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The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins (Star Trek) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Star Trek (6 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743464036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743464031
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 932,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The asteroid hung in space like an afterthought, a barren, craggy rock the universe seemed to have flung together for no particular purpose. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 11 Feb. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
David R. George III hasn't been the most prolific Star Trek writer, but he has been one of the most effective recently. With two wonderful Deep Space Nine books to his credit (Mission Gamma: Twilight and co-authorship with Armin Shimmerman of The 34th Rule), he has rapidly become somebody who I *must* check out when I see his name on a Trek book. In Serpents Among the Ruins, part of the Lost Era series of Trek books, George does yet another great job, this time rehabilitating the character of Captain John Harriman, captain of the Enterprise B (seen in the movie Star Trek: Generations). In the movie, he's kind of an inexperienced dweeb, lessened in order to make Captain Kirk seem that much greater. George obviously wanted to do something about that, and he's created a book with wonderful characters and a tense atmosphere.
This story pretty much has everything a Trek fan could want: Klingons & Romulans, interesting Federation characters (including Demora Sulu, our favourite Sulu's daughter), tension, a little bit of humour, and a huge action sequence. It also provides us with an early look at Elias Vaughn, who later (in the Deep Space Nine relaunch series) becomes first officer of the station. Having become very familiar with Vaughn from the Deep Space Nine series, it was interesting to see how he started out. How much has he changed? This is his first field mission for Starfleet Intelligence, so we do get a lot of nervousness and a little bit of angst when something happens that he's never done before. While I did find the angst a little annoying at times (while realistic, I thought the book dwelled on it just a bit much), Vaughn is an interesting character who we want to learn a lot more about.
The most impressive thing about the book, however, is Harriman.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The deeper one traverses the depths of this, the first LOST ERA novel, the stronger one can detect an underlying current of sophistication. Don’t get me wrong – there have been many classic works set in the Star Trek Universe that stand up against anything ever written in the science fiction genre. But this one in particular just stands out. The characterisation is outstanding. Initially a little daunting, the book is very, very wordy but after a few pages, one begins to see the wood for the trees and suddenly the reader can see the sense of all the talk. We get to know Captain John Harriman and his elite crew. We get to know his family, his love life, their history and his personal future and plans. His personal life alone is well depicted and even that aspect of the story is worth the price of admission alone. Naturally, we are already familiar with the ship Harriman and his crew have been blessed to serve on. And of course the footfalls of the current crew echo against the ghosts of Kirk, Spock and McCoy et al who traversed the same ship and its passage ways many times in the past, much to the Federation's glory.

Tension and political intrigue abound throughout this interstellar tale, which hints at a possible allegiance between the Klingons and (gasp!) the Romulans, along with the ever present threats of double cross and duplicity. They both seem to think the Federation are being duplicitous themselves by developing a"meta weapon" - the likes of which the galaxy has never seen. Of course us Fans of the Federation know (from faith alone) the exact opposite, and are fascinated as we learn and witness what the good guys are actually developing.

That is the plan, anyway.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tony hogan on 7 Oct. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Captain John Harriman weaves a wonderful world of intrigue and deceipt in this gripping novel by David R Geaorge 111. In my opinion one of the very best Trek writers we have at the moment.
We also learn a great deal more about Capt. John's relationship with his father, Admiral Harriman. and how it is resolved.
DRG111 gives his characters life. I could really picture the scenes when reading the dialogue, and found this novel to be one of the most exciting I have read for a while.
This book is the second in the Lost Era series. The Sundered by Martin and Mangels being the first. These books can be read individually but are such terrific stories I would suggest reading them in the order they are printed. One a month for six months.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the worst books I have encountered recently. It completely failed to grip me and to hold my attention. It is boring, and it just goes on and on and on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 33 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely phenomenal read! 4 Sept. 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Novels don't get much better than this, any type of novel. "Serpents Among the Ruins" by David R. George III has every element that makes for an exceptional reading experience. An original and imaginative plot, phenomenal characters, and a distinctive style that the author is able to sustain from the beginning to the end.
The year is 2311 and the event is the mysterious and infamous Tomed Incident. The Federation and the Romulan Star Empire are on a countdown to war. Neither side has any doubt that war will come. Step by step, inch-by-inch, through a series of events large and small the two powers move ever closer to the seemingly inevitable conflict. The only questions there seem to be are what will be the spark that ignites the hostilities, and who will the Klingons side with.
After eighteen years in command of Starfleet's flagship, the Enterprise-B, Captain John Harriman is a seasoned and experienced leader, a man with more than his share of experience with the Romulans. Many things have transpired through the years to bring Harriman to this point in his career and this point in history. And it will take every resource at his disposal and a bit of luck too; to make sure that the Federation survives.
Dramatic and suspenseful are the first words that spring to mind as I try to describe my thoughts about this spectacular novel. At the same time "Serpents Among the Ruins" manages to be a contemplative and poignant story as well. A story driven by the characters that are in turn driven by the events they find themselves caught up in.
This novel builds slowly, allowing the reader to get to know the principal characters: their motivations, their nature, their flaws and strengths, and their hopes and dreams. It allows you to see the events from the perspective of Romulans and Klingons as well as citizens of the Federation. The first one hundred pages or so sets the stage with narrative so richly detailed that the events seem entirely real. You feel as if you are watching these momentous, albeit fictitious, events unfold before your eyes.
