Star Trek Book Reviews II

The TNG book read continues. Let’s celebrate Amazon Prime Day with another batch of reviews!

The Captain’s Honor (Book 8): This book brings back a race we first saw on TOS in the episode Bread and Circuses. In the ensuing years, the Roman society on that planet has become a Federation member and has sent people into Starfleet to serve. The book is an interesting cautionary tale about colonization, and the Roman culture was the perfect parallel foil to that, but the amount of hanging plot details at the end of the book made this a less than perfect read. Rating: 3 tribbles.

A Call to Darkness (Book 9): Published in 1989, this book has some eerily relevant plot points for 2018. Without giving too much away, the entire planet-side plot is a social commentary that’s evocative of today’s media, while the ship-side plot feels as current as the recent Ebola outbreaks. I’m not accusing Mike Jan Friedman of being psychic, but… well, maybe he is. My only critique is that the pacing could have been a little tighter with regards to the characters planet-side. We figure out where this is all going much quicker than they do. Still, a solid read. Rating: 4 tribbles.

A Rock and a Hard Place (Book 10): This is another book I’d have loved to see as an episode. We get to hang out with Riker and actually see him put that upbringing in Alaska to good use. I was also surprised at the general lack of farcical humor in a Peter David book. The plot is tight and the pacing keeps you turning pages. At some points, I was actually worried about Riker getting through the ordeal. If you enjoyed the films The Mountain Between Us or Everest, you will love this one.  Rating: 5 tribbles.

Metamorphosis (unnumbered): I remember reading this when it was first published in 1990 and being confused and bored by it. Less confusion on the reread, only slightly less boredom. The main plot idea, Data becoming human, was very interesting. The half of the book taken up by his “spirit quest” to get there is still kind of boring. And while I knew the author would have to reset everything at the end of the novel, I was let down over how that was handled. I enjoyed Jean Lorrah’s previous TNG book, Survivors, very much, so I’m not sure what happened with this one. Maybe it’s just that the whole spirit quest is silly, and I’ve seen better versions of “Data turning human” in later iterations of TNG on screen. Rating: 2 tribbles.

I’ve  started Book 11, Gulliver’s Fugitives, and I’m still working on that Vanguard reread. I’ve been a bit distracted by some Regency romances dropping from favorite authors. And I just picked up the TOS novel Foul Deeds will Rise by Greg Cox at the library. I wish my public library system had the old Trek e-books in their catalog. While I don’t mind showing Pocket that there’s still demand for the old stuff, I’m sure my Trek author friends aren’t still getting residuals for these sales.

Until next time, live long and prosper!