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. 

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Book Review: ‘Race to Crashpoint Tower’ by Daniel José Older

July 2, 2021 at 5:30 am | Posted in Books, Disney Lucasfilm Publishing, Reviews, Star Wars, Star Wars Books | Leave a comment
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Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older is the second middle grade novel in The High Republic series, released by the Disney-Lucasfilm Press in June 2021. 

If you’ve read my review of A Test of Courage, you know that I don’t particularly love middle grade novels, especially in Star Wars. The whole purpose of tie-in novels is to connect the universe together, and to tell a story that children will understand and appreciate. Most of the Star Wars middle grade books are able to tell stories for kids, but they rarely add much to the greater understanding of the universe. However, Race to Crashpoint Tower is much different from its counterparts because it tells a great story while tying in well with The Rising Storm, which is the adult novel from Del Rey which occurs at the same time. 

This story focuses on two main characters: Ram Jomaram and Lula Talisola. Older is able to tell a fairly complex story for middle grade by having the two stories be completely separate, and then weave together towards the end. This sets it apart from books like A Test of Courage which had basically one thread that occasionally branched but mostly stayed together.

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Book Review: ‘A Time to be Born’ by John Vornholt

June 23, 2021 at 5:13 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: A Time to be Born is the first book in the “A Time to” series, published by Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster and was written by John Vornholt and released in February of 2004.

Media tie-In books can be hit or miss, depending on which franchise and time period you are reading. Star Trek is no exception. I’ve found that most of the Star Trek books written post-Nemesis are significantly better than their counterparts written while the movies and television series are running. This book is in kind of a precarious situation as it straddles the difference between the two eras, at least in the feel and length of the story.

What needs to be established first and foremost is that this is book one in a nine book series spanning the timeframe between the events of Insurrection and Nemesis.  This book does not provide all of the answers, nor is it meant to. This book serves as a glimpse as to what the rest of the series will do – pit the Next Generation crew against a difficult galaxy spanning task, and begin to bridge the gap in an unknown portion of Star Trek literature.

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Book Review: ‘Kahless’ by Michael Jan Friedman

June 8, 2021 at 5:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Kahless, is a standalone novel by Michael Jan Friedman which was released in July of 1996.

For the last several months I’ve been focusing on big series such as the Destiny Trilogy, the Fall series, and the Prey trilogy. I thought it might be worth picking up a standalone and that’s exactly what I got in Kahless. However, reading this book made me realize why I appreciate reading series so much. 

This book is essentially two stories in one book that alternate back and forth. The main story in the modern age focuses on Kahless the Clone and his goals to unmask a plot to assassinate Gowron, the current leader of the Klingons. Kahless is joined by his friends Captain Jean Luc Picard and Worf, son of Mogh, as well as some other important characters. This feels like a standard Star Trek political thriller story, albeit a very small one. This plotline was somewhat predictable, but it allows the reader to learn about Klingon culture by visiting with various Klingons. All too often, stories focus on Worf or other main Klingons who just provide exposition about Klingons, but we rarely get to just spend time in the Klingon culture. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story.

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Book Review: ‘The Hall of Heroes’

May 25, 2021 at 4:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek Prey: The Hall of Heroes is the third and final book in the epic crossover trilogy by John Jackson Miller, which was released in November of 2016.

John Jackson Miller is the master of promises and payoffs. No matter what the project, you always know what you are getting and you always get what you’re promised. This trilogy promised to be an epic Klingon “opera”, filled with intrigue, action, character development, and more reveals than you can shake a bat’leth at. You get all of that and more in this exciting conclusion.

I remembered the events of this book the least of the trilogy while I was rereading it, and so there were several moments where I was yet again pleasantly surprised. You know that John Jackson Miller does not indiscriminately kill off characters like David Mack, and yet he is still able to add enough suspense to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I certainly was. This book has tons of action, perhaps even more than the first two books do, and it manages to never feel dull or repetitive.

