Review: Its Hour Come Round

Its Hour Come Round
Its Hour Come Round by Margaret Wander Bonanno
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What a letdown! The final book of the up-til-now excellent Mere Anarchy series doesn’t resolve much of anything. It retreads several plots from the original series and the movies, but ends so precipitiously, I thought I was missing the last chapter. Apparently, the author thought that since Kirk was dead (as of this book, which takes place after the events of Star Trek Generations), why bother finishing this story?

I can understand in some ways keeping the ending as nebulous as it was, but after five good novels/novellas, readers want a final conclusion, no matter which way it goes! The story has some dubious characterization as well, and I’ll more than likely avoid books by this author in the future.

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Review: Enterprise: The First Adventure

Enterprise: The First Adventure
Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

While there are some interesting situations in this particular novel, it pretty much ignores Star Trek canon and most characterizations, much to its detriment. Apparently, the author, normally a fairly good writer, chose to forego proper research for a novel so set in the past of the original series. According to Ms. McIntyre, the events of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and “The Cage” didn’t happen in the way we saw them, given her methodology for crewing this “first adventure” with Jim Kirk as Captain of the Enterprise.

The Worldship and even the interstellar vaudeville troupe would be nice touches in a proper Trek novel; here they just make bad characterizations and ignorance droll on and on. Having Sulu at the helm, and even Chekov on the ship, and no Dr. Piper, and numerous other canon mistakes compound a bad reading experience.

I can’t even recommend this one for the completists out there, as it doesn’t fill any voice other than a spine number on a paperback shelf.

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Review: The Darkness Drops Again

The Darkness Drops Again
The Darkness Drops Again by Christopher L. Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part Four of the Mere Anarchy series lives up to its predecessors, with a chapter that’s Kirk-dependent but refreshingly not Kirk-centric, with most of the book focusing and Spock and the Enterprise, Chekov and the Reliant, and Maya, Mestikian leader in exile.

I’m really looking forward to the remaining two parts of this novel/novella series.

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Review: Shadows of the Indignant

Shadows of the Indignant
Shadows of the Indignant by Dave Galanter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We reach the mid-point of this epic anniversary story with Dave Galanter handling the writing chores on this part of “Mere Anarchy.”

Several years after the last installment, Kirk is now an admiral and the legendary five-year mission is over. McCoy is a country doctor again, but still joins his best friend when he needs help investigating smuggling operations involving Mestiko. The world has improved slightly, and is on the verge of becoming properly livable again, but intrigue and unrest threatens progress once again.

This part of the storyline is just as well-written as the others, and Kirk and McCoy’s characterizations are spot on. So far, the entire “Mere Anarchy” series has been recommended reading as far as this Trekker is concerned.

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Review: Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart by Dayton Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first part of a six book series covering thirty years in the history of the Enterprise, this part takes place shortly before the events of “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second pilot for the series (and third episode of the original series). A rogue pulsar is threatening the planet Mestiko, but the Federation’s Prime Directive prevents them from being overtly helpful.

Very well-written with great characterization, and features such “forgotten” crewmen as Dr. Piper, Lt. Kelso, and Gary Mitchell. Definitely recommended!

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Review: The Thing: Project Pegasus

The Thing: Project Pegasus
The Thing: Project Pegasus by Mark Gruenwald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Project Pegasus is one of those great little stories that you really don’t see in comic books anymore. First, it’s got some great writing – that’s a very optional item with 21st century comic books. It’s got engaging characters you actually can care about – not the recycled/revamped/rebirthed pap we get nowadays. It’s got good art – you know, the kind that comic books are supposed to have. And the story meant something. Back in the day, Project Pegasus was a nice little adjunct on the Marvel Earth that actually made sense.

The only downside to the story was the apparent destruction of the original Deathlok, a character I enjoyed back in his Astonishing Tales run when I was a kid. Every other character, from the Thing to Giant-Man to of course Wundarr, came out better for this story – characters actually grew and progressed without having to retcon all sorts of extraneus bullcrap into them, or just erase them and start over, as is the prevalence today.

This little book is highly recommended for fans of proper comic books. If you like the New 52 and the majority of the Marvel Now slop, you’ll probably want to avoid this, as it won’t be up to your limited sensibilities.

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Review: Planet of Judgment

Planet of Judgment
Planet of Judgment by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting Star Trek: The Original Series novel by Haldeman, best known for the Forever War series. He’s got a good grasp of the Enterprise crew’s characterizations (at least at the time it was written), and the book could easily be an episode of the series … had the budget for an episode been as much as the first movie, of course. There’s a lot of strangeness, mental battles, and the like in this one.

Recommended for any Trek fan.

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