Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Star Trek: The Original Series: The Folded World - Jeff Mariotte



Title: The Folded World
Author: Jeff Mariotte
Published: 2013
Chronological Period: 2267

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
“The Folded World” by Jeff Mariotte is a Star Trek Original Series novel set during the Enterprise’s initial 5 year mission. The plot follows the crew of the Enterprise who intercept a distress call from the U.S.S. McRaven which was heading towards the same system as the Enterprise as part of a twofold diplomatic mission. Upon reaching the McRaven, they find that has become trapped in an anomaly unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. Upon investigating the anomaly, the crew find themselves facing a world in which the usual rules of time and space do not apply.

I find myself in two minds about the plot of the book as the premise was quite interesting and I enjoyed seeing how the anomaly itself functioned and affected both the world and characters. It was fun to follow the crew as they became unable to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. There was also a few intriguing sub-plots such as the original diplomatic mission that the McRaven and Enterprise had been sent on that had did entertain me as I tried to work out how they all fit together.

However, there are some issues, firstly there is the fact that Mariotte seems to just utilise several un-original plot points seen in many other Trek stories. I honestly don’t know how many times I need to see Spock help save the day by mind melding with some disembodied creature or why we need to send the main characters into a deadly scenario time after time. Further to this, it was quite disappointing that there was no real attempt made to explain the anomaly in which the McRaven was trapped.

In regards to the characters, Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s are acceptable enough although at times they didn’t always feel exactly right. Simply put, I have read better, but I have also read worse so overall I could live with how Mariotte portrays them here. Mariotte does also try adding few original characters and whilst I applaud him for the attempt, the execution is rather lacking. Whilst Tikolo did have a reasonably interesting backstory, the two others, Vandella and O'Meara were one-dimensional and rather uninspiring. Then there was the “love triangle” between them all which was rather painful to read and the less said about it the better.

Overall, “The Folded World” is an average Original Series novel with a superb looking cover. It isn’t the best Original Series novel I have read this year but it also far from the worst.