Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Patterns of Interference

Star Trek: Enterprise
Rise of the Federation
Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett
Release date: August 29th 2017
Read September 5th 2017

Previous book (Enterprise): Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code
Next book (Enterprise): 

Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Publisher's description:
The time has come to act. Following the destructive consequences of the Ware crisis, Admiral Jonathan Archer and Section 31 agent Trip Tucker both attempt to change their institutions to prevent further such tragedies. Archer pushes for a Starfleet directive of non-interference, but he faces opposition from allies within the fleet and unwelcome support from adversaries who wish to drive the Federation into complete isolationism. Meanwhile, Tucker plays a dangerous game against the corrupt leaders of Section 31, hoping to bring down their conspiracy once and for all. But is he willing to jeopardize Archer’s efforts—and perhaps the fate of an entire world—in order to win?

My thoughts:

Click here to watch my video review of Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference, or click play on the embedded video below!

Final thoughts:

A strong entry in the Rise of the Federation series, possibly my favorite of the bunch so far. A great story that has real-world resonance, and great philosophical debates. Basically, all of the things I love the most about Star Trek.

More about Patterns of Interference:

Also by Christopher L. Bennett:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

My next review is for an early Enterprise novel, By the Book by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Release Day! Voyager: Architects of Infinity by Kirsten Beyer!

Star Trek: Voyager
Architects of Infinity by Kirsten Beyer

We have a new book released today! Unfortunately, it's one of only a few that will be coming this year, but some is better than none! Make sure to pick up your copy of Kirsten Beyer's Star Trek: Voyager: Architects of Infinity today! It's available as a mass-market paperback with copies showing up in bookstores over the past week or so, as well as an e-book version available today!

Check out the back cover blurb and links to purchase below.

Publisher's description:
An original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: Voyager, from the New York Times bestselling author!

As the Federation Starship Voyager continues to lead the Full Circle Fleet in its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, Admiral Kathryn Janeway remains concerned about the Krenim Imperium and its ability to rewrite time to suit its whims. At Captain Chakotay's suggestion, however, she orders the fleet to focus its attention on a unique planet in a binary system, where a new element has been discovered. Several biospheres exist on this otherwise uninhabitable world, each containing different atmospheres and features that argue other sentient beings once resided on the surface. Janeway hopes that digging into an old-fashioned scientific mystery will lift the crews' morale, but she soon realizes that the secrets buried on this world may be part of a much larger puzzle—one that points to the existence of a species whose power to reshape the galaxy might dwarf that of the Krenim.

Meanwhile, Lieutenants Nancy Conlon and Harry Kim continue to struggle with the choices related to Conlon’s degenerative condition. Full Circle’s medical staff discovers a potential solution, but complications will force a fellow officer to confront her people’s troubled past and her own future in ways she never imagined…

Purchase Voyager: Architects of Infinity:

Trade Paperback: | |
E-Book (Kindle): | |

Previous Release: Discovery: Drastic Measures

Monday, March 19, 2018

Literary Treks 223: We're Life, Jim, but Not as They Know It

Captain's Glory
by William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Since his resurrection thanks to the Borg in the novel The Return, James T. Kirk has embarked on many adventures in the 24th century, often alongside Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise. However, all good things must come to an end. Kirk faces his most dangerous enemy yet and fights for all he holds dear: his family.

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther talk about the Shatnerverse novel Captain's Glory. We discuss Kirk's tendency to go it alone, the plot against Starfleet, Kirk vs. Picard, the nature of the Totality, the connection to the galactic barrier, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In our news segment, we talk about the book Star Trek: The Next Generation Cats and review the comic Boldly Go #17, issue 5 of the I.D.I.C. miniseries.

Literary Treks 223: We're Life, Jim, but Not as They Know It
Captain's Glory by William Shatner

Previous episode: Literary Treks 222: The Ward Rule
Next episode: Literary Treks 224: Archer Showing Off His Veins

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Siege

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #2
The Siege by Peter David
Published May 1993
Read February 15th 2017

Previous book (Deep Space Nine): #1: Emissary

Next book (Deep Space Nine): #3: Bloodletter

Spoilers ahead for The Siege!

