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eBook Review: Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within + Catchup Reviews & News On Typhon’s Future December 6, 2011

by Robert Lyons , Filed under: Books,DS9,Review,TNG,VOY , trackback

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.  

"Star Trek: The Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within" is available in now and can be ordered at Amazon.com.

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:

 

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.

Comments

1. Sheldon Cooper - December 6, 2011

Really looking forward to “Rise Like Lions,” to see what path the Foundatio… er, Federation… takes after the demise of the Terran Empire.

2. sos1 - December 6, 2011

Is this one going to released as a printed book at all?

3. CaptainDonovin - December 6, 2011

Looking forward to the continuation of the Typhon Pact. It will be interresting to see where this leads & how it will tie into the 24th century events of Trek XI which is about 5 years away from the Rough Beasts, IIRC that is.

4. TrekMD - December 6, 2011

I have the same question as sos1. I’d rather see this in print.

5. Sybok's Secret Brother - December 6, 2011

I miss the stand-alone novels of the 80’s… those were fun. No offense to the nu novels… enjoy!

6. OverlordSpock - December 6, 2011

#2 and #4: The only way this would see print is if there were enough sales of the eBook for Pocket to consider adding this as part of a compilation. It definitely is not long enough to be released as a book on its own.

7. Jeyl - December 6, 2011

Tholians!

8. Trekker1091 - December 6, 2011

In case you didn’t read the top, it said it was 352 pages. I would think that’s long enough, no? I understand ebook pages are smaller then print pages, so that would mean (don’t quote me on this, I could be wrong) around 270 pages or something like that in print. I’d like to know how that’s not long enough. And besides, how long does it need to be to be in print? I have books that are in print that are LESS THAN 150 pages. Either way, I have no intention of getting an e-book reader. I prefer to read my books in print, thanks, so until that happens, I won’t be reading this one.

9. Drake1701 - December 6, 2011

Really disappointed in the whole Typhon series…hoping for some better things upcoming. Like #5 I enjoy(ed) the stand alones more.

10. Rush Limborg - December 6, 2011

Here’s hoping for a continuation of the arcs of Bashir, Sarina, and Ezri from “Zero Sum Game”! Cliffhanger endings demand resolution!

11. Data - December 7, 2011

Put me in the hate camp of Rough Beasts of Empire,
Easily the worst trek novel I’ve ever read, totaly screwed up the caracter of Sisko as well as rushed through a Romulan ending of their internal struggle. Shoudl; have left the Sisko arc to another writer who might have made the actionsd convincing.

12. Andrew - December 7, 2011

While I didn’t love Rough Beasts of Empire, I really liked it. Sisko is interesting again. It was so boring him being settled down on Bajor while all this stuff was going on around him. Luckily he’s in command of a starship again. While it’s sad the direction he took with his wife and daughter, it makes for good future story development. I only wish he was more involved with the story, though how he would be involved with all the Romulan intrigue would be hard to justify. I also liked the Tzenkethi and the descriptions of their race. Hopefully future Typhon Pact books will focus more on how the Pact operates and what their agenda might be.

13. TBW - December 7, 2011

I much prefer the serialized approach they’ve taken to the novels so far…

14. Damian - December 7, 2011

Rough Beasts of the Empire was a decent book. The only thing I didn’t like is they left a lot of unanswered questions about the years between “The Soul Key” and this novel. Apparently a lot went on with the different characters, some of which is only alluded to. “Zero Sum Game” was easily the best of the series. I agree that “Seize the Fire” was a chore to read at times. It had some good moments, though, and it was interesting to learn more about the Gorn. I’m glad to see a new Titan book on the horizon next year. By and large, most of the Titan books were good. Also glad to see more Typhon Pact books next year. It will be interesting to see how the Andorian situation impacts the Federation. I’d love to see thse novels continue through the point Spock disappears into the past, and maybe beyond.

#5–There have been several standalone novels in the original series the last few years. I personally like a mix. I like the continuing stories. They make me feel like I am part of an exclusive club with those. I know what happened to the Borg, with the crews of the various TV series after their endings (assuming they are not contradicted on screen in the future, which I doubt). At the same time, I like picking up an original series novel that is once and done. At the same time, I always hated it when a standalone novel completely contradicted another novel. There’s nothing wrong with a standalone novel staying consistent or making a brief reference to another story (I always thought it was cool when a novel writer did that and I think to myself, Hey, I remember that book). Indistinguishable from Magic (largely a standalone, though following the Typhon Pact events) did that when they made a brief mention of The Genesis Wave events.

