[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Articles of the Federation (2005)

[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Articles of the Federation (2005)

The premise of Keith R. A. DeCandido’s Articles of the Federation is deceptively simple: it covers the first year of Nan Bacco’s presidency of the United Federation of Planets. There are the usual trials and tribulations, there are some old ghosts that don’t want to stay dead, and we see a few famous Star Trek characters take the stage. Yes, it feels very much like The West Wing. But no, it’s not a rip-off of that show. While not perfect, DeCandido’s solid writing keeps Articles of the Federation interesting, moving at a quick pace and never drags at nearly four-hundred pages.

Continue reading “[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Articles of the Federation (2005)”

Star Trek: Titan: Sight Unseen

Star Trek: Titan: Sight Unseen

Sight Unseen shares thematic links with Orion’s Hounds, the third book in the Star Trek: Titan series but the first to truly undertake the ship’s primary mission of exploration. In the latter novel we saw a return of the “Star-jellies“, the race of jellyfish-like aliens from Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s premiere episode, “Encounter at Farpoint”, Upon reading Orion’s Hounds I found myself musing on the thematic similarities that the pilot episode of TNG and the beginning of Titan‘s mission. Not only had the novel followed up on the origins of the enigmatic alien species from the show, it expanded upon it in ways you could only do in a novel, with an impressive depth that set the tone for the novels to follow.  Continue reading “Star Trek: Titan: Sight Unseen”

[Retro-Review] The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate (2008)

[Retro-Review] The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate (2008)

Ted Chiang is an author worthy of praise.  Lots of praise.  I remember I used to work with a woman named Vonda.  Her favorite expression was “I’d kick somebody’s back out for some,” followed by the noun of her choice.  To illustrate:

“I’d kick somebody’s back out for some Ted Chiang stories.”

That pretty much sums up my sentiment.

Continue reading “[Retro-Review] The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate (2008)”

[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Titan: Orion’s Hounds (2006)

[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Titan: Orion’s Hounds (2006)

Orion’s Hounds, by Christopher L. Bennett, is the third entry in the Star Trek: Titan series of books, chronicling the adventures of Captain William T. Riker’s first command, the USS Titan. The thrust of the series, beginning with Orion’s Hounds, will be Titan‘s exploration of the coreward side of the Gum Nebula, a region of the Orion Arm that has not been explored by the Federation. As they begin their mission of exploration, Titan‘s crew encounters a race of hunters (more akin to whalers) attacking a familiar space-faring species. Riker and his crew intervene, attempting to understand and resolve the situation, only to find that it is much more complex than they could have ever imagined.

Continue reading “[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Titan: Orion’s Hounds (2006)”

[Retro-Review] Star Wars: Dark Nest Book I: The Joiner King (2005)

[Retro-Review] Star Wars: Dark Nest Book I: The Joiner King (2005)

The Joiner King is the first volume in the Dark Nest trilogy, written by Troy Denning. Denning is the fan-favorite author of such Star Wars novels as Star By Star and Tatooine Ghost, as well as several other original sci-fi works.

The Joiner King is set in the New Jedi Order era, five years after The Unifying Force, which saw the conclusion of the war with the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong. The premise sounds intriguing: a group of Jedi Knights hear a call through the Force from the Unknown Regions, and are drawn towards it. Soon, they abandon their duties to find it, much to the chagrin of the alien Chiss. The Jedi soon find themselves involved in a border dispute between the Chiss and an insect-like race called the Killick that has been spreading rapidly towards Chiss space. Luke, Han and Leia, as well as a few others, head out to investigate what the younger Knights have been up to, only to make some disturbing discoveries.

Continue reading “[Retro-Review] Star Wars: Dark Nest Book I: The Joiner King (2005)”

[Review] Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies

[Review] Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies

I like John Jackson Miller’s writing. His work on the Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith novellas and short stories went a long way to establishing a unique identity and twist for a well-worn concept. Although I bailed early on his Knights of the Old Republic comic book, I can appreciate that it has its fans and was pretty popular.

Then Miller applied his craft to the Star Trek universe, namely for Star Trek: Titan in a novella that is a follow-up to the previous novel, James Swallow’s The Poisoned Chalice.  How does it fair?

Unfortunately, not so well.

Continue reading “[Review] Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies”

[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Vanguard: Harbinger (2005)

[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Vanguard: Harbinger (2005)

Reviewer’s Note: Funny what a difference a decade makes. When I originally read Harbinger, I was not really a fan of the Original Series in the sense that I had barely watched any episodes outside of the movies. Star Trek: Vanguard was crucial in me not only seeking out more Original Series novels to read but subsequently watching the series on Netflix. 

I’m not a fan of the Original Series. I know that must violate some cardinal rule of geekdom, but so be it. I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation, and my favorite Trek series remains Deep Space Nine. I know we owe these series to the Original, and while I don’t loathe it, I would never go out of my way to purchase any novels set in this era.

Continue reading “[Retro-Review] Star Trek: Vanguard: Harbinger (2005)”