From the back cover:
When Deep Space Nine is forced to curtail entry to the wormhole due to increased graviton emissions, an air of biting tension settles over the station. But when this anxiety leads to the murder of an Edeman religious leader, Commander Benjamin Sisko and Security Chief Odo realize they face a larger problem.

The missionary is only the first to die; soon Sisko and Odo have more lifeless bodies on their hands and a killer who strikes without motive. Then, both the Edemans and the Cardassians arrive threatening to destroy the station unless the murderer is given to them for retribution. Now in order to save Deep Space Nine and stop the killing, Odo must try to destroy a powerful assassin who is the only link to his mysterious past.

My thoughts:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went on the air in January of 1993, and The Siege, the first original novel set in the DS9 series, was published just four months later. This means that the author, Peter David, had not seen any completed episodes prior to beginning work on the novel. In fact, he only had access to the series bible and scripts for the first few episodes. I therefore find it quite remarkable how well he was able to capture the tone and the characters of what, at the time, was a huge departure from the Star Trek we knew and loved.

The Siege is certainly a dark story, dealing with a murderous shapeshifter roaming the station and killing visitors and residents in a number of horrific ways. However, in true Peter David style, there is a great deal of humor present in this novel as well. This can make the story seem a little tonally disjointed at times, but for the most part, I think the balance works. Some readers may be put off by the violence present in the story, and it is indeed graphic at times. However, I feel like it works in the context of this novel.

There is also a B plot to the story, in which a group of religious missionaries are on the station attempting to convert followers to their beliefs. The son of the head of this group is stricken with a life-threatening illness, and Dr. Bashir of course wants to do everything he can for the boy. However, the child's father, Mas Marko, will hear none of it. One of the tenets of their religion is the belief that their god wills all things to happen. Anything that occurs "naturally" is his will, and it is heresy to go against it. Seeing this illness as their god's will, the family will do nothing to intervene. This, of course, does not sit well with Bashir, who goes to great lengths to convince the family to allow him to treat their son.

Dr. Bashir finds himself caught up in an ethical dilemma, and he responds as you would expect of the naive season 1 Bashir!

This plot reminded me a great deal of a first season Babylon 5 episode, "Believers," in which a similar situation is dealt with. Dr. Franklin must choose between saving a boy's life and honoring the wishes of the parents who believe the treatment involved contravenes their religious beliefs. These stories end in different ways, but both are tragic for the people involved.

I do have one problem with how this plot is resolved, and that is that we do not see any fallout from Bashir's actions. For all of his good intentions, he does violate Starfleet protocol as well as the prime directive quite flagrantly. I would have liked to have seen some consequences, even if it was just one of Sisko's quite effective castigations.

Once again, I want to call out Peter David's excellent grasp of the characters in this novel. This being the first DS9 original novel, I would have expected the characterizations to be all over the place. Rather, David has managed to capture their voices quite well. There are a few misses here and there, which is to be expected, but there are far more hits than misses overall. Kudos to Peter David for crafting an excellent story that fits very well in Deep Space Nine's first season!

Final thoughts:

A well-crafted, interesting story. The Siege can get a bit dark at times, but that is offset with Peter David's typically humorous writing. The characters are very well represented, especially given this novel's place so early in the creation of the Deep Space Nine television series. A lack of payoff to some of the plot elements doesn't detract too much from an otherwise excellent story.

More about The Siege:

Also by Peter David:

My next read:

Look for my video review of last year's Enteprise: Rise of the Federation novel, Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett.

Literary Treks 222: The Ward Rule

Discovery: Drastic Measures
Exclusive interview with author Dayton Ward!

Trade paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Tarsus IV: A name that will live in infamy throughout the Federation. The site of a horrific crime perpetrated on its population: the cold-blooded killing of four thousand colonists, fully half of the population of that distant world. For Lt. Commander Gabriel Lorca, this event has a deeply personal connection, and he will not rest until he has brought the criminal Kodos the Executioner to justice.

