Friday 11 May 2018

Star Trek: Dreams of the Raven - Carmen Carter

Title: Dreams of the Raven
Author: Carmen Carter
Published: 1987
Chronological Period: 2268

Available at:
Amazon UK

“Dreams of the Raven” by Carmen Carter is an Original Series Star Trek novel which is primarily focused around the character of Dr. McCoy. The overall plot follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they attempts to deal with a new and dangerous species who are seemingly able to take control of ships and their crews with relative ease. Unfortunately, the crew aren’t helped by a head injury to Dr. McCoy which has resulted in him losing all his memories from his time in Starfleet. Devoid of all his experiences, he is more of a hindrance than a help as the crew tries to battle the new foe!

The first thing to mention about the plot is that the cause of McCoy’s amnesia is rather silly and quite unimaginative. The concept of his reversion to a younger self however was an interesting one which did keep me intrigued. It was particularly nice seeing how the effect of past experiences could change someone as was evident with McCoy and how he now acted without those experiences. However, I do think that the author maybe went a bit too far at times as some of McCoy’s core personality traits were altered beyond what I felt was realistic. Of course, it could be argued that this was potentially just another aspect of his head injury.

The plot elements around the alien threat itself were rather standard and uninspiring. It wasn’t that long ago that I finished the book but I am already struggling to remember anything of note about these aspects of the plot. Overall, this is probably best described as another average Original Series novel. The amnesia plot is a bit trite in set-up and conclusion but it was nice to see a book dedicated to McCoy and the concept of how the memory loss affected him was interesting. The rest of the story isn’t really anything memorable but it isn’t the worst Star Trek novel I have read.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Star Trek: Discovery: Drastic Measures - Dayton Ward

Title: Drastic Measures
Author: Dayton Ward
Published: 2018
Chronological Period: 2246

Available at:
Amazon UK
The Book Depository

“Drastic Measures” by Dayton Ward is the second Star Trek: Discovery novel that has been released. The story actually takes place many years prior to the Discovery series but does feature two of its main characters, Gabriel Lorca and Philippa Georgiou. These two Starfleet officers get involved in events as they unfold on the planet Tarsus IV which is suffering from a fungal plague that is ravaging the colony food supplies. Fans of Star Trek should of course be aware of what unfolds on Tarsus IV regarding the colony Governor, Kodos and his decision to murder 4000 colonists in a misguided attempt to save the rest. The novel shows us these events and the aftermath of how Starfleet attempts to hunt him down.

Whilst the events on Tarsus IV have been covered various times in the past it was still interesting to read this latest attempt at taking what we know from the Original Series and bringing it all together. Of course, most readers will know how the overall plot ends but it was still a satisfying read with enough twists to keep me entertained. A particular point which I appreciated was the attempt which Ward makes to provide some insight into the thoughts of Kodos himself and how those around him came to rationalise what they were doing.

In regards to the characters, the portrayals were generally acceptable. It is difficult to really compare Lorca to what we saw on the TV screen as this is the Prime Universe version which we don’t really know that much about. However, his rather stiff persona and stifled emotions, supported by loyalty to his colleagues did seem to work. In regards to Georgiou, well her heroism is quite clear but I didn’t see much of her humour or playfulness on show during the novel. The only other character to comment on is the young Jim Kirk who unsurprisingly makes an appearance and is just as brave as you would expect when you know who he grows up to be.

Overall, I thought the story was well-written and undertook an interesting exploration of an important piece of Trek lore. In all honesty, I am not sure this was really a Discovery novel as it felt more like a prequel to the Original Series and the author has just used two Discovery characters in order to link the two. This isn’t really an issue but readers should be aware that due to this there isn’t any real expansion on what we know about the Discovery and its crew.