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The Rings of Time

(Star Trek: The Original Series)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  50 reviews
When a mining colony on an endangered moon is threatened, it’s a race against time for the Enterprise crew to find a solution in this original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: The Original Series.

The U.S.S. Enterprise responds to a distress call from a vital dilithium-mining colony in the Klondike system. The colony is located on Skagway, a moon orbiting Klondike-6,
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published February 2012 by Pocket Books
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  342 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Given Cox's pedigree, I was unpleasantly surprised at how badly this book was written. I don't want to spend a lot of time on the review because, honestly, I barely finished the book. The plot idea was a good one, and revisiting a storyline from the original series was fun. But Cox is a lazy writer. This reads almost like a first draft that he handed to the publisher and they set the type without any editing whatsoever. Cox's apparent need to reference TOS episode plots every other paragraph rea ...more
John Keegan
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
It’s unusual these days to have stand-alone Trek novels, though the changes in the publishing schedules have made the long-term continuity-driven “events” less and less viable. (Just look at how the post-series relaunches and “New Frontier” line have fallen in priority.) Despite my love for long-form fiction with a sprawling story, it was a treat to sit down and read a relatively quick and self-contained novel in the Trek universe.

The astronomer in me was gratified to see that the “mysterious Sa
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Some classic Star Trek here. We have an original story that ties into an episode from the original series run and time travel is involved. More like time travel via body switching but still pretty cool.

There are two storylines here. One is in our not too distant future with the first manned mission to Mars. The leader of the mission? Shaun Christopher, the son of the John Christopher that Kirk and company met in the episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday". In the 23rd century Kirk and the crew are respo
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Star trek meets classic sci-fi story-telling...,

I really liked this approach of showing a new facet of the star trek universe; if the mission of the USS Lewis & Clark in 2020 reminded me many times of Arthur C. Clarke's ground-breaking Space Odysseys, so had it much more characterization and philosophy in it, which always were part of good star trek yarn. But the story also takes political, social and economic issues in account, such as the ramifications the present day economic crisis would
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating time travel romp. I loved reading this.
Mark Oppenlander
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know if it's just because I've been away from the series for a bit or if it's because much of the other genre fiction I've read lately has been disappointing me, but it's a pleasure to read a good old-fashioned stand-alone Star Trek novel that is fast-paced, coherent and entertaining. Greg Cox has written several previous Trek novels that I enjoyed, including the Eugenics Wars series, but this may be his most complete effort to date.

In the year 2020, the U.S.S. Lewis and Clark sets out o
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
There is a book that comes alone once in a while that is SO engrossing that you get lost in it. And this book did it for me. I loved the dual time lines, going between the 23rd and 21st centuries as Kirk and Shaun Christoper (Captain John Christopher from the "Tomorrow is Yesterday" TOS episode) trade bodies. I learned some things about Saturn that I didn't know about, like there is a hexagon shape at the planet's North pole and there is a similar hexagon shape on Klondike VI in the 23rd century ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rings of Time is an adventurous, coherent, and entertaining story that features the crew of the USS Enterprise (from the 23rd century) and the crew of the USS Lewis and Clark (from 2020.)

