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An 'epic' tale? Almost, but not quite..
on 1 June 2014
This book describes itself as an epic crossover tale. I would certainly agree with the last two words but ‘epic’? I think that’s overstating it a bit. Entertaining, certainly; engrossing – yes, if you can overlook a couple of minor flaws (of which more in a moment). My definition of ‘epic’ is something more, a story or stories that have a major influence on the timeline. Something more like the "Destiny" or "Fall" series. Those were gamechangers…
Anyway, semantics aside, I did enjoy this book. Ever since Spock made an appearance in the reunification episodes of TNG, the Trek writers have been looking for ways to bring the ‘old’ and ‘new’ characters together and this is another example of this genre. It was enjoyable revisiting certain memorable episodes of TOS, albeit at different points in each timeline, with the added interest of a physically deteriorating Seven of Nine present (no Borg alcoves back then!)
Now to the first of my niggles. Without giving too much away, much of the narrative is set during Kirk’s era and involves traveling to places that TOS crew had been before, to retrieve artifacts left by another character. This person had spread a number of these all over the Alpha quadrant, but then for no obvious reason had traveled tens of thousands of light years to leave just one in the Delta quadrant, where it is happened upon by Voyager, during its original journey there. It just seems to me that if this person truly wanted to scatter the artifacts around the Galaxy (to make them harder to find and assemble together) then surely they would have included places in the Beta and Gamma quadrants as well. Perhaps I am just being pedantic.
Second niggle. Once Kirk and his senior crew have accepted Seven’s presence and her story as genuine (a bit too easily in my view) they then wholeheartedly embrace the concept of the Temporal Prime Directive and go well out of their way to avoid polluting the timeline by revealing Seven’s presence to anyone else, or using her knowledge of the future for their own era’s benefit. Whilst laudable, this seems to go against character at least so far as Kirk is concerned, as he has on a number of occasions had few qualms about time travel, or interacting with characters from another era. Had they even heard about the TPD back then???
Anyway, moans over. Ignore these and this was an entertaining read. There was a slight element of ‘press the reset button’ at the end as all the alternative timelines presumably just ‘disappeared’ (as they tend to do in such circumstances), but I guess this was to be expected given the nature of the story. Worth a read.