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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2011
I think Christopher L Bennett is one of the best authors of Star Trek novels at the moment. I have enjoyed all his work, in particular the wonderful "Ex Machina", until now.

The book is superbly written as one would expect from such a fine author but I found myself bored and bored in a big way. Never mind 'Watching the Clock' it's like watching paint dry.

The book features the two temporal investigators seen in the DS9 episode Trials and Tribble-ations and is esentially their life story within the Trek universe as it were.

I think the problem is that it's too far removed from what makes Star Trek Star Trek. Yes there are mentions and appearances of such characters as Picard, Janeway etc but there is a need to tie in virtually every mention or episodes that deals with time anomolies, travel and incursions which is fine in principle but it seems as if the whole book has been created just to give us a kind of fan fiction need to link them all up, it simply isn't necessary at all.

And yet the story at heart is a fascinating one and well written as I've said, I suppose it comes down to the fact that the main characters are two people with less than three minutes screen time each and are quite simply nowhere near as interesting as the more recognised characters from all the different Star Trek series and I found myself not caring one jot about either of them.

If one loses interest in the main characters then that spells disaster in attempting to enjoy a book.

I have to say that on the whole I don't like at all and it stands as this writer's first major failure with Star Trek fiction.
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on 14 May 2012
This book's primary characters are Dulmur and Lucsly, the two investigators from the Department of Temporal Investigations featured in the DS9 episode Trials and Tribbleations. It might seem like a poor idea to make these two barely seen characters the main characters of their own novel, but the author handles them wonderfully and develops them into a pair of great characters. It does do a bit of listing the time-travel bits of television star trek, but not just for the sake of it - it actually ties them into a plot. Its a great book, don't listen to all those who would say it isn't.

On a little side note, I love the little Doctor Who quote in the front pages from the episode Blink by Stephen Moffat - that really made me smile when I opened those pages.
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on 19 May 2013
This is more of a science or quasi science book than a star trek novel. I found it gripping but I have a science background and enjoy dense explanations. Some star trek readers may not appreciate this book because of this. But please try.
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on 26 June 2011
This is the best Star Trek novel I have read for a long time, certainly post-destiny and possibly post-TNG relaunch. Set mainly in the 'Typhon Pact' era, it focuses on Lucsley and Dulmur, and their colleagues at the Department of Temporal Investigations as a new front opens in the temporal cold war.

Bennett packs in a lot of action and adventure, as well as world building, rich detail and characters, and an awful lot of time-travel related physics that is put across amazingly well for what could be a terribly confusing subject.

What's best about this book though is the sheer volume of Star Trek lore that it ties together. Through flashback, the DTI's point-of-view is shown of almost every time-travel incident in TV/film Trek history and a significant number of literary ones too. It really grounds what are fundamentally new characters and new adventures in the familiar and makes the book all the more enjoyable to the fan, and shows off the considerable effort the author has put into researching his subject.

Bennett's certainly making a name for himself in my book as one of the top Trek authors of the current crop and I'm looking forward to his future offerings.
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on 27 May 2012
I loved this book and read it at a pace.
Chris Bennet is one of the best ST writers around at the moment and falls into the 'Techy' group. He obviously knows his physics and pseudo-physics and merges them seamlessly (for my level of understanding anyway). And you need to have that ability to write about time travel and the repercussions of.
The central characters Lucsly and Dulmur are a bit dry, but the DTI is an exciting place and rich in possibilities for the future. There are enough other people within the dept and elsewhere that L & D aren't really that central anyway, just two of the gang, so to speak. In fact it's only Lucsly who is dull and staid anyway (and by design).

I love the way Chris Bennett ties up loose ends from ST episodes and books and generally pads-out the ST universe to give the whole thing more coherence and depth. What does a time displaced person do in a different world from the one they knew? How does someone cope with knowing all their close relatives died long ago or haven't yet been born? There are several practical and scientific time related scenarios which Chris manages very well and with obvious understanding of the human psyche.
So a new, well rounded and interesting set of characters has been created and utilised successfuly in this multi-layered story. And we get to find out what happened to the crew of the USS. Bozeman as well. Can't be bad.

One of the more negative reviewers said it wasn't 'Trek'. Well, what is 'Trek' anyway? This is as much 'Trek' as any other ST title I've ever read. Why must we stick to the same-old, same-old when a whole universe has been created for us to read about?

I suppose it just shows how difficult it is to please 'all the readers all of the time' that there are other reviews on Amazon calling it boring. We are all looking for different things in a book after all, so you may agree with them or me, you never know until you read it and I thoroughly recommend this book.

David Edwards
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on 5 October 2011
The great thing about Star Trek time travel is that generally, we get to see time altered. We therefore get to see people playing with our beloved standard Trek world and changing it into a parallel Trek universe, which the main characters then have to change back. Or there are people from the future and a main character that we all know and love is involved in setting things straight again. Or time is stopped and we get to play with it a little.

Which is where this book falls down so completely because it is Lucsly and Dulmur's job to make sure that none of the above happens and so we get to follow their attempts to make sure that everything stays the same. Unendingly the same!

If you have no idea who Lucsly and Dulmur are, watch the end of Trials and Tribbilations (DS9) - they are the two guys in grey suits who spoil everyone's fun and this is the book about their exploits to spoil everyone's fun. Imagine a book following two grammar checkers and their adventures editing novels and you get some idea of how interesting these two characters are.

There are no famous Trek characters (apart from occasional incidental cameos), there are few alternate universes (except in the ever so dull ending) and the timeline throughout is designed so that you are never too sure if you are beginning a chapter in the future, the past, or the present, so confusion often occurs at the start of a chapter.

Don't get me wriong, it is written relatively well, has mostly good grammar and about the same nuimber of spelling errors as I have in this review (even in the Kindle version). Trouble is, it just isn't Trek.

It is all just slightly dull and nothing like a good Trek Time Travel story. Next time the author attempts to write one of these, he should look at old Star Trek time travel episodes - stick to their tried and tested formats and make a more interesting book. Maybe a book where Lucsly and Dulmur get killed right at the beginning and then Worf, or someone more interesting, has to save the day and bring them back to their oh so dull lives.
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on 16 January 2012
This is a fascinating book. It builds on the well known Star Trek characters but has a life of its own. The story is compelling, rather exciting, you accept and like the characters at the beginning. It is good from that point of view that makes you think of things you saw and read and puts them into a new context. Perhaps the tech speach is a little complicated, but it also adds to savvy. So, a good yarn!
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on 13 November 2011
Decent book, worth buying if you are a fan of the trek.

One thing though: Lucsly and Dulmur! I cringed when I read those badly disguised anagrams.
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on 15 February 2015
Good romp through time with interesting characters. Lots of integration with Star Trek tv series. I liked it and it was an oddly gentle read. It would be great to meet a Deltan.
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on 17 August 2013
Authors have found another department in star trek to write about. Good value and a good story. A new read for trek fans.
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