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on December 29, 2003
I gotta admit the first chapter or so bored me to death. But the story gets really good. I love the actual story format, but I don't like the way the writer wrote the story. What really threw me off is you have to really pay attention to the book when reading it, not distractions, because you'll miss key parts. ITs alomst like the writer put in detail in a sentence that tells you why something happend, and it seems to be put in out of the blue. Also like Dian Carey, they start another scene/chapter expecting you to have followed along, just giving a little back story of what happend since the previous chapter, and that just sucks. Like one page they're in the air in a shuttle, and the beginning of the next chapter they're walking the ground and getting shot at, and not untill a page or so later does the author exaplin what happend. Other then that though the storyline was awesome really entertaining.
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on October 26, 2003
This is the fifth L.A. Graf (Let's All Get Rich and Famous), Julia Ecklar and Karen Rose Cercone Star Trek novel that I've read now and I hate to admit it, but with the exception of their Star Trek Deep Space Nine Day of Honor novel, "Armageddon Sky," which was an excellent novel, their novels just don't seem to grab me as a reader. This novel doesn't transcend that feeling too well either. It may be their writing style, which for the majority of their novels seems to have a pacing problem and they just don't seem to grab the reader and give them the compelling feeling towards the story or the characters.
This third novel in the Star Trek New Earth series, "Rough Trails, does have one thing going for it though, it doesn't center around the three primary characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, as the majority of the novels and all of the episodes and movies do.
The cover art for this novel is an exception to the norm as well as it does paint a bright picture of Belle Terre. It may not be the Belle Terre that is described throughout a majority of this novel but it does come into play later in the novel.
The premise:
Following where the last novel, "Belle Terre" left off in which Captain Kirk was forced to move a small moon from a gas giant in the Belle Terre (Occult) solar system and crash it into Belle Terre's olivium rich moon in order to vent it and prevent it from exploding, "Rough Trails" sets a new tone for the New Earth series.
It is now some time after Belle Terre's olivium rich moon was struck by the other moon but during that explosion, debris from the collision hit Belle Terre, changing its environment in a very bad way. The colonists, who were more or less forced to stay due to a lack of supplies for the extraordinarily long journey back to Federation space, are now faced with living in the conditions created by the debris' collision with Belle Terre's surface.
Chekov, has been recently promoted to Lieutenant Commander and is scheduled to depart to become the First Officer on the USS Reliant has been working on the planets orbital platform while Kirk and the Enterprise have been patrolling the fringes of the system, preventing piracy of the olivium. Scotty, Uhura and Sulu have been working on the planets surface attempting to make things better for the colonists. Uhura has been attempting to create a communications system that works on the planet which is presently in the dry season and the atmosphere is laden with olivium dust which has been preventing a viable communications system.
As the story opens up, Chekov has hitched a ride down to the planets surface on a re-supply shuttle but during the shuttles run, it's shot down. Here is one of the few intriguing moments of this novel as Chekov must lead himself and the shuttle's crew members out from the bottom of Crater Lake, where the shuttle crash landed.
What follows from there is a tale, which in some ways contradicts some established facts from the two previous Star Trek New Earth novels, in which Chekov goes through a series of extraordinary events on this desolate planet and it's now, seemingly barbaric colonists and where Sulu and Uhura are doing everything they can to locate Chekov. Along the way, Sulu and Uhura discover that Crater Lake is about the break and the resulting flood will destroy everything in its path, causing them to divert their search for Chekov as they must warn as many colonists as possible.
I would only recommend this novel as it is part of the Star Trek New Earth series and that while this series may not be the best that Pocket Books have put out; it's still somewhat interesting to read. {ssintrepid}
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on June 19, 2001
Although I liked the two previous books (and also the three following ones)I absolutely hated this one!!! The idea of giving minor characters Sulu, Uhura and Chekov an oportunity was a great one, but the way L.A.Graf implemented it, is downright disgusting. What should have been a Star Trek novel turns out to be a western, with stables and tumbleweed included!!! I kept on reading just to see if it would get better but it never did. Skip this book if you can, it won't detract from the rest of the series and you'll save $6 in the process.
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on November 9, 2000
Although I love Kirk, Spock and McCoy, it's nice to see Sulu, Chekov and Uhura get to play major roles in a story. This quality reminds me of another Trek Novel, Uhura's Song. I thoroughly enjoyed Rough Trails, L.A. Graf writes so vividly that you practically feel yourself choking on olivium dust right along with the characters! It would have been nice if Graf had played up the potential love interest for Chekov a bit more, but it was still a good story. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading it again someday.
