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Now and Zen (S.A.S.S.(Students Across the Seven Seas))
Now and Zen (S.A.S.S.(Students Across the Seven Seas))
by Linda C. Gerber
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.58
120 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars It's a Pass..., September 3, 2014
I’ve previously read “The Great Call of China” by Cynthea Liu in the SASS (Students Across the Seven Seas) series and found that book to appeal to various demographics (e.g. age, genders, and racial backgrounds). Liu offered an engaging story that combined romance, family values, with Asian culture. Unfortunately, “Now and Zen” by Lisa Gerber seems to do everything opposite the Liu book. For example, there is inconsistent pacing, a female lead that doesn’t mature or grow by the end of the book, no charismatic or appealing Asian male characters, and – for the most part - uninteresting supporting characters.

Gerber seems to have her Asian female lead Nori Tanaka surrounded by primarily Caucasians and seems to push the idea that European standards of beauty should be admired, especially by this Asian female. Early in the novel, Nori calls a group of Caucasian males ‘hotties’ – particularly one who is blonde.

American media tends to push the white male/Asian female relationships as ‘normal’ and have other relationships (e.g. usually a black individual opposite a non-black individual) as controversial or a time to discuss race. It’s interesting on Nori’s trip to Japan, she doesn’t notice any Asian males or any other men of color. Granted, she ‘can’ have a liking for white males, but we are not told why. As aforementioned, if the lead was a black female rather than Asian, there probably would have been a chapter devoted to discussing the why’s and how’s that hypothetical black female lead liked a non-black man; a long discussion of race. Hence, Gerber perpetuates the racial double standards for Asians and other non-whites, particularly black people. Gerber perpetuates the stereotypical focus on Asians as the ‘safe minorities’ or the ‘model minorities.’

Nori’s roommate, Amberly Bryson, is Caucasian and blonde as well. Only she is female. Amberly Bryson is as looking like a Barbie doll, and she is depicted as a bimbo. Yet, she turns out to be a voice of reason towards the end of the novel. (It comes off as awkward based on her characterization for most of the novel).

The moment when Nori is supposed to grow or find some sort of life enlightenment is when she meets an aunt and uncle while on her Japan trip. This is when the book slowed down for me. This is also when I felt the author didn’t fully immerse me in the surroundings or the relevance of said aunt and uncle.

If the aunt and uncle didn’t add much relevance to Nori’s growth of a person, her overall experiences didn’t teach her anything. Erik, a blonde German boy she is infatuated with refers to her as a geisha towards the end of the novel. Even though she tells him to stop and is depicted as uncomfortable, she still has a liking for him. Now, this can be attributed to her being a teenage girl, but this not only comes off as naïve…but dumb on her part. Is the author trying to say something about bad boys and the girls who go after them? Or is the author trying to comment on Asian female/white male relationships?

Erik turning villainous towards the end comes off as anticlimactic. For most of the novel, he is so wonderful, so handsome, but suddenly he verbally disrespects Nori. There is no buildup to his evilness and there is no follow-up to tell us ‘why’ he turned evil (or if he was always like that). He just comes off as a stereotypical white guy who feels entitled to Asian women.

There are a few characters in the novel that could have been jettisoned for better focus. For example there is Kiah, a tall white Australian girl with ‘fiery red hair’ who is depicted as down-to-Earth and reasonable. She probably could have been a better alternative to the Amberly character since I wanted to know more about Kiah. However, the Australian seems shoehorned in; she shows up in the beginning and the end, and doesn’t really affect the overall story.

Another character that could have been jettisoned is Michiko, a Japan-born girl Nori meets in Japan. Michiko seemed to only exist to tell Nori she’s not Japanese enough since Nori was grew up in America, and nothing else is made on that claim. Nori doesn’t really seem to be affected by Michiko, and the author doesn’t really go into what it means to be Japanese. The only relevance Michiko has is when she calls out Erik for calling her a geisha – something that should have gone to Nori for character growth. Interestingly, Michiko is not depicted as having a life outside disliking Nori and complaining; a nonsensical character.

Atsushi is a Japanese boy Nori meets during her trip in Japan, and another that probably could have been jettisoned. Even though Atsushi has a liking for Nori, he is depicted as being in the ‘friend zone;’ she is too enamored with Erik. Even towards the end when Nori supposedly has a ‘romantic’ feeling for Atsushi, it seems like a temporary interest; a friendship rather than an actual romance. Even towards the end after Erik and Nori break up their romance/friendship, and Atsushi gains Nori’s attention, Nori still has feelings for Erik despite how she was treated.

