“Uncertain Logic” by Christopher L. Bennett is the third novel in the “Birth of the Federation” series which continues the adventures of the crew from“Uncertain Logic” by Christopher L. Bennett is the third novel in the “Birth of the Federation” series which continues the adventures of the crew from Star Trek Enterprise. I have been thoroughly enjoying this series of novels and wasn’t surprised when I found myself appreciating this novel just as much as the others.
The story follows three simultaneous narratives, the first of which follows Archer and T’Pol as they work with the leaders of Vulcan after a shocking revelation is made about some of the planet’s new beliefs which could lead to a civil war. Then there is the crew of the USS Pioneer, captained by Malcolm Reed who are exploring an area of space dominated by some highly-advanced automated technology called the “Ware” which was first seen in the episode “Dead Stop.” The final story is that of the USS Essex (From TNG's "Power Play") which travels to the planet Delta IV where the locals turn out to be extremely hazardous to the ship’s crew
As I have come to expect with Bennett, the stories are all told exceedingly well and his skill at taking some rather disparate elements of continuity and moulding them into a cohesive story is nicely showcased again. My favourite storyline of the three had to be the Vulcan one which explores the Vulcan people and the rift that is forming in their civilisation. The way in which we see various Vulcan’s interpret and apply logic in their own unique ways made them feel like a real people, with individual ideas and opinions. The view that can sometimes be had of them being a rather homogeneous society when it comes to logic is well and truly shown up for the fallacy it is and I loved seeing that. Quite simply, I actually feel like I have a greater understanding of the common Vulcan citizen than I have before and I really appreciate this.
If I was going take any issue with the novel then it is probably that I think three storylines is maybe a little bit too much, especially when none of them are really connected with each other. The best way I can find to describe the book is that it felt more like an anthology of novella’s than a single novel. This was compounded by the fact that whilst I appreciated getting to see humanities first real contact with the Deltans and the introduction of the USS Essex, I honestly wasn’t that interested in what eventually turned into another Orion Pirate storyline. Compared to the incredibly engaging and interesting Vulcan storyline it just felt rather weak and un-needed.
Overall, this is another entertaining novel in the Rise of the Federation series. Bennett’s writing as always is top notch and I enjoy the way in which he manages to continue the story of Star Trek Enterprise and build on some of the smaller elements in Star Trek continuity. Yes it doesn’t feel like a single novel, but the Vulcan storyline alone is enough to mitigate this as I just treat the additional two stories as a bonus to be enjoyed beyond this core element....more
“The Centre Cannot Hold” by Mike W. Barr is the second book in a six part Star Trek mini-series entitled “Mere Anarchy”. It is set a few years after t“The Centre Cannot Hold” by Mike W. Barr is the second book in a six part Star Trek mini-series entitled “Mere Anarchy”. It is set a few years after the disaster seen in the previous novel which badly affected the planet Mestiko. The Enterprise has returned with a plan to help restore the planet’s atmosphere but the Klingon Empire has also now taken an interest in the planet and has offered to help. Kirk soon finds himself once again pitted against Klingon commander Kor, with the future of Mestiko at stake.
This was another enjoyable but short novel in the “Mere Anarchy” series. To be honest, it is probably best described as a novella although the pricing doesn’t seem to acknowledge this. The price I paid for the ebook was rather obscene when you consider the length and I would therefore advise people to look at the various options available to them in regards to reading this series. In particular they should consider buying the book which combines all the individual stories together as this is much better value.
The style and feeling I got reading it was very similar to what I encountered in the previous novel in the series which is quite interesting considering they were written by different people. Simply put, it is well-written and does feel like it would fit in well as an episode in the original series. In addition, the short length means we don’t gain anything new in regards to our understanding of the Trek Universe and its characters but it is a fun read none the less.
Overall, the “Mere Anarchy” series continues to entertain me and if you have read the previous novella you really need to pick this one up as well or just buy the combined edition. ...more
“First Strike" by Diane Carey is the first novel in a series of four novels which span the multiple different lines of Star Trek fiction from the Orig“First Strike" by Diane Carey is the first novel in a series of four novels which span the multiple different lines of Star Trek fiction from the Original Series to Voyager. The novel starts with a Klingon battlegroup encountering a ship full of creatures that appear to resemble the demons of Klingon folklore. So upset by what he sees, the Klingon General decides to contact Starfleet for help in addition to his own High Command. Starfleet sends Kirk who is determined to try and understand these visitors rather than just destroy them as the Klingons wish.
Whilst the book is part of a series it still works very well as a standalone novel. The ending does hint at the sequel to come but it still provides a satisfying enough conclusion that there is no need to read the next book unless you really want to. I particularly appreciated this as I am reading all the Star Trek books in Chronological order and therefore won’t get to the sequel for quite a while.
It is also a thoroughly enjoyable story with a structure and pace that keeps the reader entertained right until the end. In addition the plot explores several interesting points with a particular plus point for me being the premise that our myths are based on vaguely remembered facts that have left us with some ingrained prejudices. The attempt to overcome those prejudices then compliments the conflict between scientific thought and religious zeal that is also present within the novel.
The characters are all well-written with the main focus being on Kirk, McCoy and Spock. However, what we do see of the other characters is more than adequate and Carey has tried to develop the Furies beyond just being a token alien-of-the-week which was nice to see. One particular thing I noted was that Kirk is well portrayed, we get to see in all his glory as both a leader and a friend, but also as someone who is still in the end just a human with all the flaws and weaknesses that this can entail.
Overall, the plot is interesting, the characters come across in the manner we would expect and the pacing feels right. Basically, it is an enjoyable Star Trek story which works well as both a standalone novel and as an entry into the overall “Invasion!” series....more