Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More 2016 covers revealed!

Hello everyone! Yesterday was a big day for Star Trek novel cover reveals for 2016. Let's jump right in!

First up is the April novel, Live By the Code, the fourth book in Christopher L. Bennett's Rise of the Federation series under the Star Trek: Enterprise banner. Take a look at the stunning cover and back-cover blurb:

Admiral Jonathan Archer has barely settled in as Starfleet Chief of Staff when new crises demand his attention. The Starfleet task force commanded by Captain Malcolm Reed continues its fight against the deadly Ware technology, but one of the task force ships is captured, its Andorian crew imprisoned by an interstellar Partnership that depends on the Ware for its prosperity. Worse, the Partnership has allied with a renegade Klingon faction, providing it with Ware drone fleets to mount an insurrection against the Klingon Empire. Archer sends Captain T’Pol and Endeavour to assist Reed in his efforts to free the captured officers. But he must also keep his eye on the Klingon border, for factions within the Empire blame Starfleet for provoking the Ware threat and seek to take revenge. Even the skill and dedication of the captains under Archer’s command may not be enough to prevent the outbreak of the Federation’s first war.

Pre-order Live By the Code from Amazon:
Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): |

Next up, in May, we get a sequel to a favorite novel of mine, 2013s From History's Shadow: it's Elusive Salvation by Dayton Ward. This cover is particularly beautiful; I love the color!

The Arctic Circle, 1845: Escaping the tyranny under which their people have lived for generations, aliens from a distant planet crash land on Earth’s inhospitable frozen wastes. Surviving the harsh conditions will pose a challenge, but over time the aliens will migrate to more populated areas, with decades passing as they work to conceal their presence from their former oppressors, who continue to hunt them at any cost. 
San Francisco, 2283: When a mysterious craft is detected entering the solar system, Admiral James Kirk is dispatched by Starfleet to confront the vessel. He meets with an emissary from the Iramahl, a previously unknown alien race who have come in search of their brothers and sisters thought to have gone missing in this area of space centuries earlier. Having recently thrown off the last chains of subjugation by another species, the Ptaen, they now believe their lost people hold the key to saving their entire race from eventual extinction. 
New York, 1970: Roberta Lincoln, young protégé of the mysterious agent Gary Seven, is shocked when she receives the oddest request for help—from the future…

Pre-order Elusive Salvation from Amazon:
Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): |

Check out these and all the rest of the new Trek novels coming in 2016 by visiting my 2016 releases page!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Release Day! Child of Two Worlds

Star Trek: The Original Series
Child of Two Worlds by Greg Cox

Since the beginnings of Star Trek, one character has emerged as a fan-favorite: Spock, the pointy-eared half-Vulcan science officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Now, from New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox comes a unique story about Mr. Spock's early years aboard the Enterprise.

Look below for the back-cover blurb and links to purchase from Amazon.

As always, my review: coming soon!

Publisher's description:
An all-new Star Trek novel from New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox, taking place in the blockbuster Original Series era!

The year is 2255, not long after the events of the Original Series episode “The Cage.” A young Spock is science officer on the U.S.S. Enterprise, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, when an outbreak of deadly Rigelian fever threatens the crew. Reviewing the Starfleet medical database, Dr. Phillip Boyce comes up with a highly experimental and untested new treatment that might save the crew. Just one problem: it requires a rare mineral substance, ryetalyn, which is not easily obtained…except on a remote alien colony near the Klingon border. But borders are somewhat blurry in this part of galaxy. Pike will need to tread carefully in order to avoid provoking an armed conflict with the Klingons—or starting an all-out war.

Purchase Child of Two Worlds:

Hardcover: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Previous Release: Seekers #4: All That's Left
Next Release: Deep Space Nine: Ascendance

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Star Trek: The Next Generation #48
The Q Continuum, Book 2 of 3
Q-Zone by Greg Cox
Published August 1998
Read November 12th 2015

Previous book (The Q Continuum): Q-Space

Next book (The Q Continuum): Q-Strike

Spoilers ahead for Q-Zone!

From the back cover:
The puckish super-being called Q has bedeviled Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise since their first encounter at Farpoint Station. But little was known of Q's enigmatic past or that of the transcendent plane where he sometimes dwells. Now Picard must discover Q's secrets -- for the sake of all that exists.

While the Enterprise struggles to survive an alien onslaught, Captain Picard has been kidnapped by Q and taken on an astounding journey back through time to that immeasurably distant moment when the Continuum faced its greatest threat. But far more is at stake than simply the mysteries of the past, for an ancient menace is stirring once more, endangering the future of the galaxy, and neither Q nor Starfleet may be able to stop it!