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on August 19, 2000
Poor story....poor character development. This reminds me of the Trek books 20 years ago that placed Star Trek characters in minor roles so the author could use his own created personas. Hated this book and the entire series!
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on August 6, 2000
...but they really live in the present, and tend to imprint present-day issues on the time period they're writing about. This "New Earth" series is no exception--from the git-go, anti-government "individualists" have posed as much a problem to this new colony as "alien space invaders" or forces of nature. It's bad enough that in previous volumes they had to cross a battleground between two warring cultures on the way to the Promised Land, not to mention showing up just in time for a cataclysm right out of Niven's "Lucifer's Hammer"--now there are two groups from their own population who make war on the mainstream and each other--a survivalist group called the "Carsons" and a vigilante outfit called the "Peacemakers". One thing the three factions have in common--they can't ANY of 'em stand Starfleet! Remind you of anything you encounter on the Nightly News? One remark by a character is probably a bit of social commentary on the part of authors Graf and Carey--certain colonists who are resentful of the way the Federation "stifles" their freedom tend to forget that it also provides a safety net. If only we of the 21st Century could see beyond the ends of our own noses and realize that!
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on July 21, 2000
Rough Trails rebounds the New Earth series back into the running of quality Star Trek stories. Working through the trials of Uhura, Sulu, and especially Chekov--who *almost* gets a love interest--is especially rewarding as the characters work with their strengths and falter with their weaknesses in a plot with some well-thought-out twists and turns. In a way, it's just another story of human greed, where the perceptions of people are not always what they seem. But though the story itself is old (what story isn't?), this is a tale that will keep you turning pages (it did to me last night, as I read the last page, satisfied, at 2:30am). Who needs alien villians when humanity, even in the 23rd century, still has enough? Will human greed ever become sated? I have to say that I did not like the character Sedlak, who seemed totally out of place, merely a prop for the needs of the rest of the plot. Once out of the way, the story took interesting twists and turns, and right up until the end, you couldn't necesarily be sure who were the Good Guys and who were the Bad Guys. The last few pages took the book off on a totally unrelated tangent, seeming to set up potential plots for further down the series. Not only was this part out of place after what happened in this book, but characters explained potential causes, thereby ruining any future suspense. All in all, though, a well done story.
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on July 19, 2000
The New Earth Series was an awesome concept, but the implementation left something to be desired. I have dutifully slogged through the first 4 books of the series hoping they would improve...The characterization was good, but the plots were lame and the writing was horribly slow and pathetic. How many times do I need to be reminded what causes Gamma Night and how long the blackout lasts? Where in the series was it explained how the Kauld suddenly stopped being on the verge of death? AND...Oh my GOD, the world's in danger and we need to evacuate everybody...No, we can save the world, but we need every ship, so we won't have any ships to evacuate the planet. Tired. Get this one from the library, so you can return it.
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on July 17, 2000
Finally, after a great many years, They are realeasing Star Trek Novels with good characterization that aren't all about Kirk. This book"s focus is on how Sulu, Chekov, and Uhurah deal with a hostile planet with no support from the Enterprise. While many of the elements in this book are similer to the other books written by L.A. Graf, This one fits in well with the mini-universe that is "New Earth".
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on July 11, 2000
I'm not a big reader of Star Trek books and am not familiar with L.A. Graf, but Rough Trails was disappointing, at best. 1.) I'm just not really interested in Sulu, Chekov or Uhura. To me they are accessory players and character development of the three these long 360 pages was minimal. 2.) L.A. Graf seemed more interested in words and not the story. How many times did he/she describe olivium dust and olivium dust storms? How many times must we be reminded that the Star Trek crew is intrigued by a bullet-shooting rifle? I got it the first time...okay? 3.) The western theme was fun but compomised by the fact that it's been done before and the fact that L.A. Graf didn't use it to the extreme. If you're doing the stereotypical western, where were the big shoot-outs? stampedes? bar maids? gruff but honest sheriff? 4.) Gwen Thee was a pretty good character, and the fact that Chekov didn't bed down with her was fun. But, L.A. Graf should've had her die at the end. It could've added some dimension to Chekov and the actual ending (a cook-out? jeez...) would not have been so sappy. This book would've been great at 200 pages. I feel I read 160 pages of needless writing.
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