Returning to Vega after their adventure on Talos IV, the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a rift in space. After taking his ship through the rift, Captain Christopher Pike and his crew meet the Calligar, an advanced civilization in the far-off Gamma Quadrant; while initial interactions are promising, the Enterprise is forced to return to Federation space before the rift closes. Thirty three years later the rift opens again, giving the Federation the opportunity to renew the contact, this time with a team led by Captain James Kirk in the Enterprise-A, though this time the Calligar leader precipitates a crisis that jeopardizes both amicable relations and the Federation representatives sent to establish them,
On one level it's surprising that, even after a profitable half-century of developing the Star Trek franchise, so little has been done with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise that preceded Kirk's merry band; indeed, there are even more works about author-created characters than there are ones featuring Pike's time in command. Peter David uses the limited material from the original pilot to provide a depiction of a very different Enterprise crew, giving his work a freshness that is often lacking in a Star Trek novel. His concept of a periodically-opening rift to a distant part of the galaxy is also an interesting one, serving as a nice way to tie events to the Enterprise crew with whom fans are more familiar. Yet the second half of the novel is more disappointing, as the plot follows tired characters into well-worn grooves with a predictable course of events. Though David enlivens this part with some knowing jokes and a nice little twist, it still doesn't live up to the originality and promise of the first half of the book.
Offered to the Cyborg is the second book in the Cy-Con series, but can be read as a standalone. Shaylee was kidnapped from Earth, and has been used and passed around as a slave since then. Although she has had children, she has never found pleasure in the making of them, due to the pain and humiliation she has endured. So when Wrylack enters the medbay where she is being held, she really has no idea of what is going to happen next as he treats her in a way she is totally unused to.
This is a fast-paced story that will draw you in and leave you wanting that HEA for Shaylee, Wrylack, and Shaylee's babies. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, and the scenes flowed from one to the next. The characters were enjoyable and complemented each other. This is the first book in this series I have read, but I am intrigued now about other stories featuring other characters that I haven't read yet. Norvak definitely needs his own story!
For a quick and enjoyable Sci-Fi steamy read, I can definitely recommend this one.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
There is something appealingly basic about Victoria Mitchell's second contribution to the Pocket Books series of Star Trek novels. In it the Enterprise takes a team of archaeologists to a deserted planet. There they uncover evidence of an even older civilization than the one they were sent to investigate, one that left behind mysterious "windows" that are still active and were subsequently buried by their successors. An accident sends Kirk, Chekov, and one of the archaeologists into the window, where they vanish . . . and the Enterprise suddenly detects alien life on a previously uninhabited world.
What struck me about Mitchell's novel as I was reading it was how well her book captures the essential framework of an episode of an original series: the Enterprise explores something, encounters a problem that jeopardizes some of the crew, and then the rest of the crew works together to unravel the mystery and save the crew members in jeopardy. For this comfortingly familiar structure Mitchell provides a story that would have been impossible with the budget and effects of the series, with a refreshingly original alien species unlike any that had been envisioned beforehand. And even if the the the character traits and skill sets of her new characters are a bit too convenient for the story, overall the combination makes for one of the better Original Series novels, one that synthesizes well the best elements of the show and the possibilities of the written page.