- Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
- Verlag: Pocket Books/Star Trek; Auflage: Original (25. September 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1451687826
- ISBN-13: 978-1451687828
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,5 x 2,5 x 17,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 119.040 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship (Star Trek) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. September 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Una McCormack is the author of the Star Trek novels The Fall: The Crimson Shadow (a New York Times bestseller); Cardassia—The Lotus Flower (which appeared in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume 1); The Never-Ending Sacrifice; Hollow Men; and Brinkmanship; as well as two Doctor Who novels, The King’s Dragons and The Way Through the Woods, and numerous short stories. She lives with her partner, Matthew, in Cambridge, England, where she reads, writes, and teaches.
Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
Civilian Freighter Inzitran, flagship, Merchant Fleet 9
Ementar Vik Tov-A, senior designated speaker, Active Affairs, Department of the Outside
Estimated time to border: 40 skyturns
Estimated time to destination: 45 skyturns
In the name of our most beloved and exalted Autarch Korzenten Rej Tov-AA, and in defense of the perfection of his borders, we serve and salute you!
The complex chatter of the administrators above, the silent attentiveness of her workmates around her—Neta Efheny spent her days with her head down, her mind empty, and her recording devices primed, and she did not speak or look around. Until today. Today, Neta Efheny was going to make a mistake that would change three lives forever and put whole civilizations at risk.
A few skyturns from now, as her mission to Ab-Tzenketh came to its violent and wholly unexpected conclusion, Efheny would have just enough time to reflect again upon the error she was about to make, the uncharacteristic lapse of attention that would cost at least one life. Sitting on a remote hillside, with a terrified workmate and a hostile and desperate ally, Efheny would think about the steps she had taken that had brought her to this pass. She would watch the twin moons silvering the dark expanse of the lagoon, and she would realize that something in her had changed that could not be changed back. She would suddenly understand the extent to which she had acclimated. She would understand that she had gone native. Step by incremental step, move by minute move, Neta Efheny had settled into her place in Tzenkethi society.
That was why she had missed the obvious, which, in retrospect, had been staring her in the face for the best part of four months. Initially, she had been dazzled by Ab-Tzenketh. She had learned to keep her head down, and had kept it lowered for so long that she was barely able to lift it again—it is difficult to see what is staring you in the face if you are looking at the ground.
There were good reasons why this had happened, reasons Efheny would understand very well. Tzenkethi society maintained strict boundaries between its echelons. The bioengineering programs instituted decades ago by the ruling cohorts were attempting to embed these distinctions down at a genetic level. As the programs bore fruit, generation after generation, it was a rare Tzenkethi service grade who found herself lifted by her test scores to a higher function.
These days, most Tzenkethi felt uneasy about too much proximity to those outside their echelon, an unease that surely went well beyond cultural taboo. One’s pulse quickened and one’s luminosity lessened at the sight of a steely skinned enforcer, not simply because one knew what an enforcer was empowered to do but also because one’s body communicated it, physically.
Each year, the Tzenkethi leaders believed that they were coming closer to eradicating the effects of nurture upon their population, and that soon nature would control everything. So they would have been horrified to discover Neta Efheny, and for more reasons than the obvious. That she was a Cardassian spy who, for the last two years, had been successfully placed in one of the most sensitive government departments on the Tzenkethi homeworld would have been alarming. But to find something at the heart of their society that transgressed the natural order of things? That would be revolting.
Efheny had always been fascinated by the Tzenkethi and their rigid social system. Cardassian to the core (whatever her current physical appearance and bioreadings might suggest), she thoroughly approved of the stability achieved by such carefully designed and maintained hierarchies. The chaos of her own world’s recent history made her crave that stability more than she perhaps understood. And she’d found, over the months embedded on Ab-Tzenketh, that what appeared from the outside to be a monolithic caste system in fact allowed for great variation: differences not just in dialects, for example, but also in tone of voice, or pronunciations of words, or the degree of light emitted from one’s luciferous skin that conveyed deep subtleties. Not even the work that Efheny had done for the thesis that had won her this posting (“Toward a Typology of Social Stratification Among the Tzenkethi”) had prepared her for the rich intricacy of everyday life here. This civilization, Efheny often reflected as she performed her mundane tasks, was like a great symphony in which even the lowliest server contributed to the great harmonic whole.
These were the kinds of thoughts that filled Efheny’s head when she was not listening for instructions from her superiors or concentrating on her work. This was probably why she had almost forgotten herself, and was certainly why she had almost missed the obvious. She was too busy keeping her head down and too busy being dazzled. Because sometimes—just sometimes—Efheny forgot. Forgot that her cover identity designated her Ata, bred to carry out the maintenance work necessary to keep any empire going. Sometimes, when she was busy with her tasks, a Fel problem solver or Kre administrator would come down from his or her station on the superior deck, and Efheny would not be able to resist lifting her head just a little to catch a glimpse of these magnificent beings, with their phosphorescent skin and long, strong bodies. Sometimes, when her work was done for the day and she was traveling home to her billet, she would marvel at this glorious world—sun kissed, shining, and blessed with so much water that a Cardassian could not help but stare, however furtively. Stable, controlled, beautiful—no wonder the Tzenkethi systems were policed so jealously by their inhabitants. No wonder they would have been horrified to discover Neta Efheny in their midst, no matter how much she had come to love them.
That morning—the morning of her terrible, fatal mistake—Efheny inched slowly back and forth on her knees along the inferior deck of a conference room, rubbing nutrient gel into its intricate coral floor. This had been her function since arriving on Ab-Tzenketh. As Mayazan Ret Ata-E (Ret to designate her as one who received her orders directly from any Ter leader; E to indicate the quality of her genetic stock), Efheny was part of a work unit assigned to maintain a series of chambers that made up a division of the Department of the Outside. In these chambers, Fel problem solvers and Kre administrators of the governing echelon met and formulated briefing documents on Tzenkethi policy toward foreign powers to be passed farther up to the court, where they might even reach the ear of the Autarch himself. As an undercover operative for the Cardassian Intelligence Bureau, Neta Efheny’s task was to keep as close to these discussions as possible, log everything on the numerous audiovisual recording devices implanted in her person, and transmit these files back to the analysts at the embassy. Neither task made much in the way of intellectual demands, although the maintenance work required physical activity, however repetitive. But as both Efheny and Mayazan, she was a function more than a person.
Pausing for a moment to examine her cloth, which seemed to be running low on the embedded chemical cleansing agents, Efheny saw, from the corner of her eye, the familiar figure of the leader of her work unit, Hertome Ter Ata-C. Hertome’s genetic profile gave him a slight edge over lower-grade Atas when it came to height, and his Ter designation allowed him to emit a coppery hue to distinguish him from the duller browns of his Ata inferiors. He was also allowed to stand... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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Das Buch gefiel mir außerordentlich gut und stellt das Beste der Reihe dar. Die schwierig verlaufenden Verhandlungen sind überaus spannend zu verfolgen und die beiden anderen Handlungsstränge um Inspektionen der "venetanischen" Basis durch Ezri Dax und der EInsatz von Spionen auf Ab-Tzenketh sind gleichfalls unterhaltsam.
Die (totalitäre Plangesellschaft) Gesellschaft der Tzenkethi wird dem Leser sehr gut nähergebracht und abgerundet wird das Buch durch die Erzählweise, die auf Logbucheinträge und Schiffsmitteilungen, die als ein Countdown fungieren und zusätzlich für Spannung sorgen.
Während der Verhandlungmarathon schnell durch cardassianische Einflüße ins Stocken gerät und die Föderationsvertreter sich mehr und mehr unmöglich machen, versuchen auf dem Heimatplaneten der Tzenkethi Spione verschiedener Nachrichtendienste mehr Informationen über deren Absichten zu erhalten. Doch das Leben in dieser doch sehr ungewohnt strukturierten Gesellschaft übt auf einige der Agenten einen ganz eigentümlichen Reiz aus.
Freiheit und Denken ist anstrengend und Diplomatie hat viel mit indirektem Sprechen zu tun. Dies alles wird in diesem Buch in sprachlich sehr ansprechender Weise gut dargestellt. Allerdings gibt es gelegentlich einige Längen, wenn allzu deutlich Zusammenhänge erläutert werden, aber Alles in Allem ist "Brinkmanship" ein durchaus lohnendes Buch über Politik und Angst.
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Let me start off by saying that Brinksmanship is likely the last of the Typhon Pact books. Take that however you will. Personally, I have enjoyed the slower, Cold War-esque feel to the series. That's just me, though.
I'll start off with the pros:
First off, I have no idea what on Earth people are talking about a lack of character development. We once again get to see Ezri as a strong captain, far removed from the awkward counselor of the Seventh Season of DS9. She not only is Captain of the USS Aventine, she is the master of it. She wields her position like a sword, just as well as in Zero Sum Game. (Anyone who disputes this, please read where they destroy the feux-Vesta-Class) Crusher also gets to play a rather prominent role, rather than being the "oh, there's a medical problem. Hey Doc!" which has become her norm. We also see her and Picard considering their future with their child, Rene. They are pushing these characters off and away from the Enterprise slowly but surely, and we will almost definitely see the end of an era come Cold Equations over the next few months.
Also, we get a great look at the Tzenkethi, a species who David R. George spent a great deal of time fleshing out in Rough Beasts, Plagues, and Dawn. They have gotten the most development out of any of the Pact species, and I thoroughly enjoy them. A society that is both beautiful, deadly, and rigid. When I found out this book would be featuring them, I was excited, and I am pleased to say that it held them true. I can easily see how someone would be enthralled with their culture.
Now for the cons...
You may note that I did not mention the Venette at ALL above. There is a reason for that. I hate them. It was a species created specifically for this book and it did not work in the slightest. They were once again this overly-alien species with no solid development. They will also likely never be mentioned again. If they are, God help us. I get that they needed a villain of sorts, or however you want to categorize them, to fit the role, but the Venette were simply terrible. They should have just made this one about the Tzenkethi and left it at that.
WHAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND (or out):
This could have gone from a good story to a great story by adding about another 30 pages of material. President Bacco was given literally just a couple of pages, as another reviewer stated. This annoys me. She has been very prevalent in all of the Pact books thus far because of the immense political intrigue that is taking place right now. But no... the most important figure in the Federation is given mere paragraphs to talk about what is going on. Also, would it have killed them to reference the FLIPPING DESTRUCTION OF DEEP SPACE 9?! It was Dax's home for years and oh, nope, she doesn't care, evidently. And... really... the end? Really? I mean... really? THAT was your excuse?
WHAT'S HIS NAME:
The utterly-forgettable friend of Dax's from college. You could take him out of the book and I wouldn't have noticed or cared. It gave us a nice glimpse to see how a more mature Ezri deals with boys she likes, but he could have easily been substituted.
Now, don't let my more-organized take-down of this book give you pause. It is very well written, and Una is one of the best out there. Yes, there are things that annoy me about this, but if you look at the overall arc of how things have developed, it's really a great continuing narrative seen from dozens of different perspectives. If THAT isn't Star Trek, I don't know what is.
The Typhon Pact series has dealt with subterfuge, alien cultures, the lives of characters we love, political intrigue... Yes, it may be slower at times, but learning about the Breen, the Gorn, and the Tzenkethi has been well worth it.
It's okay if you have a spare afternoon. Venette sucks, Dax is kinda awesome, Tzenkethi... woo. TP has a whole: 4/5
Instead of painting the Tzenkethi as a cartoonish, shallow "bad guy" race that hates the federation because they're just so darned good, the author did a wonderful job of revealing a complex and fascinating species that enriches the Star Trek universe. On the character side, there were some great complicated characters we were introduced to whom I hope will make return appearances.
"Brinkmanship" centers around an unimportant alien race that is suddenly thrust into galactic prominence when it extends its friendship to the Tzenkethi Coalition. Though the book falls under the Typhon Pact series, the Pact plays no role in the events at all. The Tzenkethi bring the Pact to the edge of war, yet key players from the pact such as Praetor Kamemor of the Romulan Star Empire are completely missing from the story. Federation President Nan Bacco gets a couple of pages (literally), but otherwise it is Admiral Akaar who is making the calls on the Federation's end. The central premise of the story--that the Venetans are angry at the Federation because it postponed the Venetans' petition for Federation membership during and after the Dominion War--is ill conceived. The author fails to explain why this peaceful alien race bordering Cardassian space that, up until this point, stayed out of galactic affairs would have ever wanted to ally itself with a Federation that was being overrun by Dominion forces.
