Star Trek: The Unsettling Stars – Book Review

Star Trek: The Unsettling Stars by Alan Dean Foster

Taking place in an alternate timeline created when the Starship Kelvin was destroyed by a Romulan invader from the future, this bold new novel follows Captain James T. Kirk and an inexperienced crew commandeering a repaired U.S.S. Enterprise out of spacedock for a simple shakedown cruise. When a distress call comes in, the Enterprise must aid a large colony ship of alien refugees known as the Perenorean, who are under siege by an unknown enemy. But Kirk and his crew will find that the situation with the peaceful Perenorean is far more complicated than they bargained for, and the answers as to why they were attacked in the first place unfold in the most insidious of ways…

This is another quick, fast-paced Star Trek novel set in the Kelvin timeline. This has the feel of a fun episode of the Original series, yet in the alternate timeline. The Enterprise aids a group of aliens who are about to be wiped out. They’re peaceful and bright, so it’s hard to believe that their pursuers hate them so much. As the mystery behind the Perenorean unfolds, it seems to be an unsolvable dilemma. I got a bit frustrated with how naïve Kirk seems at times, but this is set when he’s still young and fairly new to the Captain’s chair. Readers will be suspicious at once. But each time the Enterprise crew meets a new species, they try to keep open minds. Full of mystery, drama, and humor – I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating read.

The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway – Book Review

The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway by Una McCormack

Kathryn Janeway reveals her career in Starfleet, from her first command to her epic journey through the Delta Quadrant leading to her rise to the top as vice-admiral in Starfleet Command. Discover the story of the woman who travelled further than any human ever had before, stranded decades from home, encountering new worlds and species.

Explore how she brought together Starfleet and the Maquis as part of her crew, forged new alliances with species across the galaxy and overcame one of Starfleet’s greatest threats – the Borg – on their own remote and hostile territory. Get Janeway’s personal take on key characters such as Seven of Nine, her trusted friend Tuvok, new arrivals like Neelix and her second-in-command, Chakotay.

I previously read the The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, and loved that. So, I’ve been waiting years for Janeway’s to publish! And I loved every bit of it. The book delves into her childhood and family life, then into her early Starfleet career. There are several instances of specific memories – some traumatic, some inspirational. My favorites were the adventures she had in her pre-Voyager days. In fact, I wish there were more. Then, of course, 7 years of her life were spent in the Delta Quadrant on Voyager, which fans already know. But this is told from Janeway’s point of view, so it’s nostalgic. And finally, we get a look at her post-Voyager years, as well as that of her crew. Sure, it doesn’t match up to the books published by Simon & Schuster, but that’s okay. I enjoyed the alternate look as well. It felt like the final epilogue on a beloved story. There wont be sequels, so I appreciated how it was wrapped up. And like many biographies, there are some well-photoshopped pics of Janeway throughout the years. This was well-worth my wait.

Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death – Book Review

Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death by David Mack

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!

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.

Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire – Book Review

Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?

Captain Moxley is a smart and strong woman with a mysterious past. And she’ll do anything to protect her sister from impending danger. Even when her sister and her boyfriend make not-so-bright decisions.

Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire is pure fun, adventure from beginning to end. It reads like a thrilling Indiana Jones-type movie. And as the mystery of the lost empire unfolds, dangerous foes press in. I only wish we learned more of Moxley’s backstory. I would like to see her fleshed out more along with her former relationship with a certain character. With a bit of fantasy, this drama and suspense-filled story was hard to put down. And an exciting and surprising finale left me wanting more.

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

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

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.

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 Guinevere Deception & The Camelot Betrayal – Book Reviews

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land.

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to the people around her–Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde; Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight; and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

I thought I was tired of King Arthur retellings. But this YA fantasy, from Guinevere’s perspective is highly addicting! In fact, she’s only pretending to be Guinevere. She has been tasked by Merlin to use her magical abilities to keep Arthur safe in Camelot where magic has been banished.

In The Guinevere Deception, she is new to Camelot and unsure who to trust. But the more she learns and divulges to Arthur, the more confused she becomes. Everything she has been told may be a lie.

In The Camelot Betrayal, Guinevere’s sister arrives – the one person who could reveal her deception and ruin everything. I love these characters and how they’ve been reimagined for this series. There is a sweet, innocent romance blooming between Guinevere and Arthur. There is more to Mordred and his side of the family than meets the eye. And the political intrigue combined with unknown magical forces, make for a fascinating plot. I thoroughly enjoy how this story has been unfolding. And I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy. In fact, I wish it was a longer series as there is so much mystery and story left to reveal.

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