Nori definitely isn’t written as a strong heroine.

Overall, this book could have been developed more with stronger characters and not clichés or stereotypes. Characters that didn’t move the plot along could have been left out. The goals of the story, the goals of the heroine (i.e. what is she trying to achieve?) could have been made clearer.


The Running Man
The Running Man
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
118 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been Better...*Spoilers Maybe*, July 27, 2014
I was aware of the book by Richard Bachman (also known by his real name: 'Stephen King') around the same time of the 1987 film with Arnold Schwarzenegger. While I think both the book and the movie are interesting in their own way, the movie seems to be better paced and more engaging. And, while I've occasionally revisited the film, I don't see myself revisiting the book.

The similarities:
Both the movie and the film feature a lead named Ben Richards and both have Network Games, a prominent company that produces reality shows where people compete for money in life or death situations.

The differences:
In the book, Ben Richards is black and down on his luck. He resides in a future where there is a huge gap between the poor and the rich. Hence, the reason he enters the popular 'Running Man' competition - a competition open to anyone who passes certain medical exams - under his free will to make money for his wife and sick child. In the film, Ben Richards is white and a peace officer in a dystopian police state framed for the murders of civilians, and is put into the also popular 'The Running Man' competition - a show that features criminals hunted for sport - to put a rise in ratings.

Where the book has the competition set in multiple cities around the American East Coast, the movie has a contained area. And where the book is more dark and pessimistic, the film has some lighter moments due to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s one-liners and the climatic fight against the villains.

Furthermore, the major villain Dan Killian (also a black man in the novel) is renamed Damon Killian in the film, and is portrayed by the late Euro-American actor and former television show host, Richard Dawson.

A final difference is the lead in the book dying while getting revenge on the major villain after verifying that his wife and child will get his winnings. The movie, on the other hand, has the lead surviving, not only getting revenge on the major villain (and villains) but also getting the girl.

In regards to the novel in general:
Interestingly, there are a lot of racist epithets thrown about, showing that race and racism are pretty rampant around 2025. As of the time of this review, that is 11 years from now! (Considering that we still have race and racism issues today, that isn't so farfetched).

Since "The Running Man" - the book - was written in 1982, I would have liked King to create a character that won and lived; a character that overcame great obstacles and became a stronger individual by the end of the novel. And, maybe a character arc that gives Richards and his family some peace in this aforementioned dystopic society. Here, we just get a character that comes off as unlikable due to his lot, even though we are supposed to care about him. And, given there were so few black male heroes in sci-fi in the early 80s - in film and literature - it would have been cool to have something 'different.'

Also, the writing in the book is shaky and not as engaging, as I hinted earlier with my comparison between the book and the movie. (Again, I feel the movie is better than the book).

One thing in the novel I did find clever was the usage of a countdown from 100 to 0 for each of the chapters (i.e. each chapter is a number in the countdown). This not only counts down to a literal 'explosion' that takes out the major villain, but it shows the metaphorical explosion of Ben Richards' anger over the course of said novel.


Howard The Duck
Howard The Duck
by Steve Gerber
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from $59.79

2.0 out of 5 stars Starts Out Good, Then Becomes Lost...., July 27, 2014
This review is from: Howard The Duck (Paperback)
A blurb on the back of the graphic novel says: "Before it was a bad movie, Howard the Duck was a great comic book."

Ironically, as bad as the movie was, the graphic novel itself has no real story; just weird, random things happening to our 'heroes' throughout. They - the heroes - face troubles that have no rhyme or reason; either due to bad luck, or twisted realities. Howard even changes to a mouse at one point.

Oh, it starts off with some semblance of a story. For example, sexy redhead Beverly Switzler and her partner, the anthropomorphic duck Howard, live in a little scrapheap of a place - literally in a trash dump area - where Howard works as a security guard. Beverly who is in the midst of looking for work finds a job as a supervisor for a marketing company. An odd company which literally produces boy bands in tubes. And, the marketing seems to be directed to not exactly girls, but grown men and their sexual reaction.

