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All Books

Reviewer : Scott Bates
Ave Rating : 2.6250 for 8 reviews
Title : Corona Rating : 1
Writers : Greg Bear Year : 1984
Review : Okay, I know Greg Bear is a pretty successful sci-fi writer, and a case could be made that I have no standing to tell him how to write... but I've read several of his books and found them all to have a very 'cold' feel: the universe is basically beyond our limited understanding and we're pretty insignificant in it. This does NOT fit the Trek ethos! "Corona" is pretty standard Bear, in this sense. It centers around the sort of exotic notion that you'd expect a cosmological physicist to have late at night when he can't sleep, and develops into an almost Lovecraftian situation. It's all WAY too dark and cold to fit into our shiny and optimistic Trek universe, and the mismatch shows up very strongly. It's like you're not even reading Trek at all, but some sort of 24th century Twilight Zone with characters who merely have the same names as our beloved TOS crew. If you're a fan of Bear's other work, you might like it. Otherwise, no.
Title : Spock's World Rating : 5
Writers : Diane Duane Year : 1988
Review : ASR has summed up my own opinion pretty well, but this book deserves another vote of approval. 'Spock's World' captures virtually everything that is good and inspiring about Trek. If you could take this book back to 1967 and give it to Roddenberry, he'd break down in tears because he couldn't possibly put it on TV with his budget.
Title : How Much for Just the Planet? Rating : 3
Writers : John M. Ford Year : 1987
Review : A very, very strange book. Ford has fused the world of Star Trek with the world of (I think) 1930's cinema, with a lot of other stuff thrown in for effect. It has musicals, it has cliffhangers, it has Harold Lloyd-style stunt/comedy, it has romance, it has wacky misunderstandings and mistaken identities, it has barbarians and precocious children, it has intrigue and convoluted schemes... it even has commercials and a Three Stooges-style cream-pie-throwing fight! If you take Trek very seriously, this book will infuriate you. On the other hand, if your favorite Trek moments include Kirk standing chest-deep in a pile of tribbles, trying to give orders while more tribbles bounce off his head, you'll probably enjoy 'How Much for Just the Planet?'.
Title : A Flag Full of Stars Rating : 3
Writers : Brad Ferguson Year : 1991
Review : Pretty good. This book takes place during the years between the end of TOS and the first movie, and thus is heavily-concerned with explaining why our heroes ended up in such odd circumstances -- Kirk at Headquarters, Spock in Kohlinahr training, etc. However, Ferguson knows he still has to tell a story, and has cooked up a pretty interesting mix involving a good-natured Klingon high-school teacher, a newly-minted admiral who's beginning to wonder if he's made a big mistake, a young officer who thinks he's in over his head, a moody and homesick Klingon spy, and the obligatory 'Super-Advanced Technological Breakthrough Which We Will Never Ever See Again". Plus, the FIRST Enterprise spacecraft turns up to prove there's just something about that name that means trouble... Good characterization, with the real standout being the Klingon G'Dath. There's a strong 'regular guy' vibe on practically everybody in this book, giving the whole story an added believablity -- you relate to these people, because they act like you would.
Title : Rihannsu Book 1 : My Enemy, My Ally Rating : 5
Writers : Diane Duane Year : 1984
Review : ASR beat me to it! More kudos for this excellent book.
Title : Doctor's Orders Rating : 3
Writers : Diane Duane Year : 1990
Review : Diane Duane is probably my favorite Trek writer (admittedly, I haven't read any Trek in several years). This one doesn't have the intricacy or gravity of 'Spock's World' or 'My Enemy, My Ally', but it held my attention for two reasons: it was interesting to watch the Enterprise crew actually carrying on the sort of research and exploration that is allegely their reason for being, and Duane milks the "Kirk's missing, McCoy is in command" concept for everything it's worth! We naturally see the expected complaining and bursts of temper, but also get to appreciate the intelligence and adaptability hidden under McCoy's grumpy country doctor facade. Despite some false starts and a profound wish to be somewhere -- ANYWHERE -- besides in charge of 430 lives and the possible fate of a planet, McCoy sucks it up and takes care of business, matching wits with Starfleet Command, Klingons, and a mysterious and powerful enemy, all while trying to recover Kirk so he can get the heck back to sickbay where he belongs. If you like Bones, you should read this. I'd have loved to see Deforest Kelly actually act the scene where McCoy faces down the Klingon captain -- that's up there with "mechanical rice-picker" for comedy gold.
Title : The Prometheus Design Rating : 0
Writers : Myrna Culbreath, Sondra Marshak Year : 1982
Review : DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!!! It's dark and creepy and sick. It's like Trek as it would be written by those two guys in 'Pulp Fiction' who took Butch and Marcellus down into the cellar for reasons Mr. Kennedy probably doesn't want me to mention on his site. Not just plain old 'not a good writer' bad, but bad in a brutal, sordid, and unwholesome way.
Title : Vulcan! Rating : 1
Writers : Kathleen Sky Year : 1978
Review : I didn't particularly like this book. The characters didn't feel like themselves, and it seems that an inordinate amount of attention was paid to the supporting character, Dr. Tremain, at the expense of the real stars. It kind of felt a bit "soap opera", with all three male leads chasing the newly-introduced female, who was, of course, brilliant and beautiful and perfect in every way except for the obligatory tragic flaw, which naturally stemmed from a long-ago trauma -- it was almost like something Dean Koontz would have written... except he would have done a better job. I wonder if this qualifies as one of those "Mary Sue" stories I've heard rumors about?

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