Brian's Reviews > Articles of the Federation

Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido
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's review
Oct 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi, star-trek, politics
Read from October 18 to 23, 2011

In terms of quality writing that could stand up against some of the best episodes of West Wing, Articles of the Federation does not disappoint. The author has created a very believable and compelling cast of characters which presides over the Federation and the interaction between the President and her Chief of Staff, and the Chief of Staff and everyone else is especially strong. This story covers pretty much the entire gamut of things that a president (and her staff) would encounter in a year: crisis, brink of war, scandal, conflict, resignations, negotiations and pretty much everything in between. This book achieves a nice balance and despite being very light on typical Sci-Fi type action, and paints a picture of what it would be like behind the scenes if a person of integrity were faced with the decisions that the President has to make.

The dialog is probably the best, most believable and compelling dialog I've read in a Trek book to date and went a long ways to keeping my interested in how the story even when I didn't necessarily care about the situation or the players involved. It's creative in how it frames these conversations sometimes as a news-feed where we're watching the events unfold from a college dorm room, sometimes as historical documents being read from far in the future and often write inside the "oval office" itself. The book also helps one appreciate what it must be like to be a position of power like that and be faced with the tough decisions and even though the situations rarely work out like they had hoped, they push on to achieve the best balance possible.

All in all, it makes for some pretty interesting and compelling story telling most of the time which was more thought provoking than I would have guessed going into it. In fact, I suppose if I were more politically minded and cared about what goes on behind the scenes of a govt., I would have even found this book to be a brilliant novel. However, for a jaded person like myself who thinks very lowly of his own govt. and most of the people in power, it was difficult for me from time to time to stay plugged into the story. So, while I found the writer very good and often compelling, there are times when I wasn't as engaged in the story or the discussions that were going on because I just didn't care at times about the players involved or the outcome. This isn't an indictment of the writing, however, just an indication as to where my own interest lay.

I will say that this story adds a whole new dimension of realism to the Star Trek Universe as it fleshes out an aspect of that universe that was previously occupied by rather 1 dimensional and somewhat pointless figureheads up until now. The author has created a president who is both wise and compassionate and yet tough and knows how to fight her battles well. If only America had anywhere near as good a president in the last 20 years as her............

All in all I found this to be a high quality book that for many people would probably rate 5/5 stars, but for me personally didn't hold my interest all the time, but enough that I enjoyed the book and would gladly read another by the author.

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