Friday, May 14, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: The Art of the Impossible

 Star Trek: The Lost Era
The Art of the Impossible
By Keith R.A. DeCandido

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

The Betreka Nebula Incident: an eighteen-year cold war between the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire. The tale of the conflict over the planet Raknal V that nearly plunged the quadrant into war is finally told!
 
In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce discuss The Art of the Impossible, a novel of The Lost Era by master storyteller Keith R.A. DeCandido. We talk about the Klingons and Cardassians, the conflict over Raknal V, the Romulans' resurgence, obsession and blind nationalism, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.







Previous episode: The Next Generation: Metamorphosis
Next episode: Discovery: Wonderlands

Friday, April 30, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Metamorphosis

 Star Trek: The Next Generation
Metamorphosis
By Jean Lorrah

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

For all of his existence, Lt. Commander Data has had one wish: to be human. However, when he is finally presented with the chance, will he find that being flesh and blood is all it’s cracked up to be?
 
The first “Giant Novel”! This week on the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Bruce and Dan are talking about an early Star Trek: The Next Generation novel: Metamorphosis by Jean Lorrah. We discuss Data’s quest, his journey as a human, the mysterious Konor, Elysia’s “gods,” Data’s soul, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings for the novel.







Previous episode: The Next Generation #4: Survivors

Friday, April 16, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Survivors

 Star Trek: The Next Generation #4
Survivors
By Jean Lorrah

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Lieutenant Tasha Yar was a character who didn’t get much of a chance to shine. Lasting not quite an entire season, Denise Crosby elected to leave the show before the end of season one. While the true potential of the character went unrealized on screen, one author took it upon herself to tell her story.

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce return to the early days of TNG to take a look at the “Tasha Yar” novel: Survivors by Jean Lorrah. We discuss Yar’s backstory, Dare, the planet Treva, Data’s life as a survivor, the conclusion, and Tasha Yar’s death at the hands of Armus.







Previous episode: The Lost Era: One Constant Star

Friday, April 2, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: One Constant Star

 Star Trek: The Lost Era
One Constant Star
By David R. George III

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

The voyages of the Enterprise-B continue as Captain Demora Sulu and her crew confront a mysterious device on the surface of an unknown world that leaves one crewman missing and the first officer critically injured. When the captain herself disappears, the crew must rely on Admiral John Harriman, who may ultimately have the solution.

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Bruce and Dan discuss The Lost Era: One Constant Star by David R. George III. We talk about the mysterious Rejarris II portal, first officer Xintal Linojj, an unexpected family reunion, Admiral Harriman and his wife Amina Sasine, an improvised rescue mission, the Odyssey solution, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.







Previous episode: The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Serpents Among the Ruins

 Star Trek: The Lost Era
Serpents Among the Ruins
By David R. George III

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

The voyages of the Enterprise-B are some of the biggest unknowns in the Star Trek universe. Besides the fateful first voyage at the beginning of Star Trek: Generations, almost nothing is known about the trials and tribulations of the third Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. What a perfect opportunity for the novels to step in and chronicle one of the many adventures of Captain John Harriman and his crew as they attempt to stop a horrific war with the Romulans before it starts!

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce discuss The Lost Era novel Serpents Among the Ruins by David R. George III. We talk about the impending war with the Romulans, Harriman’s tumultuous relationship with his father, the rehabilitation of a Starfleet captain, the Tomed Incident, some familiar lit-verse characters, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.







Previous episode: Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Lost Souls

Star Trek: Destiny
Book III: Lost Souls by David Mack
Published December 2008
Read November 12th 2019

Previous book (Destiny): Book II: Mere Mortals
Next book (Post-Nemesis Continuity): A Singular Destiny


Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

The Destiny trilogy is also available in an omnibus containing all three parts!

Purchase:
Trade paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk



Spoilers ahead for
Lost Souls!

From the back cover:
The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal -- and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered.

For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation.

For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balance by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back -- only forward to whatever future awaits them.

But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice...this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.

My thoughts:

The third and final novel in the landmark Destiny trilogy sees the stories of four Starfleet captains come to their explosive conclusions in a story that would change the Star Trek universe forever... at least until canon Trek says otherwise!

