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Mikael Kuoppala RSS Feed (Helsinki, Finland)

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A Flag Full of Stars (Star Trek, Book 54)
A Flag Full of Stars (Star Trek, Book 54)
by Brad Ferguson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
174 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The kitten rocked, the children didn't, September 3, 2001
This book is a part of The Lost Years-saga, and although puplished as the third of the four books, chronologically it takes place after the thirdly puplished "Traitor Winds".
"A Flag Full of Stars" doesn't live up to the expectations of "Traitor Winds", wich is, without a doubt, the best of the four.
"A Flag Full of Stars" comes second, though, due to the boringness and not-beliavability of "The Lost Years", and the simple meaninglessness of "Recovery".
The Biggest strenght of "A Flagg Full of Stars" is that it's an unconventional Trek novel.
Taking place mostly on Earth, the novel centeres around original, and more-or-less succesfully constructed characters. We have a story of a Klingon scientist, living on Earth, teaching, and a tale of one of his students.
As so often, the youngsters act at least five years younger than expected, are shallow and underestimated as characters.
The Klingon scientist on the other hand is written extremely well, but even he can't measure up to his pet kitten, who is clearly the best character of the entire spectrum of the characters introduced in this novel.
The setting is exellent, the writing good, characterization decent, but the plot leaves something to be desired for.
It's bases are ridiculously devoid of credibility, introducing a machine that can create energy out of nothing. And most ludicrous is the fact that it's created not in some top secret research lab, but at the inventors home, vithout the inventor even knowing what's being created. Whatever happened to the laws of physics and common sence?
All in all the kitten, the writing, and the use of good characters elevate this book into a decent one, that might have been exellent, if it had had at least a slightly intelligent plot.

The Lost Years (Star Trek)
The Lost Years (Star Trek)
by J. M. Dillard
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
165 used & new from $0.01

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tarot cards?!!! This can't be Star Trek..., August 28, 2001
"The Lost Years" starts 'The Lost Years' series, wich tells us the tale of the crew of the original Enterprise in the years between the original five year mission and "The Motion Picture".
"The Lost Yaers" the novel is very well written by Jean Mary Dillard and contains great characterization, but lacks seriously in terms of plot developement.
The book begins with the crew leaving the ship behind, an overly long phase with painfully uneventfull scenes, that contribute nothing important to the story, and offer frustratingly few character insights.
This phase is followed by the unsuccesfull introduction of some of the characters' (mostly Kirk's) new lives after Enterprise.
The story kicks in far too late, and is as predictable as expected from a plot that only covers the latter half of a book.
The biggest problem with this book is the fact that almost all characters involved in the story just happen to be the familiar characters of the Enterprise crew who are introduced to the story via ridiculously unbeliavable coincidences. Mix that with two-dimentional additional characters, magic, Tarod reading and prophesies, you get a slightly entertaining book with no credibility to back it off. A waste of a good premise.

Star Trek: Preserver
Star Trek: Preserver
by William Shatner
Edition: Hardcover
123 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A stormy sea of storytelling, without a drop of credibility, August 17, 2001
This review is from: Star Trek: Preserver (Hardcover)
Preserver, the last book of the mirror universe trilogy by William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-stevens, taking place in 2375 is, in a way, the best Shatner book so far. In fact, (again...) in a way, it's one of the most satisfying Star Trek books I've read.
The storytelling is examplarory, the writing as full of nuances as it can be, the characterization incredibly well done. The story is structured in a way that doesn't allow the reader to lose interest for one second. And it works as the best ending to the trilogy. To both of the Shatner trilogies.
The premise is so faulty in the terms of credibility, I'm frankly surprised the writers ever even considered making the story the way it endet up being done.<

Dark Victory (Star Trek)
Dark Victory (Star Trek)
by William Shatner
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
109 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and dramatic, August 17, 2001
After the incredibly superficial and lame "Spectre", "Dark Victory" offers us some real drama, with serious, mature, and dark storytelling that makes the reader think.
The book kicks in where "Spectre" left off in the year 2374, but soon starts it's intependant storytelling by jumping several months ahead in time, thus making itself an individual novel, instead of just being a sequel to a weakish story.
A dark book that keeps the reader in suspence, and I recommend it just as I recommend all of the Star Trek books by William Shatner and the Reeves-Stevens couple.

