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on March 10, 2002
I was fairly disappointed with this whole series. Of course, the Genesis technology that was introduced in The Wrath of Khan was a great story device. I expected that this novel would be very exciting and rich with "historical" detail.
In my opinion, the challenge with writing for Star Trek characters is to create an engrossing and exciting story, in spite of the familiarity of the characters and environment. In a way, the villains, story lines, and settings need to be even more vivid and realistic when using our familiar Trek settings. This is especially true when an aspect of Trek history, like the Genesis Wave, is selected for the center of the story. Unfortunately, this book focuses almost excluslively on plot; it neglects the care needed with the characters.
All of the regular crew are portrayed in a comic book-like fashion. Their actions and dialog are typical of their characters. Nothing surprising or innovative occurs where the characters are concerned. Geordi, in particular, is dull. He spends most of the time reacting to events and people around him.
There are a few decent characters in the book. The klingon Maltz returns from ST3 to play a large part in this story. Also, Leah Brahms has an interesting part to play. But, Dr. Carol Marcus lacks even the depth that she had in her small role in The Wrath of Khan.
The foe that Vornholt imagines up to wreak the Genesis wave on the galaxy is entirely new. Of course, to wreak such epic havoc on the galaxy, a strong characterization was called for. This was the most critical aspect of the story that was absent. These adversaries simply were not adequately included in the story.
I think that this book was based on an interesting but artificial premise, and the result is a story that feels artificial from beginning to end. For a far better read, try The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh.
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on August 20, 2001
John Vornholt forgets one of the most important aspects of Star Trek - you have to make the science believable. The problem with the Genesis Wave is that waves cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Vornholt nowhere explains how the wave travels at warp speed. Also, when it goes through a star system it seems to slow down (also unexplained). Lastly, it threatens earth but originates from a far corner of the Federation. It would take months (if not years) to travel that distance at the highest warp speeds. Vornholt does not offer an explanation for this either. This was one of the most disappointing series of Star Trek books that I have ever read.
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