I.K.S. Gorkon, Book 3: Enemy Territory (Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon) (Bk. 3) Mass Market Paperback – 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.