Sunday, November 1, 2015

Past Life

Star Trek: S.C.E. #15
Past Life by Robert Greenberger
Published April 2002
Re-released in print form as part of the S.C.E. compilation No Surrender in 2003.
Read September 15th 2015

Previous ebook (S.C.E.): #14: Caveat Emptor
Next ebook (S.C.E.): #16: Oaths

Original e-book cover

Compilation of SCE #'s 13 - 16
No Surrender (Paperback) from |
No Surrender (Kindle) from |

Spoilers ahead for Past Life and the rest of the Corps of Engineers series!

From the back cover:
The Evorans, residents of a new Federation protectorate, have made a fantastic discovery on their homeworld: a device that predates their civilization and proves that aliens visited their world in the distant past. The U.S.S. da Vinci is sent to investigate the device and find out its true nature.

But disaster strikes when a radical isolationist faction sets out to destroy all evidence that the world was once visited -- and wipe out the da Vinci crew as well! And when the true nature of the device is revealed, it will take all the ingenuity of the S.C.E. to save Evora!

My thoughts:

In this installment of the S.C.E. series, the da Vinci is ordered to the planet Evora, which fans of Star Trek might recognize as the planet granted protectorate status at the beginning of the film Star Trek: Insurrection. The Evorans are a somewhat xenophobic culture, and view the Federation and Starfleet with a certain degree of wariness. While their leader, Regent Cuzar, sees the benefit of a relationship with the interstellar community, much of the planet disagrees with her.

The Evoran leader, Regent Cuzar, embraces a relationship with the Federation even though many of her people object.

When the artifact that brought the da Vinci to Evora is revealed to be left over technology from ancient alien contact, the Evorans revolt. Cuzar is deposed in a coup, and Captain Gold must negotiate with the leader of a group of reactionaries who want to deny the origins of the device.

This was, for the most part, an interesting addition to the ongoing story of the da Vinci and her crew. The concept was a fun one, with the idea of "ancient aliens" playing a central role and challenging the Evorans' core beliefs. I find it interesting that here on Earth, alien contact is viewed by much of the population as an enticing idea, with many people obsessing over the idea that aliens helped build the pyramids or that the U.S. government is covering up a crashed UFO at Area 51. On the flip side, the Evorans view such contact with disgust, not believing that anything alien could have touched their world so long ago.

The least popular person on Evora.

There is some interesting character work here, notably with Captain Gold and Regent Cuzar dealing with the threat posed by the perpetrator of the coup. Also well done was a favorite character of mine, Bart Faulwell, while he deals with the danger to his boyfriend who is stationed on an outpost recently attacked by Nausicaans. Also of note is Captain Gold's continued dissatisfaction with Dr. Elizabeth Lense's performance, an issue that looks like it will come to a head sooner rather than later.

Final thoughts:

A satisfying if not overwhelming entry in the S.C.E. storyline. Some interesting character works helps, and the main storyline was interesting enough to keep my attention. I like the use of the Evorans from Insurrection, and the mystery of the alien technology, while not a huge surprise, was a satisfying one.

I liked it. I didn't love it, but it wasn't bad.

Also by Robert Greenberger:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

Next week: the all-new continuation of the Seekers series: All That's Left by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore!

Until then, don't forget to be awesome!

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