Howard and Beverly find out that a Dr. Bong (a guy with a bell for a head and a arm for a bell hammer, the arm and head used in conjunction if he wants to incapacitate someone with a loud ring) is behind it all. After of the boys has escaped from the lab and runs into Beverly, that’s when she gets wind that something is awry - as if the weird marketing didn’t already clue her in.

And then it - the ‘story’ - gets lost:

Howard and Beverly's home is destroyed after being demolished by a girl scout leading a SWAT team through their house in search of a terrorist. It's not explained how this young girl is the head of this SWAT team, it's just some random thing that gets Howard and Beverly out of their place.

They - Beverly and Howard - go to live at a residential hotel that doesn't require cash or credit, allows rodents and pitbulls. Since Howard changes into a rat, this works.

This residential hotel has residents who are in their own realities in their respective rooms where one lives in his/her dreams. For example, Beverly dreams about a hunk that she wears out sexually and Howard dreams about a buffet that he wears out in his own way (i.e. ingesting it all at once).

And the story - or lack thereof - just goes on with references to Witchblade, Oprah, Constantine....but not really making much sense or having a point.

Howard eventually changes back to a duck and talks with 'God' and the story ends with us not getting any closure on Dr. Bong and his boy band assembly lab.

Now, while I did laugh at the wackiness of some scenes, I don’t see myself really recommending this graphic novel unless one is a Howard the Duck fan, or one wants to complete his/her collection, or just curious.

While slightly better than the 1980s film - emphasis on ‘slightly’ - I don’t see myself coming back to this graphic novel. Even as a fan of Howard the Duck.


Crisis on Centaurus (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Crisis on Centaurus (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $5.69

3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay..., July 11, 2014
(Note: This is a review for the 1986 hardcover. I'm reviewing it here since there doesn't seem to be an Amazon entry for said hardcover).

Brad Ferguson's “Crisis on Centaurus” is a decent entry in the Pocket Books line of Star Trek tie-in novels. As is usually mentioned by reviewers of Trek novels: They are hit-or-miss - usually a miss. This book actually falls in between the middle.

While this novel is not mind-blowing, it’s good for a one-time read (maaaybe a second read). This book was simple – in a good way – and not bogged down by technobabble as if the author wanted to showcase his or her knowledge of science, or showcase how lyrical or descriptive they could be with their prose without actually moving the story along.

The story: An individual, who is part of a terrorist group, has exploded a literal bomb in a highly populated city on the planet Centaurus. The Enterprise is ordered to help and bring those involved to justice.

Ferguson adds some clever and interesting things in the course of the novel such as: Newsweek still being read in the 23rd century, Kirk reads one of Isaac Asimov's “Foundation” novels, Sears Roebuck exists on Centaurus, Samuel Cogley from the classic Star Trek episode 'Court Martial' returns, and Uhura is put in charge of the Enterprise for a great deal of the novel!

Furthermore, while Joanna McCoy - Dr. Leonard McCoy’s daughter - appears on the front of the novel, she doesn’t factor a great deal in the novel. I think it is due to her not only being a relative of a main character, but one who lives on the Centaurus of the title.

Too, it's very interesting that Ferguson has the terrorists be racists who want to create a society that is not only free of aliens/non-humans....but free of NON-WHITE humans. Now, some might argue that this doesn't jive with the so-called 'Roddenberry ideal.' However, Trek has always shown that humanity and other non-human races still need a ways to go – and those who are able to overcome their prejudices or bigotry rise to a better level. For example, we've seen bigoted characters in the classic Star Trek episode 'Balance of Terror' and even hints of bigotry in the classic episode 'Galileo 7.' “Star Trek VI” even had crewman on the Enterprise making comments on the smell and cultural habits of Klingons, and the “Enterprise” episodes 'Demons' and 'Terra Prime' had a faction of humans trying to drive off non-humans from the Earth.

The franchise, when it's good, has always shown the 'Roddenberry ideal' was just that: An ideal. It's about working towards that ideal and, if need be, challenging that ideal – as that ideal can be viewed differently depending on the individual or individuals.

Unfortunately, there is one particular bit where Ferguson doesn't remember his Trek lore. He has Kirk incorrectly remembering Scotty to be the one that saved the crew of the missing shuttlecraft Galileo from the aforementioned classic episode 'Galileo 7.' (In the episode, Scotty was with the missing crew, and it was Spock – not Scotty – that saved the missing crewman by releasing the fuel so the Enterprise would have a trail to find them so they would be beamed out by whomever was manning the transporter on the ship at the time).

