Mike’s Bookshelf

Mike’s Bookshelf

Recent titles I’ve read with a few notes for prospective readers.
Star Trek: Destiny #3: Lost Souls
Only a few books I’ve ever read have actually left me smiling or jerked my emotions around enough for me to become misty-eyed. You will need to read the previous two books to have any hope of understanding this one. In my opinion, it is well worth the time. Events that take place in the climax completely alter the “expanded” Trek universe. In simple terms, we learn the origin of the Borg and their final fate.

David Mack again does a great job twisting and turning the reader’s emotions and provokes some very intense imagery and intrigue. The outcome of this novel makes me wish it were not considered “alternate” to the main Trek canon. It would truely be something to watch on the big screen.

Mike’s rating – 4 of 5 stars

Star Trek: Destiny #2: Mere Mortals
A bit slower paced that than the books before and after it, Mere Mortals does a deep dive into some of our favorite characters and gives us an introduction to some that are new and very unique. The characters on Titan, specifically, are very “alien”. I would have liked to spend more time reading about Tuvok, who really takes a back seat to his more exotic crewmates. David Mack does a great job building tension with the Borg and describes one of the best space battle scenes I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

Shifting between ships, crews, and Earthbound characters (including Seven Of Nine) can become a bit dizzying at times. If you’ve made it this far in series, you will absolutely want continue reading on to book 3.

Mike’s rating – 3 of 5 stars

Star Trek: Destiny #1: Gods of Night
Although this book still focuses heavily on the impending invasion of a much more terrifying version of the Borg, whose mantra has changed to “You will be exterminated”, there is a lot of good, old-fashioned Trek to keep it fresh (more-or-less). The book follows seemingly unrelated narratives of four starship captains; Picard on Enterprise-E, Riker on Titan, Ezri Dax on Aventine, and Erika Hernandez of Columbia (NX-02). Both Titan and Aventine discover clues that lead to Colombia, which had gone missing decades earlier. This opens up a major plot-line for the trilogy. Meanwhile, Enterprise engages the Borg, which has begun building an invasion fleet. The problem I found is that each sub-plot felt somewhat rushed and underdeveloped.

Pregnancy plays a role in the development of two very familiar characters. One of the pregnancies is high-risk. I find myself disappointed again in the clearly “progressive” agenda being pushed in the Trek novels, as readers are lectured about the merits of abortion despite the fact that the practice ends an innocent life. The mother who wants to keep her child is depicted as being unreasonable. Overall, the book is a good read. I’m taking points off simply because it is *another* Borg story. Be prepared to purchase the others in the series if you want to learn how the stories eventually resolve.

Mike’s rating – 3 of 5 stars

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Greater than the Sum
Yet another post-Nemesis story devoted to the Borg and finding new and weird ways to destroy them. The subplots of family and fatherhood gave the story a much needed aside from another heavy-handed and threadbare plot revolving around the Borg Collective. The introduction of a new anti-Vulcan character, T’Ryssa Chen, provides an over-the-top distraction from the danger posed by a seemingly free-thinking Borg vessel dubbed “Frankenstein”. Chen’s character is mostly shallow and uninspiring; her over-sexed, casual attitudes toward physical intimacy and pleasure for the sake of pleasure is epic-eye-roll worthy, as is the author’s obvious “progressive” spin on future social issues. Chen, the outcome of the main plot, and the resolution to the side-plots established in the story are all predictable and formulaic. Otherwise, this was a fun visit to the Star Trek universe.

Mike’s rating – 2 of 5 stars
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Generation: Before Dishonor
Does Seven look sad on the cover? The look you see is shame for having been written into this story. Do yourself and favor and don’t read it. Seriously. The plot is so bad and contrived, my only justification for finishing it was to find out just how much more lame it could become. It became pretty lame. Admiral Janeway is Borg-ified, so Picard, Seven of Nine, Spock (yes, that Spock) fly off to a museum to reactivate the planet killer from the TOS episode “The Doomsday Machine” in an attempt to destroy the Janeway-Borg “Super Cube” which has the ability to absorb rather than assimilate. The rest is just not worth the pixel space. If you liked this, you’ll like “Before Dishonor”. The one saving grace of this story is a new character named Antin “Grim” Vargo, whose only appearance is (sadly) in this book.

Mike’s rating – 1 of 5 stars
Star Trek: Q&A
A fun little book with Q and Picard pitted against each other (again) with Picard trying to save the universe (again). Some pretty good lines by Q, Q, and Q (all beings in the Q continuum refer to themselves as Q, so it does get confusing). What I found most enjoyable about this book was the interaction between new members of the Enterprise crew. The plot is a little shaky and the finish left me scratching my head asking “what just happened?”. Even if the main plot was lacking, the many sub-plots were very enjoyable windows into some of my favorite Star Trek TNG characters.

Mike’s rating – 3 of 5 stars
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Resistance
Superbly written and filled with tension and anxiety, Resistance is a very intense look into human fear, desperation, loyalty, friendship, and hubris. Picard is faced with the daunting task of replacing many of his crew on the Enterprise in the aftermath of Star Trek : Nemesis. The new characters are vivid and likable, to a point where it was difficult to continue reading at some points. Elements of horror and suspense are leveraged with great results. By the end of the book, I felt deflated and defeated, but looking for revenge.

Mike’s rating – 4 of 5 stars
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Death in Winter
Despite the “blah” title for this book, Death in Winter is an intriguing love story, political drama, and suspense thriller all rolled into one very good story. Taking place soon after Star Trek : Nemesis, Picard is found dealing with the loss of many of his crew to promotions or reassignments while the Enterprise is dry-docked for repairs and updates. When Dr. Crusher goes missing, and it is learned that the Romulans are involved, Picard must find a way to rescue her.

Mike’s rating – 4 of 5 stars
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.