Month: May 2020

Sunday Series Review: Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Trilogy

Today Kim brings you a Sunday Series Review of Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Trilogy by William Shatner.

Books in the Series:

Dark Victory

Published: April 1, 1999
384 Pages

Retired and happily married, Kirk believes his adventuring days are over. But as he returns to Earth for the first time since his apparent death upon the Enterprise-B, events elsewhere in the galaxy set in motion a mystery that may provide Kirk with his greatest challenge yet.

Dark Victory
Published: April 1, 2000
303 Pages

James T. Kirk returns to the mirror universe that was first seen in the original televised Star Trek, to engage in a battle with the cleverest and most dangerous foe he has ever encountered, his mirror universe duplicate.

Published: April 1, 2001
420 Pages

In the Mirror Universe the tyrannical Emperor Tiberius, once captain of the ISS Enterprise, had great success turning captured alien weaponry to his advantage. Until, that is, his failure to seize the tantalising advances of the ancient First Federation. Now, in the more peaceful universe of the United Federation of Planets, Tiberius sees his second chance. And a new ally will help him take it – his alter ego for whom he has nothing but contempt – Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk. Honorable, idealistic and decent, James T. Kirk is many things Tiberius is not. But he is also a man deeply in love with his wife – and Teilani is dying. To save her life, Kirk is prepared to compromise his ideals and enter into his most dangerous alliance yet.

Battling Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a new generation of Starfleet heroes, Kirk must guide Tiberius to a long-abandoned First Federation base which conceals a power so great it will enable Tiberius to conquer the mirror universe – and his own. But on that journey Kirk uncovers long-hidden secrets that raise the stakes far beyond the mere survival of family and friends. At the heart of their quest, something else is waiting: an object from a civilisation whose technology is far more advanced than any Kirk or Tiberius could hope to acquire, placed there for Kirk’s eyes only by mysterious aliens who appear to have influenced life within the galaxy over eons of time – a message from the Preservers…

Kim’s Rating of the Series: 3.5 stars

Kim’s Thoughts on the The Mirror Universe Trilogy:

I did write a separate review for Book 1, Spectre. This review is for the series as a whole. I won’t rehash what I’ve already said, I love Spectre so much. I was so excited to continue on with the series. My review for Spectre is here.

Unfortunately, Books 2 and 3 do not live up to the awesomeness of Book 1. I felt like we switched from Shatner to his ghost writers. Book 2, Dark Victory, felt like nothing more than a placeholder. It existed just to give details so we would get what was happening in Book 3. Teilani turned into a completely different person and Kirk went from maverick to unhinged. I was also completely out of my league with the science. Normally, I can keep up in Star Trek. I get the basics and pick up things as I go. I know that a cloaked vessel emits tachyon particles and that’s the best way to detect it … but I can’t really tell you why it does or what tachyon particles are. Dark Victory went to a more advanced level that I knew I’d never be able to reach. It felt like a struggle just to understand what was going on half the time.

Book 3, Preserver, got better, but I was still disappointed. The story line that was developing in Spectre was what I wanted to read. But by the end of Preserver, we were in a completely different quadrant and I’m still not sure how we got there. Preserver dealt more with history than with science so I felt a little better on my own turf, but I really didn’t like how it made me question literally everything I had seen and learned from Star Trek up to that point. And the ending just felt incomplete, like Kirk lost who he was along the way.

Overall, I was just dissatisfied. I wanted to enjoy it, and I did enjoy parts, but Shatner let me down and I mourn what this series could have been!!

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Jamaica Inn
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1936
307 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

Kim’s Review:

I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.

Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.

I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin
Published: July 30, 2019

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 30- May 12, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—”now gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.

Jessica’s Review:

First, I have to say this: THERE IS NO ESCAPE ROOM in this novel! Our characters are trapped in a real elevator and they have to figure out answers to clues or die.  Needless to say I have issues with the title of this novel.  I was expecting something different, but other than this, I really enjoyed this novel.

We have two POVs and time periods for this novel: Sara Hall and the past, and present day with four investment bankers. Sara Hall is a recent graduate and trying to find a job in investment banking.  Eventually she lands a job at Stanhope and Sons, which is where our four investment bankers also work. As we learn about Sara and her life we see just how tough and hard-hitting that investment banking would be; I would not want to have a job like this. The author apparently does not like investment bankers! 

From the beginning of the novel, we know what is going to happen to the four in the elevator. It is not a surprise, but the mystery is seeing how past and present come together to give us our conclusion.

Though not a believable novel, it was a fun ride to go on. Once you finish reading, you might think twice before going in an elevator again, especially if you know the people going in it with you. Be careful who you go inside an elevator with! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK