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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable look at the Trek Universe's 20th Century
Whilst "From History's Shadow" by Dayton Ward is advertised as a Star Trek: The Original Series novel, the novel doesn't really spend that much time following the crew of the USS Enterprise in the 23rd Century. Instead it focuses on a U.S. Air Force Captain James Wainwright (originally introduced in the DS9 episode: "Little Green Men") and his involvement with the...
Published 12 months ago by Killie

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, but left a lot unanswered...
Well written, but I found its character jumps confusing. I also got the impression that it was wrapped up a bit too neatly. Having said that - enjoyable.
Published 8 months ago by B. Doswell


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable look at the Trek Universe's 20th Century, 23 Aug 2013
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Whilst "From History's Shadow" by Dayton Ward is advertised as a Star Trek: The Original Series novel, the novel doesn't really spend that much time following the crew of the USS Enterprise in the 23rd Century. Instead it focuses on a U.S. Air Force Captain James Wainwright (originally introduced in the DS9 episode: "Little Green Men") and his involvement with the attempts by the US government to investigate UFOs and alien encounters during the latter half of the 20th Century. Don't get me wrong, we do get to spend time with Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew but Ward's real focus has been on trying to explore the Star Trek Universe's 20th Century.

One thing I really liked about this novel was that it tried to take a serious look at how things would appear from the viewpoint of the contemporary people who are encountering aliens from the future etc. I have always found that the various TV episodes that cover this type of encounter tend more to focus on providing light relief as the viewer gets to laugh at the silly contemporary people worrying about things. However, in this novel due to its focus on Wainwright we actually get to see and understand why people would feel the way they do. None of it seems that silly when you look at it from their viewpoint and this is something that I think Ward has captured well.

Another element of the novel I quite enjoyed was the way in which Ward has managed to link various elements of Trek lore together into a complex and interesting plot. I couldn't help but smile as I recognised elements taken from various TV episodes that spanned multiple different Star Trek series. Ward doesn't stop there however; he also tries to merge in real historical events to further enhance the narrative and detail behind it. The overall style was very reminiscent of Greg Cox's "The Eugenics Wars" series and Ward does state in the acknowledgements that this was intentional. To be honest when I read Cox's novels I wasn't particularly fond of his attempt to shoe horn the Eugenics war into our own history. However as "From History's Shadow" is mainly based around government secrets etc. I feel that the link between real events and Trek lore works a lot better in this case.

Unfortunately I do think that this attempt to cram lots of links and detail into the novel did lead to its one flaw. Basically, I felt that it got a little bit too complicated towards the end and if you were not fully knowledgeable on Trek lore then some elements of the story could feel a bit undeveloped due to Ward's reliance on the reader knowing what had happened on the relevant TV episode. Towards the end of the novel I actually found myself getting rather confused as the jumping around increased and the time travel elements of the story became a major element on the plot. I still enjoyed it myself as I was more than happy to try and work it out in my head but I can easily appreciate how some people may not enjoy trying to wade through the complexity.

In summary I felt that "From History's Shadow" was a fun and well written book which takes the reader on a journey through our own history as depicted in Star Trek lore. Ward has done a superb job at splicing together multiple Trek episodes into a coherent and interesting story. The only flaw I can really think is that maybe there was too much here, it may have worked better if Wainwright's story had been spread over more than one novel which would have enabled Ward to actually expand some elements further.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...., 30 May 2014
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This review is from: From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
I liked the idea and despite the contrasting reviews I decided to give the book a go.
Wrong !
I am a self confessed "Trekkie" and have read many, many Star Trek books.
This was ...Boring. I never thought I'd say that about a book of this genre and I have enjoyed previous Dayton Ward books.
Its difficult to say why but the characters seemed flat and uninteresting to the extent that although I finished the book last week I have no idea what the conclusion of the story was and have no inclination to re read it to remind myself.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Quie boring, 22 April 2014
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spends too much in the past and in my opinion not connected to the people I wanted to read about
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2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and long winded, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
It may be a function of the time travel featured in the story, but I found it difficult to keep track of and thus care about any of the characters in the story. I am half-way through the book and it took several days of backtracking to get there.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, but left a lot unanswered..., 29 Dec 2013
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B. Doswell (Cyberspace of course) - See all my reviews
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Well written, but I found its character jumps confusing. I also got the impression that it was wrapped up a bit too neatly. Having said that - enjoyable.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Long winded and boring., 14 Aug 2013
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Ms. V. Ford "AniseFreya" (Hamshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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I wanted to like this book as I liked the premise. I didn't enjoy it. It started well enough but 75% of the book was in the past. Not much of it was on the Enterprise so I didn't get much Kirk/Spock/McCoy action.

The parts written in the past felt long a long history lesson with heavy doses of exposition. It really became a chore to read in the end but I kept on with it in the hope of a big ending, alas, no big ending, it just fizzled out.

The author had a peculiar habit of reversing the word order of a pair of words that in a phrase that made the reading flow stutter.

The author himself thanks his editors for taking a risk on this unusual book and that it was just something he had wanted to do for years. So long as he was pleased with it.... I wasn't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A blast. From the past, 21 Aug 2014
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Here is a tale that weaves through the 20th and 23rd centuries with characters and things from Star Trek and our history. A fine tale by a master writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love anything to do with original Star Trek Series and this fills the bill!, 17 July 2014
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Taken me some time to read it as I don't get much time to read..... brill and in the character of the original series!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From History's Shadow, 5 Oct 2013
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This review is from: From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a great story it must have taken a lot of research in actual history and StarTrek history, to put together. With Captain Wainwright one of the first people to be recruited to Majestic 12 (a real organisation) . To collect evidence of aliens on Earth and find ways of combating them. Captain Kirk 1968 Assignment Earth Original series Roberta Lincoln Gary seven's secretary pops up trough out the story to help Captain Kirk, a Vulcan who has lived on Earth for ten years trying to help the human race. An alien race for twenty years trying to destroy the human race. Captain Wainwright trying to chase aliens, investigate and make sense of what is going on and The Aliens that sent Gary Seven to Earth, Roberta Lincoln and her colleges ably assisted by Captain Kirk fight to stop a temporal war. A hell of a lot going on it'll keep you entertained from the first page to the last.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 15 Aug 2013
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Great story, very well written. Kept me hooked from the first word to the last. i'll definitely read more of these books!
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From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series)
From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series) by Dayton Ward (Mass Market Paperback - 15 Aug 2013)
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