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Book Review: ‘The Jackal’s Trick’

May 11, 2021 at 1:15 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek Prey: The Jackal’s Trick is the second book in the epic crossover trilogy by John Jackson Miller, which was released in October of 2016.

Hell’s Heart set a high bar for excellence, and so it is natural that the sequel will struggle to live up to the heights of the original. And yet, The Jackal’s Trick is different enough that it doesn’t suffer from “middle book syndrome”, and in fact has an even better climax! 

What sets this book apart from the first is it’s focus. This whole trilogy is about the Klingons, and the Klingons are obviously still the overall focal point. However, this book focuses the brunt of it’s time with the principal antagonist: Buxtus Cross. Cross is the illusionist we met in the previous book, who works for Korgh and in this book breaks all hell loose. He was such an interesting character, as was his crew. The crew reminded me of the best “rag-tag” crews of various aliens that one would read in any great science fiction story. Cross himself was interesting in that he cared only for the story and for the acting. He didn’t care about the consequences (although money is always nice), and to him seeing how far the deception could go was reward enough. He’s just so unique and fun and yet exactly what this middle book needed.

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Book Review: ‘Hell’s Heart’

April 27, 2021 at 5:49 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek Prey: Hell’s Heart is the first book in the epic crossover trilogy by John Jackson Miller, which was released in September of 2016.

When I picked up this book back in 2017, I hadn’t really read many Star Trek books (possibly none, if memory serves correctly). So picking up an epic crossover trilogy, with characters from multiple series and eras intertwining should have been daunting, but it really wasn’t. Why? Because John Jackson Miller does a fantastic job explaining relevant information to the audience.

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Book Review: ‘Takedown’ by John Jackson Miller

April 13, 2021 at 1:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown is a standalone novel featuring the crews of the Titan, Aventine, and Enterprise-E, written by John Jackson Miller, and released in February of 2015. 

I’ll start out by saying that this was the first Star Trek I ever read back in 2017. I had watched some of the shows, but didn’t know where to start in the literature. I’ve been a longtime fan of John Jackson Miller’s Star Wars novels, and I listened to an interview (here on Roqoo Depot of all places) where he discussed how he makes every book he writes introductory. He knows that every book is someone’s first, so he actively tries to give them the relevant information to start. I always admired that and thought I’d jump in. This truly is an excellent place to jump in, and it’s had me hooked on Trek literature ever sense.

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Book Review: ‘Peaceable Kingdoms’ by Dayton Ward

March 30, 2021 at 1:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms is the fifth and final novel in the epic crossover series of books from Pocket Books, written by Dayton Ward, and released in December of 2013. 

This book definitely felt like it would fit as one of the Next Generation movies. There is a lot of action, but also some great character moments. Unlike the Next Generation movies, it actually follows existing canon and works as part of a series.

The plotlines with Ishan Anjar and the plot to kill Nanietta Bacco are in full swing, with the entire main crew of Picard, Riker, Akkar, and Doctor Crusher all working behind the scenes to examine the evidence of who the President Pro Tempore really is and what their end goal is. I personally was hoping for a little more epic nature to the book, and it’s climax made me go “oh, that’s it”?

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Book Review: ‘The Poisoned Chalice’ by James Swallow

March 16, 2021 at 6:05 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: The Fall: The Poisoned Chalice is the fourth book in The Fall crossover series of books written by James Swallow and released in November of 2013. 

While the first entry in The Fall, Revelation and Dust, was lackluster, its follow ups have been wonderful. The Crimson Shadow was one of the best Star Trek books I have ever read, and A Ceremony of Losses was my favorite David Mack book that I’ve read, and made me really excited for the future of the series. My only worry was that all the books, with the exception of a few references to the overall plot, seemed to be stand alone. That has changed with The Poisoned Chalice, which follows up all three of its predecessors and brings the events to a climactic head.

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