However, even worse than the thinly constructed plot is the almost complete lack of character development. Beverly Crusher, who is often sidelined in the novels, finally gets something more constructive to do than simply be present because a scene demands a medical officer. Nevertheless, she remains less than empowered at the end of the novel. Though she writes his voice clearly and preserves his air of dignity, Picard is primarily portrayed as tired and frustrated throughout the book. I understand that the editors are probably moving him in the direction of leaving the Enterprise to become the Federation's ambassador to Vulcan (as per the J.J. Abrams timeline), but it should be handled with a more complex character exploration than this book offers. Similarly, even though there is an attempt to give Captain Dax some new arcs, the presence of an old Academy friend and relations with a new alien commander only shallowly scratch at the surface of a deeply complex character. Another chance for her to work with Worf is also missed, and Worf himself barely makes an appearance even though his experience as a former ambassador, tactical officer, first officer of the Enterprise could have been useful.
Overall, this book is an improvement over the first four or five Typhon Pact novels. Nevertheless, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of both plot and character development.
First of all, I agree that the main plot was not nearly as interesting as the secondary storyline on Ab-Tzenketh (which could have been a spin-off all its own, similar to the whole Worlds of DS9 thing).
The titular storyline kept my attention, but it was mostly political intrigue than action. While diplomacy is fairly common in many of the books, it's still disappointing that there are no space battles (just the standoffs that the title suggests) and no significant first-person action (even the covert, extralegal mission was abridged as dialogue). The diplomacy wielded by Picard and company would have worked, as usual, had they not been stonewalled, but the amount of the issues the characters had was unusual for a Star Trek novel, as even the characters themselves "noticed" this. Garak and the Cardassians seemed a bit more heartless than usual, although that was revealed to be a scheme at the end to force the Tzenkethi. However, while you're reading it, it's a little jarring.
Although new characters, the characters encountered on the Tzenkethi homeworld seemed "real" as their development progressed.
Although it's a stretch, I feel the author introduced several intriguing character developments. The friendship between the Cardassian agent and her Tzenkethi workmate, two "enemies", even to the point of the agent sacrificing her trip home, contrasted sharply with the enmity between supposed and potential allies: the Cardassian and Starfleet agents, the Federation and Cardassian delegations, and Dax and Heldon. On the ideological side, the conflicts between individuality and conformity, as shown as two societies (with the ones from their respective cultures, Cardassian and Tzenkethi, preferring that of the other), and whether the guises we put on for others reflect who we are were weaved throughout the story. The individuality versus conformity issue was likely a consequence of the seemingly Cold War inspiration for the story, which as another reviewer mentioned, really strained the prelude to war storyline.
Without giving away any spoilers, there were many plot elements that had potential but didn't live up to them. The side story on Ab-Tzenketh felt like it could have had a real connection to the characters, but in the end had a puzzling result that, without warning or real buildup, suddenly saved the day. I couldn't tell if it was a flashback or happening parallel to the main plot, but when it became clear what it was, I really ended up wishing it went the other way. As for the main plot, it was a thinly veiled reference to the Cuban missile crisis, and this book shows that history can often be more interesting than fiction. There was so much tension building (a fair amount of it contrived, but for suspension of disbelief, I accepted that things were boiling over), and sadly it all fizzled out with this rather empty ending where everyone suddenly realizes they need to calm down, shake hands and make up. It's nice in the real world, but in fiction it was quite disappointing.
The new characters introduced weren't very interesting. You have your empty suit Federation diplomat who has no control over anything, the Starfleet spy who is more of a loose cannon than an actual asset (anyone who's watched Burn Notice can conclude this character wouldn't survive ten minutes in the field), and the Venetans whose frank openness supposedly has built an entire community on peace, only to turn to outrage and suspicion once the Federation comes knocking at their door. The existing characters didn't acquit themselves very well either. Garak, Bacco, Akaar all have bit roles that don't match what we've read of them in the past. Not much development to be taken from this book, that's for sure.
Most of the other Typhon Pact titles have been great, and I look forward to Cold Equations, where the Typhon Pact is said to be involved. As it is, this book was just filler.