Star Trek: That Which Divides by Dayton Ward
While studying a spatial rift in the Kondaii system, the science vessel U.S.S. Huang Zhong is caught in a tractor beam and crashes on a planet inside the rift. The Enterprise has come to aid in rescue and diplomatic liaison with the system’s local inhabitants. Meanwhile, the Romulans have heard about the Federation’s interest in the rift which appears to be artificial, and much too advanced for the local population’s knowledge. The Romulans want their hands on any advanced technology, and will stop at nothing to make sure the Federation doesn’t lay claim to it first.
Taking place 4 years into their 5-year mission, the Enterprise crew has an easy camaraderie. And the ambassador on board is a welcome addition, more easy going and jovial than most in her position. The Kondaii system local people are not discussed in detail, other than that they haven’t yet discovered warp drive. And the spatial rift is the main reason the Federation decided to ignore the Prime Directive in this case. Though, it seems Picard’s time period upheld the directive more than Kirk’s earlier time for the most part anyway.
With plenty of twists and surprises along the way, That Which Divides is fast-paced and full of adventure. Fans of the original show will enjoy seeing a familiar face return. Reading like an actual Star Trek episode, this latest original novel is incredibly enjoyable and another fantastic installment in the series.
Star Trek: The Rings of Time by Greg Cox
In the year 2020, Colonel Shaun Christopher and the crew of the U.S.S. Lewis & Clark embark on humanity’s first journey to Saturn. When they find an unlikely stowaway aboard, their mission is put at risk. But the real danger looms when a mysterious probe appears and heads straight for Saturn. As Shaun investigates the probe too closely, his consciousness is thrown into the future into the body of a legendary captain.
Two hundred and fifty years later, the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to Klondike VI on a rescue mission. The planet is similar to Saturn, and its rings are decaying – endangering its numerous colonists. Then, an ancient probe arrives, and it’s immediately beamed aboard the Enterprise for study. But as Captain Kirk touches the seemingly dead relic, he suddenly appears to be in the past, floating in space next to the historic U.S.S. Lewis & Clark.
This standalone original Star Trek novel is told through two time periods, back and forth, chapter by chapter. Cox has skillfully written two separate stories that weave together and come to an exciting conclusion. The Enterprise story is set at the end of the television series’ five year mission. Fast-paced and full of mystery and adventure, The Rings of Time was completely engaging. Though not as much time is spent on the Enterprise crew as other novels in the past, I thoroughly enjoyed the Lewis & Clark crew as most of the action came from that timeline. Time travel, body swapping, mind melds, and aliens – this latest Star Trek novel includes just about everything I love most about the series.