Spectre (Star Trek)
Spectre (Star Trek)
by William Shatner
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
110 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gene Roddenberry-Wesley Crusher; William Shatner-James Kirk, August 17, 2001
After writing a highly succesfull, high quality Star Trek trilogy, William Shatner and his co-writers Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens start a new one that unfortunately doesn't measure up to the first one.
"Spectre" is the worst book of this writing team so far, and I hope it stayes that way. "Spectre" is all about action, mirror counterparts, and no plot.
"Avenger", the last book in the first trilogy, had some problems with useless action that doesn't advance the plot, but it still stood it's ground.
"Spectre" doesn't.
The book is desperately tried to make feel exiting by adding countless sudden, independant, action-packed seguences that, in the end, don't help the almost nonexhistant plot to advance one bit. Not to mention that almost every chapter ends with a ridiculously artificial and forced cliffhanger, to wich every reader knows the end result by using a little bit of his or her brain. "Spectre" doesn't hold it's credibility because it's just so irritatingly superficial and immature.
In essence: the book is based on predictabilities and artificiality and it underestimates it's readers. I was constantly several pages ahead of myself while reading, simply because every solution to every problem though portrayed as a big surprise, was predictable and easily deduced. Not to mention the simply unproffecionally handled ending.
Then there's Kirk...
It is implied on the back cover that we can expect some real character development of Kirk. Similar as to the development shown on "The Ashes of Eden", the first and so far the best of the Shatner & Reeves-Stevens' books. But the character development goes along these lines: Kirks shoots a Klingon and thinks: 'I think... I feel... Just a little bit... Guilty... For taking... A life... Poor me!!"
Furthermore... The Kirk of this book is portrayed like Wesley Crusher was at those terrible times when he was still in the picture.
Time after time Kirk has amazing insights nobody else simply couldn't have thought of. He fights as bravely as humanly possible, always ready to sacrafice himself, saving the day when all the other characters seem to be just shadows compared to the shining light of their savior: James Tiberius Kirk.
Does the term 'Mary Sue' ring any bells?
"Spectre" doesn't fail nearly completely, though. It's still an entertaining and (overly) action-paced adventure, that just doesn't offer anything in terms of intellectuality.

Gemworld Book One of Two (Star Trek The Next Generation, No 58)
Gemworld Book One of Two (Star Trek The Next Generation, No 58)
by John Vornholt
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
137 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exellent premise, enjoyable story, bad writing, August 13, 2001
The two Gemworld novels must be the most visual Star Trek novels I've ever read.
Think of a planet that is so old it has to be artificially maintainned by growing magnificent chrystal formations to keep the hollow planet from deteriorating to extinction. Due to the low mass of the "planet", there is virtually no gravity, and the six very different species that inhabit it are constasntly "flying" through the chrystal formations.
Sounds like a fairy-tale?
Well, it is. But the childishness is an acceptable side-effect considering the ideal setting that produces it.
Unfortunately the story doesn't guite live up to the setting. We get the usual sabotage/murder mystery we have seen so many times we cannot remember. Unfortunately, the story is just as childish as the setting, and has nothing to back it off.
Fortunately the story is structured well, and the exellent use of Lt. Reginald Barclay and Commander Deanna Troi, who isn't usually portrayed in the way she deserves, not to mention the DS9 guest character Melora Pazlar, who, by the way, was originally created as the regular doctor of the series, and the exellent characterization of all of the three good characters makes this book, that takes place in the year 2376, one of the most entertaining ones in a long time. It's nice to see some more rarely used characters from time to time, instead the old and recycled TNG characters, that ,at this point, have absolutely nothing new to deliver.
But the writing.
The first few chapters of the book cause pain for the reader, because the writing of John Vornholt, who has proven himself to be quite a good writer, is absolutely unprofessional.
But in the end, I recommend this unique, and entertaining book, that offers the best mental wievs possible.

