Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Star Trek: Shell Game by Melissa Crandall

While collecting space junk, the Enterprise comes across a Romulan space station, drifting in Federation space. When they go aboard in hopes of getting information they find that the crew died of hypothermia in temperatures that should have been perfectly safe. Several away team members start to feel cold, and see something out of the corners of their eyes. As the away team gets more and more jumpy, the Enterprise develops strange malfunctions and power deficits. The crew must figure out what is happening, before their ship also ends up floating and dead.

Mediocre novel. The plot has been done to death (particularly when you find out what is causing the problems) and the Romulans were TOS stereotypes. Every now and then we got a hint of them being actual beings, particularly in the opening, but for the most part I was stuck rolling my eyes. By the time this book was published it was a well known fact in the Star Trek 'Verse that Romulans were not the pure evil, sneaky thieves they were shown as at first in The Original Series. I suppose it is too much to ask for those writing novelizations to have an understanding of the universe they attempt to portray.

On the other hand, the characterizations of the crew were pretty good. Kirk was softened WAY too much in an attempt to make him more likable, but Bones and Spock's banter was great. The writing was pretty good, there were rough patches I thought an editor should have taken better care of, but all in all it was okay.

3 Stars

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