Friday, August 06, 2010

Star Trek: The Children of Kings by David Stern

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A distress call goes out from a Federation outpost near the Klingon border. The U.S.S. Enterprise, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, responds. Starbase 18 lies in ruin. There are no survivors. And there is no clue as to who is responsible for the attack, until Captain Pike’s brilliant science officer discovers a means of retrieving parts of the station’s log.
Lieutenant Spock has detected signs of a unique energy signature, one that he believes is Klingon. There are unsubstantiated reports that the Klingon Empire has made a technological leap forward and created a cloaking device—code-named Black Snow Seven—that can shield their ships from even the most advanced sensors. The destruction of the base and the unique energy signature that remains prove that the Empire has succeeded.
For generations the Orions have been known as pirates,operating at the margins, outside of legal conventions. A proud and powerful race, the Orions were once a major force in the sector, and they have been using the tension between the Klingon Empire and the Federation to rebuild their power. Captain Pike is charged with trying to foster cooperation between the Orions and the Federation. A distress call from an Orion vessel offers him the perfect opportunity. But the Orion ship lies in disputed space long claimed by the Klingon Empire, and crossing it could be the spark that sets off an interstellar war.
Excellent exploration/development of the Christopher Pike era of the Enterprise.  Uses lots of material from the backstories as developed in Trek fiction and film and is well informed by the Enterprise series as well.  The author makes some reference to it being a prequel to the 2009 Star Trek reboot - I didn't see that, but won't argue.... still a very nice entry into the Trek literature.

Star Trek: Unspoken Truth by Margaret Wander Bonanno

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A social experiment was conceived. Its goal was to breed the best, the brightest, the most malleable and most loyal soldiers to ever serve. To this end, the Romulan Empire used its own children, blinded by the belief that anything that would bring glory to the praetor was justified. And when the winds of politics changed, these children were abandoned, left to die on a world so horrifying that it was dubbed—by those who dared to cling to life—Hellguard.
One wild child, Saavik, was rescued by Spock. He took the half-Vulcan, half-Romulan child home to his parents, knowing that if anyone could reach and rescue Saavik, it was them.
Now a Starfleet officer, Saavik has striven to honor her mentor and her Vulcan heritage. But recent events have shaken her. Left behind on Vulcan while the rest of the Enterprise crew goes to face court-martial for stealing and destroying their ship, the young science officer is adrift when two men from her past confront her. Tolek, another Hellguard survivor, tells Saavik that the survivors are being killed one-by-one and only they can discover who and why. The other, a Romulan who claims to be her father, swears it is the Vulcans who are eliminating the Hellguard survivors because they are an embarrassment to all of Vulcan, but that she has the power to stop it, by bringing down the Vulcan ambassador, Sarek.
Not knowing where to turn, not knowing whom to trust, Saavik must find her own answers, and discover who she truly is.

Nice excursion into some of the backstory of the Saavik/Spock relationship.  Bonano is a classic Trek author - good to see her extending the Trek Universe.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Catching Up!
Recent Summer Reading:

These were all "hard copy" books - meanwhile I have about 10 (or more) books on the Kindle that I'm reading in parallel - that's the downside (if it is a downside) of being able to carry a small library in your hand...

Thumbs up on HB and NC - very good.... less so on the Shallows. 

Both Hamlet's Blackberry and The Shallows are examinations of the effect of Internet-life on one's brain.  I found Hamlet's Blackberry more satisfactory - bringing the wisdom of the ages (Socrates, Seneca, Gutenberg and more) to the problem of how to live in an always online life.  I felt this was an approach that worked better -  with a longer shelf life - than Carr's breathless descriptions of what neuroscience tells us about our brains.

Noah's Compass was a nice, sweet tale from Anne Tyler.  Quirky, sentimental and more....