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I.K.S. Gorkon, Book 3: Enemy Territory (Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon) (Bk. 3) [Mass Market Paperback]



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The salty taste of gagh blood filled Toq's tongue as he bit down on the serpent worm that wrigg1ed in his mouth. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alien aliens- a nice change March 5 2005
By Brendan Moody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like the Borg, the Klingons have long seemed to me to be among the most-overused alien races in Trek. The problem is exacerbated by the tendency of the televised product to treat the Klingons as one-note aliens, blathering about "honor!" and "loyalty!" and "a good day to die!" Such flat portrayals can only work for so long.

Fortunately, Keith R.A. DeCandido's I.K.S. Gorkon novels face no such flaws. His Klingons feel like real, fully-developed members of an alien race- an entertaining one. And in the latest entry, Enemy Territory, which is easily the best Gorkon book yet, he creates a new alien race, the Elabrej Hegemony, who are equally well-rendered.

One of the highlights of this ongoing series is the opportunity to watch the arcs of various characters, from chief engineer Kurak to squad leader Wol to Captain Klag. To see such continuity and change in a Star Trek story in an era when the televised product cultivates a bland sameness is especially rewarding.

The overall plotline of the book also features some surprises that the reader won't be expecting- DeCandido continues his penchant for killing off key characters, and another ongoing story reaches what may well be a major turning point. It'll be interesting to see how the promised fourth book in the saga plays out.

Coming as it does more than a year after the release of the most recent Gorkon book, this one is a little difficult to get into at first. The sheer amount of Klingon names is difficult to handle, as is the shifting membership of Wol's squad. However, the author does provide enough information to jog the reader's memory eventually, and by 1/3 of the way through everything was clear.

The standout aspect of Enemy Territory for me remains the presentation of these two societies, which are both alien and somehow familiar. The biological makeup of the Elabrej has a true strangeness that makes full use of the benefits of print, and their lack of cultural richness is almost bizarre, but the state of their political system and the various responses to it have a certain relevance in the modern world. And while the Klingons remain an aggressive, violent people (a truth brought home in a pair of rather graphic scenes), their similarities to humanity are clear, and one character's attitude to an old Klingon TV show provides a moment of fascinating insight.

Full of action and humor and rich with characterization, Enemy Territory is another strong installment in the thriving Star Trek fiction line. 4 stars, or 8.5/10.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is called creativity Feb. 4 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leave it to Keith R.A. DeCandido to create an entirely new species and civilization that we have not seen before, that is unique in it's characteristics from everything else in Star Trek but still believable and weave in a very interesting story.

This story contains a civil war, mutiny, space battles, klingons, aliens, social commentary all in one beautiful and interesting story.

The story and the elabrej hegemony, so beautifully described and containing some disturbing similarities with some of our present day societies, make this a fantastic read. I thought the Books 1 & 2 were good, but the author matches those and, dare I say, overtakes them with this one.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this were bowling, KRAD has now thrown a turkey March 1 2006
By Michael Le Houllier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Three books in this new I.K.S. Gorkon series and Keith R.A. DeCandido has bowled three strikes.

This book features one of my favorite aliens in Star Trek because their appearance is so radically different than bipedal humanoids that dominate the Star Trek franchise. Even the Founders of the Dominion appeared as bipedal humanoids in the presence of those in the Alpha Quadrant.

The Elabrej Hegemony is a nation of four worlds. The peculiar thing about them is not their caste system or the belief that they were alone in the universe. They are sexpedal, rather than bipedal, and they don't have an identifiable head. They have a full range of vision, contrary to most bipedal humanoids that can only see in front of them.

Their religious caste insist that they are alone in the universe. However, despite that believe, they have developed some awesome offensive weapons. As a spacefaring race, they are a stark contrast to the San Tarah. However, they do not have the warrior ethnic of the San Tarah the Gorkon last encountered.

Klag has to deal with Klingon captives, his own ship disabled and forced to land on a moon, and a formenting rebellion as a result of his actions of San Tarah.

This storyline brings us to another part of the Kravot Sector, but the story continues nicely from the first two volumes of the series. Once again, DeCandido captures the spirit and essence of the Klingons. I hope the Elabrej are further developed in future volumes because they are radically different from previous alien species, and that in itself is refreshing after so many variations on the humanoid theme.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This the direction that Trek books need to move in Feb. 20 2009
By General Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank God someone has a somewhat original idea when it comes to Trek fiction something that I feel has been noticeably lacking for years. The I.K.S Gorkon has the potential to be a very good series. The characters are mostly interesting and have more depth then you would except and the books read very quickly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book In This Series So Far June 20 2008
By K. Fontenot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Enemy Territory," the third book in the I.K.S. Gorkon series by Keith R.A. DeCandido is perhaps the most vividly written of the Gorkon stories so far. DeCandido's knack for including solid character development in his story without suffering the battle sequences so key to the Klingon lifestyle takes the forefront in this tale. It opens with Shipmaster Vor Ellis of the Elabrej being awakened to the fact that her fellow crew members have located an alien conveyance, or ship. Her religious upbringing (as well as that of most of her people) has declared that there are no other beings in the universe except for the Elabrej. However, she finds herself and her crew members face-to-face with another alien race. Perhaps out of fear, she gives the command to fire on the alien ship. Unfortunately for them, the alien ship, the Klingon Chancellor-class I.K.S. Kravokh, returns fire and sets into motion a great battle between an alien race that thought it was alone and another that relishes a good fight.

After having not heard from the I.K.S. Kravokh in roughly two months, the I.K.S. Gorkon learns of a massive gathering of alien ships in the last known location of the Kravokh. Sensing an offensive strike, Klag and company, as well as a large fleet of other Klingon vessels, set out to investigate and possibly engage the enemy that brought down the Kravokh. What Klag finds is a one-sided revolutionary war on a planet that's more alien than anything he's witnessed before. When the Klingons join up with a separatist faction, things really get going. On top of all of this, Klag is also trying to weed out possible mutineers on the Gorkon.

DeCandido catches readers up with characters such as Wol, Toq, Rodek, Leskit, B'Oraq, Lokor and Goran. He allows these and other characters to take the spotlight from Klag to varying degrees. Wol is especially highlighted and one could argue that this particular tale is more about her growth as a Klingon warrior than any other character in the story. DeCandido also gives the reader a wonderful look into the social structure of the Elabrej hegemony as well as a solid understanding of certain members of the Elabrej race.

As stated before, DeCandido blends action and character development flawlessly. This makes the reader cheer on certain characters and develop a general dislike of others. It makes the death of some characters (both heroic and cowardly) that much more meaningful as well.

The story is briskly paced and each chapter demands the reader to keep going and not put the book down. As always, DeCandido sets up the the timeline for the story and includes a brief dictionary of Klingon terms used in the book. He also gives a brief overview of each of the Chancellor-class Klingon vessels.

This is the best book in the series so far. At the end of the tale, DeCandido promises that a new adventure for the Gorkon and its crew is yet to come. I hope that he's telling the truth. He's developed these characters so well that I've grown to like many of them more than some of those who are on television each week in reruns. This tale can be read as a standalone novel, but I highly suggest to anyone who reads it to please check out the first two books in the series.

Highly recommended.

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