The fear and terror of the worlds of the Federation and her neighbors is strongly felt in the pages of this novel as the unrelenting Borg armada spreads out from the Azure Nebula and threatens to completely wipe out the populations of planets throughout the Alpha and Beta quadrants. No longer interested in assimilation, the Borg are on a singular quest: to utterly destroy the Federation and its citizens who have become more trouble than they are worth. Meanwhile, the EnterpriseTitan, and Aventine must do everything they can to ensure the future of the Federation in the face of what appears to be certain Armageddon.

The Borg attack the Alpha and Beta Quadrants in force, with only one goal: the complete extermination of the Federation.

This novel also finally tells us the origin of the Borg once and for all. Now, of course, this origin story is not canon; however, I find myself hoping against hope that canon Star Trek (the various television series and films) never get around to telling us a definitive story for the origin of the Borg, because what David Mack has come up with here is nearly pitch-perfect. The story itself is quite dark and drives towards the themes of selfishness, pride, and the self-serving impulses within human beings, which fits perfectly with what we know of the Borg. I won't spell out the revelations here, even though this book is well over a decade old; I still feel this story needs to be read rather than simply summarized here.

There really is something for everyone in this story. Like your Star Trek action-packed? You will definitely find a lot of action in this novel. How about philosophy and morality? Like all the best Trek, Destiny features moral conundrums and ethical dilemmas aplenty. In particular, seeing Riker wrestle with his decision to leave the away team (including his wife, Deanna) behind on New Erigol while Titan makes her escape was heart-wrenching.

Politics also takes center stage in this trilogy and this final novel in particular, as we see the Federation government under President Nanietta Bacco (one of my all-time favorite TrekLit characters), and the supreme grace under pressure that she exhibits as the end very much appears nigh.

The government of the United Federation of Planets faces the possible end of their civilization in Star Trek: Destiny.

In this final novel of the trilogy, author David Mack has accomplished the nearly impossible: making the story feel like it might truly be the twilight of the Federation. Of course, we know that this can't possibly be the end, but while reading Lost Souls, that knowledge becomes irrelevant as the reader gets drawn into the vivid details and amazing prose that serves as the culmination of this amazing trilogy.

The Caeliar, ultimately responsible for the creation of the Borg, realize their error and takes steps to correct it. At the heart of this is Captain Erika Hernandez, herself having been transformed by the Caeliar. The threat of the Borg Collective is ended for all time when all Borg, everywhere, are transformed and merged into the Caeliar Gestalt, leaving a battered Federation to pick up the pieces. With over sixty billion lives lost between the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans, the face of the Star Trek universe will never be the same.

Final thoughts on Star Trek: Destiny:

Destiny, more than any other story within the vast library of Star Trek fiction, is a huge inflection point in the Trek universe and is pointed to as the moment when everything changed. We all knew that (at the time) canon Trek had moved on and the writers were free to play in the universe as they wished, but the monumental events chronicled in these novels blew everything to this point out of the water. David Mack did not hold back at all when telling this story, and it's to his credit that it works as well as it does. The events of this trilogy defined Star Trek novels for the decade following its publication, a distinction that is very well-earned. Needless to say, Lost Souls and the preceding two novels are must-reads for any fan of Star Trek fiction.

Also by David Mack:

My next read:

Next up is my review of last year's Star Trek: Picard novel, The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: The Needs of the Many

 Star Trek Online
The Needs of the Many
By Michael A. Martin & Jake Sisko

Purchase:
Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

In 2010, the Star Trek community was eagerly anticipating the launch of Star Trek Online, the Trek universe’s first MMORPG (massively multiplayer online game). To tie into this next chapter of the Star Trek universe, the publishers of Trek novels produced a special tie-in to the game chronicling “The Long War,” the conflict between the powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants and the Undine, also known as Species 8472.

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Bruce and Dan are joined by Michael A. Martin to discuss his novel The Needs of the Many. We talk about Star Trek Online, the premise of the story, Michael’s co-author Jake Sisko, favorite parts of the book, and wrap up with what Michael is up to now and where he can be found online.







Previous episode: Voyager: Seven's Reckoning

Friday, February 19, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Seven's Reckoning

 Star Trek: Voyager
Seven's Reckoning
Written by Dave Baker
Art by Angel Hernandez




Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, has had her entire world turned upside-down. Now a former Borg drone, she finds herself trying to assimilate into a new collective: the crew of the Starship Voyager. A mission to a derelict ship will test her newfound individuality when she is confronted with an ethical crisis: to what extent should she get involved with the affairs of another species when she sees injustice running rampant?

