Book Review: Star Trek Titan: Fallen Gods | TrekMovie.com
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Book Review: Star Trek Titan: Fallen Gods September 7, 2012

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

As the starship Titan continues its journey of exploration deep into the Beta Quadrant, the Andorian succession issue serves up an added complication in the midst of an already tricky mission in a dangerously unstable region of space as Michael A. Martin’s new novel “Fallen Gods” hits the ground running. The TrekMovie review below.

 

 

REVIEW: STAR TREK: TITAN FALLEN GODS
by Michael A. Martin
Massmarket paperback – 368   pages
PocketBooks – April 2012 – $7.99

The planet Ta’ith is home to two competing tribes of sentients – the Deconstructors and the Preservations; and their continued existence is imperiled by the growing radiation field being generated by the Vela Pulsar. The two sides, however, have completely opposite strategies for dealing with the problem. For the Preservationists, it is only the technology of their predecessor race – known as the ‘Fallen Gods’ – that will be able to save them. The Deconstructors, however, believe that the technology is the source of all their woes, and that only its destruction will serve a propitious purpose.

Of course, this background information is unknown to Captain Riker and the crew of the Titan, who find themselves anticipating the arrival of one of the Federation’s new slipstream starships to remove, through ‘reassignment’, the ship’s Andorian crew members. Riker does not take kindly to the request, but this is only the beginning of his complications, as an Andorian warship shows up demanding the repatriation of every last Andorian under his command.

As “Fallen Gods” scope expands, the reader discovers two very disconcerting truths. One, which threatens Tuvok’s sanity, has a root planted in the soil of Ta’ith and it’s predecessor race; the other takes place among the corridors and transporter chambers of the Andorian warship. The former signifies great potential for gain and loss in the life of Tuvok and in the Titan’s mission of exploration, while the latter represents a dangerous turning point for Andorian/Federation relations.

Martin does a convincing job of painting Ta’ith’s environs… it was easy to envision both the aliens and the Starfleeters sojourning across the radiation-scoured wastes of the planet’s surface, and through his word-smithing, they are some of the most vivid images I have been able to generate from a Star Trek novel. The simple dichotomy of the positions of the planetary inhabitants lent itself well to the visual impression as well. Here were two parties, nearing a total dead end, whose fundamental disagreement threatened the existence they had. Onward they went, oblivious of what was present in their Sacred City… bent on a hellish path of death and destruction whose finality was reflected in the lands and skies of their home.

It is not, however, the truly alien (to a Star Trek fan) that Martin alone masterfully weaves. His treatment of the Andorians, a race very well known to fans through Star Trek: Enterprise and the recent novels examining their place in the local galaxy adds a unique and interesting spin on how we view their armed forces in particular.

Combined with a recent re-watch of the Enterprise episode “Proving Ground”, visualizing the Andorian ship and populating it with Martin’s creations was an intensely satisfying change of pace… one which serves the continuing evolution of the current Star Trek literary journey well.

“Fallen Gods” wraps itself up with both neat endings and hanging threads: endings which continue to demonstrate the resourcefulness that can come about when infinite diversity is allowed to work in infinite combinations, and which add chilling new potentials for frightening after effects for many members of the Titan’s crew, as well as for the Federation.

“Fallen Gods” is, quite possibly, the best solo work by Michael A. Martin that I have ever read. It is definitely worth your time and money if you are looking for an action-packed Star Trek adventure that still has plenty of moral implications… isn’t that the reason we all got into Star Trek in the first place?

MORE: new and upcoming Star Trek novels

Catch up on other recent Star Trek fiction releases: David Mack’s
"Star Trek: Vanguard: Storming Heaven" (TrekMovie review), Chris Bennett’s "Star Trek: DTI: Forgotten History" (TrekMovie review). 

And there is David. R. George’s duology "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn" (review) and "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night" (review). 

 

There is also the just released new Voyager book "Star Trek: Voyager: The Eternal Tide," by Kirsten Beyer. And coming up at the end of the month is another in the Typhon series: Una McCormack’s "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship." 

 

Comments

1. NCC-73515 - September 7, 2012

Guess I better finish #2, The Red King… still stuck with that one

2. Pensive's Wetness - September 7, 2012

How divergant are the current post Era books, compared to, say, STO (which to my understanding has some very vague traces of cannon content in terms of… what ever). Is there a write up in Wiki (any wiki) about the books and what is happening in its storyline, post Borg?

3. Pointing Out The Obvious - September 7, 2012

I have to disagree, its not the best Trek Novel I’ve read, but its not the worst either.

@2
Star Trek Online failed miserably on its promise to ‘follow the stories from the novel time-line’, which they promised they would do when they announced the game.

this might be of interest to you: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Memory_Beta_Chronology:_24th_Century

4. Caesar - September 7, 2012

I tried reading these, but they were really heavy into “personal drama,” which interests me not a whit.

Also, holy cow are these covers terrible. There’s just so much wrong with this.