The book jumps back and forth between the two timelines and also has a Freaky Friday-esque plot device. I enjoyed how both crews are able to use the expertise from a member of the other crew in order to successfully reach a resolution. I also liked how Cox kept the characters feeling like their genuine selv
Tommy Verhaegen
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook_en, sci-fi
Just today in the newspaper: "NASA's Cassini spacecraft has begun its final five orbits around Saturn "
What can be more appropriate? Far-fetched and fairly predictable but with a good explanation at the end and a big surprise so possible and surprising... Beautiful use of the juxtaposition beetween persons, time, place, etc - the contract alone makes it worthwile reading.
Plenty of action, combat and some humour - my favourite ingredients.
A not so subtle hint to the present where HEL from the bo
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, star-trek
Labor of love. I like Cox's work and this book is true to Star Trek. I always thought it weird when Star Trek books "forget" the history but had a memory almost every other page. I am pretty sure Kirk did not know about his son till Wrath of Khan. Still fun.
Anthony Burdge
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Trekkies
Recommended to Anthony by: Simon and Schuster
The Rings of Time brings together a superbly rich tapestry of Trek lore from across the vast tapestry of the Trek Universe and a space program in our not to distant future. The book opens with the crew of the USS Lewis and Clark engaging in their first manned flight to Saturn. The 2020 NASA space flight is manned by astronaut Colonel Shaun Christopher whose surname may be very familiar to Trek fans, he is the son of Captain John Christopher, a U.S. Air Force pilot who had a brush with the U.S.S. ...more
Clark Hallman
Rings of Time, by Greg Cox, is a 2012 novel that takes place in the original Star Trek TV series universe. The complex storyline makes it more like a Star Trek movie then a TV episode. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Mr. Scott, Sulu, Checkov, Nurse Chapel and others are present in this adventure across space and time. Two storylines are developed in this book. Earth’s space program makes its first voyage to Saturn under the command of Colonel Shaun Christopher in 2020 and Captain James T. Kirk and th ...more
Paul Lunger
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
2012 gets off to a rather fun start as Greg Cox fills in a blank in the Star Trek timeline & does so in a way that gives fans of the original series a nice surprise. "The Rings of Time" is split between 250 years in history. In 2270, the Enterprise is sent to investigate the failing rings of Klondike VI & rescue the mining colony Skagway which is there to help mine dilithium from the rings. In 2020, the Lewis & Clark under the command of Colonel Shaun Christopher is launched as the f ...more
This time travel story begins well. We are introduced to Shaun Christoper whom fans might remember as being the future son of John Christopher in the episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday'. In this book we are told the 'real' story of the his first successful mission to Saturn. It wasn't as straight forward as the history books would lead us to believe.

In Kirk's time he and the crew of the Enterprise are coming to the rescue of a ringed planet that looks much like Saturn. A series of events causes Kir
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Star Trek: Rings of Time is an adventure for the original crew and is set between two timelines (2020 & 2270).

The crew of the enterprise were characterised well and the mission they found themselves on kept me engaged throughout. It concerned a distress call from a mining colony orbiting a ringed planet similar to Saturn but where the rings where coming apart this added the drama and excitement to the 2270 timeline as the enterprise undertakes a rescue mission.

The 2020 timeline focuses on a
Adam Stone
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
The Rings of Time is a very good Star Trek The Original Series novel which is divided into two halves one firmly in the middle of the Enterprise's five year mission and the other half in the early part of the twenty-first century at the starting point of space exploration.

The stories are linked by a certain spacial phenomenon that exists on all ringed planets. Both crew across a strange object in orbit around the planets. The Enterprise beam it aboard and the commander of the twenty first centu
I wasn't super interested in this book when it came out so I waited a long time and eventually got around to borrowing a copy from the library. There are some things to like and some things to sigh about in this book.

Good things: including a real physical phenomenon into the story (in this case the hexagonal storm at Saturn's north pole), accurate characterizations of Kirk and his crew, and the TOS staples of a love interest and the Enterprise on the verge of destruction (good old cheesy fun).

Drew Ames
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Randall
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it
No, no, no. You can't end a novel with a mysterious unveiling and expect your audience to be happy about it. I'm sorry, but between the Preserver's and the Q Continuum we've got far too many omnipotent uberspecies kicking about without adding another to the mix.

The writing was pretty good, despite the ending, and the way in which the 2 vessel commanders thoughts are so clearly different was very neat indeed: there was never any doubt as to who we were with, even when physically it was less clear
Cheryl Landmark
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was another classic Star Trek novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Cox juggled the two timelines quite well, bouncing back and forth between them with effortless ease. It was interesting to see the vast contrasts between the two space ages and to see just how far Kirk and company had come from the year 2020 when the exploration of deep space was still in its relative infancy.

