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Typhon Pact: Gell Kamemor


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Report this Sep. 04 2012, 6:36 am

I will preface this by saying that I've only read three Star Trek novels ever (the first Vanguard, and now the two most recent Typhon Pact novels by David George III (Raise the Dawn, Plagues of Night).  Leaving aside the fact that George refuses to focus on any single character or story for more than one chapter at a time, there is another huge problem with these stories: Gell Kamemor.

The new praetor of the Romulan Empire is a terrible, terrible character.  First, her positions are incredibly un-Romulan.  Second, they come across as very biased against Romulan culture and the Romulan characters created by the TV show (every chapter with Tomulak or Sela in it throws in a few digs about those characters; if George dislikes them so much, why is he using them).  Third, from a conceptual basis, it makes no sense to create the Typhon Pact as adversaries to the Federation and its allies and then have the leader of the foremost Typhon Pact empire actively working to undermine the Alliance's goals.

Kamemor reads like a Mary Sue -- George's fantasies about what an ideal, Federation-centric Romulan should be.  There is no difference between how she runs the Empire and how, for example, Spock would run it.  That makes her an incredibly boring character.  It makes the Romulans a boring foe.  And it makes the plots of the books seem contrived.  Did we really need another long, multifaceted novel about Romulans working against the praetor?

At some point, if Sela believed what she said she believed.  If Tomalak believed what he said he believed.  If Romulan opposition to Gell's policies was so rampant, she would simply be replaced.  She is, after all, an undemocratic leader in an undemocratic state.  It's not like popular support and elections are responsible for her legitimacy.  She serves at the pleasure of an unelected Senate and a vast, anti-Federation, pro-Romulan exceptionalism bureaucracy. 

She needs to go.

Does anyone know if any of the other Typhon Pact novels remove her?  Is she going to be in the rest of the series indefinitely?  If so, I think I'm done.



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Report this Sep. 04 2012, 8:16 am

You do know that the Romulan Empire has gone through a separation (almost civil war) and reunification.

Plus, are all humans the same? Are all Klingons the same? Are all Romulans the same? Just because she acts different to most Romulans, you can't condemn her character.


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Report this Sep. 04 2012, 8:47 pm

I don't know I just thought her character was supposed to be interesting BECAUSE she was all the those things you mentioned and went against the grain of what we as readers were lead to expect the Romulan Empire's newest leader was supposed to be.  I would agree its a bit unrealistic to expect that her type of character would be tolerated for long in such a position in the Romulan Empire


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Report this Sep. 05 2012, 7:32 am

This forum is really hard to use.  I just lost a long reply to this.

Essentially, Kamemor doesn't fit with the concept of the Typhon Pact storyline.  Furthermore, if she really lead the Romulan Empire, she would withdraw from the Pact.  She works hard in both George books to undermine the alliance and its goals.  She is actively opposed to the Tzenkethi, Tholians, and Breen.  She basically cuts the Pact off at the knees in Raise the Dawn.

Her beliefs on the Quantum Slipstream Drive and the Romulans place in the pact are completely incompatible with being a member of the alliance.  It is very much like the USSR being a member of the Anticomintern Pact.  It simply doesn't fit.

Kamemor needs to be replaced for the Typhon Pact storyline to work at all.

A plot thread about a Romulan leader thawing relations between the UFP and Romulus might be interesting, but it doesn't belong in a metaplot series about a hostile alliance taking advantage of Federation weakness.

Also, George (and Kamemor by extension) completely ignore the Romulan leadership that allied with the UFP during the Dominion War.  If you really did want to see a Romulan Empire moving closer to the UFP, wouldn't you at least pick up on that thread rather than completely inventing a new line for Romulans where their leaders believe in a balance of power that disadvantages them?


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Report this Sep. 05 2012, 8:00 am

I can't fully argue the character since I'm only halfway through the first of the two books, but what I can say so far is that I agree with your comment about why she doesn't suceed from the Pact if she really believes in peace with the UFP and by extension the Khitomer Accords worlds.

I also think that throwing the Cardasians and Klingons on the same side, allying with the Federation, already means that the situation has escalated to a point of no return.

There's certaintly a prescedent for kind Romulans, dating back to the Romulan Commander in Balance of Terror, but I also do admit that it is misguided of Gell to believe the Tholians and Tzenkethi specially would really actuvely seek peace with the UFP.

Again, i'm only partially done with Book 1, so whether Gell exhibits even more misguided views, I can't say. All i can say is that she doesn't appear to be like a Preator that will last long.

P.S. Almost forgot. I don't think the author is ignoring the alliance that occured during the Dominion Wars. Since then, Shinzon took controlled, a Preattor with disdain for Earth and Starfleet, and in the books, Tal'ura (spelling may be wrong) came afterwards. She wasn't the Preator that agreed to assist the UFP against the Dominion so there's no reason to impose those values on her. And even the matter of the Romulans in the war, it could be argued that it was self interest, as a force that could destroy the UFP and Klingon Empires would mean assured doom to the Romulan Empire. Better to swallow hard and deal with the Devil you know (Starfleet) than the Devil you don't (The Dominion).

"Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon." - Scotty, The Miracle Worker since 2265.

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