SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow

Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack

Cardassia Prime is home to a prideful people who, for centuries, forged alliances with those they believed would strengthen them and their place in the Alpha Quadrant, and expanded their empire at great cost to other worlds. For generations, dissenting voices were silenced by either fear or an early grave. When their wartime ally, the Dominion, suddenly turned on them, seeking to transform Cardassia into a tomb for every last member of their race, their old adversary—the United Federation of Planets— put an end to the carnage, and even now works to help rebuild Cardassia Prime.

To celebrate this alliance, the Castellan of the Cardassian Union is to welcome the Federation president to Cardassia Prime. As a symbol of this deepening friendship, the U.S.S. Enterprise-E is tasked to carry the Cardassian ambassador to the Federation back home. For his part, Ambassador Elim Garak is working with Captain Jean-Luc Picard to oversee the diplomatic reception that will commemorate the last of Starfleet’s personnel finally leaving the homeworld. However, there are malevolent forces at work, who even now strive to “restore Cardassia to its proper place and glory,” and are willing to do anything to achieve their goal.

This second installment in The Fall series focuses on Cardassia – its politics, uneasy alliance with the Federation, and the fallout from President Bacco’s assassination. Garak is now the Ambassador and of course still has plenty of connections. Garak was easily my favorite character from Deep Space 9, so I was happy to see that he was a central character in this novel. Big changes are happening in the Star Trek universe, and I’m glad to see Garak isn’t overlooked.

The Crimson Shadow is a well-paced political thriller. Full of mystery, intrigue, and engaging characters – this installment is exciting addition. I completely enjoyed this fascinating Cardassian adventure from beginning to end. I look forward to the next story in The Fall and to see where the authors take us.

Haven Clips and Sneak Peek of Tomorrow Night

Haven airs Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy.

Lay Me Down – Sneak Peek
SUMMARY: Nathan and Lexie hunt a trouble that attacks Haven’s citizens in their nightmares, while Duke deals with the very real nightmare on the next Haven, tomorrow at 10/9c.

Inside Haven 406 – Behind the Scenes
SUMMARY: Take a peek behind the scenes on the set of Haven! Don’t miss Haven Fridays at 10/9c only on Syfy.

Adam Copeland Answers Fan Questions – Interview
SUMMARY: Adam Copeland reveals the answers to fan questions from Twitter and Facebook about the town of Haven and playing Chief of Police Dwight Hendrickson.

The Cast Talks Episode 6 – Interview
SUMMARY: Lucas Bryant and Emily Rose discuss episode 6 and Audrey’s reveal!

SciFi Book Review: Blackout

Blackout by Robison Wells

Laura and Alec are highly trained teenage terrorists.
Jack and Aubrey are small-town high school students.
There was no reason for their paths to ever cross.

But now a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible superpowers—and all teens are being rounded up, dragged to government testing facilities, and drafted into the army to fight terrorism. Suddenly, Jack, Laura, Aubrey, and Alec find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.

Laura and Alec are mysterious characters throughout. You’re never sure what they’re really doing until later in the story. Jack and Aubrey are average teens, infected by a strange virus that only affects youth. They’re not sure why the government is rounding them up and treating them like criminals. But they’ll doing anything to be together.

The thrilling mystery surrounding Blackout is both the virus and the terrorism sweeping the nation. It has a bit of the feel of the movie Chronicle, as teens suddenly have super powers and don’t always use them for good. The narrative jumps around different character, which at first was confusing when readers didn’t know the characters. But after a while, this wasn’t an issue and helped explain characters and their abilities. Though I would have preferred more character development with Alec, as we have yet to see any motivation behind his evil. Fast-paced and full of intrigue, there are a lot of questions but not many answers. We’re left with a big cliffhanger at the exciting climactic end, that will leave readers waiting for the next installment.

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