Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death – Book Review

Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death by David Mack

Synopsis:
Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew escort Spock’s father, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, to a dilithium-rich planet called Akiron. They arrive to find this world under siege by creatures that some of the planet’s denizens believe are demons. Sarek orders Kirk to abandon the mission, but the young captain won’t turn his back on people in danger. After a harrowing encounter with the dark-energy “demons,” Kirk’s belief in a rational universe is challenged by a mystic who insists that it wasn’t coincidence that brought Kirk to Akiron, but the alien equivalent of a Karmic debt.

Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise, Sarek’s young Vulcan aide L’Nel has a sinister agenda—and its chief objective appears to be the cold-blooded murder of Spock!

Review:
More Beautiful Than Death is a fast-paced, quick read. If you enjoyed the Kelvin timeline movies, this is a fantastic story from the alternate timeline. Mack does a great job of bringing the movie-version characters and distinguishing them from the Original Series counterparts. L’Nel is a wonderful, anger-inducing villain. And the mystery on Akiron is suspenseful and unique. I loved the fun, surprising twists along the way. With engaging characters and an exciting plot, I read this highly enjoyable book in just a couple sittings. The next in the series can’t come soon enough – as well as the next Trek book from David Mack as well.

Star Trek: Voyager: To Lose The Earth – Book Review

Star Trek: Voyager: To Lose The Earth by Kirsten Beyer

Synopsis:
As the crew of the Full Circle fleet works to determine the fate of their lost ship, the Galen, a struggle for survival begins at the far edge of the galaxy. New revelations about Species 001, the race that built the biodomes that first drew the fleet to investigate planet DK-1116, force Admiral Kathryn Janeway to risk everything to learn the truth.

Review:
To Lose The Earth is a direct sequel to Voyager: Architects of Infinity. Janeway commands the Full Circle fleet, but one of her ships is missing. Meanwhile, the remaining crews investigate Species 001.

While Voyager is just one ship in the fleet, most of her well-known crew is included in the fleet, if spread across the multiple ships. Harry’s girlfriend has been critically injured, he’s trying to keep his infant/fetus daughter alive, and he’s trying to figure out how to get back to the rest of the fleet. I enjoyed this storyline, as his character has matured yet he’s still the same optimist who loves fiercely.

This story is complex yet easy enough to follow. It’s well-paced, with loads of interpersonal drama, mystery, new technology, and suspense. While I miss Voyager‘s original crew and adventures in the Delta quadrant, this series has been a nice jump forward. I enjoy seeing how the crew’s lives developed once they came home – and are now back doing what they do best. This was a fun and exciting adventure that didn’t disappoint.

The Preserve – Book Review

The Preserve by Ariel S Winter

Synopsis:
Decimated by plague, the human population is now a minority. Robots—complex AIs almost indistinguishable from humans—are the ruling majority. Nine months ago, in a controversial move, the robot government opened a series of preserves, designated areas where humans can choose to live without robot interference. Now the preserves face their first challenge: someone has been murdered.

Chief of Police Jesse Laughton on the SoCar Preserve is assigned to the case. He fears the factions that were opposed to the preserves will use the crime as evidence that the new system does not work. As he digs for information, robots in the outside world start turning up dead from bad drug-like programs that may have originated on SoCar land. And when Laughton learns his murder victim was a hacker who wrote drug-programs, it appears that the two cases might be linked. Soon, it’s clear that the entire preserve system is in danger of collapsing. Laughton’s former partner, a robot named Kir, arrives to assist on the case, and they soon uncover shocking secrets revealing that life on the preserve is not as peaceful as its human residents claim. But in order to protect humanity’s new way of life, Laughton must solve this murder before it’s too late.

Review:
Chief Jesse Laughton has taken a post in this small, human preserve to have a more quite life with his family. However, this murder investigation soon takes a dangerous path. And his former robot parter, Kir, arrives to assist as their investigations seem to intersect.

The Preserve is a scifi, procedural, mystery. I loved the premise, and was not disappointed. The plot was clever and complex, with seedy characters and plenty of suspense. I really enjoyed the relationship between the former partners – Laughton and Kir. They share a history that isn’t even hinted at, but they share warmth and humor with obvious affection. I’d love to read about their cases, back when they were partners. The setting, a world where robots have taken over, immediately brought me in. And the whodunnit kept me guessing till the very end. This is a standalone, but I’d love to read more stories set in this fascinating world.

Received in November

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Blu-Ray/DVD:
2067 Blu-Ray

Angry Robot:
Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks

Eaglemoss / Hero Collector:
Star Trek Nerd Search: Quibbles with Tribbles by Glenn Dakin
Ghostbusters Nerd Search: Eerie Errors and Suspect Ghosts by Glenn Dakin
50 Greatest James Bond Cars by Ben Robinson
Star Trek Cocktails: A Stellar Compendium by Glenn Dakin
Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration by Ben Robinson

Subterranean Press:
What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Titan Books:
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury by Brittney Morris

Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration – Book Spotlight and Giveaway!

This is a beautiful, large, hardback book. This impressive book is a behind the scenes look at all seven years of Voyager. With an in-depth look at the characters, special episodes, the writers, art department, and much more – this is a fantastic collectable for Voyager fans. There are even interviews with the cast, as well as a bonus interview via a QR code that you can scan on the front cover packaging. I’m going to spend hours looking through this.

Courtesy of Eaglemoss Hero Collector, I have an extra copy of Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration by Ben Robinson for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends December 11. I’ll draw a name on December 12, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

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The Wisdom of Picard – Book Review

Star Trek: The Wisdom of Picard edited by Chip Carter

About the book:
Discover all of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s sage advice, insight, and wisdom from the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise and beyond in this ultimate collection of wise words from the esteemed Starfleet captain.

Review:
This is a lovely little, hardback book full of quotes from Star Trek’s wisest Captain – Picard. It’s full-color with many photos from both The Next Generation and Picard series. I had a lot of fun browsing through this impressive compellation of Picard quotes. There is a lot of sage advice, moral lessons, and just cute dialog direct from memorable episodes. This would make for a nice gift for any Picard fan and a great collectable.

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