Star Trek: Vulcan’s Forge
Published: August1, 1997
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Just over a year ago, Captain James T. Kirk was lost to the Nexus while saving the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-B from destruction. Aboard the science ship Intrepid II, Captain Spock, commanding some of his old crewmates, must face the loss of his closest friend. But while still in mourning for one friend, he must come to the aid of another. Decades ago, Spock had teamed up with David Rabin, the young son of a Starfleet Captain, to fight an attempted coup on Vulcan that would have turned the planet’s people away from the path of logic. Now a Starfleet officer, Captain David Rabin has been assigned to a harsh desert world much like Vulcan, where the Federation is determined to protect the lives of the inhabitants. But Rabin’s efforts are being sabotaged and he has asked for Spock’s help against the unknown forces that may well destroy the society he had come to save.
While reflecting on his youthful adventure with David Rabin, Spock joins with Rabin to face and enemy out of their past and confront deadly Romulan treachery. In the process Spock will decide if the path of his life now leads back toward the family traditions he had once sought to escape.
My timing is excellent! I ended up reading this book just after I watched Star Trek Generations and witnessed the death of James Tiberius Kirk … heartbreaking, but inevitable. Poor Spock and Bones have to learn to accept the death of Jim Kirk and stick together. The best thing about this story is the characters. The authors nailed each of them perfectly and I felt like I knew them as they were on the big screen. Uhura proved herself to be a badass at the helm of a starship. I’ve always loved her, but seeing her succeed in this way was incredibly satisfying. Bones is the same of persnickety doctor who has a heart of gold and a sharp wit. And Spock, my old friend, struggles with the loss of his best friend and captain. The emotions ran high and that almost made up for the plot, but not quite. While most of the story was enjoyable and the banter between characters was funny and entertaining, there was an awful lot of just walking thru the desert. And unfortunately, that brought the rating down. I just got bored. I hate to say it, but it’s true. But I leaned a lot of things about Spock’s childhood and his decision to enter Star Fleet so obviously I’m glad I read it!
Star Trek: Sarek
Author: A.C. Crispin
Published: February 1, 1995
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The novel begins after the events of “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, is dying, and Spock returns to the planet Vulcan where he and Sarek enjoy a rare moment of rapprochement. But just as his wife’s illness grows worse, duty calls Sarek away — once again sowing seeds of conflict between father and son. Yet soon, Sarek and Spock must put aside their differences and work together to foil a far-reaching plot to destroy the Federation — a plot that Sarek has seen in the making for nearly his entire career. The epic story will take the crew of the “U.S.S. Enterprise(TM) ” to the heart of the Klingon Empire, where Captain Kirk’s last surviving relative has become a pawn in a battle to divide the Federation…and conquer it. With Sarek’s help, the crew of the “Starship Enterprise(TM) ” learns that all is not as it seems. Before they can prevent the Federation’s destruction, they must see the face of their hidden enemy — an enemy more insidious and more dangerous than any they have faced before…
I just recently got back into Star Trek but I’ll admit that I never really got out of Star Trek; I’ve been a Trekkie since I was a kid, watching the Original Series with my parents on TV Land. But Star Trek Picard is happening so I had a lot of brushing up to do. It never occurred to me that there could be Star Trek books that delved even further into Roddenberry’s classic franchise, so when I discovered the whole section at 2nd & Charles, I dived right in! Sarek is a fascinating character. He’s a diplomat, a father, and husband, but first and foremost, he’s a Vulcan.
Vulcan’s can be incredibly frustrating, especially for humans. Ever since Spock’s birth, Sarek struggled to find a balance between his very strong internal emotions and the pure logic used to guide the life of a Vulcan. This story shows an intimate side of Sarek that we only get to peek at in TNG, just before Sarek’s death. Not only do we have a possible Romulan conspiracy and major unrest on Earth, but Amanda, Sarek’s wife and Spock’s mother is dying. Seeing the boys struggle while watching the woman they love and respect suffer is just heartbreaking!
I loved being able to see the mindsets of both Spock and Sarek and I absolutely recommend this story to any Trekkie! I learned so much more about the conflict between father and son, not just with Spock’s decision to join Star Fleet, but even earlier when Spock struggled with his human half as a boy. The characters came alive for me on the page and it was great being able to reconnect with my dear old friends in such a way. I really enjoyed this book and I greatly appreciate how it has opened up my mind to more Star Trek books!
Author: Jess Rothenburg
Published: May 28, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.
I was fascinated as soon as I saw it! The cover is amazing and then the description sealed the deal. If Jurassic Park was done at Disney World and had more than just dinosaurs, then you’d have The Kingdom. Rothenburg does a wonderful job of showing the wonder and fantasy of places like theme parks and what they can mean to people, especially kids. However, her contempt for the huge corporate entertainment conglomerate is easy seen. I can’t really say that I blame her either.
The story focuses on Ana, one of the Kingdom’s AI princesses. While there is a simple plot with a slightly predictable twist, the point of the story is Ana’s growth as a conscious being. Rothenburg tackles a lot of those ethical issues that Jurassic Park focuses on. Ana starts to question her place in life as a whole which then throws off the well oiled machine that is the Kingdom.
It was interesting to see her thought patterns and evolution from the naive, sheltered artificial being into a self aware, questioning woman. Overall, its an engaging read that leaves you thinking and pondering the morals of technological progress. I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to many Disney fans!