportunity to catch up with mini-reviews of the four previously released Typhon Pact novels from late 2010/early 2011. There is also news on the next entries in the series coming in 2012.
THE TYPHON PACT
Star Trek: Typhon Pact is an ongoing crossover miniseries set in Star Trek’s 24th century, following the events of David Mack’s Destiny trilogy (and the follow-up "A Singular Destiny"). The titular "Typhon Pact" is an alliance of the Romulans, the Tzenkethi, the Breen, the Gorn, the Tholians, and the Kinshaya, who all band together to take on the Federation (and the Klingons). Each entry in the series focuses on a different Star Trek ship and crew along with a different member of the pact.
REVIEW: Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within
by Christopher L. Bennett
e-Book – 101 pages
PocketBooks – October 2011 – $7.98
Enterprise security chief Jasminder Choudhury has lost her center, and takes a leave of absence from the ship (together with first contact specialist T’ryssa Chen) as it prepares to negotiate an expanded Khitomer Accord agreement with the Talarians. While Crusher finds herself nabbed, along with Jono, (from the TNG episode “Suddenly Human”) by activists intent on turning the ruling party on its ear, Choudhury and Chen are suddenly ‘fighting’ for a very real survival on the homeworld of the Holy Order of the Kinshaya, where their very own Martin Luther has risen up against Pontiff and Empire and essentially echoed the reformer’s words: “It is neither safe or right to ignore one’s conscience.” Bennett provides a timely story, inspired by very recent real world events, combined with an accessible yet still alien background (in both the A and B story!), that completely engages the reader.
Further, the eBook format really serves the story well. “The Struggle Within” is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0. The pacing, the feel, everything about it screams ‘great episodic television’. This could easily be a single sitting read, but I read it in 3 days over my lunch break, and each day I looked forward with even more delight to what was coming down the pike. While “Zero Sum Game” may be the best novel in the series, “The Struggle Within” is truly the best story of the five… and an outstanding conclusion to the series (if the powers that be don’t decide to add another story or two to the eBook catalog for the series).
If you are not an eBook fan, I strongly suggest reading this one anyway. Excellent, excellent, excellent. I can’t think of much higher praise than that.
CATCHUP TYPHON PACT MINI-REVIEWS
Book 1: Zero Sum Game by David Mack
As the Typhon Pact begins moving forward with their plans to create an alliance to rival the UFP, the plans for the super-secret Slipstream Drive are stolen (with malice). Julian Bashir is tempted back into his James Bond mode by Sarina Douglas, and the pair go under deep cover to prevent the Pact from exploiting the technology. Mack writes convincingly, both surrounding the Bashir/Douglas mission, as well as the wider range of interstellar politics and personalities. An outstanding, single-sitting novel; and quite simply the best full-length novel of the entire miniseries.
Book 2: Seize the Fire by Michael A. Martin
When an artificial terraforming system is aimed at a populated planet, it is Captain Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan who are called in to figure out what the Gorn are doing, and why. Discovering that this seemingly quiescent civilization has matter/anti-matter engineering technology, the conclusion is reached that it would not be a violation of the Prime Directive to assist the planet. Things, though, are not as easy as they seem because of divine considerations and a rather interesting native civilization, one whom Troi and Vale become quite personally aware of in the conduct of their mission. “Seize the Fire” is easily the weakest book of the series, and the first two-thirds of the story are almost completely un-engaging… however the conclusion becomes exciting and, with the introduction of the Hranraii, gives some unique concepts for the mind to think about.
Book 3: Rough Beasts of Empire by David R. George III
Sisko’s back in a Starfleet uniform, essentially wife-less, essentially child-less, and existing in a state of self-isolation as he embarks on his command of the starship Robinson. At the same time, Spock, having survived an assassination attempt on Romulus, begins working to put the pieces together and figure out what is really going on deep in the Romulan state(s). Throughout the story, we learn about Sisko’s encounters with the Tzenkethi (alluded to during the televised run of DS9) and learn about the future of the Romulan Empire. You either love this book, or you hate this book… that seems to be the general rule. It had its weaknesses to be sure, too much crammed into too little of a package being the main concern (add 200 more pages and this would have been a perfect book). However, for my money, “Rough Beasts of Empire” is almost on part with “Zero Sum Game” for action, intrigue, and interstellar mayhem.
Book 4: Paths of Disharmony by Dayton Ward
The Andorian population decline and reproductive crisis are nearing a head, and of course that means that someone (or someones) are going to jump to the forefront in attempting to take advantage of the situation. Enter the Treishya and their shadowy front-man Eklanir th’Gahryn, who decide that the time has come for their will to be manifest throughout Andor. Add to that a few bombshell political and informational revelations and you have a tinderbox of ill-will towards the Federation, and pretty much anyone else without antennae and blue skin… well, except perhaps those who have a crystalline structure. Ward’s novel is enjoyable enough, though not nearly as engaging as “Zero Sum Game” or “Rough Beasts of Empire”. The continued development of the Andorian people is a welcome expansion in “Paths of Disharmony”, but the conclusion will leave many feeling colder than an Aenar winter about the future of the Federation. (Those of us who enjoy the occasional unhappy ending, however, will be fine!)
NEWS: TYPHON PACT CONTINUES IN 2012
The Star Trek: Typhon Pact series will continue in 2012 with the release of two mass market paperback novels by David R. George III. "Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night" comes out on or around May 29, 2012 and "Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn" should be out around June 26, 2012.
Here is the official blurb for the first book "Plagues of Night"
In the wake of the final Borg invasion, which destroyed entire worlds, cost the lives of sixty-three billion people, and struck a crippling blow to Starfleet, six nations adversarial to the United Federation of Planets—the Romulan Star Empire, the Breen Confederacy, the Tholian Assembly, the Gorn Hegemony, the Tzenkethi Coalition, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya—joined ranks to form the Typhon Pact. For almost three years, the Federation and the Klingon Empire, allied under the Khitomer Accords, have contended with the nascent coalition on a predominantly cold-war footing. But as Starfleet rebuilds itself, factions within the Typhon Pact grow restive, concerned about their own inability to develop a quantum slipstream drive to match that of the Federation. Will leaders such as UFP President Bacco and RSE Praetor Kamemor bring about a lasting peace across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, or will the cold war between the two alliances deepen, and perhaps even lead to an all-out shooting war?
Both titles can be pre-ordered at Amazon:
- May 2012: Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night
- June 2012: Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn
MORE: new and upcoming Star Trek novels
Other recent Star Trek fiction releases include "Star Trek Vanguard: What Judgments Come" by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore (see TrekMovie review) and Michael A. Martin’s "Star Trek: Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave The Storm" (see TrekMovie review).
Also just out is "Star Trek Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions," by David Mack (look for TrekMovie review soon). And finishing out 2011 will be Greg Cox’s TOS novel "Star Trek: The Rings of Time" which is due at the end of December.