“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is another one of those classic novels that I have managed to avoid reading. To be honest, I am no“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is another one of those classic novels that I have managed to avoid reading. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the various movies either as I found them all to be a little bit random for my liking so I wasn’t sure how much I would actually enjoy reading this. However, as the ebook was free on Project Gutenberg I decided to finally take the plunge and give it a try.
For anyone living under a rock who doesn’t know the story, it follows a young girl named Alice who follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole into a fantastical and magical world. Whilst undertakes a mad cap adventure in which she encounters talking animals, potions that change her size and a royal court made up of playing cards.
If the plot above sounds rather silly and nonsensical then this would be because it is. There really is no distinct plot and the characters are quite weakly developed. I suspect children may enjoy the various random leaps from one crazy event to the next as it would stop them getting bored. However, as an adult it meant I found it hard to get engrossed or feel something for the characters, especially when you consider the rather cheap method Carroll uses to end the story. None of this was helped by the fact that I also didn’t like Alice as a character; she irritated me with her obnoxious tendencies and bouts of temper tantrums. For a young child like Alice this type of attitude can be par for the course but it really didn’t endear her to me at all.
I did still find the book quite enjoyable however as some of the various events Alice encountered on her journey were imaginative, colourful and at times rather amusing. In addition Carroll does a great job in portraying the entire adventure from Alice’s viewpoint even if she as a character annoyed me. The way in which she reacts and tries to rationalise what she is seeing against the black and white way she has been taught does come across as something a child would do. Then of course we also get to see Alice’s mind wander off in various tangents which reminds me of how my own young daughter can sometimes act.
Overall, I did enjoy finally reading this classic and for all the randomness and strange events, I managed to understand and follow it a lot easier than some of the movies. At times the book is varied and fun but it is let down by the weak and at times rather cruel characters in addition to a disappointing plot and finale. Personally, I will probably give “Through the Looking Glass” a read in the future just to see if Carroll can create something that captures both his imagination alongside an entertaining story. ...more
"Puragtory's Key" by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore is the final book in the “Legacies” trilogy of novels which were written to mark the 50th anniver"Puragtory's Key" by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore is the final book in the “Legacies” trilogy of novels which were written to mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. It picks up directly from the events that occurred at the end of the previous novel, Best Defense” with the Enterprise heading to the planet Usilde to see if they can actually rescue the various people now trapped in an alternate universe. Of course with the Klingon’s already holding the planet, it is not going to be an easy task. Meanwhile, in the alternate universe, Captain Una along with the recently arrived Sarek, Joanna McCoy & the Klingon Gorkon are trying to work out themselves if there is any chance to get home.
The authors have crafted a well-written novel that wraps up all the various loose ends. The writing is competent and the plot itself is enjoyable enough with some entertaining action sequences interspersed amongst the other more cerebral sections of the novel. In addition, the various main characters acted exactly as I would have expected, but considering the Treklit experience of the authors involved this didn’t surprise me.
However, the story did have various issues which detracted from my overall enjoyment. I suspect most of them however were related to the quantity of plot lines the authors had to get completed. Basically, we just seemed to skim the surface of the various story elements and there was pretty much zero development of the characters. The authors just didn’t seem to have the time to get deeper down into the plot lines and characters. This lack of depth was really highlighted to me in relation to the strange intermediate “ether” realm that existed between the two Universes. I have to admit that I got a little bit confused here as I couldn’t understand why or how this strange realm existed or how it actually worked. It almost felt more like Fantasy than Science-Fiction although I know the differences between these two genre can be rather blurred.