The author, David R. George III, exhibits extraordinary craftsmanship as he carefully takes the reader through the brilliantly plotted events. He draws for the reader the portrait of a man, John Harriman, who has been born and breed to serve the Federation. An open and deceptively casual man who projects a confidence he does not always feel but who is totally secure with himself and his convictions. A man with the weight of the Quadrant on his shoulders, who before the story is done you can't help but both like and admire.
The other characters who populate "Serpents Among the Ruins" are just as striking, each in their own way. No matter what each readers preconceived notions are of the who, what, where and how of the Tomed Incident that "Serpents Among the Ruins" so powerfully and impressively illuminates, nothing in your imagination could compare to this gripping and shocking tale.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Best in "The Lost Era" Star Trek series 28 Feb. 2004
By John Kwok - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
David R. George III is unquestionably, along with Diane Duane and Peter David, among the best writers working in the "Star Trek" universe today. "Serpents Among The Ruins" is a spellbinding account of the events which led to the infamous "Tomed Incident" between the Romulans and the United Federation of Planets. Not surprisingly caught in the middle of escalating tensions between both powers is the Federation flagship USS Enterprise, NCC 1701-B, commanded by Captain John J. Harriman, Jr. with Hikaru Sulu's daughter Demora, as his Exec. Harriman goes on a desperate undercover mission which will involve Starfleet Intelligence officer Lieutenant Elias Vaughn, seeking to stop an insane Romulan admiral. We are also witness to the signing of the Treaty of Algernon, which reaffirms the existence of the Neutral Zones between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation and Klingon Empires. There is ample political intrigue on Romulus and the Klingon homeworld which will satisfy diehard fans familiar with the politics of both interstellar empires. Without question, this was an enjoyable read and a worthy addition to "Star Trek" fiction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
ST - The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins 2311 24 Feb. 2004
By Joe Zika - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek - The Lost Era: "Serpents Among the Ruins" 2311 written by David R. George,III is a well-written complex story that shows that everything is not just black and white, but the gray areas are where the action and the real running of politics comes into play with the Federation, Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire.
Yes, this is a complex story and I must admit that this story took longer to read to keep all of the characters straight in your mind as you read on. This is a character driven story with some mystery and intrigue and covert actions. This story portrays the Federation as a farther thinking operation than what you'd imagine. Charater driven we have Captain John Jason Harriman, Jr., Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B. The famous ship in "Generations" that lost James T. Kirk to the Nexes and supposedly killing Kirk. Elias Vaughn of special ops and later the Commander of the "Defiant," Admiral John "Blackjack" Harriman the hardened Admiral of Starfleet who makes life especially difficult for Harriman, Jr.
Azetbur Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, Demora Sulu daughter of Hikaru Sulu and Exec of the "Enterprise," and Admiral Aventeer Vokar of the Romulan Star Empire and Commander of the "Tomed." All of these charaters interplay making for and interesting story. Anytime you get the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans together you should get an interesting story of duplicitous undertows and this story delivers in spades.
This story takes place in the year 2311... the year famous for the "Tomed Incident," eighteen years after the presumed death of Captain James T. Kirk aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-B in Star Trek Generations, and fifty-three years before the launch of the Enterprise-D in the "Encounter at Farpoint." This story will fill you in on the escalating tensions among the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Federation.
When reading this book you'll find that it starts on slow and you get a lot of background and character development and the plot is being set. It is interesting that when Starfleet tests a new drive called "Hyperwarp" on the inaugural flight of the U.S.S. Universe things go wrong in a hurry and the story is filled with intrigue and covert operations from that point on in the story.
I can't give you too many details as that would spoil this well-written story. I found that you really need to pay attention to keep all of the characters and their plotting straight as this is not a book that you can scan-read to get the salient points. If you like character driven writing than this is the book to read as you will not be disappointed and the is plenty of action-adventure and tight situations.
I gave this book a solid 5 star rating for good character development and interplay with a plausible plot. Also, this portrays the Federation in a light that the gray areas and not just the black and white can tell a good story. This book reveals the true personalities and shows that this ensamble of characters are worthy of a book that tells the tale of what truly went on with the "Tomed Incident" and the destruction of the Foxtrot Sector near the Romulan Neutral Zone. Where the Romulans have retreated into their empire and closed their borders.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Slick "Serpents" 20 Sept. 2003
By Jeff Jacques - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In John Harriman, David R. George III has given us a character light years beyond the green captain we met in "Star Trek Generations," a man who has grown as a starship commander, and as a man, into a fully realized character deserving of the honor of being captain of a starship Enterprise.
But it's the events unfolding around Harriman and his crew that really makes this story a worthwhile experience. Steeped in Trek history, we're witness to the complex and deadly political machinations pulling the Federation, the Romulans and the Klingons in a direction that can only lead to war. The uncertainty of this prospect, as well as the events leading up to the infamous Tomed Incident, keeps the reader on the edge of their seats and immersed in George's storytelling ability right to the last page.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
At last, the ULTIMATE lost tale has FINALLY been told 4 Sept. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was so excited to finally read the tale of the Tomed Incident. I had always thought that Tomed was a planet, not a starship.
As I read, it didn't really make sense what the final plan was until much, much later into the book. Why steal a Romulan starship? It didn't make any sense to me. The Federation ALREADY has a cloaking device why get another. Then the pieces started to fall into place. With the desstruction of the Tomed, I actually dropped my jaw on the amount of devistation. Without giving away the twists, it was an enjoyable book (a bit slow in the middle for me, though). I do recommend it to people fond of historical Star Trek tales. It is NOT a Next Generation perfect world book. It is much darker than that, so HUGE fans of Next Generation please be aware: You may not like this book.
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