define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true ); Review: Devil World (1979) by Gordon Eklund » Reading Star Trek

Review: Devil World (1979) by Gordon Eklund

Devil World

Although you would expect a battle with extremely evil, cunning and devilish beings, the novel takes a turn and delivers something else.

At least it’s a straightforward adventure again, with very few ‘angst’ and filler text. It tries to copy the episode style, with a ‘teaser’, a fun Enterprise activity to start, and then delve into the problem of the week.

It’s a forgettable novel, I’m so behind the reviews that I’m actually forgetting what the novels were about! The better and fun ones do get stuck in my memory, but this one is not one of those, I had to go back and browse it again.

We begin with a colony world with extreme ‘medical’ problems, cut to a magic show on a Starbase, where the plot is being set, to then visit the target planet, resolve the problems, end of plot. Pretty standard.

Here, we see a bunch of common Star Trek tropes, like: Whole planet populations consist of just one village, and this one, to just a hundred beings; a known relative is missing and is searched for, being ‘lost’ by looking for something strange; a non-thriving colony, lost, dead or missing for a strange cause; a colonist being alone not only for years, but decades; a big controlling computer; an “explanation” for Earth’s myths, etc, etc. It runs through so much of these that it feels like a mash of known episodes. The author is not a big fan of the show, though; small details are wrong, like Spock being a “big fan of poker”, where clearly it was a game Vulcans did not know. The ending is very brusque and not satisfying, seems the author just about wanted to end the story and be done with it.

The characterizations are spot on, and the character development is nice, if entertaining, but the author takes a lot of common themes and ideas to just rehash a story for the novel. It’s also slow with a bit of extra dialog for filler, but nothing extreme. It seems a suspiciously “young adult” novel, but it’s not tagged at such. It’s good for a fun read, but nothing new or breaking ground here.

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