Another gripe is the amount of over-reaction from the crew of the Enterprise when it is found out that Centaurus has been hit with the bomb. Uhura is said to be weeping, and many of the people around the ship were hinted to be taking the news hard. However, this doesn’t make sense because we never saw the crew get over-emotional when other planets in the Federation were hit with catastrophes or if they came across planets with catastrophes. (It makes sense that some of the crew who have family from the planet would be emotional, but it is kinda cheesy and farfetched if the entire crew were to react over-emotionally whenever they hear about a planet that was - as aforementioned, ‘hit.’The emotional balance of the crew would be in question). Too, Ferguson doesn’t explain the significance of Centaurus to have the entire crew, rather than a few, act the way they do.

Overall, ‘Crisis on Centaurus’ is recommended for at least one read. It moves at a good pace, and it doesn't insult the reader with the execution - save the over-emotional bits and the inaccuracy of certain bits of Star Trek lore.


Star Trek Enterprise: The First Adventure
Star Trek Enterprise: The First Adventure
by Vonda N. McIntyre
Edition: Paperback
223 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Book I'd Return To..., June 13, 2014
"Enterprise: The First Adventure: was a book I've known since it was released - circa 1986 - but I'm just now getting around to reading it.

The book focuses on the first meeting of the crew from the Kirk-era, and the crew getting used to one another prior to command being transferred to Kirk from the previous commander, Christopher Pike.

The book takes its time with the setup as we are introduced to the characters. There is no real plot or story, even though the mission is for the 'Enterprise' to transport a vaudeville act to a starbase which happens to be near Klingon space. However, the mission is put on hold as the crew meets an alien race that is able to sing and fly followed by a Klingon renegade who comes along for no clear reason to muck things up. (The Klingons just seem to be shoehorned in because the book needed a villain or villains, albeit very cliched villains since Klingons are very overused in "Star Trek"). At one point, the Klingon renegade just sits near the 'Enterprise' and the alien vessel (or 'worldship') not knowing what is going on, not caring to contact either vessel. The author has the character - the Klingon renegade - lamely explain the waiting to her crew, which is: she - Klingon renegade again - feels that is an attribute few Klingons have. In reality, it seems like the author didn't really know what to do with the Klingon(s) and was keeping them available when they would suddenly spring into action to do some random dastardly deed since, as aforementioned, the book needed a villain...or villains.

Oh, yes. We also meet Spock's blond, long-haired cousin - a renegade (of the unemotional Vulcan demeanor) who smiles and is carefree - who is also part of the vaudeville act.

It was interesting seeing (or reading, rather) many of the characters that we are familar with not particularly warming up to one another at the start (e.g. Sulu wanted another ship, Scotty thought Kirk was in over his head). We also come across some interesting tidbits from characters such as Kirk reacting to Uhura's amazing beauty or finding out that Janice Rand was a 16 year old going on 17, lying that she was 20 on her records to get into Starfleet, since those under 17 aren't allowed travel on Starfleet vessels as personnel - if I remembered that correctly.

Uhura is even ordered to take command of the ship at one point, and that was pretty cool.

However, just visiting with the characters isn't enough to sustain a novel if the plot and story isn't strong enough. Or, if there isn't any sort of urgency. The book became a task to read once the crew met up with the aliens. And, the Klingons could have been jettisoned for stronger, better written antagonists or exchanged for an urgent problem the heroes have to solve. The writing became such where I couldn't visualize what was going on or 'care' what was going on. I just wanted to finish the book for completion's sake.

While I'm glad I was finally able to read this entry, I don't see myself returning to it for a second read.


Shibuya Moment
Shibuya Moment
by Jax Cassidy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.26
17 used & new from $4.82

2.0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been Better..., June 1, 2014
This review is from: Shibuya Moment (Paperback)
As a person interested in Japan and hoping for a strong Eurasian heroine, I was looking forward to a fun and engaging novel. "Shibuya Moment" started out promising, with beautiful writing that described the scenery of Tokyo from our Eurasian heroine's point of view.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Seren, short for Serendipity Takahashi - meets and immediately falls for a white man - Max - in Tokyo, Japan. Seren is almost written as a Mary Sue, since she has a sadness that really isn't explained but is suddenly made to feel more optimistic by Max who is not only an expert potter, but a expert cook , an English teacher loved by his students, an inheritor of a large home due to his grandfather doing business in Japan, a man who says all the right things all the time, and a man who speaks fluent Japanese. Yet, even though we are also told that Seren had ex-boyfriends, we never see how Max actually differs from previous boyfriends since Seren and Max seem to be moving extremely fast after one or two days.