5. ryan - September 7, 2012

I can’t be the only one who is interested in reading new stories that take place during the series, can I? The relaunches were fun for a while but shortly afterwards they became unoriginal and uninteresting with the endless conflicts and wars, the typhon pact and the countless deaths. I miss the good old optimistic and fun trek and most of all I miss reading about the characters from the series. I don’t really have developed any connection with any new character. I hope for the 25th anniversary of TNG and the 20th anniversary of DS9 we’ ll get some novels set during the timelines of the series.

6. Pointing Out The Obvious - September 7, 2012

@5
There’s DOZENS of novels that have been written during the timelines the show was airing, why should they go back and tread ground already done?
http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation_(Pocket)
http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine_(Pocket)

7. Ryan - September 8, 2012

@6

For the original series there are hundreds of novels set during the five years mission and there are still novels comming out that set in this period. I already explained why l prefer novels set during the timeline of the series and with the original characters of the series. I’ m not suggesting to cancel the relaunches but once in a while some novels set during the series wouldn’t hurt. Even in Star Wars where the EU is canon and the novels has moved the storyline hundreds years in the future and has expanded the universe thousands years in the past there are still some novels every year that set during the rebellion era. It’s all about balance and diversity.

8. Markonian - September 8, 2012

As Captain Obvious already pointed out, there are numerous novels set during the series eras. Status quo stories, were everything has to get back into the sandbox at the end, have been done to death.

Plus, every year several TOS novels are published taking place during the five year mission. Read those.

9. Captain Data - September 8, 2012

@8

Why is so bad that some fans ask for 24th century stories taking place during the series? Aren’t these fans have the same rights as those who want stories set post finales? I didn’t see here people say that the relauches should get canceled only that along with the relaunches they would like new stories within the time period of the series! I would welcome that, I miss characters like Jadzia and Data and would love to read about them! IDIC people. Also as Ryan pointed out next year is the 25th anniversary of TNG (not to mention the blu ray release) and the 20th anniversary of DS9, that would be the perfect opportunity to publish stand alone stories set during the series that would bring new readers in.

10. Trekkie - September 8, 2012

I’d love a series of new novels set before the series finales. I have give up the post nemesis novels and it’s a shame that people who don’t enjoy the unofficial continuation of pocket books don’t have anything to fit their taste.
I believe there is room for everything, after all books are not canon so what’s the problem with little more diversity?

11. Michael Rebain - September 8, 2012

“Seccession”, not “succession”.

Regardless, I just finished this novel and enjoyed it a lot. I am quite happy with the current mix of novels being published, with the new Voyager novel next on my list as well as a number of TOS books that Amazon has listed for early next year.

12. Majicou - September 8, 2012

I thought this book seemed like a story at war with itself–the material on Ta’ith serves almost entirely to provide a reason for Titan not to bug out when the Andorians come calling. Even with the storylines about Tuvok and White-Blue, the Ta’ithan thread didn’t seem to serve much purpose.
The Andorian material, on the other hand, was compelling. The mysterious doings on the Andorian ship are well-presented and should have interesting consequences down the road.
It’s because of this, really, that the alien-of-the-week material suffers so much. Such societies are difficult to make interesting at the best of times, and when they’re put side-by-side with a major shake-up to the status quo of the Federation, they just can’t compete.

@3: I can’t recall any such promise. And if it was made, are you sure it was Cryptic and not Perpetual, the original developer, who made it? In other words, [citation needed].

13. Pointing Out The Obvious - September 8, 2012

@12
I watched the original announcement video from when Cryptic took the reigns of STO from Perpetual Entertainment. this was in 2008 at the Las Vegas Trek Convention, and they SPECIFICALLY said they’d follow the novels set after the last movie (nemesis).

I’d love to find the video, but my Google-fu has turned up nothing.

14. Pointing Out The Obvious - September 8, 2012

@12 NM, found them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=netVYbeaiDo

15. Carol - September 9, 2012

I really enjoyed Fallen Gods. I particular enjoyed the Andorian portions of the book. I can’t wait to see how the Andorian storyline plays out..

16. KG - September 9, 2012

The more I read the synopses of the novels all I can think to myself is “Thank God these aren’t canon” and I continue to not read them.

17. Spocky - September 9, 2012

I have stopped reading the books long time ago and with every new novel coming out and hear what is happening to the litverse I’m glad I have saved my money and time

18. RetroWarbird - September 9, 2012

That’s pretty neat; Andorian secession is something I toyed with in my musings and writings, I thought if anyone would ever “Quit the perfect Federation”, it could only ever be a race that worships passion as much as the Vulcanians worship logic.

19. chrisfawkes.com - September 9, 2012

How often will they be slipping “god’s” into a title. Gettling a bit tired. A new way of saying it would be better.

20. Trek_forever - September 10, 2012

@9

Thank you Captain Data, you took the words out of my mouth. I love the 24th century series and it would be great to have new stories that take place during the run of TNG, DS9 and VOY. The TNG novels are not the same without Data and Jadzia is my favorite Star Trek character and I can not read a DS9 novel without feel her absence. I hope they bring them back in the novels.

