I love having some Star Trek novels in paperback because this allows me to carry a book around wherever I go without the weight, or size, of a hardcover book. They’re smaller, and yes, they are entertaining as well. I tend to keep one in my purse at all times so when I find myself waiting, for whatever reason, I always have a book handy to help pass the time.
Star Trek: The Children of Kings by David Stern
The Children of Kings brings to life one of the commanding adventures of Christopher Pike, the second captain of the starship Enterprise, and this galactic adventure involves the Klingon and the Orion races. Starbase 18 lies in ruins, believed to have been attacked by the Klingons. As Captain Pike investigates the destruction of the starbase, he responds to a distress call sent out by the Orions; who in turn capture Captain Pike and those in the rescue party. Now it’s up to Spock and first officer Number One to discover who actually destroyed Starbase 18 while finding a way to safely return Captain Pike to the Enterprise. Any missteps could ultimately result in an interstellar war!
This book has 400 pages of adventure! From the beginning of the book I was escorted to the Enterprise and immediately engrossed in the mystery of the story – who destroyed Starbase 18? Since I am a fan of the original Star Trek series, it was fun getting to know more about Captain Pike and his crew. And yes, I did find myself thinking WWKD (what would Kirk do)? But this didn’t subtract from the wonderful story the author, David Stern, created. The story had great twists which kept me reading. The more I read, the more I began to identify with this new crew and I began to like the characters and what they brought to this adventure in space. Plus there was Spock; he helped bridge the gap between the Enterprise I knew and this Enterprise crew, characters I began to grow fond of.
This book is for the science fiction fan, for the Star Trek fan, and for those who love mysteries. Throughout the book it was fun reading the clues discovered by Spock and Number One, then seeing if my suspicions were validated by the characters. Due to the terminology of the book, I would suggest the reader be at least 13 or above, unless you have a son or daughter who is into space travel and is familiar with the Star Trek concept. Overall, I was fascinated by this story and I believe you will be too! :0)
Star Trek: The Fearful Summons by Denny Martin Flinn
The Fearful Summons takes place after the sixth Star Trek feature film, The Undiscovered Country. Those who are familiar with this movie are aware that the crew is now retired…all except Sulu, who is Captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior.
In The Fearful Summons the Excelsior is exploring the outer limits of space when they encounter the Maldari, a Thraxian trader. Tricked into boarding Maldari’s ship, Sulu and ten other crew mates are kidnapped, taken back to Maldari’s planet, and held for ransom. Starfleet’s hands are tied since they do not negotiate ransom demands, so it’s up to Kirk and the original crew to discover where Sulu is being held and rescue him without the aid of Starfleet. Can Kirk pull his friends together for this ultimate adventure?
Hmmm, I think I have mixed feelings on this one. Although it was nice to read about the original crew coming back together for another adventure, I didn’t really feel the connection with them that I normally enjoy when reading books about them. Part of the problem was the characters themselves. Although Kirk is known for his independent thinking, his actions on this adventure just didn’t quite fit him. Sure there were moments in the book where the Kirk from the series came through, but in other spots in the story it just didn’t gel.
I liked the aliens in the book, the Thraxians. The split between their religious and political branches was interesting, as were the interactions with Maldari and his crew. The only other part I really enjoyed reading about was the beginning of the adventure when Kirk had to find Checkov, Uhura, Scotty, Bones, and Spock. Seeing where they decided to spend their “retirement” was entertaining, although I was not entirely pleased with some of the choices the author decided to put them in.
If you’re an original series fan, I wouldn’t suggest you pick up this book – but if you are new to the Star Trek universe and like science fiction, then you probably will enjoy this book. The overall story was entertaining, and like I mentioned before, the Thraxians were a fun alien race to read about. Again, due to the terminology and of Kirk’s relationship with a younger cadet, I would suggest the reader be sixteen or older.