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Watching the Clock (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations #1)
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Mini-Series > DTI: Watching the Clock

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Andrea (brokencompass) | 151 comments Mod
In preparation our first official pick, I wanted to read the first book in the DTI series. Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher L Bennett asks the question.. when our favourite characters go mucking about with time travel, who deals with the repercussions?

Enter the DTI team.

If you’ve seen the Deep Space 9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations”, then you’ve already met two of this book’s main characters. Lucsly and Dulmur are introduced in that episode, investigating the temporal incident where the Defiant ends up back in the NCC-1701′s era. And though this incident is mentioned in the book, it’s not what the story is about.

The story largely centers around Lucsly and Dulmur, though we’re introduced to other DTI agents and their DTI duties.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. Time travel Trek episodes tend to be some of my favorites, so so I can’t say I’m surprised I liked this one. I especially liked the fact that while it is a Trek book, it’s not Starfleet-centric. It’s nice to see another slice of Federation life. The fact that for once Starfleet has a watchdog is great. As fun as it is for our known crews to go jumping around time all willy-nilly, there are consequences to their travels.

I also enjoyed the fact that this book showed us more than one team from the department, and that each team member’s experiences are different. Though my initial impressions was that the story was going to be told from Dulmur’s point of view, it actually goes between our leads. The book also jumps back and forth within it’s own timeline as it world builds for the DTI. I can imagine it was a tricky for the author to have so many jumps between time and character, and not confuse the reader with all the threads he was telling. He did a masterful job of keeping things tied up together.

Many of the storylines we find in the various TV series were brought together as well, which is an effort in itself.

My only complaint with this is that while I didn’t find the jumps in time confusing, the time stamps themselves were. I’ve never had an easy time figuring out Trek’s stardates, so the alternative calendars added a bit more confusion for me. However if I ignored them and just focused on the Downtime / Present time indicators I had no trouble following the timelines.

I’d also like to warn folks that this book has a high level of tech talk and technobabble in it. Though I enjoy the technical side (I play an engineer in the Trek RPG I’m a member of, so I’m used to techspeak myself), I can see people who aren’t used to it having to pay a bit more attention.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It had shades of Men in Black, James Bond, and many other spy books. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next one.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

For me this book started out very strong, but by page 50 or so it seemed (at least for me) to start bogging down. By page 70 I couldn't hardly pick it up, and thus, today at about page 80, I finally closed it and put it away.

It saddens me because it felt like it had so much potential, and reading your review above I suspect if I could have just held out a bit longer I may have turned the corner. But alas my reading time is somewhat limited, and for that reason if a book can't keep my interest I generally set it aside and move on.


Christopher Preiman | 17 comments I am starting this one later today, and am a little nervous. Opinion on this book seems sharply devided. Normally this would not bother me, Trek books have always been something of a mixed bag, but this one is long and i have a hard time not finishing a book once started. Guess there is nothing for it except to just jump in and find out for myself.


Andrea (brokencompass) | 151 comments Mod
Christopher wrote: Guess there is nothing for it except to just jump in and find out for myself.

Definitely! Even folks who seem to like similar books as me, I've found we can still disagree on some things.

While I enjoyed this one, it's definitely an intense read, so be prepared for that.


Christopher Preiman | 17 comments So far i am about 1/6 of the way through and am entertained, even if nothing has really happened yet


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan (kertrats) | 39 comments Big fan of these books. I really enjoy Christopher Bennett's ability to delve into the minutiae of Trek continuity and make everything make sense!


Christopher Preiman | 17 comments Ok I liked it. But will probably hold off on book 2 for a while.


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