There was a nice scientific mystery to solve and a few neat twists and turns. Learning more about Saturn, its rings a
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This was an exciting, entertaining story. It worked surprisingly well for a time-travel story. My only real quibble was the revelation at the end (not too much of a spoiler here, but if you hate all spoilers, skip the rest of this paragraph) that not one, but TWO of the minor characters were both the same member of the Q continuum (not certain whether it was supposed to be the Q we're used to seeing or not; I don't really think so given that the personality didn't quite seem to fit, but I can't ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
I am most familiar with the original series of Star Trek, so books like this fit into the canon I know best. I was intrigued by the blurb on the back of the book, so I picked it up.

It was great. There are two stories running in parallel, and the author does a great job of keeping both stories going. One story involved Captain Kirk and the Enterprise around a ringed gas giant in the year 2370, while the other story involves man's first trip to Saturn (a ringed gas giant) in the year 2020. There i
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek, tos, e-books
For the most part, The Rings of Time was satisfying, a nice fix of original Star Trek. It was nice to have the exploration of part of Trek history that hadn't previously been featured. While there are differences in the ages of the characters, it was nice to be able to feature (in my head) actor Roger Perry in the role of Colonel Shaun Christopher, after having already been introduced to his father in the original Star Trek episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday." Not perfect, with an ending that's a li ...more
Carol Gibson
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tv-and-movies
I am a trekkie and I never get enough Trek. I judge Trek fiction this way It is an excellent story and it being Trek is a bonus, good solid Trek story, and lastly it is horrible along the lines of Spock Must Die.

This book is an excellent fun read. It is great story both as SF and Trek. The writers weaves in a lot of Trek history. It takes place in two time periods Kirk's time shortly at the end of his five year mission and in 2020 during the first manned flight to Saturn.

The author hits all th
Greg Lindsay
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was one of the most boring Star Trek books that I have read in a while. I had to drag my way through this one. The characters and story idea are great BUT, how many times can we read about a mind switch...ugh. Liked the look into the past with the U.S.S. Lewis & Clark and the whole ring thing was interesting. But the story it's self just dragged and more than once I considered putting this down and should have cause the ending as a let down too. I like Greg Cox, this is just not one of ...more
Kristina Brown
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
There are two distinct storylines in this book which, although bearing similarities, occur hundreds of years apart. A mind-twisting encounter brings them into collision and the author weaves the two tales ever closer until the dramatic finale.
I was initially more attached to the events unfolding aboard the Enterprise but I got drawn towards the tale around Saturn. Both held suspense, mystery and drama.
Allen Steele
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
ive read many star trek noels say, 100 or more. Anyway this was a little anticlimactic. Big build up and very predictible. i did like the other references to the kyobeashi marui & mirror,mirror Khan was mentioned as well as Sarek & Vulcan' s Forge. all better than this one. trading minds like freaky friday was strange, but done ok..time travel again..i wanna a good old fashioned fight with the klingons.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
The story is a proper Star Trek one. More questions than answers. Although maybe because I'm not a real hard-core fan, the reference to the TV episodes escaped me sometimes. Most of the time, I only vaguely remember which species is which, let alone their respective names. Also, I am not very fond of a "superior than us" life form meddling around. It seems that whenever you can't have a logical plot based on current knowledge, a "higher form of life" comes conveniently in hand.
Andrew Beet
i liked it it was a solid read i liked that you were in the year 2020 and then the year 2370. it had a great story and it had echoes of the original series episode Turnabout Intruder when Kirk swapped bodies with Janice Lester. Very good story it was one of those star trek books where you want to find out what's going to happen to the character e.g Kirk to see if he wil get back to his own time and body.
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Picked this one up at the library on a whim, for something to read while waiting around and somewhat twiddling the old thumbs. Belted through it at some considerable speed, and mostly enjoyed it, although the major pleasure was in the 2020 section of the book (up to the obligatory jeopardy.) For laughs, Cox also hands out a final twist that might make many readers groan while chuckling. Docked a star for some clunky writing and dialogue.
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