Book Review: Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, by Christopher L. Bennett

The Department of Temporal Investigations (DTI) exists to keep the timeline secure. Agents Lucsly and Dulmur have investigated many incidents of time travel and alternate realities within the Federation. But when a series of events threatens their current timeline and someone starts erasing people from history, the DTI agents find themselves up against a future adversary with an unknown agenda.

The main characters of the story are Agents Lucsly and Dulmur, both humans obsessed with order, avoiding temporal disturbances at all costs, and bringing perpetrators to justice. The story not only follows Lucsly and Dulmur, but other DTI agents as well. The narrative jumps back and forth throughout the agents’ histories, culminating to the present crisis. This impressive novel also weaves a vast number of known time travel adventures from all of the Star Trek series into its fold. Avid Star Trek fans should recognize most of these instances and appreciate the level of detail that went into compiling and integrating them into the story. But newer Star Trek fans may find themselves lost and overwhelmed, especially with the amount of temporal physics involved. As a fan of all of the Star Trek series and time travel theories, I loved every bit of it.

At first, the frequent narrative shifts between people and through time were confusing. But Bennett does an excellent job of character development, so I soon caught up and was able to follow with ease. Besides the regular temporal physics discussions and debates, there was plenty of drama, action, and mystery knit into the story as well. Culminating in an exciting and surprising climactic ending, I truly enjoyed this latest original Star Trek novel. The Department of Temporal Investigations has great potential for a new series that I would love to see continue.

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