15. Christopher L. Bennett - December 7, 2011

Thanks for the kind review of THE STRUGGLE WITHIN, Robert. Very flattering. Interesting that you mentioned Martin Luther. I was thinking more in terms of Martin Luther King (and Gandhi).

16. Mark - December 7, 2011

Enough with all these relaunch books already! I want to see more standalone novels that take place during the series! I don’t care about the new characters or stories, I want stories about my favorite crews from the TV shows. Picard and Data and Worf and Riker working together and Sisko and Jadzia and Kira and Odo etc. i’m glad we get more books but why can’t there be more variety in the novels? Not all fans want the same things.

17. Father Robert Lyons - December 7, 2011

#15 – The Martin Luther vibe came through with the buildup of the Holy Order, it’s Pontifex, it’s Episcopate, etc. Luther stood against his own holy order for what he believed to be the truth, and was willing to die for his beliefs. Being a Church historian (well, and a liturgist, and a number of other things), the Martin Luther element stood at the forefront. I definately picked up on King and Gandhi (how could I not!) but didn’t want to spoil that far.

Still, this was paced like a great episode of TNG, and it deserves a much wider appeal than I fear the eBook format will give it.

18. CarlG - December 7, 2011

Anything Christopher Bennett writes is rapidly becoming a must-read for me!

19. Damian - December 8, 2011

16–But there are some of us out there that like the relaunches also.

I do agree that I would be ok with some standalones each year to mix it up. My idea for Pocketbooks (which I’m sure they would jump at the chance to do;) would be to have a relaunch book for TNG, DS9 and VOY, along with a Titan book (or a 3 or 4 book crossover series), maybe an ENT novel (though it seems that series is finished). That is about 4 to 5 books out of the year. Then leave 2 to 3 books for other continuing stories (i.e. Mirror Universe, DTI, Abrams universe, etc), then fill in the other 4 to 6 novels with standalones (at least 2 to 3 original series, then the rest with standalones from the other series).

20. Damian - December 8, 2011

Also, I keep bringing this up, but I am currently reading the Stargazer books, which have been very good so far. But Picard was in command of the Stargazer about 20 years. The novels cover a very small segment of that. They did not even cover when Jack Crusher joined the ship. I’d love to see someone revive the series and continue it (assuming Michael Jan Friedman is not writing Star Trek anymore).

What happened to some of those writers, by the way? It has been years since I’ve seen a book by Friedman, or Keith Decandido, or Una McCormack, or many others.

21. Shalda T'Seir - December 25, 2011

I hate books that leave a cliff hanger and no word on the next novel. C’mon guys! And could we have a light-hearted one now and then? I hate to be “bookless” but some of these are just not interesting.

22. Mr. Spock - January 28, 2012

#16 I agree with you. I miss my series and unfortunatelly the relaunched books do not fill the void.

A broader variety in the books would be awesome. Like the TOS novels.
It would be nice if at least one book per series (that takes place during each series) would be puplished every year. That would make 5 books a year (TOS,TNG,DS9,VOY,ENT) , the rest of the books could be relaunches, AU, new series, whatever.

I have nothing against the relaunched books, it’s just that all my favorite characters are missing and when I buy a Star Trek book I want it to be about my favorite characters and the crews as I’ve grown to love from the TV series. With the way the novels are puplished these days they have alienated the casual readers.

IDIC

23. Captain Everett - February 7, 2012

Enough with these same characters. Why can’t we have NEW characters with LARGER ships and more ADVANCED weapons!!!! The USS Defiant was the best ship in the fleet! Just think if they came out with a new class of Defiant ships that are LARGER than the Galaxy class. Creating a Hispanic Captain would be nice to.

24. Captain Thor - April 2, 2012

I too support the idea to publish more books that take place during the series. Like it was in the 80s and the 90s. I particularly miss Data and Jadzia from the novelverse and I’d love to read more adventures with these characters. We have 12 books every year, why not 3-4 books that take place before the relaunch and the rest be in the current continuity. Books are not canon anyway, they’re just fun so why not more divercity?

25. Jason - June 17, 2012

I’m with those who want more stand alone books set during the series. The current novels are worse than fanfiction, they really destroyed or killed off all the great characters from the series.

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