21. Damian - September 11, 2012

I love the relaunches myself and am glad to see some here that feel the same way. I’d have no problem with a few books taking place during the series runs either like the original series. I do have to agree with #8 about putting everything back, but there should still be room for one or 2 series books in a year. The nice thing about relaunches (esp, since the spinoffs will almost definetly never be seen again) is that they can make some bold moves, such as killing off a character or destroying a space station.

That being said, I doubt you’ll see anything beyond what you see now. I have a feeling the novels based on the spin-offs will eventually die off (esp, if Paramount ever allows books based on the new Abramsverse–which will likely take up several spots each year). We’ll probably get to 2387 (the year from which Spock travelled to the past), maybe a little beyond and that may be it. Enterprise is already finished in the novels, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a new Enterprise novel. It’s only a matter of time before Pocketbooks closes the book on Voyager and Deep Space Nine (The Next Generation might live a little longer due to its own popularity).

22. Matthew Rushing - September 11, 2012

There is something really missing from this book. I found the world building lacking, there is no complete description of the aliens so I cannot truly picture what they look like. All the characters are as flat as the page they are written on. The Andorian mess was good and yet felt so shoehorned in, especially with as far away as Titan is. How do the Andorians catch up? And lastly, here we get another bashing of those who have faith and glorifying those who have science. The best Trek (DS9) showed us how faith can live alongside science and here those with faith are bigoted and fear-mongers, the complete cliche. Titan has been on of my favorite series, but his installment is missing everything that has made it great, characterization that has depth, wonderful world-building and something epic worth fighting for.

23. Dana - September 11, 2012

While the relaunches are not all that bad I’d like to have some novels set in the time period of the series or in alternative timelines and explore some of the events of the series with different outcomes or exlore the origins of some of the characters or set in the new timeline. In short I’d like more variety in the novels.
These days all the 24th century novels share the same contuinity and while that has some advantages it can also be very tiring sometimes

24. Tomswift2002 - September 11, 2012

I would have to disagree with the reviewer. This is a Trek book people should avoid, unless they want to feel like they were just forced into a discussion at gunpoint on the views of religious groups (i.e. Christian, Islam, Hindu) versus atheistic views.

These discussions have been handled way better in different episodes and books. Plus the Andorian subplot just felt “shoe-horned” in and the timing between Andor’s withdrawal from the Federation and their arrival here seems too be too short for them to have built a warship, as well as other things were very discordant.

And the Ta’ith were uninteresting, even though there were parts where Michael Martin could’ve given us sooooooooo much more.

Do not read, avoid.

25. I - September 14, 2012

I prefer reading fanfiction, there is something for everyone there unlike the books and there both not canon

26. Nick - September 14, 2012

Actually fanfiction is better than anything post nemesis I have read.

27. Lee - September 16, 2012

@3 – When did the STO people ever promise to follow the novels? I don’t recall them ever saying nor implying that. While the game’s post-Nemesis timeline follows loosely the novels, it and the novels have done their own thing.

28. Daniel - September 17, 2012

The books lost me as a fan when in Destiny they promoted the unworthy Ezri Dax to captain. I couldn’t even finish that book. Who thought that an annoying and confused counsel would be up for captainship is beyond me. Having someone’ s memories is one thing but having the smart and guts to be captain is entirely another. And Ezri lacks the charisma and character will to be one. Thank god books are not canon so we don’t have to stick with shit like this.

29. Sam - September 17, 2012

# 28

yes that was a really low point for trek literature. Other things that turned off are giving Ro the rank of Captain even after she betrayed the federation to join the maquis but characters like Worf or Data or Geordi haven’t become captains yet. Killing off Janeway and resurrected her 3 books later. What was the point of that? Why kill her in the first place? I know, I know to create drama and to boost readership. Making Sisko go all insane and abandon his family only to reunite them 2 books later again just for the sake of drama . But what writers fail to see is that Star Trek is not only drama, it’s also imagination, discovery, exploration, hope and diversity and the books have abandoned these values

30. Trek_forever - September 20, 2012

@28

I agree with you, I can’t get used to Ezri. I wish they’d publish some novels with Jadzia like the excellent millennium trilogy or maybe find way to bring her back in the novels. It’s Star Trek the possibilities are endless.

31. Bud - October 1, 2012

I enjoyed FALLEN GODS….just good entertainment. What I did not enjoy about the book is the characterization of Christine Vale. She came across as arrogant, shallow, and judgmental. The power struggle between her and Troi is tiresome. Vale uses “because I am the XO” or “I wouldnt be a good first officer…” way too much in her dialogue and even in her monologues. Everyone knows she is the first officer. The other crew members do not routinely taut their position. Her constant insecurity and need to remind others and the readers of her position makes her an ineffective character.

Since Titan prides itself on the diversity of its crew, there needs to be some diversity in its command staff which is dominated by humans. Replacing Vale with a non-humaniod first officer could solve two issues…remove the whiny Commander Vale from the spotlight and symbolically reinforce Titan’s commitment to diversity with a non-humanoid first officer.

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