My thoughts:

The Q Continuum trilogy continues in book two, Q-Zone. When last we left off, Q had spirited Picard away for a whirlwind tour of Q's past and his dealings with an enigmatic and clearly hostile entity, 0. In the second part, we see more of that backstory through Picard's eyes.

Using the Guardian of Forever, 0 brings some compatriots of his into our universe to help him wreak havoc. Under the guise of "testing" them, 0 torments and ultimately destroys the mighty Tkon Empire, an ancient body that controlled much of the galaxy thousands of years ago. Much like 0's treatment of the ancient Calamarain, the "test" is merely a facade for the torture of lifeforms that he sees as below him.

Data researches the 600,000 year old Tkon Empire in the episode "The Last Outpost."

We are also introduced to 0's partners in crime, who are some familiar "faces" to fans of Star Trek. The Gorgon, infamous from his appearance in the truly awful TOS episode "And the Children Shall Lead," is a being who incites youth to rebel against their older generations. An entity whose name is unpronounceable and is referred to in the text as "(*)" is an energy creature that feeds on hatred, violent thoughts, and warfare. Trek fans may remember it from the TOS episode "Day of the Dove." Finally, there is an entity who refers to himself only as "The One," and demands absolute fealty and subservience on pain of torture and death of biblical proportions. We have met this entity before in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

0's partners in crime, all of whom we have met before.

The "flashback" parts of the book featuring the young Q and his "turn to the dark side" with 0 were very interesting, and one cannot help but feel the frustration that comes with seeing someone fall in with a bad crowd. Q, like any other disaffected youth, succumbs to peer pressure and manipulation by 0 and his band of criminals, eventually turning away from his people and all that they supposedly represent. This part of the story was very well done, and the heartbreaking finale for the Tkon Empire was truly a moving moment.

Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, the ship continues to be assaulted by the Calamarain. This part of the story doesn't advance a great deal, with the ship avoiding the Calamarain by taking refuge within the galactic barrier. While inside the barrier, the mysterious energies that affected Gary Mitchell in TOS's "Where No Man Has Gone Before" take control of the Betazoid scientist Lem Fal. The entity behind this sinister effect has a familiar feel to him...

Final thoughts:

Again, like the last installment, it is difficult to judge the story when it not yet complete. The action is at faster pace than the first volume, which is welcome, and the events that end with the destruction of the Tkon Empire were a lot of fun to read. Greg Cox does very well with his world-building for the Tkon, and the fact that they are so well fleshed-out makes the Empire's eventual fall that much more tragic. I'm excited to get to the conclusion of this story soon. Look for my review of part three in the near future!

Also by Greg Cox:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

Oaths, the 16th e-book in the S.C.E. series. Look for my review next week!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New cover art for February's Miasma!

We have more new cover art just revealed thanks to! This time, we get a sneak peek at February's e-book release, Miasma by Greg Cox!

As always, look below for the back-cover blurb and links to pre-order from Amazon. You'll be helping us out here at Trek Lit Reviews by pre-ordering Miasma!

Publisher's description:
The Enterprise-A is transporting a party of diplomats when it picks up a mysterious alien signal emanating from a nearby world. The planet’s dense, impenetrable atmosphere makes it unclear if the beacon is a distress signal, an invitation--or a warning to stay away.  Spock, Doctor McCoy, and Chekov are part of a team sent to investigate, but an unexpected catastrophe forces a crash landing.  Now the landing party is stranded on a hostile world, and unable to communicate with the Enterprise. While Captain Kirk and Saavik race to find a way to locate the lost crew, a badly wounded Spock struggles to keep McCoy and the others alive until they can be rescued, even if that means making an unthinkable sacrifice.

Pre-order Miasma from:

E-book (Kindle): | |

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Darkness Drops Again

Star Trek
Mere Anarchy, Book Four
The Darkness Drops Again by Christopher L. Bennett
First Published February 2007
Re-published in the omnibus collection Mere Anarchy in March 2009
Read October 26th 2015

Previous book (Mere Anarchy): Shadows of the Indignant
Next book (Mere Anarchy): The Blood-Dimmed Tide

Original e-book cover

Trade Paperback: | |
Kindle E-book: | |

Spoilers ahead for The Darkness Drops Again and the rest of the Mere Anarchy series!