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce review the IDW miniseries Voyager: Seven’s Reckoning, written by Dave Baker with art by Angel Hernandez. We discuss all four issues, our thoughts on the story and artwork, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.








Previous episode: The Lost Era: The Sundered

Friday, February 5, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: The Sundered

 Star Trek: The Lost Era
The Sundered
by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels

Purchase:
Trade Paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


The 21st Century nearly saw the end of humanity in World War III. Against the backdrop of the post-atomic horror, a group of Earth’s best and brightest, living aboard a nearby asteroid habitat, are thrown across the galaxy in a freak warp field accident. Over 200 years later, while negotiating peace with the aggressive Tholians, Captain Sulu and the crew of the U.S.S. Excelsior will discover what became of those unwitting explorers, lost and alone and completely cut off from Earth.

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Bruce and Dan discuss the first book of The Lost Era: The Sundered. We talk about the crew of the Excelsior, Sulu’s clandestine mission, Ambassador Burgess, the Tholians, the Neyel, Tuvok and Lojur, the resolution, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.







Previous episode: Picard: The Dark Veil

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 Releases Page Added!

 Hi folks! Regular visitors to this site may have noticed that activity has been a little scarce around here over the past year or so. However, I am working to update things! It's going slowly, but I'm hoping to get book reviews going again shortly. 

I have updated the upcoming releases page, and have added a page for releases in 2021! Check that out here.

In the meantime, I've been putting in a lot of time on the Positively Trek podcast, an endeavour I'm doing with my co-host, Bruce Gibson. You can check it out here!



Thank you so much for your patience, and I hope to see you a lot more throughout the year!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: The Dark Veil

Star Trek: Picard
The Dark Veil
Exclusive Interview with author James Swallow!

Purchase:
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


The year is 2386, and the United Federation of Planets has been dealt a serious blow: synthetic lifeforms have attacked the Utopia Plantia Shipyards at Mars, derailing a massive relief effort to save the Romulan people from an impending supernova. The Federation, reacting to this tragedy, has turned inward, halting relief efforts in the Romulan Empire and instituting a ban on research and development of synthetic lifeforms. All of this serves as the backdrop to the situation facing Captain Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan as they respond to an urgent distress call from the Jazari, a species situated very near the Romulan Neutral Zone…

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce welcome renowned author James Swallow to the show to discuss his latest novel, Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil. We talk about the genesis of the novel, the links to the Star Trek: Titan book series, Thaddeus Worf Troi-Riker, the situation in the Federation, the Romulans, the Jazari, easter eggs and continuity connections, and wrap up with where James can be found online and what he has coming next!






Previous episode: Federation

Friday, January 8, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Federation

Star Trek
by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Purchase:
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


Why not strive for that perfect world? 

Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are tasked with rescuing Zefram Cochrane, famed inventor of the warp drive. Caught up in a plot spanning centuries, the space exploration pioneer is the catalyst for an adventure that will reach into the 24th century and bring the two most famous crews of Starfleet history together for the first time!

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Bruce and Dan discuss the classic Star Trek novel Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. We talk about Cochrane’s history, the mysterious Mr. Brack, the Optimum Movement and World War III, the two Enterprises brought together, the distant future, the role of the Guardian of Forever, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

This was a truly fun conversation, and one of our best ever. We hope you enjoy our deep dive into this magnificent entry in the Star Trek literary universe!








Previous episode: Spock Must Die!
Next episode: Picard: The Dark Veil

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Release Day! Picard: The Dark Veil by James Swallow

Star Trek: Picard
The Dark Veil
by James Swallow


New Star Trek book day comes again! We have the first new Trek novel of 2021: Picard: The Dark Veil by James Swallow. Set aboard the U.S.S. Titan and featuring Captain Riker and his crew, The Dark Veil is just the second novel with the Star Trek: Picard banner.

Check out below for the back-cover blurb and links to purchase from Amazon!




Publisher's description:
A thrilling untold adventure based on the acclaimed Star Trek: Picard TV series!
The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis. 
Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack—but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Purchase The Dark Veil:

Hardcover: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


Next Release: The Next Generation: Shadows Have Offended