Overall, this is a competent enough conclusion to the series and if you have read the other novels then you will at least get some closure by reading "Purgatory's Key". I think in the end the best way to describe this book and the series as a whole is that they are reasonably enjoyable standard Star Trek novels. They aren’t bad but I just don’t think they lived up the 50th Anniversary hype....more
“Best Defense” is the second book in the “Legacies” series of novels which are being written to mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. The story pick“Best Defense” is the second book in the “Legacies” series of novels which are being written to mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. The story picks up several weeks after the previous book ended with the reveal that Captain Kirk's yeoman was a Romulan spy who had now stolen and alien artefact known as the Transfer Key. Whilst the crew of the Enterprise are trying to deal with this situation, Ambassador Sarek reaches out to the Enterprise to come to his aid in the peace talks which are taking place between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. If these peace talks fail that the Klingon Empire and Federation may both be doomed and therefore Kirk has no choice but to try and help Ambassador Sarek. In parallel to this, the reader also gets to follow Captain Una who is now in the Jatohr universe where she is determined to find her lost colleagues.
David Mack has done a decent job in building on the elements introduced in the first book, creating a fast paced adventure which nicely balances elements of intrigue, diplomacy and action. I quite simply struggled to put the book down and would probably say that I enjoyed it more than the first novel, “Captain to Captain”. There is also some decent progress being made in the storyline which was nice to see as 2nd novels in a trilogy can sometimes fall into the trap of being nothing more than filler which thankfully isn’t the case here.
The only real issue I have is in relation to the sections of the novel dedicated to Captain Una. Whilst in the previous novel I was surprised at how central she was to the story, this time it feels like she has been shunted off to the side with her sequences in the Jatohr universe coming across as being rather dull. I actually think that Mack has reduced her role a little bit too much and some more expansion of what was going on the Jatohr universe may have actually made these sequences more entertaining.
Overall this was a very satisfying and entertaining story which follows on neatly from the events seen in “Captain to Captain”. There may be a little bit too much included in the novel which does limit some sections such as those set in the Jatohr universe but this is a minor quibble. If you read the first book, then I really do recommend you pick up this novel as well. For myself, I am now looking forward to getting stuck into the finale of this entertaining trilogy....more
“Captain To Captain” is the first book in the “Legacies” series of novels which are being written to mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. The novel“Captain To Captain” is the first book in the “Legacies” series of novels which are being written to mark the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. The novel is split across two time periods, in 2267 Captain Una (aka Number One from the pilot episode The Cage) visits the Enterprise on a supposedly social call, but soon steals an artefact known as “The Key” in order to complete a personal mission. The reason for this mission is explained by a flashback to 2249 in which the Enterprise, under the command of Captain Robert April discovers a race of creatures known as the Jatohr who have come from an alternate universe via the Key technology. Una and her away team are forced to find a way to deal with the Jatohr before they can use their technology against the Federation and the entire Universe.
The story is well written and nicely paced with overall drama of the story being complemented by a few entertaining action scenes. What I liked about the 2249 period is that beyond Una and Captain April themselves I had no idea who would live or die from the Enterprise’s crew which added to the drama. I also felt that Cox has done well in capturing the characters and in particular I found the adjustment of Number One's name to "Una" to be quite plausible.
One thing which was a bit surprising to me is that so much of the book was focused on Una (Number One) rather than the regular main characters. Whilst I was more than happy to learn a bit more about that enigmatic character, it wasn’t really what I would have expected from a book celebrating 50 years of Star Trek. Yes, many Trek fans will probably like this exploration of character that was cast aside after the first pilot episode, but for the more casual fans I suspect it would have better to create a story that gave more of a central role to Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
The ending itself was also a little bit disappointing as it didn’t really close any of the open plot points. I understand it is a series but the new twist revealed at the end would have been enough of a cliff-hanger to keep people wanting to read more. Instead I am a bit annoyed that there are new plot lines being brought into the story even when we still have plenty of others ones left open.
Overall, despite my minor issues, this was still an enjoyable and entertaining Star Trek novel. From my point of view, I enjoyed learning more about Number One although I do understand that for some fans the side-lining of Kirk et al won’t be popular. The lack of closure evident at the ending was irritating but the additional twist revealed has nicely set up the next novel in the series “Best Defense”....more