Echoes (Star Trek Voyager, No 15)
Echoes (Star Trek Voyager, No 15)
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
103 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Star Trek novel that had to be made, August 13, 2001
So here we have it.
Throughout the years we have seen Star Trek books that are completely based on time-travel and restoring the timeline. So it was about time we get to see a novel that leans completely on the other science-fiction clishé: parallel universes.
Inspite of the horrible premise "Echoes" holds itself together surprisingly well. Yes, the plot is virtually nonexistant, and the whole purpose of the book is to show us different Voyagers than the one we are used to. We get to follow two of these alternate Voyagers and their crew in this book, plus, of course, the 'regular' one.
Unfortunately, the only things that are different in these alternate Voyagers in relation to the familiar one are the uniforms, hairstyles and minor differences in the layout of the interior design of the ship.
The most annoying thing with this book is that it is a combination of few of the most popular Star Trek TV episodes and offers absolutely nothing new. It is apparent throughout the book wich episode is being copied with each scene.
The biggest strenghts of the book are good characterization, and especially each Janeway is being portrayed extremely well. The other one is the fact that our universe isn't any more prominently portrayed as the other ones. At least one other, that is.
The book doesn't take any risks. In fact it cannot take any risks. The ending becomes aparent after the very first chapters, and the novel isn't nearly as dark as it could, and probably should, have been.
Entertaining, but has all the bad characteristics Voyager is infamous for.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2015 9:03 PM PDT

Starfleet Academy (Star Trek: All)
Starfleet Academy (Star Trek: All)
by Diane L. Carey
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 'Star Trek: Stereotype Team 90210' confronts the bullies!!!!, August 13, 2001
Take 49 per cent of those highschool series that tell plotless "stories" of succesfull, beautifull, popular young people. Add 50 per cent "Baywatch" and 1 per cent Star Trek, and Voilá!; you have the novelization of the game Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
We have the story of a young, cocky, white, human, american man named David Forrester (!), who gets to command a group of (other) disagreeing stereotypical cadets. Including the most annoying Star Trek character I've ever seen: Geoffrey Corin, the rich guy who bought his way to the academy. As if that would be possible in the world of Star Trek.
Cadet Forrester is written to be perfect. His hero Captain James T. Kirk (surprise, surprise...) is written as a god. It doesn't help one bit that the other characters are portrayed too stereotypically to feel real. Furthermore the relationships of the characters progress as if in a soap opera. Things are started, but never remembered afterwards.
The actual, weak and uniqually predictable, story of the book tells us the tale of a Federation-era Ku Klux Klan, and tries to make some points about racism, failing miserably.
The issue is over-simplified and underestimated, without even really touching the matter, by stating only the obvious = denying the importance of the issue, with the end result of hurting the very same important point the novel was probably trying to make.
The message of the book? Being a racist is not nice.

The Q Continuum: Q-Space (Star Trek The Next Generation, Book 47)
The Q Continuum: Q-Space (Star Trek The Next Generation, Book 47)
by G. Cox
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
149 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shows some promise..., August 13, 2001
The first book in the Q-Continuum trilogy is one of the most irritating ones I have read.
It's packed with potential left unused (Q...), stereotypical and inacurate characterization (Deanna...), and annoying little mistakes for nitpickers (Betazoid eyes being brown instead of black, Federation phaser beams being red instead of orange, Troi being a Liutennant Commander instead of Commander as promoted in the seventh season episode 'Thine Own Self', transporter beams being golden instead of silver... etc.), wich are present in other books by Greg Cox as well.
The novel takes place in the year 2374 and tells us the story of the Enterprise-E taking part in an attempt to cross the galactic barrier, introduced in the TOS episode 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', as suddenly (once again...) Q shows up.
We get to see The Calamarain, Q's wife and son again, who are, without a doubt, the best characters of the entire novel.
It's all build-up, and no pay-off, but promises a story that might represent Star Trek's finest.
Definitely not as good as Greg Cox's Voyager novel 'The Black Shore'.

Q-Zone (Star Trek The Next Generation, Book 48)
Q-Zone (Star Trek The Next Generation, Book 48)
by G. Cox
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
126 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All potential left unused, August 13, 2001
The second book in the Q-Continuum trilogy is even worse than the first one.
We get a novel with as much potential as any novel can have, and it's left completely unused.
"Q-Zone" centeres around Q's past, showing us Q's and Picard's journey through space and time. Unfortunately we don't get to witness the ultimate, surreal, fantastic Q-adventure, like the later released "IQ" by Peter David and John DeLancie, but insted we get to see tons of boring, irrelevant scenes, that are structured badly.
Meanwhile on the Enterpprise, things progress absolutely nowhere, giving us pages of nothing intellectually, or even emotionally appealing.

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