Book Review: ‘A Time to Sow’ by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore

July 27, 2021 at 8:07 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, scifi/fantasy, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: A Time to Sow is the third book in the “A Time to” series produced by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster, and was written by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore and released in April of 2004.

When the “A Time to” Series was launched, there were certain promises made. This series is meant to bridge the gap between Insurrection and Nemesis. And yet all of the reveals and development that was promised has yet to even become present three books in. 

When John Vornholt launched the series, his first book A Time to be Born provided set ups and hooks to keep the reader interested. A Time to Die provided an exciting payoff while still leaving unanswered questions. Dayton Ward and Kevin Kilmore provide a similar formula here with A Time to Sow, setting up lots of promises that will be paid off in the next book A Time to Harvest. Unfortunately, I found the story boring and too familiar to be all that captivating. The reveals in this book were obvious and I didn’t feel the same stakes for the characters as I did in the previous books. At this time, Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore were still very new to the Star Trek universe and were tasked with doing early books in the series; they still lacked the emotional and story punch to make the reader want to keep going. If I was not a completionist, I might be tempted to put the whole series down. The main reason I want to keep going is that I know that David Mack and Keith Dicandido are finishing the series, and they both have proven track records of great books.

This book puts its focus on unlikely characters Geordi La Forge and Christine Vale. It was actually a smart move on the authors’ part to put La Forge as the main character of this book, as he hasn’t had too much time in other Star Trek books and he is featured on the cover of this book. But including Christine Vale as a main character is a bit of a challenge considering that she isn’t present in any of the shows and thus new readers will not have known much about her from previous books. However, they do what all tie-in authors should and provide just enough background to catch readers up.

To me, the most interesting part of the book was it’s connection to the Enterprise tv show, which doesn’t usually get too much appreciation in the literature. However, that connection ends after the first few chapters and thus the most exciting hook for the book is gone. If it had been more important throughout, maybe had more chapters interspersed as flashbacks, it might have made the book more interesting. 

The inciting incident of the book is fairly common for a Star Trek story. A people, the Dokaalan, send out a probe to get help as their planet is slowly being destroyed by decay. After centuries, the Enterprise-E is sent to find these people and investigate what happened to them. It’s a fairly decent plot that I’m sure will be paid off more in the next book. Here, however, it just felt too generic to hold my attention. 

Unfortunately, I just didn’t care for this book. It had some decent promises for the future, but this series should have had it’s individual duologies serve as a single book.  Hopefully I’ll like the next one better. Two out of five.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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