Book Review: ‘A Time to Love’ by Robert Greenberger

September 7, 2021 at 2:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: A Time to Love is the fifth book in the A Time to series, produced by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster and was written by Robert Greenberger and released in May of 2004.

It feels like the previous four books were just set up, and the meat of the A Time to series is just about to take off. This book is significantly better than its predecessors, showing the heights that this series could have achieved. Unfortunately, Greenberger makes some poor choices here as well, keeping it from attaining the highest of scores. 

The best part of this book is the accessibility. This one had the easiest premise and easiest action to follow. I found myself struggling to follow the characters, action, and events of the previous four books at various times. However, I was not lost once in this book. Despite being science fiction, this book felt like it was written to a more general audience, and the science fiction elements were toned down.

While the sci-fi elements were toned down, the character work was not. Greenberger did a good job of balancing all of the characters, but he put a new and special emphasis on Riker and Troi. All of the characters feel like the television show examples, and they all use phrases and vernacular that match their character. 

One ironic thing about this book is that it’s the shortest in the series. However, this book spends the least time recapping the events of the previous books (something that hindered Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore’s books) and jumps right in. There really isn’t much downtime in this book as all of the characters are hurled into the action.

Introducing Kyle Riker in this book was interesting and bold, but I was easily able to tell exactly how he’d be used in this book. I really want to read the next one soon to find out if I am right. 

The new planet and species that we meet are also a little alien to the reader while still being understandable. Their cultures are well developed and their “disease” that they are fighting is intriguing to the reader.

I do have a few problems with this book. Like all books in the series thus far, I still don’t know what the overall driving plot is. None of the promises made from the series pitch in book one have come to fruition. Rather, they have all been danced around. I hope that the Riker/Troi subplot is finally resolved in the next book, because otherwise the impetus of the entire series hinges on the last 3 books. 

Another issue that I have with this book is it’s layout. Some of the chapters are 6-10 pages, while other chapters are 30-40 pages, while one chapter is 82 pages. The lack of consistency in chapter length really threw me off and made it hard to read a chapter in a single sitting. I am all for longer chapter lengths, but 80 pages is too much. I think that Greenberger should have cut it off at 30 pages maximum. 

Overall, I did really enjoy this book quite a lot better than its predecessors. The action was great, the suspense was palpable, and the character work was solid. However, some pacing issues and some series issues hinder it from a perfect grade. I give A Time to Love 4 out of 5.

My next book review will be A Time to Hate.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

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