From the back cover:
The rebuilding of Mestiko is starting to make progress: the atmosphere is partially restored, and Federation scientists are introducing new methods of replenishing the planet's biosphere. But their efforts are being stymied by the growing power of the mar-Atyya, who shun all offworlders.

The arrival of the Starship Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk proves less than fortuitous, as the ship becomes a flashpoint for all of Mestiko's troubles. Now Raya elMora, the leader of the planetary council, finds herself facing exile--which could spell doom for Mestiko...

My thoughts:

The fourth installment in the Mere Anarchy series, The Darkness Drops Again by Christopher Bennett continues the story of Mestiko into the period of time between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

This period of Star Trek history is a very interesting time that isn't featured often. Not much is known about the second five-year mission that followed The Motion Picture, apart from a few novels here and there (the best of which have also been penned by Christopher L. Bennett). However, not only do we get to see a little of that mission, but we also get a glimpse at the period afterwards, when Kirk briefly retired from Starfleet to live with Antonia (see Star Trek: Generations).

Part of this story features the period in which Kirk is retired and sharing his home with his girlfriend, Antonia, and his great dane, Butler.

The story itself is pretty interesting, with Raya's government on Mestiko being deposed via a coup and religious fundamentalists capturing the government. Because the Federation is on Mestiko only at the invitation of the government, Starfleet must pull out when the new government orders them to, with Raya and her supporters being put into exile.

As Raya and her people deal with this seeming betrayal by the Federation and Kirk, we see how Kirk himself has matured since his "cowboy diplomacy" days of The Original Series. However, although it isn't immediately apparent, Kirk does have the best interests of Mestiko in mind and is in fact playing the long game.

We see some of Spock's stint as captain of the Enterprise in this story.

This brings me to my favorite aspect of The Darkness Drops Again: the characters. Bennett nails the voices and actions of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. This is a singular time in the lives of these characters, and Bennett is very familiar with it. There are some wonderful moments featuring Spock in command of the Enterprise, showing his evolved sensibility with regards to logic and emotion. His interactions with Bones are particularly fun and show just how much their relationship has evolved over the years.

Final thoughts:

A poignant story about ignorance and fear dominating the public discourse. While the "message" of the story is heavy-handed at times, I believe it is an important one. However, my favorite aspect of the story is how Bennett writes the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. This glimpse into an often-ignored period of Star Trek history shows just how far these characters have come since the original five-year mission.

More about The Darkness Drops Again:

Also by Christopher L. Bennett:

Star Trek: Mere Anarchy:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

We return to the Q Continuum trilogy with TNG #48: Q-Zone by Greg Cox!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Literary Treks 128: The Picard Finger Wave

Doctor Who and Star Trek: TNG Crossover
Assimilation2: Volume 2

Doctor Who and Star Trek both continue to delight fans and create new converts even though they have both been around for 50 years. As each new generation finds them, the inevitable question becomes: "What would happen if the two shows crossed over?" Luckily, comics have stepped in to answer that question!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Matthew Rushing and Dan Gunther talk about the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic Assimilation²: Volume 2. We discuss Dan's progression through Doctor Who, a shift in the comic series, fun things, negotiating with the Borg, the ending, and some things we liked and didn't.

In the news segment we mention a few interesting celebrations.

Literary Treks 128: The Picard Finger Wave
TNG/Doctor Who Crossover: Assimilation2, Volume 2

Previous episode: Literary Treks 127: Cardassian Out of the Bag

Next episode: Literary Treks 129: Seekers #4: All That's Left by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore - Coming soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Literary Treks 127: Cardassian Out of the Bag

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Fearful Symmetry by Olivia Woods

Deep Space Nine was the first Star Trek series since the original to make use of the Mirror Universe, and as the relaunch series worked its way toward telling the showdown with the Ascendants, a wrinkle was thrown in as Iliana Ghemor from the prime universe was revealed to be the one behind Taran'atar's recent madness. However, that was only the beginning of her diabolical plan to become the only Kira in the multiverse!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Matthew Rushing and Dan Gunther talk about Fearful Symmetry. We discuss a couple quick notes, the gimmick, the "present day" story, the backstory, fanning the flames of fanaticism, the Sisko, and our ratings. We also have a few thoughts on how the recently announced new television series might affect the books.

In the news segment, we look at Star Trek: Hollow Man, the latest New Visions photo comic by John Byrne.

Literary Treks 127: Cardassian Out of the Bag
Deep Space Nine: Fearful Symmetry

Previous episode: Literary Treks 126: From a Certain Point of View

Next episode: Literary Treks 128: The Picard Finger Wave