We learn that Seren's father is dead, but she really didn't appreciate him until the moment she is in Tokyo. And, we never learn or really hear about Seren's mother. We know by the book's cover photo that Seren is (or at least looks) mixed heritage, but we're not given any insight on this mixed heritage. She is only described as 'Japanese' and 'American,' but I took this to mean that she was culturally Japanese and American since she lived (?) in both countries. (Similarly to the way a black -American who lives in Japan can be culturally American and Japanese). Nevertheless, it's not clear...since Seren could very well be full-Japanese as I looked back at the book's description and finding no mention that she is indeed Eurasian (i.e. half-Asian/half-white).

There is no real story, or plot. No real obstacles that the heroine goes through. No goal. No depth to the characters. "Shibuya Moment" follows the bad romance novel cliché where the girl supposedly meets the perfect guy at first sight and we are constantly told that this guy is perfect, but we are not shown how. The 'drama' that pads the book - in these bad romance clichés - is that the girl doesn't know if she should go ahead with this relationship, so she distances herself from her beau and wonders if said distance will put off the guy while she gives herself sometime to think. At the 'end' of the story, the girl finally decides to pursue the relationship and apologizes to the guy, who isn't phased, and the two live happily ever after.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
by James Luceno
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Luceno's Writing is Hampered by the Screenplay He Adapts, May 27, 2014
James Luceno does what he can with his adaptation of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," based on the screenplay by David Koepp and story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson. His adaptation shows why the movie didn't quite work on a story and character level.

Previous Indiana Jones films were simpler. The stories had Jones looking for an object and a renegade faction (usually Nazis) created obstacles to prevent him from finding said object. Or, those factions tried to capture him so he can find the object for their evil goals. In "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," we get too many characters and a convoluted story. And, due to these many characters and the convoluted story, we get inconsistent pacing.

The 'story' for this particular entry is that Indiana Jones is seeking the crystal skull, an object that will unlock the 'secrets of the world.' There is no clear reason as to why Indiana Jones is directly seeking this object. Yes, he knows the Russians are looking for it...and his 'son' Mutt gave him a note that unclearly links him - Mutt - and Indy's past acquaintances to the skull, but usually Indiana has a definite reason to search for an artifact. Examples: In "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Jones was hired by the US government to seek out the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis; in "Temple of Doom," he was asked to save Indian village children from slavery and retrieve stones that were part of the same village; and, in "The Last Crusade," Indy is called on to retrieve the Holy Grail by a businessman, who happens to be working for the Nazis.

In "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," Indy seems to just be looking for the skull just because of Mutt's note. And, he doesn't even really know who Mutt is.

As aforementioned, there are characters that are not necessarily needed. One of those is George 'Mac' McHale, portrayed by Ray Winstone in the film, a character that doesn't affect the plot in a major or minor way. It's not even clear whose side he is on even though it is brought up multiple times and he and Indy have had a friendly history, and this is played into the character as comic relief.

Bottom line: His character didn't need to be in the story.

Professor Oxley (portrayed by John Hurt in the film) is a character that is linked to the crystal skull that is sought by the Russian villains and Indiana Jones. His presence is also a distraction, and much of his dialogue could have been Indy's if we needed to know the history behind the skull and how to find it.

While I don't mind the introduction of Mutt as Indy's son, his character could have been introduced and utilized a bit better. While Mutt knows he's Indy's son, we don't hear about it until later in the story...from his mother, Marion Ravenwood (the love interest from the first Indiana Jones story). He was utilized by the villains to give Indy a note to get him - Jones - interested (?) in attaining the crystal skull. (This is where the motivation of the hero going for the goal isn't quite clear). All Indy knows initially, is that a young brat knows an acquaintance - Oxley - and that Oxley has some connection to the crystal skull.

Some other nitpicks include the Russian attack on Area 51 at the beginning of the story, where they meet very little resistance. You would think that Area 51, holding paranormal and outer space phenomena, would be heavily guarded. However, Russian villains only meet a few guards at the entrance of the facility.

