I’m now really behind in the reviews… but I think I do have to mention that I have still continued reading, as I still find the Trek books very enjoyable, be it a good author or bad author. Gotta say for now, that I just absolutely loved Peter David and looking for more from him. Also, that most books have been nice enough, but there still are a lot of mediocre ones.
I do have seen some trends in these books though, and I would like to point out some things in further reviews. First, the most important thing is:
- Exactly WHAT was the author trying to do while writing the book. Although it seems obvious (”write a Trek book”), it not always is the same reason. For some, it’s to just write a “Trek Adventure”. Others, try to copy the TV series, even down to the same plot points. Others are trying to spout out some inner fandom needs, while some try to ‘fill out’ some history and explain other things that have appeared. Few do really get the real gist of what a Trek book HAS to be.
In particular, I guess the most important plot point that is common through the series, that usually makes them a good episode or book, is when the Captain is tormented by a decision. Ghost Ship tries to do this, but barely makes it, for example. Others, try so much to give ambiance and feeling, that the lose too much pages in descriptions which are not necessary, and fail to find a good climax for the Captain & crew.
- Another thing is characterization: how the characters should react normally. While it should be a good practice to expand a bit the characters to avoid them coming stale, this usually is taken badly and making the characters do what they are obviously not able, or not really a part of their persona. Hard to do, especially when some authors had barely seen the TV series, or do not remember them well.
- Crosspollination is totally inexistent, except from authors from the same books. That is to be expected, but I think later on it gets better.
Buy anyway… I have made a good headway into reading, I have finished Cry of the Onlies (awful), and I’m just reading through Worlds of the Federation, which is not a novel and will not review it, but I do read everything Trek that’s in the chronology order.
I’m stuck right now with the review of The Galactic Whirlpool, which I was ready to cross out as mediocre, until I noticed it was from David Gerrold… On a second look it looks nice enough, except that it really is not that innovative or as creative as what you would expect from him.
Thank you for your patience and “keep on trekkin’…”