Monday, 4 November 2013

Book Report #72 - Star Trek: A Time to Be Born by John Vornholt

Back in the pulpy goodness of Space Opera.

Start Trek has always been my go to SF universe.

The "A Time to ..." Series spans 9 books and occupies the times between the films Insurrection and Nemesis.

The Enterprise is sent to help retrieve bodies and control scavengers in the Rashanar sector which was the site of a cataclysmic battle of the Dominion War.  Once they arrive they discover that the assignment is not as simple as it sounds; this region of space has many hazards including; the multitudes of wrecks and debris, gravitational anomalies, an antimatter asteroid, pirates, reluctant members of the Federation and a mysterious shape-shifting ship hiding among the wreckage.

The book was well paced, not bothering with much exposition.  Let's face it, if you're reading a Star Trek novel you understand the universe in general; exposition can be minimized.  When you dive into the novels, however, you must be prepared to accept that lots has gone on that is never covered in the TV shows or the movies.  This simply causes me to want to read other ST books.

I'd say this opening book sticks pretty close to the conventions of Hard SF.  Of course the science is flawed, unproven or incomplete but if that is what takes you out of the books you need to be reading something else.  Star Trek has always been about the characters and this book kept me interested throughout.

It's difficult to believe in any sense of danger when you know that, from the outset, authors are not permitted to do anything dramatic with the characters, like killing them.  If you take the mind set of reading a cliff-hanger series, then you wonder more about how a character is going to get out of a situation rather than if they will survive it.

There was one plot hole that I hope is resolved in the second book.  It involves the rescue of Data that was helped by an unknown party lurking in the Rahanar Battle Site.

I enjoyed this first book and dove right in to the second without pause.  So far, I'm hooked.
John Vornholt

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