Another nitpick involves Irina Spalko, the main villain. She is described as an exotic individual: pale skin and the body of a ballerina. In the film she is portrayed by Cate Blanchett, and has the potential to be an interesting, mysterious, and exotic character. Unfortunately, she comes off generic. The only thing standing out about her is that she is the first lead villain in the franchise that is female.

Overall, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a lesson on how 'not' to do an Indiana Jones story.


Marvels
Marvels
by Kurt Busiek
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.15
68 used & new from $11.48

3.0 out of 5 stars No plot or story, but the art is excellent..., May 26, 2014
This review is from: Marvels (Paperback)
This book will probably only appeal to diehard Marvel comic readers who don't mind a book that is more 'art' rather than a book is 'a book with a very good story as well as very good art.'

In regards to said art, Alex Ross' art is the primary reason to check out this book at least once. In regards to the story and plot, or lack thereof, we basically follow reporter Phil Sheldon from 1939 to the 1970s (?) as he documents life in New York where the natives live in conjunction with superheroes or 'Marvels.' There is a love/hate relationship the mortals have with said Marvels who come off as mysterious, alien, heroic or villainous, and possibly unaware of the damage their battles cause in populated areas.

Since there is no story or plot, Sheldon doesn't go through a hero's journey and he doesn't come up against obstacles that try to detour him from any goal. This book is just to have Sheldon – as the audience proxy – go through a 'whose who' of Marvel heroes and villains. And , Alex Ross does excel in the artistic depictions of said heroes and villains.

Alex Ross uses the likeness of actual celebrities for the heroes: Timothy Dalton as Tony Stark, Russell Johnson as Reed Richards, and Jim Brown as Luke Cage.

While the blonde Gwen Stacey isn't based on any actual celebrities, she is drawn beautifully in her typical miniskirt and knee-high leather boots. She is a character depicted with childlike wonder towards the Marvels before meeting her infamous doom by Green Goblin.


Star Trek Volume 3 (Star Trek (IDW))
Star Trek Volume 3 (Star Trek (IDW))
by Mike Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.65
65 used & new from $1.96

3.0 out of 5 stars One Out of Two for This Volume..., May 17, 2014
Sulu is given a lot more to do in the reimagining of the classic episode 'The Return of the Archons,' a story that involves a missing Starfleet ship - the U.S.S. Archon - and the impact it had on the inhabitants of an alien world. There is a chilling finale that hint of Starfleet's involvement in said disappearance.

'The Truth About Tribbles' is an original Earth and space-bound story involving the infamous furry creatures. It is an original story that isn't as engaging as previous stories.

As brought forth in my previous reviews of earlier volumes, it's not clear whether or not these stories take place during the five-year mission...since the crew, at the time of this particular volume, still has yet to go on said mission. It is assumed these 'adventures' are only assignments for the reboot crew...where, in that 'other' timeline, some of these adventures took place during the five-year mission.

Overall, this particular volume is an interesting, fun read. At least for the first story.


Star Trek Volume 2
Star Trek Volume 2
by Mike Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.65
106 used & new from $0.95

3.0 out of 5 stars It's Okay..., May 17, 2014
This review is from: Star Trek Volume 2 (Paperback)
'Operation: Annihilate' is the reimagined episode in this volume. It ends on a more positive note than the live-action version. (I won't reveal that ending, to avoid spoiling anything!)

Yeoman Zahra Jamal, portrayed by actress Maurishka Taliaferro in the live-action episode, appears in 'Operation: Annihilate' adaptation as well as the succeeding original story, 'Vulcan's Vengeance.'

The original story, 'Vulcan's Vengeance' focuses on a group of Vulcans who want revenge on Romulans due to the destruction of planet Vulcan (seen in the 2009 "Star Trek" film). Note: One of the Romulan politician involved in the matter has a strong resemblance to the late actor Robert Mitchum. I assume that was intentional, but I wonder was that to make a metaphorical point based on who Mitchum was, or the kind of characters he portrayed? Or was it just a simple nod from a fan of the actor? (It was probably the latter).

I still have a nitpick that carries over from the first volume: Do these adventures take place during the five-year mission or before? At the time of this volume, the reboot crew still has yet to go on said five-year mission...and the original stories in the 'other' timeline took place during the five year mission. If not, these adaptations possibly are assignments given to the crew to handle.

The stories presented in this volume aren't deep, but they are quick, fun reads to pass the time. And, good for fans of the classic series and reboot crew to get their fix.


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