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Corona (Star Trek, No 15) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1991
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From the Publisher
The Corona, an awesome, sentient force of protostars, has taken control of a stranded team of Vulcan scientists. The U.S.S. EnterpriseTM comes on a rescue mission, with a female reporter and a new computer that can override Kirk's command. Suddenly, the rescuers must save themselves and the entire Universe -- before Corona unleashes a Big Bang!
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Top customer reviews
I do have a few reservations about CORONA. For one thing, the characterizations of the regular Star Trek cast is handled adequately, but really it's some of the new characters, especially Mason, who shine here. And several times I did wonder where some of the background information about the Trek universe came from. Some of it was merely unfamiliar to me, such as details about the Vulcans (could some be from later Treks?), yet some details did seem inaccurate, such as the Enterprise traveling at Warp 10. In the Acknowledgements, the only reference work that Bear states was "useful" in writing this novel was the STAR TREK CONCORDANCE by Trimble and Heydt, yet some of the details of CORONA surely can't be in my first edition CONCORDANCE from 1976. However, the level of scientific discussion in CORONA is impressive, and based upon real science rather than just being meaningless technobabble.
A secondary aspect of CORONA is the issue of the Monitors, and I didn't have a problem with them, although the idea of computers being installed on the Enterprise to monitor and even override what Captain Kirk and others do is rather a re-hash of the episode "The Ultimate Computer," as is the ultimate decision that the monitors don't work very well. Also, I was glad that the ending of the novel was not the "might makes right" theme that seemed to be developing as Kirk began thinking maybe he should blast the station to smithereens before Corona could carry out its nefarious plot. Rather, the ending became an interesting interplay of ideas, and centered on one of the new characters.
In sum, I found CORONA to be quite a satisfying read. I wish that more of the Star Trek novels, and indeed more of the movies and TV series as well, were based upon intriguing science fiction concepts. That is what makes CORONA a worthwhile story set in the Star Trek universe.
Greg Bear is a marvelous sci fi author. Sadly, I'm afraid, he cannot recreate the Star Trek Universe. Now mind you, he was writing _Corona_ before TNG came out so I tried to give him some slack. But the technology they were installing into the Enterprise was far advanced of anything in TNG. Eventually that fact got on my nerves.
But the worst thing of all is that he had no grasp of the characters, how they speak, what they would do. Captain Kirk would never have ignored another crew member's warning the way Greg Bear has him doing.
I could not and finally did not finish this book. As I was not really visiting old friends or the ST universe, it was a waste of my time. If you want to read a good Greg Bear book.... any other book he's done is heads and shoulders above this one.
as invisioned by Gene Roddenberry, and not the "Star Trek" universe accepted by Rick Berman and company.
I generally rate a classic novel thus:
Adherence to Canon -- does this novel adhere to the vision of the original Star Trek?
Believability (within the confines of 23rd century Star Trek viability) -- is this novel well-plotted and well-written? Can I picture this novel or imagine myself in it?
No. Sorry, but no. A group of sentient PROTO-STARS with an affinity for young Vulcans?
Coherence and Consistency -- does this novel internally consistent? Is it consistent with other Star Trek novels by the same author? Is it consistent with what is known of the CLASSIC Star Trek universe?
Nope! Warp factors in excess of 10? A new (hostile) alien empire that isn't used by anyone else? A computer which can override command decisions? (Hasn't that theme been beaten to death already?)
Mitigating Factors -- pluses or minuses which dramatically affect the enjoyment of this book
Sorry -- this one is just plain bad.
This book does not, really, break any new ground, but the plot moves well and the writing is competent.