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All Books

Reviewer : Schuyler Corson
Ave Rating : 4.5000 for 2 reviews
Title : Demons Rating : 4
Writers : J.M. Dillard Year : 1986
Review : One of the well written stories that slipped several "below decks" characters in, characters that would reappear throughout Dillard's stories. A Vulcan survey team finds an ancient artifact that unleashes bloodthirsty creatures composed of mental energy, capable of taking over the bodies of any creature that can make eye contact with an infected being. Luckily, Starfleet had been forewarned of this danger, and included a secret agent aboard the Enterprise, capable of dealing with the monsters. Taken from a distance, this story is a fairly standard "mass murderer aboard the Enterprise" storyline. Added to it is the normal number of miraculous disaster aversions due to Spock's direct attention, not to mention an ability to pull in just about every other established character stereotype possible. And, as if to make matters worse, the creatures have been also unleashed upon Vulcan, bringing out coldly methodical killing machines that can hide their activities behind unemotional masks. The true strength of this book lies in the character development and interactions of the characters unique to Dillard's work. The known characters are flat and almost derisive, but the secondary characters are well rounded and fully descriptive, virtually rating their own storyline, not merely being added in to a known grouping. Dillard has created several notable characters, almost all within the Security Division (to bypass the noted Red Shirt Rule), as well as a practical trickster of a secret agent. The settings of the story are well described, but use firmly established environments from both the live action and the animated series. (Combat scenes could have been taken from "Day Of The Dove", and a storyline taking place on Vulcan seem to be a complete retelling of D.C. Fontana's work from the animated series.) If you are looking for a stand alone story, this is fairly standard, unimaginative fare. However, if you are interested in reading excellent examples of character development, I'd recommend this as part of a series. Simply read all of the TOS books by J.M. Dillard, concentrating on the background characters. A definite must for anyone interested in role playing in the Star Trek universe.
Title : Rihannsu Book 2 : The Romulan Way Rating : 5
Writers : Diane Duane, Peter Morwood Year : 1987
Review : Without doubt, this is my favorite Star Trek book printed. In my mind, one of the greatest crimes that happened in the Star Trek universe was the backround presented here not being accepted as canon for the multiple series. The Romulan Way is actually two shorter works, combined with an impressive original language base. The two works interweave, chapter by chapter, keeping the reader jumping from a conventional Star Trek story, and a historical work that traces the formation of the Romulan civilization, including political prospects, language, notable events, and a reasoning of the known canon points of the Romulans. The story is focused on Dr. McCoy being sent in to recover a deep cover agent on Romulus. Caught almost immediately, he is brought up on charges as a criminal of the worst sort before the Romulan people, displaying a moxie that conflicts with the McCoy on trial before the Klingons seen in Star Trek VI. However, the historical piece is a true piece of art. Reaching back to the days of Surak, the story traces the Vulcan people making a decision between logic and emotion, with the most radical electing to leave in a mass exodus that the calmer minds choose to simply write out of their history. These people face trials until they find a suitable world to colonize, then go through the growing pangs of a new civilization. Included is a rational explanation of the planetary naming by the Federation, although the twin worlds are known by different names in the storyline to the inhabitants. Also explained is a complex honor system that stays true, despite the political nature of the Romulans. This was actually the first of four stories written in the "Rihannsu Quartet", stories meant to follow the exploits of an outlaw family member of the Romulan Commander seen in "The Enterprise Incident". Despite their never being considered canon, and every episode and movie past the original series that dealt with Romulans disputing noted facts in this book, it is very well written, and a remarkable read. If you have any interest in a differing approach to the two dimensional bad guys seen on television and the movies, this is the book for you. I tend to reread it every so often, and find myself using Rihannsu quotes afterwards. If you're a nitpicker about canon facts, steer clear and stick to simple novelizations of movies and episodes. But, if you want to enjoy a good read with an open mind, I'd recommend this book.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 859 Last updated : 18 Sep 2014