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson are joined by author Dayton Ward to discuss his latest Trek novel, Discovery: Drastic Measures. We talk about the Tarsus IV massacre, mirror Lorca vs. prime Lorca, the fate of Governor Kodos, other characters who were at Tarsus IV, the book within the book, a surprise "after the credits" chapter you might have missed, and wrap up with what Dayton is working on now and where to find him online.

In our news section, we talk about an incredible deal if you're interested in catching up on the Vanguard novels!

Literary Treks 222: The Ward Rule
Exclusive interview with Drastic Measures author Dayton Ward!

Previous episode: Literary Treks 221: Different Flavors of Vulcan
Next episode: Literary Treks 223: We're Life, Jim, but Not as They Know It

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hidden Universe Travel Guide to The Klingon Empire

Hidden Universe Travel Guides
Star Trek: The Klingon Empire by Dayton Ward
Release date: July 11th 2017
Read August 3rd 2017

Previous book (Hidden Universe Travel Guides): Vulcan

Trade Paperback: | |

Publisher's description:
nuqneH! Bored of standard vacations to places like Risa or Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet? Want to discover a unique and ancient culture not bound by standard niceties and social mores? Then Qo’noS and the vast Klingon Empire are for you! This one-of-a-kind travel guide will give you all the information you need to plan, enjoy, and survive your trip to the very heart of Klingon territory, from an overview of Klingon history to tips on what to wear (fur and leather are very popular) to a glossary of important phrases like “mamI' DaneH'a'? nItebHa' mamI' DaneH'a'?” (Would you like to dance with me?). Every major location in the Klingon Empire is covered in-depth, with tips on where to eat (you’ve not lived until you’ve eaten Klingon skull stew), how best to get to and from your chosen destination, and what to do if you find yourself challenged to a bat’leth battle to the death. Locations include the homeworld Qo’noS and its famous locales such as the First City, the Caves of No’mat, the Hamar Mountains, and the city of Krennla, plus neighboring moons Corvix and Praxis, and many, many more must-see areas. The book also features exclusive maps and illustrations that bring to life the Klingon Empire and form the perfect reference guide for any visitor. So what are you waiting for? Qapla’!

My thoughts:

Click here to watch my video review of The Klingon Empire travel guide, or click play on the embedded video below!

Final thoughts:

This book makes The Klingon Empire come alive! Beautiful illustrations and great prose written in Dayton Ward's trademark wit make this a perfect addition to any Trek fan's bookshelf. There are tons of great easter eggs and references for the fan who knows his or her Star Trek backwards and forwards, but this is a great book for the more casual fan, too.

More about The Klingon Empire travel guide:

Also by Dayton Ward:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

My next review is for the first original Deep Space Nine novel, The Siege, from way back in 1993!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Literary Treks 221: Different Flavors of Vulcan

Spock's World by Diane Duane

Hardcover: | |
MMPB: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Vulcan: more than any other fictional world within the Star Trek universe, this desert planet has captured the imaginations of Trek fans since we caught our first glimpse of it in the Original Series episode "Amok Time." We know a lot about Vulcans through Spock, Sarek, and the handful of other Vulcans we have met in Trek over the years, but what are the people of that world really like? What is the history of that alien world, and how do they view us, the illogical, emotional neighbors that might threaten their logical view of the universe?

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther are joined by Earl Grey's Justin Oser to talk about a beloved classic Trek novel, Spock's World. We discuss the two tracks the story follows, the nature of Vulcans, a series of Vulcan TED talks, the diversity of the Enterprise crew, the Enterprise's BBS, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we talk about the recent announcement of a new TNG mirror universe comic that follows up on last year's Mirror Broken series.

Literary Treks 221: Different Flavors of Vulcan
Spock's World by Diane Duane

Previous episode: Literary Treks 220: I Wanna Know What Love Is
Next episode: Literary Treks 222: The Ward Rule