Customer Review

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this the 24th century?, October 15, 2004
This review is from: Well of Souls: Lost Era 2336 (Star Trek Lost Era) (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading this book, I honestly wonder if these are 24th century characters. I'll give you a few examples of the characters: (Spoiler warning)

-The captain is a divorcee who lost the child custody battle. She drinks too much and has severe problems in delegating responsibility to junior officers, probably due to unresolved grief over the death of her former XO and lover.

-The science officer has been horrifically scarred by a shuttle accident and also bear significant emotional scars, yet is made acting XO of the ship.

-The current XO has a shady background, which he covered up to enter Starfleet. In this story, Starfleet Intelligence and criminal organisations use his background as leverage against the man. Is this the sort of man who should be on the Federation flagship?

-The captain's son has a suicidal friend.

-The book also goes into the horrible details of the illicit drug trade at the fringes of the Federation. I thought that those things didn't happen in the Federation.

-The characters frequently lie to each other, and also frequently use coarse language.

The above points sum up my problems with this story. I found it to be laboured, disjointed and drawn out. The characters didn't resemble 24th, or even 23rd century character that we saw in the TV series.

I understand the principles of dramatic writing, and, for the purposes of creating drama, characters must fail, but what Bick has done here is too much.

On the plus side, the book was well written in a technical sense. The Starfleet details were spot on, and the scientific details were particularly good. Blick's treatment of the protostar formations showed that she obviously has a deep understanding of stellar physics.

Also, with regards to the characters, the one character that I did like was the psychiatrist, Dr Tyvan. I found Bick's treatment of him to be excellent, essentially he was a different take on the Deanna Troi character (who I also liked).

But overall, I found this book to be mediorce, and unreflective of 24th century values and qualities. Ilsa Bick certainly deserves more outings in the Trek universe, but I hope that next time she write a novel, the characters are a little closer to those on the TV series.

I only recommend you buy this book if you wish to complete the Lost Era series, otherwise look for something else to read.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2008 9:59:50 PM PDT
AHR says:
Good, I am glad they aren't gung-ho arrogant 24th century babies, that have to be taken care of by their Captain and Counselor(Kirk, McCoy, and Spock didn't need one). Oh, and Troi is annoying. What is she doing on the ship again?. Aside from wearing ugly costumes. All polemics aside: I really don't understand your comment, since the 24th century values we know from TNG, have not come into existence yet. Garrett is part of the generation or two of starfleet officers that bridge the gap between the darker(rehab colony episodes) and weaker federation of TOS, and the much more powerful and utopian TNG federation. This concept has been referred to as a renaissance of sorts. This being led by the Excelsiors at first and then as it got underway the Renaissance and Ambassador classes. With the withdrawal of the Romulans, the alliance with the Klingons, and the victory in the Cardassian War, the federation became the dominant Alpha Quadrant power that would defend the quadrant against the Borg and the Dominion. The times were darker, and even if the characters shouldn't all have been bad, as characters in a novel they must reflect a theme of the novel, which derives itself from the novel's placement in the Star Trek time line.
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